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  1. #1

    Default TUTORIAL: Transparency galore

    Ugh...as usual, what I thought would be a 5 minute job turned out to be days of work. I've written a tutorial detailing Xara's transparency features, including the seemingly lesser known transparency types. I didn't think any tutorial would be bigger than the Flash monster, but this 7000 word, 50+ page beast was a nightmare given the little time I've got available, and a new record holder. I've tried to make it as replete and lucid as possible.

    I've always wanted to write about Xara's transparency in tutorial form; it offers by far the best functionality and slickness out there.

    I'm just proof reading it one last time before releasing it onto my web space shortly.

    Enjoy (comments/mistakes etc. welcome)

    Xhris
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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Placitas, New Mexico, USA
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    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Transparency galore

    Your diligence is always appreciated.

    Gary
    Gary W. Priester
    Mr. Moderator Emeritus Dude
    , Sir

    gwpriester.com | Custom-Stereograms.com | eyeTricks on Facebook






  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Blackheath, Australia
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    247

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Transparency galore

    Thanks Xhris for the amount of work you have put into this tutorial. It is good to have these etutorials giving detailed accounts of the techniques that we so often use but at only 5% of their capability.
    Erik

  4. #4

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Transparency galore

    I've produced a video tutorial on YouTube complementing the written tutorial. This is the first (and maybe the last seeing as how long it took) video tutorial I've done. I'm not sure how keen I am on it's presentation in many ways. It will likely stay, but may be removed and replaced with updates etc., so I wouldn't recommend linking to it (my signature link will reflect any changes).

    It's over an hour long and so may get monotonous in one sitting. Hence I've generated a time-menu at the start to allow selection of specific times. YouTube has recently (seemingly) updated its way of delivering videos; you now no longer have to wait for the entire video to be loaded before being able to switch to a later part. This encouraged me to do one long video with everything in one place. That was until I hit the 100 mb limit and had to chop the last section out; it may appear on its own at some point. It wasn't a particularly important piece anyway.

    Some parts of the transparency discussion got complicated and it was difficult to improvise a succinct and effective sentence--hence my umming and erring at times.

    Apologies also if my accent is initially foreign. Also, apologies for any overly low quality video sections; YouTube compresses the life out of the videos reducing their quality unbelievably much. My signature contains the video link.

    For anyone interested, I used Camtasia Studio 5 to produce and edit the videos.

    Xhris

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Boston Mass. area
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    172

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Transparency galore

    Incredible. Your video is actually crystal clear compared to most YouTube output. What codec did you use to produce the final edit? What settings?

    I'm baffled as to how you can get an hour shoehorned into less than 100 mb and still retain any recognizable visuals at all. Well done.

  6. #6

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Transparency galore

    Quote Originally Posted by DGehman View Post
    Incredible. Your video is actually crystal clear compared to most YouTube output. What codec did you use to produce the final edit? What settings?

    I'm baffled as to how you can get an hour shoehorned into less than 100 mb and still retain any recognizable visuals at all. Well done.
    I used the 30 day trial of Camtasia Studio 5 (which I may buy for half price after the recent thread about getting version 3 for free). It records the screen in it's own lossless .camrec format. On my slow laptop, I get 1280x1024 screen recording at a perfectly acceptable 10 fps. Camtasia then allows you to edit your recordings, where you can select regions of the whole screen to zoom into for clarity etc. It's all in the editing as they say. Then I exported the final edited video in Microsoft's excellent Windows Media Format at 480x360 (YouTube size), which is negligibly lossy and extremely small in filesize, and using only the default values for the other settings Camtasia Studio offers for that exporting route. This took hours to render on this laptop...and I had to do it twice after I exceeded the 100 Mb limit imposed by YouTube the first time, by 9 Mb. Then I uploaded the video to YouTube which compresses it extremely heavily and the quality drops terribly compared to the original. I think there are ways around the 100 Mb filesize limit, but I didn't investigate at the time. It would be nice if I've set a new trend in producing video tutorials; I did originally try to push video use on TG forums back in 2005 before YouTube came along. I'd been intending to do video tutorials for a while now, but never found the time/good software.

    OK, this describes clearly how to upload videos greater than 100 mb in size...I'll upload the original video soon...
    Last edited by Xhris; 08 December 2007 at 04:55 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Boston Mass. area
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    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Transparency galore

    Thanks for the production details. Food for thought, starting at high res & 10 fps, then using WMV - will have to try it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Transparency galore

    Just to clarify, my laptop only managed an average of 10 fps at 1280x1024. I'd have recorded at 60 fps if I could. I edited before converting to WMV.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: TUTORIAL: Transparency galore

    Stateside TV (NTSC) is 720X480 @30 FPS... So I would suggest dropping the screen size down and increase the frame rate. It won't be as detailed, but it won't be as jumpy...
    John Rayner
    For my Photography see:
    http://www.draginet.com
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