Web Workshop: Add Video to Your Website


Your Movies on the WebNow you can produce, direct, star, and distribute your own movies worldwide. It seems like a lot of work, but be patient and follow these steps. Soon your videos will be accessible to anyone on the Web.

What you need

  • A method of recording the video. Check out Kevin Ramsey's article on capturing video with a camcorder.

  • A fast computer. Slower processors will cause frames to drop from your movie and the motion will not be as smooth.

  • Video capture card such as the All-in-Wonder. Read this Fresh Gear review of the ATI All-in-Wonder.

  • Video editing software such as Adobe Premiere, MGI VideoWave II or Ulead VideoStudio 3.0. Read Alexei Oreskovic's article on digital video editing.

  • Enough space on your hard drive. A three minute movie that is 320 x 240 pixels running at an average frame rate will take up more than 600MB. Ouch.

  • A lot of RAM. 96MB should get the job done.

  • Real Producer G2. Available free from Real.

The Steps

  1. Shoot the video. Using your camcorder or netcam, film baby's first steps or Fluffy's cuddly kitten tricks.

  2. Digitize the video. This is the process of getting the video onto your computer.

  3. Encode your video. Because video files are so enormous, they need to be compressed in order to be on the Web. Just try uploading a 600MB movie to your site.

  4. Upload the movie to your server.

If you are using editing software to capture your video, make sure that it can save the movie in a format that the RealProducer supports: Waveform (.wav), Video for Windows (.avi) and QuickTime. Once you have edited your movie, you are ready to compress it.

Encoding with RealProducer G2

Close all other applications and launch RealProducer G2. Fill in the Title, Author, and Copyright information as you want it to appear on the RealPlayer window. Select your Audio Format and Video Quality settings. Typical video dimensions are 176 x 144 or 320 x 240.

On File Type, you should select Single Rate. This allows you to stream from a Web server and does not require a RealServer G2. Some ISPs allow you to stream video for an extra charge. If you do have access to a RealServer G2, then select SureStream. This enables you to encode one file at multiple bit rates: 28K, 56K, cable modem, and so on. Contact your ISP if you are unsure about this process.

You should determine what connection most of your viewers have. Encoding for 56K is a good idea as many people now have faster modems. Besides, watching video with a 28K modem is not as thrilling an experience.

Once your settings are entered, click Start. The RealProducer will now prompt you for a file name and location. Make sure that you give it a .rm extension. Now you should go make some coffee, do your laundry, or take a nap. This process takes a while.

For more details on using RealProducer G2, read Kevin Ramsey's article on adding video to a website.

Upload and View Your File

You will need some information from your ISP before you begin to upload. Ask the following questions:

  • What is the file server name or IP address where you will FTP the file?

  • What is the directory on the file server where your video will be uploaded?

  • Do you support streaming video? If so, how can I use that feature?

In RealProducer, click on Publish Web Page and follow the instructions to upload your video to the Web. This wizard will make your life easier in terms of creating a META file and structuring your video.

You should always verify that your video plays after you have uploaded the file. If it doesn't play, the first thing to check is to make sure that your link corresponds to your file name. The most common mistake is a misspelling.

The most important tool you can have through this whole process is patience. The distribution of video on the Web can be as simple as Plug and Play, but don't forget that you're dealing with a lot of variables. When you encounter a problem, use your resources. Talk to your friends, ask questions, experiment, and allow yourself to make mistakes. Real has all sorts of documentation on its site. Look at Real's Library for detailed help, charts, drawings, and tips. This technology is still fairly new and can sometimes be buggy.

Home Information Page HTML Lessons Java Script Lessons