After you’ve created a Flash movie synched to an imported QT movie, you can export a fully self-contained QuickTime movie that stores both the Flash and imported QT movie. However, you don’t need to use Flash to put Flash content into QuickTime movies. If you want to layer Flash movies into preexisting QuickTime movies, you can import .SWF files directly into the QuickTime Player. But you need the latest Player that installs with QuickTime 4 to import Flash material. Prior versions of the QuickTime Player cannot do this.
Creating QuickTime Flash movies
After you’ve created a Flash movie with an imported QT movie, you can export or publish the entire Flash scene as a self-contained QT Flash movie that can be played with the latest QuickTime Player.
To create a quick and simple QuickTime movie from Flash, choose File➪Export Movie (Command+Option+Shift+S or Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S). Browse to a folder where you want to save the QuickTime, type a filename, and click Save .You are then presented with the Export QuickTime dialog.
For a quick look at a QuickTime Flash version of your Flash document, accept the defaults in the Export QuickTime dialog.
To check out the quality of the QuickTime movie, open the new QuickTime movie with QuickTime Player. While you can use the Export Movie command to produce independent QuickTime movies, the Publish Settings command enables you to create QuickTime movies as well as other linked file formats. Go to the File menu, and choose Publish Settings (Command+Shift+F12 or Ctrl+Shift+F12).
In the Format tab, make sure that you have a checkmark next to the QuickTime option, and deselect the others. Each time you check or uncheck an option in the Publish Settings dialog, the corresponding Settings tab appears or disappears, respectively.
For the purpose of exporting QuickTime, you should only have the Format, Flash, and QuickTime tabs showing . If Use Default Names is checked, the resulting QuickTime movie has the same name as the .FLA file that is currently open in Flash. Otherwise, you can uncheck this option and specify a different name in the text fields next to the corresponding format types. Unfortunately, you can’t control the location of the new files that are generated via the Publish command all files produced via Publish are saved to the same location as the .FLA file.
The Publish Settings dialog for QuickTime-only publishing.
Use the Publish Settings’ QuickTime tab to control QT movie settings.
The Dimensions setting controls the size of the QuickTime Flash movie frame. Although you’ve probably already set the correct movie size in the Modify➪Movie dialog to conform to your specific output needs, it’s good to note here that you can resize your QuickTime movie with the Dimensions properties to export a movie at alternate dimensions.
For the Alpha property, you can decide whether you want the Flash track’s background to be transparent or opaque. If want your Flash material to display together with underlying QuickTime video content, choose Alpha-Transparent. If you don’t want the underlying QuickTime video to show through the Flash track, choose Copy. The Auto setting makes the Flash background transparent if Flash artwork exists on top of other content. If a QuickTime movie is stacked above the Flash artwork, then Auto makes the Flash background opaque. If you export a QuickTime Flash movie with only Flash artwork, Auto uses an opaque background.
For the Layer property, you can decide whether you want the Flash track to be layered on top of or below the QuickTime content. If you want the Flash content to play on top of the QuickTime movie, choose Top. If you designed an interface or
animation to appear underneath the QT movie, choose Bottom. The Auto setting for the Layer property places the Flash track in front of QuickTime material if Flash artwork appears on top of the QuickTime anywhere in the Flash editor document. If you placed QuickTime movies on top of Flash artwork layers, then Auto places the Flash track behind the video track.
If you want Flash-enabled sounds to be converted to an additional QuickTime sound track, check the Use QuickTime Compression option for the Streaming Sound property. Any and all sounds that are used in the scenes are recompressed into a separate sound track. This sound track is separate from any other sound tracks that may be present in imported QuickTime movies. The Settings button enables you to define the parameters of the audio compression. You may want to match the audio characteristics of the imported QuickTime movie used in the Flash movie if you choose to use this option. Because this property converts Flash audio into QuickTime audio, you can use any sound compressor that is available to QuickTime.
The Controller property determines whether a controller (control panel for playback) is shown with the movie in the QuickTime Player application, and if one is shown, what kind of a controller. None disables the display of a control panel, and, subsequently, it is the default setting for the Export Movie command. If you have created your own Flash buttons to play and stop the timeline, you may want to disable the display of the regular QuickTime controller. The Standard option presents the QuickTime movie with the standard QuickTime Player 4 interface, enabling play, pause, frame forward and backward, and volume level, among other controls. The QuickTime VR option displays the specialized control panel for QuickTime panorama or object movies. To compare the different controllers, see below.
A QuickTime movie with no controller: This was made with the Controller property set to None.
A QuickTime movie with the standard controller
The QuickTime VR controller used with a Flash-enabled QTVR panorama
The Playback property controls how the movie plays when it’s first opened in the QuickTime Player. Check the Loop option if you want to the QuickTime to automatically replay the movie when it’s reached the end. Check the Paused at Start option if you don’t want the QuickTime movie to automatically start playing as soon as it opens in the QuickTime Player. Note that if any controller (other than None) is specified, the movie is always paused when it loads in the QuickTime Player. The Play Every Frame option, when checked, overrides the frame rate setting to playback every frame contained in the video. Usually, this is not recommended because the QuickTime audio track is silenced.
The File property has only one option, Flatten (Make self-contained). Checking this option forces Flash to write one QuickTime movie that contains any and all referenced material. If you imported a 10MB QuickTime movie into Flash and created a few layers of Flash content to work with the QT movie, flattening creates one QuickTime movie that copies the imported QT movie and Flash material to video, audio, and Flash tracks, respectively. If you do not check Flatten, Flash creates a reference QuickTime movie that looks for (and require the presence of) the Flash .SWF file and other QuickTime file(s) on playback. While this reference movie has a very small file size, you need to make sure all the referenced material is readily available for playback. This means that the Format tab of the Publish Settings dialog should have a checkmark next to Flash (.SWF) as well as QuickTime (.MOV). Furthermore, you may run into linking problems over the Internet due to connection latency or if the referenced files aren’t together in one location. For this reason, you may prefer to package everything into one flattened QuickTime movie.
Click OK to accept your current Publish Settings and return to the Flash scene. Make any final adjustments to your movie. When you’re ready to test drive your new QuickTime movie, you can preview the QuickTime movie by using the Publish Preview menu, and selecting QuickTime. QuickTime Player Pro should automatically start and load the movie. If you like the results, run the File➪Publish command (Shift+F12). Flash saves a QuickTime movie to the same directory where your .FLA file has been saved. You can also publish the movie by using the Publish button directly in the Publish Settings dialog.
So far, you’ve seen how to combine existing QT movies with your Flash content. You don’t need to import other QuickTime content into Flash in order to export QuickTime material from Flash. With QuickTime 4, you can create QuickTime movies that are essentially repackaged .SWF files. Using Flash 4 or 5, .FLA movies can be exported to QuickTime formats. At the time of this writing, QuickTime Player recognizes only Flash 3 actions. To export QuickTime Flash movies from Flash 4 or 5, follow the same steps described previously without importing any external QuickTime movie files.
Creating QuickTime video with Flash
If you own the Macintosh version of Flash 4 or 5, then you can also export QuickTime Video via the Export Movie command. QuickTime Video is raster- or bitmap-based animated movement. Remember, QuickTime Flash movies contain a new Flash media track, which is exactly the same file format as a Flash movie (.SWF file). As such, the Flash track uses antialiased vector graphics to store and display information. Quick Time Video, however, uses only raster information each frame in the movie is described as collection of pixels. This method of storage is much more byte intensive. For this reason, QuickTime Video files are usually several megabytes large, and time-consuming to download over slower Internet connections.
In the Mac version of Flash 4 or 5, you have the option of creating either QuickTime Video or QuickTime Flash movies. If you want to use your Flash animations in home videos or videotaped presentations, then you should export Flash movies as Quick Time Video movies. These movies can then be edited with your other digitally captured video.
To save a Flash movie as a QuickTime Video movie, choose File➪Export Movie and select QuickTime Video as the Format type. After you specify a filename and a location to save the movie, click Save. Next, you see the Export QuickTime dialog , where you can specify how Flash should rasterize the Flash movie.
By using the Export QuickTime (Video) dialog, you can specify Dimensions, Format, Compressor, Quality, and Sound Format.
This property performs exactly the same way as the Dimensions property of QuickTime Flash movie exports. See our coverage of Publish Settings and QuickTime Flash earlier. Because Flash vector can maintain high quality at any size, you can scale the dimensions of the QuickTime Video file to match the requirements of your video project. For example, if you want to use this QuickTime Video with DV format video, then scale the movie dimensions to 720 × 534.
Use the Format property to control the bit-depth of the QuickTime Video movie. For most high-quality video work, use 24-bit or 32-bit color formats. For Web distribution of QuickTime Video movies, lower color formats yield smaller file sizes. Refer to Table below for a quick breakdown of each color format. If the Smooth option of the Format property is checked, Flash artwork is converted to antialiased bitmap information. Otherwise, curved lines may exhibit the “jaggies” jagged or staircased steps on curves or gradients.
Quick video color formats
This menu determines which video codec (compressor-decompressor) is used for the bitmap frames in the QuickTime Video movie. Because QuickTime Video is more bandwidth-intensive, bitmap information needs to be condensed in some manner. Compressors, or codecs, reduce the amount of information that needs to be stored for each frame. For general distribution, you may want to use Cinepak or Intel Indeo Video codecs. For high-quality video output for editing or broadcast purposes, use the hardware codec used by your specific video capture card.
This unmarked slider (which apparently has no units) controls how the compressor selected in the previous menu works. As you drag the slider to the right, less compression is applied to the QuickTime Video, which results in higher-quality video. As you drag the slider to the left, more information is discarded from each frame of video (more compression, lower quality).
If your Flash movie contains any audio, then you can choose to convert those audio samples to a QuickTime-compatible audio track. QuickTime can use any major sampling rate (such as 22 kHz), bit-depth (such as 8 or 16), or channel (such as mono or stereo). Usually, you won’t want to use anything lower than 22 kHz 16-bit stereo for quality audio. If you don’t need to use Flash audio in the QuickTime Video file, then choose Disable.
A word about QuickTime VR movies
If you are familiar with QuickTime VR’s amazing panorama and object movies, then you should be happy to know that Flash supports QuickTime VR (QTVR) movies as well. Because QTVR movies aren’t strict linear playback video movies, you need to keep a few points in mind when you use QTVR movies in Flash. Note that you cannot create QTVR movies from scratch in Flash. You first need to create a QTVR movie with VR equipment and software, like Apple’s QuickTime VR Authoring Studio. Flash can then import these movies and add Flash artwork and actions to them.
QuickTime panoramic movies enable you to view a physical or virtual space by stitching a series of images into a 360-degree view. You navigate the space by clicking and dragging the mouse inside the movie frame. When you import a QTVR panoramic movie (a.k.a. pano) into Flash, it only displays the first frame of the QTVR movie on the stage, regardless of the frame marker’s position. It’s very important to make sure that your Flash timeline’s frame span doesn’t extend beyond the length of the QTVR movie. Playback beyond the length of the QTVR causes the QTVR to disappear until the Flash frame playback loops back to the starting frame. The best solution, whenever possible, is to limit your timeline to just a few frames (one frame would be ideal), and use movie clips with Tell Target commands to provide longer frame length animations.
Due to limitations of the QTVR controller, there’s no way to rewind a movie or return to frame 1 of the Flash track. Technically, because each media track has its own timeline of frames, if the Flash track plays beyond the QTVR track, you lose the QTVR movie. You can prevent this from happening by ensuring that you can always view the QTVR’s first frame within the Flash authoring environment. Another clue is this: If you go beyond the length of the QTVR movie, the extended area is represented by a struck-through rectangular box, as seen below.
If your Flash movie plays beyond the length of an imported QTVR panorama or object movie, it disappears from the stage and is replaced with a struck-through box.
To export or publish QTVR pano movies, specify the QuickTime VR Controller type in the Export QuickTime dialog or in the Publish Settings’ QuickTime tab.
You can also make QTVR object movies in Flash 5. QTVR object movies let you rotate or spin an object photographed or 3D modeled by dragging the mouse inside the movie frame . With Flash, you can expand the multimedia capabilities of object movies. Adding Flash buttons, audio, and artwork to an object movie can provide a different navigational interface for the object, and provide call-out information to the object movie.
QTVR object movies with Flash tracks can have more impact than regular QTVR movies.
Unlike QuickTime pano movies, object movies can be fully viewed within the Flash authoring environment. Each frame of the object movie shows a different viewing angle of the object. Again, like regular QuickTime movies, make sure you add enough frames to view the entire object movie. Keep adding frames until the stage displays the object movie with a struck-through box. Then, subtract any frames that show the movie as a struck-through box.
Our tests with object movies have also shown that the frame rate of the Flash movie is a critical setting. Most of our test exports with QTVR object movies played back very poorly the object’s rotation movement was not very smooth. However, when we specified a controller type of None and added a Flash button to provide a play action, the object movie played back very smoothly.
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Understanding The Flash Framework
Exploring The Interface: Panels, Settings, And More
Using Tools For Navigation And Viewing
Working With Selections And The Pen Tool
Working With The Drawing And Painting Tools
Working With Text
Exploring The Timeline
Checking Out The Library: Symbols And Instances
Drawing In Flash
Animating In Flash
Using Bitmaps And Other Media With Flash
Designing Interfaces And Interface Elements
Understanding Sound For Flash
Importing And Editing Sounds In Flash
Optimizing Flash Sound For Export
Understanding Actions And Event Handlers
Navigating Flash Timelines
Controlling Movie Clips
Sharing And Loading Assets
Planning Code Structures
Creating Subroutines And Manipulating Data
Understanding Movie Clips As Complex Objects
Sending Data In And Out Of Flash
Understanding Html And Text Field Functions In Flash
What Is Generator?
Revving Up Generator
Working With Third-party, Server-side Applications
Working With Raster Graphics
Working With Vector Graphics
Working With Audio Applications
Working With 3d Graphics
Working With Quicktime
Working With Realplayer
Creating Full-motion Video With Flash
Creating Cartoon Animation With Flash
Planning Flash Production With Flowcharting Software
Working With Authoring Applications
Publishing Flash Movies
Integrating Flash Content With Html
Using Players, Projectors, And Screensaver Utilities
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