Foundations of Web Design
- Are you sure you need it? Your particular user should drive your decision.
- There are many issues to consider before spending the considerable amount of money and time that it takes to create video suitable for the Web. These issues include platform support (PC, Mac, Unix), browser helper applications & plug-ins, processor speed, connection speed (bandwidth), and user patience.
- Read this Webmonkey guide to help you decide what type of video to use.
- Two basic types of video are downloaded video and streaming video
- Downloaded Video
- MPEG, AVI (native format for Windows) - Clients may need to install proprietary plug-ins or configure their browsers accordingly for these formats.
- QuickTime 4.0, which sometimes is included with Windows PC's but is available as a browser plug-in too, handles most existing formats. Check Apple's QuickTime Web site for more information and examples.
- Windows Real Media Player, which is included with MS Windows, handls most existing downloaded (and streaming) formats such as MPEG and AVI.
- Streaming Video
- RealVideo (part of RealMedia) by Real Networks
- RealOne Player is free but must be installed on the client's (Web surfer's) computer as a plug-in
- RealSystem Producer Plus ($200) or RealSystem Producer Basic (free) allows you to save an audio or video segment once & let the RealServer optimize delivery
- RealSysterm Server Plus ($2000) or RealSystem Server Basic (free) is necessary to serve the concurrent audio or video streams. Many hosting providers allow you to access their Real Audio & Real Video servers with basic hosting accounts.
- Windows Media by Microsoft
VRML (Virtual Reality Markup Language) - VRML is not really video but rather a coding language similar to HTML, which allows you to create a virtual 3-D world with rooms, avatars, other objects, and hyperlinks. The effect is a video game-like environment that allows the user to move within the world. VRML hasn't caught on yet probably since it requires a plug-in and it takes a bit of practice to learn how to code such worlds. The upside of VRML is that it requires little bandwidth. See this example of a VRML World.
- With a Java-enabled Web browsers, you can view panoramas created with stitching software such as PhotoVista Panorama by Roxio or Dell Picture Studio. You can also stitch the photos together into one jpg panorama.
- QTVR - Apple's QuickTime Virtual Reality
- To create panoramas using PhotoVista or QTVR, you use a tripod head that is calibrated in degrees. You take 8 separate pictures at 45 degree increments. The software then "stitches" the pictures together.