Kathlyn Lindeboom, CreativeCOW's founder/director, demonstrates how to use standard html tags to embed and call images and movies into your posts here at the Cow. If you wish to post a clip of a problem or perhaps your demo reel for feedback -- or maybe a still image that shows members a problem you may be having -- here is how it's done....
This is a simple tutorial to guide you in the ins-and-outs of using standard HTML "tags" in order to personalize your posts here in the forums at the Cow. Feel free to copy this information in a text file or as a PDF so you can keep in on your desk top and use it anytime you want to get fancy with your posts. Important Note: Please don't be overcome with apprehension if you do not know what "standard HTML tags" means, as this is really a simple process -- one which intimidated me at first but is actually quite easy to learn.
There are really only two basic "calls" or "Tags" to learn:
- One allows you to "call" still images and is very easy to use -- it's called an "image source" tag. We'll look at it in a minute but first let's look at the dynamic media call tag...
- The other, the call that allows you to call and embed movies -- demo reels, examples of a problem you may be having or maybe an answer that solves a problem for someone on the forums -- is called a "MIME" element call and we'll look at it in a minute. But first let's begin with the most basic element, Step One.
Regardless if you are using either the still image or movie "call", the first step begins with your graphic or movie file, a file that must be "hosted" on a server -- either your own or a service provider's server. (There are free services on the Net which give you very limited access to upload your file but most quickly hit their free bandwidth limit and then give your viewers a "Sorry, come back later -- Over Quota" notice.) Please Note: We do not and will not host clips for anyone other than Cow leaders and hosts, so please do not ask -- were we to host files for the 100,000+ regular visitors to the Cow, we'd have no room left on the server or bandwidth for anything else.
Note: We've also provided a special forum for your embedding tests here in Creative COW -- so test away in our COW: Test Post Forum.
STEP TWO: Calling a Still Image
Let's look at the simple "image source" tag that allows you to embed a still image in your post...
ADDING A STILL IMAGE TO YOUR POST:
Perhaps you want to put your logo at the bottom of every post that you make. Or you have a graphic that you've been working on that you want to ask people about and get their feedback on. To embed a graphic, upload your graphic to your server/service provider account. Then use the following html to "call" that file and "embed" your graphic in your post:
<img src="http://www.your_url_here.com/your_image's_name_here.jpg" width="92" height="92" border="0" align="left" hspace="10" vspace="10">
Of course, as above, make sure there are no extra spaces or returns. And naturally, you'd place the actual url of the graphic andthe name of that graphic which you uploaded to your server. Don't forget the quotation marks around your file attribute tags or they won't work. The width and height tags can be deleted if you are not sure of the size -- without the width and height tags, the image will automatically open to whatever size the image is. The "hspace" call adds white space around the horizontal aspect of your image, while the "vspace" adds white space to the vertical aspect of your image.
It all started for us when someone asked a question about how to use Cult Effects Lightning (now called: After Effects Production Bundle's "Advanced Lightning"). A bunch of users started trying to answer the question being asked but people were having a hard time communicating the answer with showing a movie. So, we created a little movie file and "embedded" the movie file into a post by uploading the movie to the server so that this movie could be "called". When the post was clicked on by a user, the "call" would go out and the movie would load into the post. Then they could see the answer to the question. Voila! A Cow tradition was born and more and more users have begun doing this. Using the following html to embed the movie, this is how the movie above was successfully embedded into the post:
<embed src="http://www.your_files_html_address_here.com" width="160" height="151" type="video/quicktime" controller="true" autoplay="true" hspace="10" vspace="10" cache="true" loop="true">
This should be written on one line. No extra spaces or [return] key characters in your code or it won't work. All the quote marks have to be there. The only difference between this example and your own file will be that where I've written "the url of your movie" you need the complete URL address of yor file's online location so that it can be called. If you do not have the file online somewhere, it can't be called and embeds will not work. In this example, my movie file's URL location is:
I have added the quicktime attributes and spacing so that it will auto-load and loop with a controller. Also, you will want to add about 17 pixels to the embed height to allow the controller to be seen by visitors.
Now, when you are posting, just write your question or comment and then write the above html line calling your movie. You can then finish your question. Please be aware of movie size though -- a lot of us are still on modems and it can be quite annoying to open a post only to have a 2MB movie that you have to wait for. So try to make your movies small. Compress them, use the smallest size you can and still convey your information. Also, it might be nice if you warn people in the subject line if the post contains an embedded movie.
Well, there are the basics of how to create embeds in your posts. If you want to learn how to play with fancy text commands and custom text characters in your posts, then jump to Part Two of this look at the Basics of HTML Tags.
If you'd like to practice your embed calls, go to the HTML User Embed Test COW and try it out.