Your hands-on guide to creating effective Web media with Adobe and Macromedia tools!
Now, there's a hands-on tutorial for everyone who needs to create and deliver powerful Web streaming media, animation, or graphics. Even if you have little or no Web media experience, this book's hands-on exercises are designed to help you discover the true power of Adobe Premiere, AfterEffects, and Photoshop, and Macromedia Director and Shockwavequickly. This process-oriented guide offers realistic guidance on all three aspects of delivering great Web multimedia and graphics: creative, technical, and business.
Whether you're a webmaster, graphic designer, or developer, here's a step-by-step roadmap for creating media and graphics that cut through the clutterand achieve your goals!
(NOTE: Each chapter concludes with Test Your Thinking.)
About the Authors.
1. Macintosh, Windows, and Photoshop.
The Photoshop Interface. Photoshop on the Windows PC and the Macintosh. Setting Up and Getting Started.
The Marquee Tools. The Lasso Tools. Moving, Rotating, and Transforming Selections. The Magic Wand Tool.
Layers and Their Palette. Image Modes in Layers. Grouping and Reordering Layers.
Pencil, Color Picker, and Line Tools. Paintbrush, Airbrush, Eraser, and Custom Brushes. Color from the Bucket, the Eyedropper, and the Gradient. Photoshop's Photographic Tools.
Masking. Saving a Mask in a Channel. Creating a Clipping Group. Type, Type Layer, and Type Masks.
The Pen Tools. Paths and Anchor Points. The Pen as a Selection Tool.
Sharpen Filters. Blur Filters. Noise Filters. Filters That Distort. Fascinating Image Filters. Other Filters and Their Use.
Additive versus Subtractive Color. How Photoshop Stores Color in Channels.
Web-Safe Colors. Color Limitations.
Saving an Image as a JPEG File. Saving an Image as a GIF File. Saving for the Web in Additional Applications.
Creating Web Buttons. Sliced Images and Rollovers. Background Images.
Specifying Colors in HTML. Images and Background.
Creating Animated GIFs. Creating Animated GIF Banners.
Multimedia Issues. Internet Issues. Browser Issues.
Where to Find Web Audio. Web Audio Players and Formats. MP3 and Its Controversies. Voice on the Web.
Audio Editing. Sound Editing in Adobe Premiere. Encoding Files. Audio Design and Production Issues.
The Television Studio. Film Shots. Streaming Video Web Sites.
Video Editing with Adobe Premiere. Compositing in Adobe after Effects. Some Other Desktop Video Tools.
Animation Design. Macromedia Director and Shockwave. 3D Graphics Issues. VRML and Web3D.
Collaboration and Community. Future Design Tools. Future Technology, Ubiquity, and Social Issues.
The purpose of this book, Creating Web Graphics, Audio, & Video, is to help you establish a firm understanding of how to create the graphics and media components of an effective Web site.
You will learn the fundamentals of Photoshop, the graphic standards and issues for the use of graphics on the World Wide Web, plus the use and design of sound and video segments on your site, and even the possibilites of Web3D worlds and future environments. We provide a series of examples and exercises that often build upon each other, and the reader is encouraged to apply the concepts learned in each chapter to a project of his or her own.
The idea is to learn by doing, and it is hope of the authors that the process will be an enjoyable one. As you work through the chapters presented here, do not hesitate to question and experiment. Do not be afraid to make mistakes or do something simply because you like it. While learning the foundations of design and development is essential, taking it all one step further and creating your own style will bring you the most satisfaction.
It is most important, though, to keep in mind that everything is subject to change in the world of Web design. HTML standards change, available technology changes, Photoshop will appear in new versions, and tastes change over time. This is likely not the first book about Web design you have looked at and we guarantee it will not be the last as long as you work in the field and continue to learn and grow. Learning the basics here is only the beginning; you will find that keeping up with all that is "latest and greatest" is a constant and neverending process that can often be as frustrating as it is exciting.
Our goal is to provide you with a solid base from which you will be able to proceed in the direction of your choosing.
A wise and experienced colleague said from experience to one of the authors, "You're writing a Web book? You know, it will be obsolete in 15 minutes." The speed of the development of the Internet in the past six years has created "Web time," where the project is due yesterday, six rival companies have just formed based on our idea and their Web sites are hot, we're swamped with orders and need to expand the site immediately, and the software we just bought has announced a new version.
The challenge has therefore been to write a book for the growing community of readers who want to see the best possible design book applied to current directions in cyberspace technology. As an advertisement for Hewlett-Packard recently lamented, "So much technology. So little time." Consequently, this book is centered in the needs of the graphic designer who, in designing a Web site, needs to work effectively in other media as well. It presupposes that your Web sites are pages of text and images, supported by animation, audio, and video.
One evening after working on this book, one author settled down in front of the television and watched Fox TV's "King of the Hill." It was the episode where stalwart Hank Hill--taking a vacation from selling propane and propane products--works as a substitute shop teacher in the local junior high school. With a flash of epiphany the author realized, "That's what we are, shop teachers! Shop teachers of Web design tools!"
It is our goal to demystify the graphics and media tools and show you how to use them. Ours is not the only way, but one way that has worked for us in real-life industry design jobs. Much relevant information rushes around in the information stream--in magazines, ads for events, technical presentations, and conversation. There is much buzz and marketing hype, but it requires contextualization in the Web design sphere as to what's really of use to the designer.
There are many books which go into greater depth on various aspects of what we cover here--some that have been helpful to us are listed in the Bibligraphy--and we urge you to begin to acquire your own shelf full of them. But don't go to the bookstore until the weekend--if you've bought this book, it means you're busy and need answers fast, so let's get you up and running so you can complete the work you have to do right now.
While this book takes a step-by-step approach to teaching you the tools and skills you need, don't fault the authors for metaphorical comparisons or "Suppose you want to . . ." project exercises. The power of digital technology touches a creative, free-flowing, right-brain part of all of us, by aiding us with its left-brain mathematical precision. Frankly, besides being so productive, digital design work is very often simply a lot of fun, too.
A reason this project was of interest to the authors was that it underscored our belief that digital media demands that the designers of our time know not only graphics, but audio and video as well. Boundaries between media have blurred, and it all needs to be readily and cogently available on the Web. In the past only the movie director had such broad transmedia control.
This book should prove helpful to the designer assigned to a team given the charter "Put our product catalog/company training modules/HR information up on the Web" who simply doesn't know where to start. The aesthetically skillful designer needs to know how to make graphics and time-based media work for the Web. We are swimming in a mass media sea, for which we constantly need tools to navigate. Someone who's got experience in one Web design area needs to branch out. Nevertheless, design for the World Wide Web can be learned with patience and practice of the necessary skills. The authors hope this book will help you develop those skills.
In this book, and the others in this series, you are presented with a series of interactive labs. Each Lab begins with Lab Objectives that define what Exercises are covered in that Lab. This is followed by an overview of the concepts that will be further explored through the Exercises, which are the heart of each Lab. Each Exercise consists of either a series of steps that you will follow to perform a specific task or a presentation of a particular scenario. Questions that are designed to help you discover the important things on your own are then asked of you. The answers to these questions are given at the end of the Exercises, along with more in-depth discussion of the concepts explored. At the end of each Lab is a series of multiple-choice Self-Review Questions, designed to bolster your learning experience by providing opportunities to check your absorbtion of important material. The answers to these questions appear in Appendix A. There are also additional Self-Review Questions at this book's companion Web site, found at http://www.phptr.com/phptrinteractive/. Finally, at the end of each chapter you will find a Test Your Thinking section, which consists of a series of projects designed to solidify all of the skills you have learned in the chapter. If you have successfully completed all of the Labs in the chapter, you should be able to tackle these projects with few problems. There are not always "answers" to these projects, but where appropriate, you will find guidance and/or solutions at the companion Web site.
The final element of this book actually doesn't appear in the book at all. It is the companion Web site, located at http://www.phptr.com/phptrinteractive/. This companion Web site is closely integrated with the content of this book, and we encourage you to visit often. It is designed to provide a unique interactive online experience that will enhance your education. As mentioned, you will find guidance and solutions that will help you complete the projects found in the Test Your Thinking section of each chapter. You will also find additional Self-Review Questions for each chapter, which are meant to give you more opportunities to become familiar with terminology and concepts presented in the publications. In the Author's Corner, you will find additional information that we think will interest you, including updates to the information presented in these publications, and discussion about the constantly changing technology webmasters must stay involved in. Finally, you will find a Message Board, which you can think of as a virtual study lounge. Here, you can interact with other Foundations of Website Architecture Series readers to share and discuss your projects.
This publication and the others in the Foundations of Website Architecture series are endorsed by the World Organization of Webmasters. The series is a training curriculum designed to provide aspiring Webmasters with the skills they need to perform in the marketplace. The skill sets included in the Foundations of Website Architecture series were initially collected and defined by this international trade association to create a set of core competencies for students, professionals, trainers and employers to utilize.
Chances are that you are a pioneer in the education field whether you want to be one or not. Due to the explosive nature of the Internet's growth, very few Webmaster training programs are currently in existence. But while you read this, many colleges, community colleges, technical institutes, and corporate and commercial training environments are introducing this material into curriculums worldwide. Chances are, however, that you are teaching new material in a new program. But don't fret, this publication and series are designed as a comprehensive introductory curriculum in this field. Students successfully completing this program of study will be fully prepared to assume the responsibilities of a Webmaster in the field or to engage in further training and certification the Internet communications field.
Each chapter in this book is broken down into sections. All questions and projects have the answers and discussions associated with them. The Labs and question/answer formats used in this book provide excellent opportunities for group discussions and dialogue between students and instructors. Many answers and their discussions are abbreviated in this publication for space reasons. Any comments, ideas, or suggestions to this text and series will be would be greatly appreciated.