The tutorials in the Flash video templates section of the Flash Developer Center are designed to help you learn about the video authoring capabilities of the Flash authoring tool. Each project combines video with graphics, custom branding and navigation, and interactivity. This article outlines some of the changes made to accommodate updates to Flash CS3 Professional from earlier versions of Flash.
Where to start
While these templates contain sample Flash video (FLV) files for you to work with, eventually you'll need to create your own FLV files for your final video. Read the Flash Video Learning Guide's section on capturing and encoding video for directions on how to take video from your source (camera or other video file) into the FLV format. Beyond that, start thinking about the branding and design you'll use to customize the template you choose to work with.
For more information on working with the FLVPlayback component, read the following articles:
Changes to Flash templates in ActionScript 3.0
When you create a new file in Flash CS3 Professional, the default file format is ActionScript 3.0. By comparison, Flash Professional 8 used two different file formats: ActionScript 1.0 and ActionScript 2.0.
The difference between the two file types seemed minimal because everything about ActionScript 1.0 existed in an ActionScript 2.0 file. The ActionScript 3.0 file format is different, however; it runs on a new interpreter using an entirely standardized syntax. Many ActionScript features that were commonplace for several versions of Flash are not available in an ActionScript 3.0 file.
Here are ways that Flash templates are different in an ActionScript 3.0 file:
- FLA file: Most of the templates referenced on this page apply to Flash CS3. This means they are built in an ActionScript 3.0 file and are subject to the structure of the new FLA format.
- Components: It's a subtle feature, but you'll notice that the components available in the Components panel change when an ActionScript 3.0 file is active (new ActionScript 3.0 components, including the updated FLVPlayback component). If you open an ActionScript 2.0 file, you'll notice that the components in the Components panel switch back to the view common in Flash Professional 8.
- ActionScript 3.0 syntax: ActionScript 3.0 coding syntax is a bit different than previous versions. It's really not that hard to catch on once you see the new coding metaphors. Look for notes in these articles about changes and enhancements.
- Behaviors: Behaviors are not supported in ActionScript 3.0. Code can no longer be placed directly on a button or movie clip instance. This change renders the behaviors metaphor unusable in most cases.
- Screens: Screen-based files do not exist in ActionScript 3.0. Each of the updated ActionScript 3.0 templates was built along a standard Flash timeline.
Note: Articles addressing ActionScript 3.0 contain links back to the Flash 8–era ActionScript 2.0 versions in most cases. Look for links in the introduction to each article. If you're using Flash 8 or ActionScript 2.0 files in Flash CS3, see the articles from the previous Flash release.
Choosing the right Flash video template for you
Need more guidance? Here are some template recommendations, based on some common tasks that you might perform.
For Dreamweaver users:
For Flash users:
- I want an easy way to play video on my site. Check out the Flash Video Learning Guide, which provides an introduction to Flash video, including information on how to create and publish Flash video.
- I am a beginner at Flash and I want to put a collection of videos on my personal website. Download the showcase website for personal video template to build a video showcase in Flash that displays multiple videos, and showcase them with navigation and include captions for chapters within the videos.
- I am an advanced user of Flash and I want to put a collection of videos on my personal website. Use the Flash video gallery template, which shows you how to create a navigational system for your video, including filtering by category.
- I want to make a simple video presentation with navigation to specific sections. Use the video presentation with navigation template as a model for a simple navigational interface for a single video.
- I want to build a marketing presentation with video of a presenter with synchronized graphics. Download the spokesperson presentation with synchronized graphics template to learn how to put a video of a presenter on the web and synchronize graphics with key parts of the presentation.
- (New) I want to build a video player that shows more than one movie. Download the dynamic video playlist template that updates via XML data so you can publish multiple videos on the same web page—without authoring a new SWF for each one.
- I want to create a Flash advertisement that incorporates Flash video. Use the Flash ad with streaming video template to produce a great ad that will work with your file size restrictions and implements Flash Ad Kit tracking. (This template is no longer supported.)
- I want to build a live video webcast. Study the live video broadcaster and switcher template to learn how to create a live feed broadcaster and viewer, complete with a video switcher you can use to smoothly switch sources midfeed. (This template is no longer supported.)
Where to go from here
As you work with these supplied templates and see how things are put together, it's natural to start building your own templates to fit the specific challenges you face in your development routine. The following resources offer more background on the nuts and bolts of things:
Also check out the tutorials, articles, and references in the Video Technology Center to get you up to speed on video technology and publishing video on the web.