Floating flash movie with transparent background

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eversys
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Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by eversys » Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:21 pm

I have come across several sites that, when the page loads, a virtual spokesperson (flash movie with a transparent background) starts to talk and move around the page - 'hovering' over the background content. With a "mouse-over" the speaker, a play/pause button appears. For examples of what I mean see http://www.yaoti.com, http://www.ispeakvideo.com or http://www.myvirtualspokesperson.com.

I know how to create the virtual spokesperson flash movie using greenscreen and chromakey techniques. I just don't know how to implement the created flash movie within Joomla 1.5 site?

I would really apprecaite any help. Many thanks.

 
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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by kenmcd » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:07 pm

.
See:

HowTo - Transparent Flash Player floating above the page
http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?p ... 4#p2201434

Transparent Flash video using alpha channel On2 VP6 codec
http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?p ... 6#p2051626

After reviewing those posts, please post any additional questions here.

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by eversys » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:24 pm

Many thanks kenmcd for the quick response and great links... everything up until publishing the FLV video is clear to me. However, I am still a little confused on the embedding side of things as I am very new to Joomla and coding in general. Please can you clarify the following:

1. I assume that the transparent flash player used to play the FLV is a Joomla Extension which I need to download & install? e.g. http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions ... llery/8156 or http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions ... llery/3955. Any preference?

2. I am not sure how to embed the Flash player into a page using "wmode=transparent". What further code do I require?

3. I am not sure how to float and position the player DIV over the page with CSS. Have you got some sample code? Alternatively, how can the player be positioned using JavaScript? Is there a preference?

Many thanks for your help to a complete Joomla novice.

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by kenmcd » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:43 pm

.
Transparent flash player
The term "flash player" can be a little confusing.
First, there is the Flash Player browser plug-in which is required view any Flash object in your browser.
The Flash object is a SWF file embedded into your web page.
This embedded SWF can be a "flash player" such as the JW Player for Flash.
In this case the SWF is a Flash application which plays media files.

Extensions such as AllVideos Reloaded (AVR) are used to embed a "flash player" into your Joomla articles.
One of the players embedded by AVR is the JW Player for Flash.
It is the "flash player" used by AVR to play FLV media files.
The other extension you linked above also uses the JW Player for Flash, but in a Joomla module.

But, the version of the JW Player included in these extensions is not transparent.
So even if you use one of these extensions to play the transparent FLV media file it will not appear transparent.
I used an older version of the JW Player (v4.3) which is transparent to do my tests.
With the AVR extension it is possible to make a new player in Manage Players and add this transparent player for use.

wmode is a setting for the Flash Player browser plug-in used when embedding SWF files into content.
This wmode="transparent" setting tells the browser plug-in to enable transparency of the embedded Flash object.
In AVR this may be set globally in the content plug-in parameters, or entered in the tag as a parameter, or simply hard-coded into the new transparent player code entered in Manage Players.

To do this I:
- uploaded the JW Player v4.3 SWF file to the AVR plug-in folder
- added a new player in AVR Manage Players which uses this JW Player v4.3.
- added a new tag in AVR Manage Tags {flvtrans} and connected it to this player
Then inserted this tag in an article and watched the guy walk around the page.

AVR enables you to use a particular DIV for your player when inserting a tag in an article or in the AVR module.
I have not tested this yet as I just put the tag in an article.
The floating DIV CSS code would need to be added to the AVR (or other) CSS file.
This only can specify position from the top left.
The DIV CSS cannot float down to the bottom of the page for example.
This requires JavaScript - which I do not have a working example.
Have to look for this.

Hmmmm . . . there is a module which does use JavaScript to slide-in floating content.
Maybe this would be a good starting point to test.
Don't remember what the positioning options are in that module.
Have to take a look at it.

If you would like to pursue this further
- get AVR installed and get familiar with it
- insert your transparent FLV in an article and post a link

:)

KM


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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by eversys » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:43 am

Wow kenmcd - a most comprehensive, clear and easy-to-read post, many thanks ;D

I have googled for the "JW Player (v4.3)", but can't find a download anywhere. At http://www.longtailvideo.com they are pushing JW Player 5.2 - I can't find any achiv downloads. ??? Any chance of sending a link to a download ???

I have installed AVR and 'playing' around. Not quite sure where I need to add the wmode="transparent" parameter. In AVR is this set globally in the "Media tag" field of an article using AVR Media, Insert Media, Local Media? For the tag in the "Player template tweaks" field under "Manage Tags"?

Finally, which module do you mean which use JavaScript to slide-in floating content? I will check for some JavaScript myself and then insert my transparent FLV in an article and post a link.

Thanks again for your great support :)

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by kenmcd » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:01 pm

.
The JW Player for Flash v4.3 is available in their SVN.
It is also included in a few older Joomla extensions.
The file is small (43KB) so I can attach it here in a ZIP.
So do not be concerned about it.

The wmode setting in AVR v1.2.6 is in the AVR Content plug-in parameters setting.
I think it is called Window Mode.
But that setting affects all flash player media embeds.
Since it does involve a small performance hit, we can set it directly in the new player.
That way it only affects the transparent FLV player.

I did look at quite a few "floating" modules yesterday.
Any of them would require extensive modification to work for this application.
But I did find another JavaScript last night which looks very flexible and appears to be perfect for this use.
Will test that manually first and then build it into a module if workable.
If that all works out it will be as easy as installing a module and setting parameters.

Read through the AVR documentation and samples (demos).
http://allvideos.fritz-elfert.de/docume ... en-gb.html

And embed your transparent FLV in a page and post a link.


Note: I am getting ready to head out the door and will not be back until late tonight.
It is early morning now (~8 a.m.) and I will not be back until 8-9 p.m.
So it will be sometime tomorrow at the earliest.
Creating and testing the module could take a day or two.

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by eversys » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:23 am

I've been 'playing' at the weekend. First stumbling block is creating a flash movie with a transparent background. I used "CyberLink PowerDirector 8" to remove the green screen (chromakey) but my created movie has a black background. Having gegoogled, I've read that I need to convert the movie using the "encode alpha channel" option?! Is this right - any tips which software is best to use here - either video editing software for the whole process or a converting tool?

FYI, I found a useful tool which converts videos to flash movies and delivers a player - as part of the export sample code is also produced. See "Free Studio Manager" from DVDVideoSoft (see http://www.dvdvideosoft.com.

I have also got my movie into a Joomla page using AVR plugin (see http://www.eversys.de/index.php?option= ... le&id=1282). I also created an article with the supplied script/player from DVDVideoSoft (see http://www.eversys.de/index.php?option= ... le&id=1283). I also got "The Flash Module" to work (see http://www.eversys.de/wm).

Unfortunately, had no luck using Javascript to create a 'floating' video.

Thanks for your help.

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by kenmcd » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:40 pm

.
The FLV video must be created with the VP6 video codec.
Your Adobe Premiere Elements test video linked above uses the H.263 video codec.
This will not work.

It appears CyberLink PowerDirector 8 does not support output to FLV using the VP6 video codec.
So this will not work.

The other software for packaging a video in a SWF . . . no VP6 support, etc., etc.

The On2 VP6 codec is a commercial codec and is not available in any free encoding tools.
The VP6 codec is the only codec which supports transparency which is supported by the Flash Player.

You need:
- media authoring software which supports transparency (alpha-channel)
- media encoder software which supports the VP6 codec

Authoring software such as Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, etc.
Encoding software such as Adobe Flash Media Encoder, Sorenson Squeeze, etc.


Have something else to finish first today, and then I will be working on this again later . . .

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by eversys » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:42 am

kenmcd - thanks for the great and comprehensive feedback!

I have downloaded the test ver of Adobe Premiere Elements 8 and removed my green screen using keying and videomerge. Now I have a black background. The export settings give me both the "Sorenson Spark" & "On2 VP6) codecs, see:
Export-settings.png
...but I can't get the .flv transparent.

What I don't understand in your comment is that I also require an encoding software - Adobe Premiere Elements allows me to export with the relevant codec. What am I doing wrong or what have I misunderstood?

busyboy - the animated gif is a nice idea, but no sound...
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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by kenmcd » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:52 pm

.
There should be a setting there called Encode Alpha Channel.
That is the setting in Adobe Media Encoder, and the full version of Adobe Premiere, etc.

Did a little checking on the web . . .
Appears that transparency setting is not available in Adobe Premiere Elements 8.
Apparently FLV transparency was possible in Premiere Elements 7, but it has been removed in 8.


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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by eversys » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:35 pm

Thanks Adobe - typical!

Is there software out there which can do both - the video editing & encoding - which will create a transparent backgrounded flash movie, and without breaking the bank account? If not, which products would you recomend - my budget is tight.

Any luck with the javascript or getting the flash to 'float' over a page?

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by kenmcd » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:11 pm

.
What, you don't want to spend $800 to create a 20 second video? ! !
Such rational practicality will not be tolerated!
;)

Unfortunately I have not found any other solution besides Adobe products.
The only other encoder using VP6 that I have found is Sorenson Squeeze.
It appears there is a corner on the market for VP6 encoding.

I can run your source file through the encoder for you.
Upload the source media to MediaFire (or where ever), and post a link here.
Assuming the alpha channel was created properly, encoding should be simple.
I will upload the finished media on MediaFire, and post a link here.

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by eversys » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:00 am

Thanks for your offer kenmcd - however, I've now managed to create my .flv with a transparent background using a video to flash converter. Check out: http://www.eversys.de/index.php?option= ... le&id=1282

Now it's all about getting this .flv to 'float' over the webpage text in preset positions. Can this only be done in javascript? Have you managed to experiment with code?

Thanks for your continued support.

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by eversys » Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:19 am

Having done lots of research, I stumbled over your posting at http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?p=2201434 which describes what I am trying to do - however I don't understand your point 5. Float the player DIV over the page with CSS and you mention that you could create the player and tag in AVR and supply the code for those - but unfortunately samy4movies fixed this before you were able to supply the code :'(

I am trying to create exactly what is shown in the example you post at http://www.innovateads.com/iads/demo.ph ... ubmit.y=11.

Please put me out of my misery - I am soooo close to understanding this. Thanks again.

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by kenmcd » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:06 pm

.
Your test video looks great.
And I see you found a much less expensive encoder that supports VP6 transparency.
People ask me all the time and I had not found anything else.
I installed SWiSH Video3 and played around with it.
Very nice little application.
Slower encoding, but it has right features needed for this application.
And at ~$60 it is much more affordable than the other options I have found.
Good find!

I have some time for this today, so I will post my results later.
Probably when you are asleep in your part of the world.

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by eversys » Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:11 pm

Yes, SWiSH Video3 is a great product - easy to use and at a very affordable price! The perfect solution to transform a green screen movie into a transparent flash. Nevertheless, if the movie requires a few special effects, then another product needs to be used.

Looking forward to your input regarding positioning the .flv or .swf over my webpage.

Many thanks.

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by kenmcd » Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:38 pm

.
Got it mostly working yesterday.
It displays at lower right and plays properly, but the fixed location is not working right.
The JavaScript I am using has minimal documentation, and the demo files do not match the demo pages.
So I started deconstructing the actual properly-working demo pages.
That is where I left it yesterday.

I see you found the JW Player v4.3 with the transparency.
Also that is the last version without the JW Player logo showing every time it starts.
I have also saved a couple minimalist players like the ones you see in the other demos.
Will try those after the JW Player version is working 100%.

I am out in the wild today and not on my development server.
If I am awake when I get home tonight perhaps I will jump back in.
Otherwise it will be tomorrow (my daytime tomorrow will be your next day middle of the night).

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by eversys » Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:57 pm

Just a few thoughts... from what I have researched so far the video's positioning is always relative to the screen ("right 100px" and "bottom 0px"). Slight problem, different screen resolutions would make the video appear at diffent places on the screen. Hence, it would also be nice if one could control the positioning regarding to the article being displayed. Hence, regardless of if one viewed the site with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 or 1280x1024, the video would always appear in the same place over the article.

... or have I totally missed the point?!?! Thanks kenmcd - I look forward to your code.

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by kenmcd » Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:07 pm

.
Yes, the issue does involve different screen sizes, or actually different browser window sizes.
It is fairly easy to position a DIV at the bottom right using CSS.

<div id="fixeddiv" style="
position:absolute;
width:200px;
height:50px;
right:50px;
bottom:0px;
padding:16px;
background:#FF0000;
border:1px solid #d5d5d5;
z-index:100">
Fixed DIV content here.
</div>

That will put the content in box at bottom right in Firefox 3.6.8, IE8, Opera 10.60, Safari 5.
But as soon as the user scrolls, it breaks the positioning.
And there is of course the usual differences between older browsers.
If all user browsers supported CSS3 100% life would be good. :-)

So the JavaScript is needed to fix the DIV in the right place as the user changes the browser window size, scrolls the window, uses different browsers, etc.

Be working on this project this afternoon.
Think I just have to get the JavaScript initial parameters settings right.
Hopefully have an easy-to-implement working solution today.


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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by kenmcd » Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:31 am

.
It works!
The fixed DIV stays in place on scrolling, resizing the browser, etc.

Image

Note: I have a light border on the fixed DIV to be able to see the dimensions.


Now let's see if I can make it easy-to-implement by building it into a module.



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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by eversys » Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:00 pm

Great work kenmcd :D - I have also got it working! Using your code, I have complete control over the positioning of the movie relating to screen size, scrolling & resizing the browser. Check out http://eversys.de/index.php?option=com_ ... Itemid=281 - perfect!

Is it possible to have the movie positioned within the article? You can see that the main article is published with a grey background. It would be great if the video could be positioned at the top right of this article (where the print & email icons are) - that means, regardless of the screen size or even if one scrolls, the video remains in that place. What I am planning to do is make a video of someone walking onto the screen, talk and then walk off. Would look better if they walked straight into the grey article and then off. At the moment they would walk onto the right of the screen depending on the value I put into "right" - this of course gives a different result depending on screen size (sometimes in white space, sometimes in the article).

Any ideas?

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by eversys » Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:59 pm

FYI, having tried my site in IE8 - I got a message pop-up that the "Adobe Flash Player" Add-On needed to be installed. Nevertheless, the flash movie played just fine. To remove this pop-up, I deleted the following from my code:

Code: Select all

codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=8,0,0,0"
Now works fine without displaying a pop-up.

Just a question - if IE or firefox does not have flash installed, then will the pop-up still come up?

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by kenmcd » Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:33 am

eversys wrote:Great work kenmcd :D - I have also got it working! Using your code, I have complete control over the positioning of the movie relating to screen size, scrolling & resizing the browser. Check out http://eversys.de/index.php?option=com_ ... Itemid=281 - perfect!

Is it possible to have the movie positioned within the article? You can see that the main article is published with a grey background. It would be great if the video could be positioned at the top right of this article (where the print & email icons are) - that means, regardless of the screen size or even if one scrolls, the video remains in that place. What I am planning to do is make a video of someone walking onto the screen, talk and then walk off. Would look better if they walked straight into the grey article and then off. At the moment they would walk onto the right of the screen depending on the value I put into "right" - this of course gives a different result depending on screen size (sometimes in white space, sometimes in the article).

Any ideas?
On this test page the player is fixed in one position on the web page.
So when I scroll it moves with the page.
My goal is to have the player fixed in one position relative to the browser viewport.
This is why the JavaScript is needed.

Yes, you can have the video positioned relative to an article.
That is basically what you did on this test page.

What I am thinking right now is a new module to enable the viewport positioning.
And a new tag to enable placing within articles.

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by kenmcd » Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:39 am

eversys wrote:FYI, having tried my site in IE8 - I got a message pop-up that the "Adobe Flash Player" Add-On needed to be installed. Nevertheless, the flash movie played just fine. To remove this pop-up, I deleted the following from my code:

Code: Select all

codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=8,0,0,0"
Now works fine without displaying a pop-up.

Just a question - if IE or firefox does not have flash installed, then will the pop-up still come up?
There are some problems with the player code.
The class id and the MIME type are for embedding QuickTime.
And the embedded "media" is a self-contained SWF (swish.swf).
Yet there is another movie parameter for /FLVPlayer_Progressive.swf.
Not sure what you are trying to do here, but this is not going to work properly.
Thus IE8 protests.

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by eversys » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:18 pm

I have now change the code, which now looks like:

Code: Select all

<div id="flashBox">
<object style="position:absolute;width:354px;height:270px;right:0px;top:150px;z-index:100">
<param name="src" value="http://www.eversys.de/images/stories/MVI_8747.swf">
<param name="QUALITY" value="HIGH" />
<param name="autoplay" value="true" />
<param name="type" value="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="354" height="270" />
<param name="wmode" value="transparent" />
<embed src="http://www.eversys.de/images/stories/videos/MVI_8747.swf" width="354" height="270" autoplay="true" quality="high" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage=pluginspage="http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" wmode="transparent"></embed>
</object> 
</div>
However, my code positions the video according to screen & not article. Depending on what resolution I use to view the page, the video appears in a different position right:
pic1.png
pic2.png
pic3.png
The end result I would like is as in my last screenshot pic3.png. I think the new module to enable the viewport positioning, enabling placement within articles, is exactly what I need.

Almost there now I think ;)
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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by eversys » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:49 am

Another quite nice feature that Innovateads use http://www.innovateads.com/iads/demo.ph ... ubmit.y=11 is to place the video along the bottom of the page. If one scrolls, the video always remains at the bottom. I have seen they use javascript to control this but have not understood their code.

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by kenmcd » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:29 am

eversys wrote:. . . If one scrolls, the video always remains at the bottom.
;D
I guess I have not been clear.
That is what I got working in the test page screenshot above.
The video always stays at the bottom right, even if the page is scrolled.
Options are positioning from top left, from top right, from bottom left, or from bottom right.
The video stays put no matter what.

Finally figured out the problem, the JavaScript only worked in-line in the page below the media.
But this is not an easy-to-implement solution.
The JavaScript should be in a linked .js file for the module.
But it would not work that way.

Found the fix in another forum so now the JavaScript also works as a linked .js file.
That is the method used in the test page screenshot above.

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by eversys » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:12 am

Sounds great kenmcd - could you please post your example .js javascript so that I can give it a go or send me a link to the forum you mention. Many thanks.

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by eversys » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:53 pm

Hi kenmcd - any chance of your test code or links... it would be great if I could get this up and running for the weekend. Thanks again.

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Re: Floating flash movie with transparent background

Post by kenmcd » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:55 pm

.
I worked on this yesterday (Thursday) and got the transparent FLV player working in AVR.
It is now mid-day on Friday for me.
I expect to have it working as a relatively easy-to-implement complete solution later today.
When I post later today/tonight it should be your Sat. morning.
So you can play with it over the week-end.

.
██ LibreTraining

 

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