What programing language should I learn to make a flash based video site?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by rawdawg, May 29, 2009.

  1. rawdawg macrumors 6502

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    Brooklyn
    #1
    Okay... I've asked a bunch of questions here and other forums with only 1 reply. I've wasted 2 months of solid work trying to build a website for myself. I'm not retarded (no offense). I simply am not getting much help and of all the hundreds of websites I've visited none have provided me with the info I need to get started. A lot of good info, yes, but I haven't learned how to use it in practice.

    I am a videographer who wants to put his content online. I've spent weeks researching and outputting various video files of projects I've made. It seems the second I finish an output I learn of a "better way" to do it. It's been tedious and a huge waste of time. I simply need to know the best way to do it all up front----BUT I don't want advice on that because you'll go off on "well, it depends what you want to do." As helpful as you're trying to be I've heard it 100x and it's not helpful. Let's say I want to make Flash videos. Now what language do I have to learn to build a page that can use that?

    This past week I went back to focusing on iWeb. After about 100 hours of work I'm still trying to get my 1ST page to work properly. QuickTimes "export for web" setting is immensely complicated for a beginner like myself. I don't know HTML. All the code I've been told to do has either been contradictory to what others said or just didn't work.

    Right now I need to take a deep breath and LEARN one of these languages. For example...... What language does iWeb use? I would like to learn that one. Or is there another one I should learn.

    Learning web design is like waking up in the emergency room with a nurse handing you a scalpel and an open skull laying in front of you. I'm sure it's easy when I learn it--- but I don't even know how to hold the scalpel.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    Looks like you've already mentioned a great first language to learn if you want to build a webpage.

    iWeb uses a bastardized version of HTML and its counterpart CSS. To put it very simply, HTML builds the framework of a site while CSS makes it look good. You should learn both- they go pretty well in conjunction with one another.

    I think the main problem is that you are trying to bite off too much all at once. Once you learn HTML/CSS it should be no problem to design a page and then imbed a youtube video of your work in it. Head over to the tutorials at W3Schools.

    Oh by the way- all-Flash sites are a bad idea.
     
  3. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    iWeb doesn't use a language per se, it simply exports HTML/JS/CSS. There's no code to learn for iWeb except maybe when adding HTML snippets.

    I don't use videos on my site so have never really needed to mess with it. There isn't many people here who use Flash, which is a large reason why you haven't gotten much feedback.

    You need to remember web design is a career field, not just some simple thing like typing documents. People spend years learning the field. Embedding videos onto a site is a matter of HTML. There's no coding to really learn. Creation of the videos is a separate thing of course. There hasn't been much of a standard when it comes to videos on a web page, which is why so many people have problems with it. Hopefully HTML 5's video tag will bring some help to that.
     
  4. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    miles01110 - that was the most timely and helpful response I've ever gotten. Thank you for going through what I asked to help me.

    I have a LOT of questions.. Coming from a guy who likes to know the "right" way to do something, saying I have a lot of questions is an understatement!

    Yes I have bitten off more than I can chew, but I don't want to learn something to find out there was a better way all along. I'm normally a fast learner and if guided in the correct direction I will figure it out. This has not been the case as I learn things at a SNAIL's pace.

    I just saw I got another reply from angelwatt! This is unbelievable! Already it's more direct help then I've ever gotten!

    Like angelwatt says, I guess not that many use Flash because after days I can't get replies to my other questions, even though they're more direct than this one! I thought Flash was really popular.

    Thank you for your feedback! Anyone else have some advice! It would be GREATLY appreciated!
     
  5. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Brooklyn
    #5
    Why does it now appear everyone is against Flash? And doesn't YouTube use Flash anyhow? I thought it was the best and very simple so I wanted to do it myself. I know all about the video exporting (after weeks of doing it). Why would you say Flash sites are a bad idea.
     
  6. Dal123 macrumors 6502a

    Dal123

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #6
    Stick with it.

    Hi Rawdaag,
    I'm exactly the same as yourself. I was thinking of doing a flash based webpage, but like you say not too much information out there. I think that there are not many animated sites out there, hence the reason I wanted to do it. But I thought most people used dreamweaver and there must be a reason for it.
    So what I'm trying is building a dreamweaver site, and like you say keep coming across better methods. What I have done is bought a load of books, and the best thing by far; training cd from ebay. I can't praise it enough, it makes it so more simple, and easy to take in! I make notes on it; like you say the code is a bit tricky and I'm out of my depth but every problem I come across I post on here and people are great. I've only just stuck my animation on my page and you probably know ten million times more than me, but I'm finding it really interesting. Flash and Dreamweaver work really well together. The cd is showing some good ways and things that I had no way of learning, if only I didn't work, I would be doing it all day long :D.
    Stick with it, my site is already going to look better than someone at work that paid over £3000 for. Hopefully I may even be able to get into it as a career after this.
    Regards
    Dal
     
  7. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    He's mostly talking more at entirely flash-based web sites, not just a flash video embedded on a site. Also, there has been a history of web developers using flash unnecessarily. It also takes some more effort to make a flash site accessible to everyone (such as those using screen readers) as well as getting good SEO (search engine optimization). Flash pieces I hate on sites are when the navigation is done in Flash. It's just not necessary. I have Flash blocked by default, but sites like YouTube use flash in an acceptable manner. Many use flash for the videos because it tends to be the most cross-browser supported. So it's not that everyone is against flash, but rather we're against bad implementation's of it on sites, which unfortunately, is most flash-based sites.
     
  8. Dal123 macrumors 6502a

    Dal123

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #8
    I was thinking of doing mine in Flash, (Correct me if I'm wrong) Flash is best used just for animations, and Dreamweaver is the 'Mac Daddy' lol for presenting it and arranging it?
    I'm quite happy with not going down the flash website route as I think it would be severly awkward. Dreamweaver is not too bad to use, don't get me wrong is awkward and advanced but this training cd is great, I'm still struggling at the most basic tasks though :D. I thought it would be more awkward adding flash content but it has been pretty good. Saying that though I've just posted with a problem of page taking 105 seconds to load lol.:rolleyes:
    I'm happy with dreamweaver and would recommend, what do you think would be the easiest / medium quality?
     
  9. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #9
    I am at a bit of a loss as to how to help you here. You say you have heard everything 100 times! After wasting "2 months of solid work" it would probably be more cost effective to hire a professional to set you up with a nice site and clearly defined workflow!

    Flash is my choice for serving up video over the web.

    Flash, as a platform, is known for excellent video support and is an "almost standard" on the web when you need to deliver video to the desktop in a professional way.

    Flash has about 96.0% support across the internet. Windows Media Player is at 74%. Quicktime is around 65% (and dropping!). (http://www.statowl.com/plugin_overview.php)

    This is why sites like HULU and YouTube use the flash player to deliver video. Features like full-screen and H.264 support are useful as well.

    For smaller sites: Flash Professional comes with the compression tools you need, and has a drag and drop video player component. Drag the component onto the stage, connect it up to your FLV file via the dialog box and publish your page. That will give you a simple web page with a skinnable flash-based video player within it. No programming is necessary.

    You will eventually want a player that will allow you to browse and play from a collection of videos. There are quite a few flash-based XML-driven video players/components available on the internet.

    If you *really* want to learn to program in Flash, you need to learn Actionscript 3. I usually recommend "Learning ActionScript 3.0: A Beginner's Guide" to my novice programming students. In my opinion, however, if you are primarily interested in simply putting your videos up online, learning actionscript is a bit overkill.

    It sounds like, above all, you need good guidance -- something the internet does not provide. I think you may benefit from a class taught by someone who works in the industry and can guide you and support you towards you goal.
     
  10. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #10
    Thanks again for all the replies. And yes, I've realized it would have been much more efficient to have just hired someone. In fact I tried finding someone at first but was unimpressed with the quality without spending serious money, what I was shown looked like something I could do myself. I feel this is something I should learn, not only as I continually update my content, but I feel it's the future in distribution and would be helpful if I had the knowledge to do it myself. So I have had a tremendous amount of questions, and thank you all for your patience listening to my frustrations.

    To clarify, when I spoke of Flash I was mostly speaking of the video content, like lucidmedia says. Learning animated flash down the road may be fun but I just want my videos up on an elegant webpage. I do have some specific questions:

    I like with QuickTime's "Export for Web" option it creates 3 separate files that when you properly add them to your webpage, it will sense the user's internet speed and deliver the best file for that connection. It's been a nightmare for me (not knowing HTML) to get that to work (I've already seen the tutorials, still no). I would rather do the Flash route anyhow. Can I do a similar connection speed sensing with Flash to deliver different files based on the viewers needs? That's a big question because I'll stop wasting my time with QuickTime if so...

    Also, as I've been encoding Flash using Adobe Media Encoder I've noticed in some situations it appears better quality with the same settings than with QT-- I noticed this with a video I made using long still images and a portion with timelapse exported via FCP as a QuickTime ProRes file. Is this true? Which is the best way to encode?

    I also can't find info as what exported files work best bringing into a Flash encoder. Sometime Adobe Media Encoder says it can't read the files. I've heard of Animation compression but NEVER used that in the videographer work I've done. With FCP I use compressor unless I do a simple QT out using current settings with QT. Should I export H.264 even though I would bring them into Adobe Media Encoder? Are the exported H.264 files from Compressor already ready for a flash player?? If I planned on exporting ProRes as a Master should I start using Animation compression instead? I've heard some use photo-jpeg but I've never needed to use that before... There are so many options in QT and then there are QuickTime movies with those same options too!!!? What's the difference?!

    As far as QT's "export for web" options, in hours of searching I haven't been able to find out what the specific settings are!!! Are they even good!!?? Should I only use compressor and make custom H.264 exports? As far as Flash goes I've heard H.264 is best so shouldn't I stick with H.264 and does it matter if I make it in Compressor or not, would Adobe Media Encoder do a better job?!

    Wow.... a lot of questions. This is what my mind is going through as I try this.

    I've tried Adobe Flash and haven't figured it out. I know the Media Encoder though. I found a tutorial to embed a Flash movie in iWeb. Would this make as elegant a page as Flash could publish?
     
  11. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #11
    well, yes, but you need to use Flash Media Server. The full-blown FMS costs over $4000, but adobe has a free development server which allows 10 users at a time. If your site is not expected to pull that much traffic, it may work for you.

    http://www.adobe.com/products/flashmediaserver/compare/

    Also, look into the open source version of FMS, Red5.

    http://osflash.org/red5

    encoding is always a balance between file size and quality, and there are no magical settings... each source file is different and has to be approached individually...

    I have had good luck with the adobe media encoder, but know that some studios use Flix because it gives them a bit more control over the compression.

    Animation compression at 100% is uncompressed video. Most of my work comes directly from After Effects so I am used to working uncompressed. This is what I feed into the media encoder.



    Yes. Your H.264 files should be ready to go.

    http://blog.six4rty.ch/tutorials/flash-cs3-play-h264-video-using-the-flvplayback-component/nn.com/

    If you are doing H.264 I think you should stick to compressor, but if you are unsure you should do some sample compressions and decide for yourself.

    Wow.... a lot of questions. This is what my mind is going through as I try this.

    Flash's publish page is a blank white page with the video embedded. I can't speak to iweb...
     
  12. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 7, 2009
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    Brooklyn
    #12
    lucidmedia,

    Thank you so much for your feedback on those specific question. I can't tell enough you how helpful it's been!
     

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