[pdftex] embedded movies revisited

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Wed Apr 30 20:42:32 CEST 2003

Hello Orlando,

I presume that you are following-up on a message that I sent
with this Subject line.

On Wed, 30 Apr 2003, Orlando C.[iso-8859-1] Rodríguez wrote:

> Hi!
> I believed Quicktime movies are not the best option for embedding
> animations in a PDF document: normally compilation with pdftex runs O.K.
> but when you click on the field to display the movie nothing happens...
> in particular, my Acrobat Reader 4.0 (RH7.2) just complains that it has not
> the necessary plugin to display the animation...

OK; that's a useful piece of information to know.
(I'd advise upgrading to at least AR4.05, as AR4.0 on some platforms
is quite horrible with TeX fonts when printing -- but that's a different

> however I did an experiment using the hyperref package and an animation in avi
> format, with a command like this:
> \href{run:movie.avi}{text or figure to be linked to the movie...}

OK; I may use the .avi  format then, as now I have a suitable movie
converter that can write into many different formats.

> compilation was O.K. although the movie was not embedded into the PDF.

What I've discovered is that you can get something almost as good as
having the movie embedded...

Now I place movies with PDF coding generated with the following macro

 \pdfannot width #3pt height #5pt depth #5pt
  {/Subtype /Movie %
   /Title (#1) %
   /Movie << /F << /FS /URI /F (#2) >> /Poster true >> %
   /A << /ShowControls true  /Mode /Repeat /UseURL true >>}
  }% end of \pdfannot

with appropriate parameters  #1 #2 #3 #5

The effect of  /Poster true   and  /UseURL true  seems to be that
as soon as you open the page on which the movie has been placed,
the PDF browser downloads the movie file from the specified URL,
so as to get the frame to be used as the Poster image.
(In fact I include this frame as a static image anyway, with the
movie placed over the top of this image. This way it is not obvious
that the page is not actually complete while the movie is being
downloaded, as if in the background.)

Assuming a reasonably fast connection, by the time the reader has realised
that there is a movie that can be played, it has been downloaded and
is ready for a smooth launch.

Hence, although the PDF and movie are stored as separate files,
they are downloaded "almost" together, and the movie is ready for
playing *almost* instantly (from a human's perspective).

The only downside is that if you copy the PDF onto a CD, or disconnect
from the network, then the movie will not be accessible.
(But that's the same with your solution with \href  -- of course.)

My example, at:


is constructed this way.

> When I click on the link my system just calls xanim to display the movie,
> which should be available in the same directory as the PDF.
> I also tried the PDF in windows and everything was fine with the exception
> that windows calls its media player to show the movie.

Thanks for your interest in this issue

	Ross Moore

> Best regards from Portugal.
> --
> Prof. Orlando Camargo Rodríguez
> Área Departamental de Física
> FCT - Universidade do Algarve

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