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How To Create Web Markers in Premiere 6

Using timeline markers to create interactivity

by Stephen Schleicher
[email protected]

Last time I introduced Timeline Markers and how they could be useful to help quickly create edits for music vignettes. This time we will quickly explore the Timeline Markers a little further and see how they can be used to launch Web pages for your streaming media.

The new support for Timeline Markers in Premiere 6 is an excellent addition, particularly for those who use multimedia elements on their sites for informational materials-demonstrations, how-to articles, technical documentation, etc. With just a minor amount of effort, you can build into your video content-QuickTime, Real or Windows Media-elements that can explain or demonstrate concepts and ideas that could take pages and pages of text to explain.

The gray Timeline Markers in Adobe Premiere 6.0 can help
with editing or to place Web links.

Why would you want to do this?

For example, let's say you are streaming a cooking show, and you're showing how to prepare a succulent meal for a Memorial Day get together. Because of the limitations in streaming video, graphics don't come out as well as they should. When you get to the portion of the video where the ingredients or recipe are to be displayed, you end up with garbage. It would be better if, when the video reaches the ingredients portion, a frame in your Web site launches giving all the information needed and maybe even links to sites on the Web where the key components can be purchased. This makes an average streaming media site an excellent dynamic streaming media site.

Here's how you do it.

Open your project in Adobe Premiere 6.0. If you haven't already added Markers to the Timeline, press the spacebar to play back the program, and, when you reach those places where events or pages are to launch, press the asterisk on the numeric keypad of your keyboard to drop a marker. Don't worry that the makers don't appear right away, they will when you stop playback.

The Timeline Marker interface let's you place Web links into the
program as well as frame targets for those Web sites with frames.

Once your Markers are placed, double click on any of the Markers to open the Marker dialog box. You can ignore the Comments and Chapter fields (unless you want comments to appear while you are editing or are working on a DVD title) and move on to the Web Links field. This is section is pretty self-explanatory. Enter the URL link for the page that launches at that point, and, if you are using frames, enter the filename of the frame in the Frame Target field. If you're not using frames, keep in mind that loading a new URL will replace your video unless you specify target="_blank".

Press the Next button to move to the next Timeline Marker, and repeat the process for the remainder of your program.

The Marker information is embedded whether you're exporting the Timeline as a movie file directly from Premiere, encoding via Cleaner 5 or using the Advanced RealMedia Export option.

The only thing remaining is to open your Web layout program-the exported movie content works in Adobe GoLive 5 and Macromedia Dreamweaver 3/4—lay out your frames, create the pages for your additional content, create a page for your movie and upload all the contents.

That's all there is to it. Next time a client approaches you to produce their next streaming video project, you now have a tool to make the piece go beyond the ordinary.

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Stephen Schleicher is the producer of Video Systems Magazine online, Millimeter Magazine online and Digital Webcast. He can be reached at [email protected].