Seeing through transparent video
It’s been eleven years since Steve Jobs revolutionised our back-pockets with the iPhone and dealt Flash what many thought would be a mortal blow. So why is it Flash refuses to die? The recent update of the same in-all-but-name Adobe Animate was incredible.
In banishing the humble SWF to the wilderness Steve broke something more fundamental, progress. With all the faults of the Flash player, the Flash communitiy tried new things, and challenged conventions. The conservative development community chose standards over tearing up the rule-book and in doing so may have stifled creative expression. The days of jaw dropping websites have gone.
I recently did a project for Coca-Cola, which required a dynamic flip clock to count-down to Christmas, but it involved an intricate transition involving Christmas wrapping paper tearing across the screen to reveal the dynamic element underneath. To complicate this still further, the whole scene was full of falling snow. As is often the case with Out of Home, so much of what we do is constrained by very archaic bandwidth considerations. So the only way to easily accomplish this kind of execution was to resurrect the trusty transparent FLV and create a multi-layered application using transparent video. I had to download an old version of Adobe Media Encoder CS6 because that was the last app in which Adobe included support for FLV. In the end, the project went off without a hitch although I’m still not sure how I might have accomplished this so easily in HTML.WebM didn’t seem to layer properly and .mov was just too big. So as Flash winds down, we’re left with a hole, but sadly not in our video.
If anyone out there has any tips on how I might layer-up transparent video, over a dynamic clock element in HTML5 I’d like to hear your thoughts.