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Adding Digital Video

Now it's time to assemble the ending of the presentation by adding a digital video file. Digital videos are digital movies you can incorporate into a Director movie as you would any other graphical cast member: by placing it in the score or on the stage.

Find the QuickTime movie named QTmovie in the cast and double-click it to bring up Director's QuickTime viewer.

The viewer provides standard controls to allow you to play the digital video. After you have seen what the video should look like, close the QuickTime viewer.

Drag cast member 11 (TajCut) from the Cast window to channel 1, frame 119, of the score. Then set the sprite's end frame to 130.

This is a new background graphic that the digital video will play on top of.

Drag cast member 10 (QTmovie) to channel 2, frame 119, of the score. Change the end frame of the QTmovie sprite to 130.

This file is a QuickTime movie that was created for the Taj Mahal—Sights and Sounds CD. We've already included the QuickTime movie in the cast, but you can import QuickTime movies just as you import other elements. To make sure the video will play to completion, you'll need to add a tempo setting that will make the playback head wait until the movie is finished playing before it continues.

Select the background music sprite in sound channel 1 and set its end frame to 130.

Remember that a sound's sprite must appear in the sound channel of every frame where you want the sound to play. This action ensures that the sound continues to play during the new part of the movie you are adding.

Figure .

Double-click frame 120 in the tempo channel to open a Tempo dialog box. In the dialog box, click Wait for Cue Point. In the Channel field, select 2:QTmovie, and in the Cue Point field, select {End} . Click OK to close the dialog box.

In frame 119, Director begins to display the TajCut and QTmovie sprites. Because you set a tempo that affects the digital video sprite one frame later, Director will not have to process the tempo instructions at the same time it starts to display a new image and play the digital video. This makes the presentation smoother since Director doesn't have to process so many instructions at once.

Figure .

These tempo selections allow the digital video to play before the playback head moves ahead in the movie.

On the stage, center the sprite for the digital video (10:QTmovie) over the cutout in the image (11:TajCut).

The cutout area is a different size than the digital video sprite, but you can scale a digital video so that its dimensions match those of any rectangular area. In the following steps, you resize the QTmovie sprite to fit inside the cutout in the background image.

Figure .

If the resizing handles are visible on the QTmovie sprite, go ahead and resize the sprite and then skip to step 10, but read the following steps anyhow.

Select the QTmovie cast member (cast member 10) in the Cast window and then click Cast Member Properties.

Figure .

In the Property Inspector, display the graphics view and click the QuickTime tab. Select the Scale option.

With the Scale option selected, Director allows you to drag the handles on the digital video sprite to resize the sprite so it will fit inside the cutout area on the image. When the Scale option is not selected, the sprite can't be resized and must appear in your movie at the same size it was when you imported it.

Figure .


Digital video performance is best when the video is scaled up or down by a multiple of 2—for instance, double height and width or half height and width. Otherwise, Director must perform a lot of time-consuming calculations to convert the image, resulting in possible dropped frames and poor performance.

In the score, select the entire QTmovie sprite. On the stage, drag the handles that surround the digital video sprite to make it cover the cutout in the background image.

Figure .

Rewind and play the movie.

After the TajArch and TajRune images appear, the digital video plays. You see the entire digital video because you used the tempo channel to instruct Director to play the whole digital video before advancing the playback head.

In the next step, you use the tempo channel again to instruct Director to wait in the last frame of the presentation for 2 seconds. Setting wait times at the end of movies is a good idea so the stage doesn't simply go blank at the end of the action. This is a nice finishing touch to add to any movie.

In the tempo channel, double-click frame 130. Then click Wait, set the slider to 2 seconds, and click OK to close the dialog box.

After the movie finishes playing, the last frame of the movie will stay on the stage for 2 more seconds because the playback head will stay on this frame for 2 seconds.

Save your work.

Now you're ready to set up a menu and buttons for the Taj Mahal travelog. In the next lesson, you'll use the remaining cast members to build a menu and incorporate interactive branching into the travelog.

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