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Chapter FOUR. HILLMANCURTIS.com NAVIGATI... > thoughts BEHIND THE DESIGN

thoughts BEHIND THE DESIGN

When I was writing this book, I was going through the beginning stages of a hillmancurtis.com site redesign. In a few months my beloved, original navigation buttons would be history. However, they served me and countless visitors well, and remain an excellent example of multiple state rollovers and how to work with movie clips. Also, they provide a good introduction to the utilization of sequential (video) bitmaps.

Although my navigation page is somewhat minimal in design, it's a design based on smart interactivity. I wanted interactivity that was justified, that deserved to be there. If I was to have rollover states they were going to have to communicate. For example, for the Up state of the button I chose lopped video clips—taken largely from small sections of film leaders and film edit effects—which worked perfectly because they were beautiful and looped seamlessly. I decided I wanted to use small, quick-loading examples of motion throughout the site. I wanted visitors to see and understand that hillmancurtis.com was a company devoted to expression through motion graphics. For the Over state of the button, I chose a video of an eye opening. As it is, when the mouse is rolled over a button, the film leader loop disappears and is instantly replaced by the video of an eye opening. On both rolloff and mousedown, the eye closes and the film effects return. I wanted a button rollover that was visually compelling and that communicated to the viewer the underlying message: "Take a look."

To realize my design vision, I used a series of different programs to prepare the material and then brought it all together in Flash. Preliminary layout was done in FreeHand where I once again created a mirror document and guidelines as covered in Chapter 2, "Deconstruction: Macromedia Shockzone." For the video I used Adobe Premiere to export a series of sequential bitmaps that I then manipulated in Adobe Photoshop.

Note

Although this chapter goes into detail about Adobe Premiere, the technique and logic I demonstrate with Premiere will work with any digital video editing program that can export bitmaps. The important thing to grasp is the concept: to present what looks like video in Flash by using individual, sequential stills exported from the video itself.


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