I am not a web geek. I am a video professional who realizes how important the web is to video professionals. I wish I had the time to master one more skillset to make my own cool Flash video sites, but I don't. If you can relate, then I have a cool solution to turn you into a web geek in only about 30 minutes with skills you probably already have.
The basis for this little revelation in web delivery is Adobe Encore CS4. Right on the launch screen, Encore proclaims "Come for the Bluray, stay for the Flash." I'd known that Encore was capable of creating Flash web projects since Encore CS4 was released last year, but I never really tried it until I became disenchanted with my anemic demo reel presentation on my company website.
I am embarrassed that I don't follow my own advice about hiring professionals to do what they're good at instead of trying to do everything yourself. I should have hired a webmaster to simply make a great website, but the economy is tight and my website is not really something with which I usually promote myself.
So, I was left looking for a simple and elegant solution to deliver lots of short demos to potential clients. I didn't want to make a compilation reel because I wanted to direct some people to specific spots or videos that related to their specific needs. So I needed some nice navigation elements and some good-looking web video. Basically, I wanted to be able to deliver a DVD with several levels of menus to my clients instantaneously. Enter Encore's ability to turn DVD projects into Flash-based web pages.
Creating the Demo Reel pages of my website was as easy as authoring a simple DVD. To some, that may not seem simple, but if you've used Encore, you know that making a six button menu linked to six short videos can be done while you're waiting for an Avid or FCP render to finish. You can check out this project at www.veralith.com and click on the Demo Reel button to the left.
Here's a quick tutorial from beginning to end. (You must be at least somewhat familiar with Encore to follow along.):
Collect your uncompressed videos, or at least know where they are.
Launch Adobe Encore CS4. Then create a new project.
Name it and choose to create a DVD or Bluray project. I chose to create a DVD project because I didn't want the menu size to be too big. You may decide that you prefer the aspect ratio and size of Bluray.
With a new project started, you can proceed in a few different ways. For now, let's create a menu that will link us to four other menus that contain the videos.
You can create a menu in Encore using a pre-made template or build one from scratch inside Encore or in Photoshop. We'll go the simple route and use a pre-made template. I chose "Blue Flare Menu" from the Corporate menu library that comes with Encore. I chose to edit the menu in Photoshop, but most of the items in the menu can be easily edited right in Encore. Each button in Encore becomes a layer in Photoshop. I added my company logo to replace the generic company text and changed the names of the buttons. When I saved the file in Photoshop, the image automatically updated - courtesy of Dynamic Link - in Encore. No need to export and import.
Then I used the "Blue Flare Submenu" template to create and revise four more menus and renamed them for the four buttons on the menu I just revised in Photoshop.