Exporting Raster Images from Flash Flash

If you’ve been wondering how to use your artwork in Flash with other raster-based applications, then this section is for you. Many people prefer to use Flash as their primary drawing and illustration tool, thanks to Flash’s uniquely intuitive set of vector drawing tools in combination with the (new) more traditional Pen Tool.Combined with a pressure-sensitive graphics tablet, Flash can indeed be a powerful illustration program.

Why would you want to export raster-based images from a vector-based application?
The answer is quite simple: Some applications work better with raster (or bitmap) images than they do with vector images. If the application in which you want to use Flash artwork supports vector file formats such as .EPS or .AI, then you most likely want to use those instead of bitmap-based formats such as .BMP or .PCT.

If you are unsure of the format to use in your graphics program, refer to Table below. Afterward, we show you how to export a frame’s artwork as a static raster image.

Raster image formats for flash export

Raster image formats for flash export

To export a raster image format from Flash 5:

  1. Move the Playhead in the Flash timeline to the frame that contains the artwork that you wish to export.
  2. Choose File➪Export Image.
  3. Select a destination folder and enter a file name. Select your preferred raster image format in the Save as Type drop-down menu.
  4. Depending on the file format you selected, you are presented with an export dialog with options specific to that file format. We look at the general options and at some file-specific settings next.

General export options in raster formats
Every raster image format in Flash’s Export dialog box has the same initial options. All of these options pertain to the image size, resolution, and bit depth. You can also trim any unused stage area from the final exported image.

The general options of the Export dialog for raster image formats

The general options of the Export dialog for raster image formats

  1. Dimensions. The Width and Height options control the image’s width and height, respectively, in pixels. Note that the aspect ratio of these values is always locked. You cannot control the Width value independently of the Height value.
  2. Resolution. Measured in dpi (dots per inch), this setting controls the quality of the image, in terms of how much information is present in the image. By default, this setting is 72 dpi. If you want to use Flash artwork in print or high-resolution graphics work, enter a higher value, such as 300 or 600. If you change this setting accidentally, pressing the Match Screen button reverts the value to 72 dpi, the resolution of most computer monitors. Note that changing the value for this setting also changes the Width and Height values in the Dimensions setting.
  3. Include. This drop-down menu determines what Flash content is included in the exported image.
    • Minimum Image Area. When this option is selected, the image size (a.k.a. dimensions) is reduced to the boundary of Flash artwork currently on the Stage. This means that, if you only have a circle in the middle of the Stage, then the dimensions of the exported image match those of the circle the rest of the Flash Stage or background is be included.
    • Full Document Size. When this option is selected, the exported image looks exactly like the Flash stage. The entire frame dimensions and contents are exported.
  4. Color Depth (or Colors). This drop-down setting controls the color range of the raster image. The higher the bit depth, the wider the color range. Depending on the file format, not all options are identical. We define the most frequently occurring options here. This option is not available for the .JPEG format, as that format must always be 24-bit.
    • 8-bit grayscale. This option limits the image to 256 levels, or values, of gray. It is equivalent to a typical scan of a black and white photograph.
    • 8-bit color. This option reduces the image to 256 colors. You may notice unsightly dithering in the image as a result.
    • 24-bit color. This option enables the image to use any of the 16.7 million colors available in true RGB color space. Use this option for the best color quality.
    • 32-bit color w/ alpha. This image enables the same range of colors as 24-bit color, but also adds an alpha channel using the Flash movie’s background color as a guide. If your raster image program can read alpha channels, then the Flash background color is transparent.

Other raster file format options
Each file format may have additional export options. In this section, we look at the additional options available for .BMP (PC only), .PCT or .PICT (Mac only), and .GIF. These options have not changed from the previous release of Flash. In fact, you may have more control with export file formats using the Export Image command instead of the Publish Settings/Publish commands.

.BMP (PC only) options
The Windows Bitmap (.BMP) file format has numerous options. In addition to the general export settings, the .BMP Export dialog has an Options setting containing a check box for Smooth. When this option is checked, Flash antialiases all Flash artwork, making the edges nice and smooth. If this option is unchecked, then Flash artwork is rendered in an aliased fashion, in which edges appear jagged and rough.

.PICT (Mac only) options
The .PICT (short for Picture) format is a standard Macintosh graphic file format.
Any Macintosh application that uses graphics can use it, and, with QuickTime, you can use .PICT (or .PCT) files on Windows computers. .PICT files can contain both vector and raster (bitmap) information. Usually, only raster-based .PICT files are truly cross-platform. See below.

The .PICT format has a unique Objects option (in the Color Depth drop-down menu) in addition to traditional raster-based options.

The .PICT format has a unique Objects option (in the Color Depth drop-down menu) in addition to traditional raster-based options.

  • Color Depth. This drop-down menu is the same as the Colors setting for other raster-image file formats. It has a few peculiarities that are defined next.
  • Objects. Due to the transgender nature of .PICT files, you can specify Objects to export Flash artwork as vector-based images. Note that selecting this option enables you to select Use PostScript in the Options setting.Use PostScript that contains .PICT output with caution, as it can produce undesirable results. If you need PostScript output, it is better to use Illustrator or .EPS as the format.
  • Bitmap 1-bit B/W. This option converts all colors to either black or white, with no between values of gray. It is equivalent to the Bitmap image mode in Photoshop, and gives a fax document look to your Flash artwork.
  • Bitmap 8-bit Gray. This option converts your Flash artwork colors to 256 values of gray.
  • Bitmap 8-bit Color. This option creates an adaptive palette of 256 colors for the exported image.
  • Bitmap 24-bit Color. This option produces the highest-quality rasterbased .PICT files, enabling any color in the RGB color space to be represented.By default, you should use this option for graphics work in other applications.
  • Bitmap 32-bit Color (alpha channel). This option has the same color depth as 24-bit color, with the addition of an alpha channel (or transparent mask). An unoccupied area of the Flash Stage is used to determine the transparent areas of the alpha channel.
  • Options. The .PICT Export dialog displays one option. The option displayed varies depending on the Color Depth setting.
    • Smooth bitmap. If you chose any of the Bitmap color options in Color Depth, then you have the option of antialiasing (or smoothing) Flash artwork.Smoothing produces cleaner edges on Flash vector-based artwork.
    • Include PostScript. If you choose Objects from the Color Depth menu, then you can enable the Include PostScript option. This option optimizes the file’s settings for output to a PostScript-compatible printer.

GIF options
The majority of the options listed in the Colors section of the .GIF Export dialog are discussed later.” The Colors drop-down menu is slightly different, however. Also, as mentioned in a previous note, the Publish settings in the Macintosh version of Flash 5 do not create adaptive .GIF images (even if you have selected the option to do so). You can, however, create suitable .GIF images in both Windows and Macintosh versions of Flash 5 using the Export Image command. See below.

Options that are specific to the .GIF format.

Options that are specific to the .GIF format.

Colors. As stated in the discussion regarding general options, this setting controls the range of colors contained in the exported image. .GIF images can use a variety of bit depths with the overall 8-bit color depth setting. The fewer colors, the smaller the resulting .GIF file.

  • Black & White. This option is equivalent to a 2-bit color depth, and converts all Flash colors to one of three colors (Web hex in parentheses):
  • black (#000000), middle gray (#808080), or white (#FFFFFF).
  • 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, or 256 colors. These options create the respective color ranges within the .GIF format. Flash determines which colors are used for each setting, similar to the adaptive palette type in Photoshop.
  • Standard Colors. This option creates .GIF images that use the 216 Web- Safe Palette.


All rights reserved © 2018 Wisdom IT Services India Pvt. Ltd DMCA.com Protection Status

Flash Topics