Adobe InDesign and DPS

Adobe Creative Cloud site –

Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Single Edition

Workflow based in Adobe InDesign (CS5, 5.5 or 6)

–          layouts

–          interactivity

–          preview and create .folio file

Import into DPS App Builder

Generate final DPS App File

Submit to Apple App Store

*need CS6 Adaptative Design Tools option to create compatibility between different portable devices

* CS6 Folio Overlays panel – can create hyperlinks, slideshows, audio and video, panoramas, and pan and zoom to page layouts.

Single Edition also automatically scales content so it can be read appropriately on all display types.

Do need a MAC to run the DPS App builder and submit to the App store.

Single Edition content can be viewed on iPad 1, iPad2 or new iPad. Professional Edition and Enterprise Edition can be viewed on iPads, Android tablet devices and desktops.

To preview on ipad need Adobe Content Viewer (free app).

Each .folio file corresponds to a different issue of the magazine or newspaper

inDesign experiments:

Animation panel

Fly-ins etc.

Can be tested in browser

Timing panel – on page click versus on page load?

Smoke effect – longer in original state?

Felix animation test – crashed computer – file size?

Importing flash files? E.g. walk sequences and more challenging animation


Can link to URL  http:// or rtmp:// for video clip located on a flash media serve or flash streaming service

Found that Youtube clips don’t appear to be compatible

– download using converter first?

H.264 files – best video format for digital publishing output

Compatible with InDesign 5 and 5.5, Adobe Flash Player, embedded into Acrobat 9 and X, and Reader 9 & X. Supported on iPad, iPhone and iP dt Touch, and viwable on both Mac and Windows. These are the video formats used on youTube, Vimeo etc.

Can create these files using Adobe Media Encoder 5 or 5.5

(CS5 or CS5.5)

Quicktime 7 Pro or Quicktime X.

File extensions for H.264 files can be seen as MP4, F4V, MOVand M4V

While these files are supported in Flash player, they aren’t exclusively Flash files (which means Apple products which don’t support Flash files will still play them).

These file types can work in interactive PDFs and SWF files created in InDesign.

Audio files can be imported in MP3 format

Liz Castro, author of EPUB: Straight to the Point, did some testing of different formats on Apple’s iOS devices. She found that the format which worked the best is “H.264 video compression, AAC compressed audio, all contained in an MPEG4 container, with a .m4v extension. While there is not much difference between .mp4 and .m4v, the latter is specifically for Apple and works in both iPad and iPhone.” (In addition to her original eBook, she has also has available on her website a small eBook about creating files with video and audio for playing on iOS devices and the Nook.) As shown below, I found that MP4 seemed to work just fine.

Issues: put in URL for Youtube clip but doesn’t seem to acknowledge that it’s a Flash compliant file. (According to all internet commentaries, YouTube works with H.264 files. Will convert to MP4 and try again).

Object states in InDesign

Bob Bringhurst, has written a nice overview about Multi-state objects here.

InDesign CS5 introduces a new kind of page item designed for creating slide shows in a SWF file. A multi-state object changes its content when a button is clicked in a SWF file. To create a multi-state object, place a bunch of images in your document and align them in a stack. Select them all, and then click the New button in the Object States panel to create a multi-state object. Then use the Buttons panel—which has been enhanced in InDesign CS5—to create navigate arrows that jump to the next or previous state in the multi-state object.


Coding and the Apple Developer Website

I spent about 2 hours reading about what is involve to utilise code to create an app. I read through a big chunk of the ‘iOS Technology Overview’ pdf from the Apple Developer site. This revealed to me how incredible complex coding is, and how (especially for the sake of a 16 week course!) it’s completely beyond me. Longer term, I don’t feel very interested in pursuing it either as I’m really not interested in coding at all, more the design side of things.

This makes me all the more grateful that Adobe has developed Edge Animate, DPS and Muse for anti-code types like me!!

Visual Inspiration…


“The Itchy Bear” Ebook by Barrowfolk (XYZ Studios)

This ebook is probably the closest I’ve seen to the aesthetic and functionality of what I’m aiming for. The simple white background and expressive illustration really allows the interactivity to shine. The use of zooms, sound effects, touch sensitive movements of the characters is similar to what I’m aiming for. I found the constant sound annoying though – it  was a bit much and sometimes silence or ambient noise is better than lots of music or loud noises.


Linoprints retrieved from Google images

I’m hoping to trial linoprinting to create an edgy look for my work. I’ll then scan it in, trace it in Illustrator and colour in Photoshop.


Ebook page by Angeline Matasari, retrieved from
I liked the simpilicity of the layout in this design and thought the texturing was also quite effective.
“Cutie Monsters” Ebook by Little Phoenix Interactive, retrieved from
While this e-book is aimed at a much younger target audience, once again the simplicity of the layout and interactivity is along similar lines to what I was imagining. I was also considering experimentation with texture similar to this – although perhaps a bit more moody (not as bright a colour palette).
Closing credits, “Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events” retrieved from
Perhaps the most influential for me as far as aesthetics goes, the integration of texture and pattern with simple hand drawn heavily inked illustrations is really appealing. This gives me a lot of ideas for the stages in the story where the colour has gone from the world and gradually the pattern and colour saturation could slowly start creeping in. I think these illustrations are a bit heavy/dark for my target audience but the simplicity of the movement and layering of objects to create depth is really effective in this animation.

Research objectives

Prompting questions:

Can technology be used to engage kids in the real world?

Does the use of stimulating imagery, movement and sound desensitise kids to the creative opportunities around them?


Create an interactive pop-up storybook allowing kids to follow a character who shows them fun tactile activities based on everyday objects from around the home. The story can pause and give kids the opportunity to try these activities themselves, photograph them, and add them into the story (much like a drag-and-drop online scrapbook). All instructions are written into the story so children know what equipment they need and what they need to do step by step. They can pause, and go back if they need to see the step again.

Possible activities to incorporate:

–       I-spy

–       making a fort

–       cardboard box animals

–       flax woven mats

–       paper snowflakes and people

–       shadow puppets theatre

–       cardboard kaleidoscope

–       potato prints

–       planting plants

Preliminary research: define objectives more clearly

  • Statistics on industry
  • Statistics on target group
  • Previous similar examples/competition
  • Prepare questionnaire and survey target groups

Use specific case studies to bring writing to life.

What are audience trends? What do people enjoy? What do people want? What can I offer to e-books that are a new experience or approach?