Creating Sequences from Flash Movies Flash

A sequence is a series of still images that simulate full-motion video when played back continuously. Think of a sequence as a regular QuickTime or AVI broken down into individual frames. Another analogy would be that of a flipbook made of individual sketches that animate when you thumb through the pages quickly. Flash can export a scene or movie as a series of still images as well, with quite a bit of flexibility.

Because Flash is vector-based, it supports all the major vector formats to use in other applications: EPS 3.0, Illustrator, and .DXF formats. On the PC version of Flash, you can also export metafile sequences in the .WMF and .EMF formats. Most likely, all of these vector formats will retain the scalable quality that Flash offers for the Web; that is, you can shrink or expand the size of vector formats, displaying equal richness and quality at all sizes. Most vector formats can embed raster content, and any raster content will always have a finite resolution capacity. You will notice degradation on any raster elements if you scale the entire vector graphic beyond its original fixed pixel size.

You can also export a still sequence in raster-based formats such as .PICT (Mac only), .BMP (PC only), .GIF, .JPEG, or .PNG. We can look at the benefits of each format and the particular uses each can have, but first, we should look at how to the process of exporting individual frames works in Flash.

Export process in Flash
After you have opened your Flash movie, make sure that your movie falls within the guidelines described in the last section. All of these settings are critical for flawless video playback: 60 frames per second, 640 × 480 (or greater) movie dimensions, limitations of scenes and Movie Clips, and color gamut considerations. When you’re all ready to go, the actual export process is quite simple.

  1. Select File➪Export Movie.
  2. Choose or create the folder in which you wish to store the sequence.
  3. Choose the type of file you want Flash to create.
  4. Specify a filename and click Save. For the highest quality video rendering, use a vector file format for export. The next section details each file type and its particular uses.

Uses of each sequence format
Flash can export in a variety of file formats, and each one has a particular purpose. While vector formats allow the most scalability, some Flash artwork does not display properly in them. Raster formats usually maintain the highest fidelity to Flash artwork, but their file sizes can be rather large.

When you export a Flash movie as a sequence, Flash generates a still image (that is, one file) for each frame in the Flash movie.

When you export a Flash movie as a sequence, Flash generates a still image (that is, one file) for each frame in the Flash movie.

Vector sequence formats
Use a vector format type for your sequences when you want the highest quality rerendering in applications such as Adobe After Effects or Premiere . Flash exports vector sequences very quickly, although the sequence files themselves may take longer to re-render in your videoediting application than raster formats. Once you see the smooth edges of vector rendered sequences, though, you can see that it is worth the wait. Vector formats automatically matte out the Flash background color and make superimposing Flash material supereasy.

Flash supported vector sequence formats

Flash supported vector sequence formatsFlash supported vector sequence formats

Raster formats
All raster formats can export at variable pixel widths, heights, and resolutions. As long as your Flash movie is in the proper aspect ratio for video (usually 4:3), you can size up your Flash movie on export . This will save time during the re-rendering process in the video-editing application. Not all file formats support alpha channels, which are necessary if you intend to superimpose exported Flash material on top of other video material.

Flash supported raster sequence formats

Flash supported raster sequence formatsFlash supported raster sequence formats

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