Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga

Structural Patterns

Reflections on Art, Technology and Society

Archive for the ‘Quicktime’ tag

Digital Artifact, Dropped Frames in Flash Export as Quicktime

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When exporting an HD quality Quictime from Flash, I kept getting a ton of digital artifact in my exported video files. I searched high and low on how to deal with this and didn’t find a quick solution, so I’m sharing how I went about exporting a good video. It wasn’t from Flash, it required After Effects. The image below is an example of what I kept getting from Flash. Those pieces of stars are not supposed to be present. In the image the child flies through the stars, the stars move from above the stage to below the stage, or at least they are supposed to. Here’s a link to the animation as an interactive swf file: Iggy’s ABC.

Digital Artifact on Video Still

Digital Artifact on Video Still

If you are getting digital artifact or dropped frames in your Flash animation’s Quicktime export, you may try exporting using different Quicktime compression codecs or you may save a lot of time by generating the Quicktime video through After Effects.

To render a Quicktime in After Effects that is based on a Flash animation, you will beed to export two separate files:

1. the audio for the animation separately as a Quicktime.
2. the animation as a .swf (small web file). Disable the audio, it will be exported separately

To generate the audio file:
File > Export > Export Movie
name the file, decide where to save it (ideally in a directory dedicated to the project). For Format: Quicktime (choose Quicktime from Format drop down menu).

In the QuickTime Export Settings panel click the QuickTime Settings at the bottom left. This will open the “Movie Settings” panel, uncheck “Video” and make sure the “Sound” is checked. Choose a Format based on the type of audio you are using i.e. voice narration versus music. On the Mac “Apple Lossless” is a good choice. I’ve used “IMA 4:1” because it has worked well for files that combine music and narration. Set sample rate and sample size, CD quality is 44.1 kHz and 16 bits per second, stereo, this should be based on the quality of the audio that was imported.

To generate a smaller .swf file, it’s good to turn off or disable the audio since it will not be used. Do so by open the Publish Settings Panel
File > Publish Settings

Uncheck HTML as we are not targeting the web.

Click on the Flash tab (near top of window)
Click the “Set” button for Audio stream and in the “Sound Settings” window disable audio export by choosing “Disable” from the Compression drop down menu.
Do the same for Audio event

Then Publish your movie to generate the .swf file.

You should now have both a .swf of your animation and the soundtrack as a QuickTime with .mov extension, check them both.

Now you will import these two files into After Effects and create a composition that combines the two files.

In AfterEffects create a new Project and save it in the same folder where you have your .swf and Quicktime audio saved. Keep everything in the same place as the .swf and Quicktime are linked files, the path from the After Effects project to the linked media files needs to stay intact, so it’s simplest to keep them together.

Import the Quicktime Movie and the .swf files into the project – File > Import > File or merely drag them into your Project.

Create a new composition – third icon (film strip icon with shapes at bottom of Project window).
Set the preset to the target HDV/HDTV 720 25 (using 1280 x 720)
Check Width and Height to be same as Flash and Lock Aspect Ratio
Square Pixels
Frame Rate: 24 (custom setting according to the frame rate used in Flash)
Resolution: Full
Start Timecode: 0
Duration: Set the duration to the duration of your .swf file

Drag the .swf and audio onto the Comp 1 stage or timeline.

In the timeline window click the Render Queue tab.

Drag Comp 1 from the Project window into the Render Queue
Render Settings: Best Settings
Output Module: Lossless
Double click Lossless to see details and make sure that Audio Output is turned on. Have setting match the quality of audio exported from Flash.

Written by ricardo

May 11th, 2011 at 9:47 pm