24 Replies Latest reply: Apr 12, 2012 12:43 PM by Suntower RSS

    Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?

    Suntower Community Member

      Hi,

       

      I'm rather late to the party. I -rarely- use Flash.

       

      My client had me do a little 'presentation' video which is essentially like a PowerPoint presentation... some images that cross fade one to the next; some text that slides left and right and a voiceover. I typically do this in Premiere because I can do the dissolves and titles in nothing flat. (It has a drag n drop way to apply dissolves.)

       

      But my client wants it to be a landing page, which plays on load on their web site so a SWF seems appropriate. ALSO: It would be -really- nice to have the 'video' play with a transparent background... which I realise is easily done in Flash.

       

      OK... those 'dissolves' which are so easy in Premiere are -killing- me in Flash. If I have it right I need a separate -layer- for each object I'm going to use during the 'video', right? So with perhaps 24 piccies and 30 text snippets that's a LOT of layers! I had hoped I could have just 5-6 layers and... as in Premiere... have the objects just start and stop at various points and thus have multiple objects on the same layer.

       

      Plus, I create the 'motion tweens' and then insert the keyframes and it -usually- works, but if I need to move a fade-in point back and forth in time, something -always- screws up!  How does one 'move' a Tween left/right in the timeline?

       

      Also, I'm hoping there is something like a 'Motion Preset' ... as there are Video Transition presets in Premiere... to automate this process and make it less goof proof.

       

      One thought: If I do this in Premiere, is there a way to import this into Flash... and then make the bg transparent? I experimented a bit and couldn't figure it out. ALSO: I couldn't figure out how to get the imported movie to automatically 'play' when the SWF was published. Perhaps if I figure those two things out, I could skin the cat that way?

       

      Sorry for going all over the map.

       

      TIA,

       

      ---JC

        • 1. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
          sinious CommunityMVP

          Don't think 'video' is too expensive for your menu. You can fully produce all the effects you want and export a video. Flash can simply be used to import/play that video.

           

          Seriously, pixellation transitions are 90s. There's nothing exciting about them. They are fairly complicated for your level if you are to program them in flash. The easiest thing for you is simply to produce your content as a video and compress the heck out of it and display it using flash.

          • 2. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
            Suntower Community Member

            THANKS! Coincidentally, I've been reading up a bit on this and I would be happy to use this technique (my client would be none too happy to see a pro video turned into an 'animation' his 8 year old could do better.) My understanding is that the SWF 'wrapper' helps with streaming so the size of the video is less of an issue. Remaining questions:

             

             

            1. Is there some sort of 'template' in CS4 to import a video and create the proper 'wrapper' without too much study on my part?

             

            2. And assuming I can figure -that- out, my remaining question is: can I create a video with a transparent background? My understanding is that Premiere can export to an FLV with an Alpha Channel, but I must be missing something because I tried it and it didn't seem to work. Any tips on -that-?

             

            CHEERS!

             

            ---JC

            • 3. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
              sinious CommunityMVP

              1 and 2 sort of conflict with each other. If you want to make it easy to play video in something that has all the code prewritten to the point all you do is tell it a FLV filename to play then you're going to want to use the FLVPlayback component. The problem is you won't get a transparent background. To do that you'll need to code up a video player yourself using the NetStream class.

               

              The reason you want to use the NetStream class rather than just slapping it on the timeline is you can keep the FLV external from the SWF so the SWF loads instantly and can progressively play back the FLV. If you embed the video into the SWF then the user is going to get a much worse experience.

               

              Here's an adobe example of the code to play a video, probably not for the faint of heart. Here's a much more piece by piece tutorial on the same subject. By using this method of playing the video without a component the classes don't come with a background so you can see through them and alpha can be useful (if you set the embedded flash to windowless transparent in the HTML).

               

              On 2, things are very different in the CS5.5 world. Premiere exports its work to Adobe Media Encoder to encode rather than doing it itself. What I used to do myself was use Sorenson Squeeze back when I used CS4. I would use a codec like Quicktime with the Animation codec, set the output to millions+ of colors so it output an alpha channel and then I'd take that (huge) quicktime video into Sorenson Squeeze and compress it into a ON2VP6 Pro FLV while checking the Alpha channel support.

               

              Actually I used the Bitjazz SheerVideo codec because it's 100% lossless, supports alpha, is ultra cpu efficient and cuts the filesize by half but you need to buy it. The Animation codec is probably the next best thing as it can be lossless.

               

              So perhaps you want to export your video using Animation with Millions+ colors to get the Alpha, Then you have to remind me if CS4 has Adobe Media Encoder. If it does, use that to compress your video into ON2 VP6 Pro FLV as it should have an option for Alpha. Otherwise look for a way to export via Premiere directly to FLV ON2VP6 as it should support your Alpha.

              • 4. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                Suntower Community Member

                Thanks. This was very helpful. -Almost- there. Here's where I'm still a bit stuck.

                 

                First of all... I do have CS5.5 on another machine. I guess I can switch to that if I need to, but all my materials for -this- project are on a machine with CS4. Premiere -does- use Media Encoder. So I was able to export to FLV with an Alpha channel.

                 

                Then, I created a blank flash project, popped in the script from the tutorial you provided and Presto! I had a streamed FLV with a transparent bg. Wonderbra! BUT... there's a problem! The text look AWFUL.

                 

                So I switched to AE... which I'm less familiar with than Premiere, but I'm OK. The only problem is that there is no FLV export---only 'XFL', with which I am not familiar. But I rendered it, then opened the XFL in Flash and published it as an SWF and it seemed to work OK... except that there's a nasty little audio pop at the end of the clip.

                 

                QUESTIONS:

                1. Can I export from AE to an FLV... so I can use the same script as I created with the Premiere FLV and lose the huge SWF?

                 

                2. Or... is there a way to open the XFL in Flash and then generate the streaming SWF and FLV?

                 

                3. Any reason for the audio 'pop'?

                 

                THANKS! ALMOST THERE!

                 

                ---JC

                • 5. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                  sinious CommunityMVP

                  After Effects (AE) can definitely export you a FLV. AE does still render on its own rather than sending it to Adobe Media Encoder (AME) but you have all the same support (at least in CS5.5) for formats as AME. Adobe shares all its format support pretty universally.

                   

                  Text may look awful but it's probably because you're using some effects like drop-shadows and such that may not be exported with proper transparency in Premiere. I can say my absolute least favorite app in the Adobe Suite is Premiere. It seems to do just about everything wrong. As soon as they changed to disallowing you to edit a projects resolution after you created it, I grabbed a high end rig and started editing 100% in After Effects. It's a pain because you need to ram preview to hear audio, nowhere near the scrubability as premiere, but I just HATE Premiere.

                   

                  That aside I don't even know what XFL is. You can directly export a FLV, and should, right from AE, if you imported your Premiere project into it. I find AE to be the highest quality rendering solution in the Adobe bunch for video overall. It's the photoshop of video. It just works.

                   

                  Here's a screenshot of CS5.5's format list from my install:

                   

                  http://www.filehorde.com/o/formats.jpg

                   

                  So you can see both FLV (old, On2VP6-esque) and F4V (new, H264-esque) listed there.

                   

                  Do note that (to my knowledge) despite H264 supporting transparency, Flash Player does not show transparency encoded into mp4/h264. I could be wrong but I think you need to use FLV/On2VP6.

                  • 6. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                    Suntower Community Member

                    Well, I thought I was making progress. But I'm still stuck.

                     

                    I figured out how to export to FLV... you use 'Render'. OK. And the first time I did it, it 'worked' in that I got a transparent bg. But then I saw that the text was still crappy and I started futzing and now I have both crappy text -and- a black bg.

                     

                    To see what I mean, the test page is: http://burtengineering.com

                     

                    I hit 'Add to Render Queue, selected FLV as the output. Selected RGB+Alpha Lossless and rendered. (BTW: Is there a way to save the 'Output Module' settings in my AE project so I don't have to reselect them each time I render?)

                     

                    One possibility: My AE project is 550 x 413  --- I just set the width to 550---the size of the div on the web site and AE selected that height. Could -that- be the problem? Is there a fixed dimension I need to use? I adjusted to match this in my Flash Action Script (and in the resultant HTML) but that made -no- difference.

                     

                    But I looked at the FLV in Adobe Media Player and it looks -fine-. Crisp text.

                     

                    I'm stuck. Whimper.

                     

                    ---JC

                    • 7. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                      Suntower Community Member

                      I'm getting closer.

                       

                      http://burtengineering.com

                       

                      Got the transparency to work---somehow. And the text looks better now... BUT some characters are still crap. It does -not- look like viewing the raw FLV in Adobe Media Player. See the 'r' and 't'? But in the blue title everything looks -fine- and I can't figure out why.

                       

                      Ideas?

                       

                      ---JC

                      • 8. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                        Suntower Community Member

                        Anyone? Just trying to figure out how to get the text to render nice n sharp. Looks fine in Media Player but crap on the web when loaded with SWF.

                         

                        Current try was rendered from AE...

                         

                        http://burtengineering.com

                         

                        Anyone?

                        • 9. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                          sinious CommunityMVP

                          All I see is white with faint gray lines there. Am I missing an animation? WMP will have a black background by default so if your text is a lighter color it'll look better.

                           

                          Chances are your data rate combined with a difficult to compress effect such as drop-shadows on text will compress very poorly. Easiest thing to do to see if this is your problem is crank up the bitrate to around 1600kbit/s. Make sure you're using On2VP6 and not something like Sorenson Spark (very old pixelated codec).

                          • 10. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                            adninjastrator Community Member

                            The Flash is not displaying in IE because the path in the <object> is wrong:

                            <param name="movie" value="Untitled-2.swf" />

                            The <embed> has it correct:

                            src="/wp-content/themes/jchwebdev/images/Untitled-2.swf"

                            I may be missing something but the animation looks like just a very simple slideshow with a little text... and the text looks really bad right now. Are you rending this as a video rather than a simple .swf?

                            While you may want some fancy transitions as per video, right now the text looks so amateurish that the transition will mean little.

                            I'll admit that I haven't followed the thread entirely but I can see and evaluate the progress so far. Why don't you just do the slideshow directly in Flash, the text would come out MUCH better.

                            Or a second option would be to do the images as video.... if you must (over in Premiere) and import that into Flash and let Flash handle all the text... as the video plays on the stage.... combine video and Flash.

                            Best wishes,

                            Adninjastrator

                            • 11. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                              Suntower Community Member

                              Hi,

                               

                              This thread has taken many turns so I understand your confusion. I started it because I found doing fades/dissolves directly in Flash to be VERY tedious... although the text looked -great-.

                               

                              So in #2 Sinious suggested I simply create the video... which I'm used to doing... and render into FLV... and then write a little SWF wrapper to load it on the web page. Worked great. Got the transparent bg I wanted and it loads fast.

                               

                              When I did a 'video' in AE or Premiere and rendered into FLV, the text looks -fine- when played directly from Adobe Media Player but TERRIBLE when loaded on the web page.

                               

                              So I either need:

                               

                              a) A way to do these simple dissolves FAST directly in Flash or...

                               

                              b) A method for rendering an AE or Premiere video as an FLV with these text bits that doesn't look crap on the web. I'm open to changing fonts, sizes, -whatever- it takes.

                               

                              BTW: I have -never- used any text 'effects' (drop shadow, outline text, etc.)

                               

                              ALSO: Just to make it triple-clear: When I wrote 'Media Player' I mean -Adobe- player... the FLV looks -great- when played from Adobe player. It only looks crap when played by the SWF on the web page.

                               

                              Thanks,

                               

                              ---JC

                              • 12. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                                adninjastrator Community Member

                                a) A way to do these simple dissolves FAST directly in Flash

                                There are a heck of a lot of ways to do simple transitions in Flash... you should be able to get a  hold of many slideshow examples that can do that. Then you can use the great text ability of Flash.

                                One simple method basically uses 2 movie clips and an xml file to feed data to the 2 clips. Then by swapping the depth .... laying the next one on top of the previous... you switch images.

                                The xml could also feed in all the text you need, so the timeline for this could be very short.

                                Here is just a sample of one type of transition:

                                http://www.cidigitalmedia.com/tutorials/transitions/transitions.html

                                and that's really a very old and crude one.... but still a very nice fade and it includes captions.... done completely in actionscript... no timeline animation.

                                Google "Flash slideshows and transitions" and you'll have more info than you can possibly use.

                                b) A method for rendering an AE or Premiere video as an FLV with these text bits that doesn't look crap on the web. I'm open to changing fonts, sizes, -whatever- it takes.

                                If you are creating a good looking video

                                text looks -fine- when played directly from Adobe Media Player

                                you should not be experiencing

                                but TERRIBLE when loaded on the web page

                                The only time I've experienced the type of pixilation I see on your site, is if I change the pixel dimensions from the original and attempt to display on a Web page at a different dimension.... it really screws up the text. The rest of the video may look just fine, but the text in a video just does not scale well... up or down.

                                Are you SURE that you are display the video on the Web at exactly the same dimensions as you rendered the video? It just doesn't look right. And of course I still can't test in IE because of the problem I mentioned earlier.

                                Can you provide a screen shot of the video playing directly in the Flash player... at the exact dimensions at it appear on the screen?

                                This should not be that difficult a problem.

                                Best wishes,

                                Adninjastrator

                                • 13. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                                  Suntower Community Member

                                  Thanks,

                                   

                                  Here is a sample screen cap playing in Adobe Media Player. The black bg is just what AMP does---it's actually a transparent bg. And yeah the text is different colours than on the live site---I tried -dozens- of variations in colour, font, size to try and solve this. They all look GREAT in AMP... and terrible on the site.

                                   

                                  The video is 550 x 413 in After Effects and I did my best to make sure it was the same in the flash project---although I agree that it -looks- like the problem is that the SWF doesn't match dimensions. I don't know how to check for this. For example: is there a way to 'see' the properties of an FLV? ie. what it's 'real' dimensions are?  (I played around with the dimensions of the embed on the html page and just moving them to, say, 640 x 480 helped a LOT, which makes me suspicious that my FLV is -not- 550 x 413.)

                                   

                                  ALSO: That 'transitions' flash tutorial looks promising. Do you have a link to the Action Script? The problem for me is that I'm a total noob with AS. I can certainly follow code, though if I have some examples.

                                   

                                  Cheers!

                                   

                                  ---JC

                                   

                                  Iscreencap.jpg

                                  • 14. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                                    adninjastrator Community Member

                                    Observations... The image you posted looks more like a 640 wide video.

                                    Also the video posted to your Web site is:

                                    rafters-b.flv

                                    while the video you are displaying in the image is:

                                    rafters-b_2_1.flv

                                    same video or something different?

                                    Embedded metadata for rafters-b.flv:

                                    canSeekToEnd: true

                                    videocodecid: 5

                                    framerate: 16

                                    videodatarate: 1500

                                    height: 412

                                    width: 550

                                    duration: 32

                                    I still think you are comparing 2 different files or have the wrong Web page dimensions.

                                    Best wishes,

                                    Adninjastrator

                                    • 15. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                                      adninjastrator Community Member

                                      Sorry ... missed this part:

                                      is there a way to 'see' the properties of an FLV?

                                      Yes... use NetStream rather that FLV Playback to display the video. MUCH more powerful and versatile means of handling video. Then:

                                      // Trace the metadata //

                                      ns.onMetaData = function(myMeta) {

                                      for (var i in myMeta) {

                                        trace(i + ":\t" + myMeta[i])

                                      }

                                      }

                                      to output the metadata as a trace function.... see results above.

                                      If in fact the screen shot comes from a different video... post it somewhere and we'll look at the metadata for it.

                                      Best wishes,

                                      Adninjastrator

                                      • 16. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                                        Suntower Community Member

                                        OK, so here's where we're at as of today...

                                         

                                        First of... I -am- using NetStream (I think). Here's the AS on the 1 frame of my FLA:

                                         

                                        var nc:NetConnection = new NetConnection();

                                        nc.connect(null);

                                         

                                        var ns:NetStream=new NetStream(nc);

                                         

                                        var vid:Video=new Video(655,480);

                                        this.addChild(vid);

                                         

                                        vid.attachNetStream(ns);

                                         

                                        ns.play("Sequence.flv");

                                         

                                         

                                        ns.addEventListener(NetStatusEvent.NET_STATUS, netstat);

                                         

                                        function netstat(stats:NetStatusEvent) {

                                            trace(stats.info.code);

                                        }

                                         

                                        var netClient:Object = new Object();

                                        netClient.onMetaData = function(meta:Object)

                                        {

                                           trace(meta.duration);

                                        };

                                         

                                        ns.client=netClient;this


                                         

                                        Can someone tell me where to put the trace code?

                                         

                                         

                                         

                                        Second, I'm pretty sure some of this is connected to the dimensions. Sharp-eyed will note that I changed the dimensions to 655x480 because for -whatever- reason even though I explicitly 'told' AE and Flash that I want to make the video 550 x413, I don't think that's what is happening. I cannot figure out how to 'force' Premiere or AE or Flash to -really- make the video 550x413.

                                         

                                        Third, I played around with Premiere and found that I could get just as good (or bad) results as with AE so I'm hoping to stick with -that- since I can work so much faster.

                                         

                                        Fourth, clearly the choice of font is significant. It may just be my bad luck that the client's logo is a narrow font. When I tried using some other fatter fonts it looks -OK-. But still, I've seen flash animations with courier and times and they look -fine- so I really -do- want to figure this out!

                                         

                                        And last but not least: I can survive if I can simply learn enough AS so that the video auto-plays when the site opens -and- has a 'play again' button. Can someone take pity on me and give me the AS for that function?

                                         

                                        Sorry for all this... clearly I'm in over my head. I honestly thought this would be a -doddle-.

                                         

                                        Thanks again for the suggestions!

                                         

                                        ---JC

                                         

                                        PS: Yes, I know the flvs are all different names. I've done a DOZEN different variants trying to figure this out on my own. I would simply render a new one and then rename it to the FLV that the SWF was expecting. I thought that was OK to do.

                                         

                                        Message was edited by: Suntower---some of the text got corrupted during editing.

                                        • 17. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                                          adninjastrator Community Member

                                          Here is sample code from a working NetStream vid player... the very bare minimum code needed to play the video and "trace" any embedded metadata.

                                          var nc:NetConnection = new NetConnection();
                                          nc.connect(null);

                                          var ns:NetStream = new NetStream(nc);
                                          video_screen.attachVideo(ns);
                                          /* Name of your video, with correct path, goes here */
                                          ns.play("video1.flv");

                                          // Trace the metadata //
                                          ns.onMetaData = function(myMeta) {
                                          for (var i in myMeta) {
                                            trace(i + ":\t" + myMeta[i])
                                          }
                                          }

                                          It assumes you have given the video an instance name of "video_screen" and that the video file is named "video1.flv".

                                          Alter as needed. See if you can at least get the video playing.

                                          Best wishes,

                                          Adninjastrator

                                          • 18. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                                            Suntower Community Member

                                            I can't figure it out. I keep getting AS 'compiler' errors like

                                             

                                            1119: Access of possibly undefined property onMetaData through a reference with static type flash.net:NetStream.

                                             

                                            And I didn't understand where you wrote:

                                             

                                            video_screen.attachVideo(ns);
                                            /* Name of your video, with correct path, goes here */


                                            It assumes you have given the video an instance name of "video_screen" and that the video file is named "video1.flv".

                                             

                                            I don't understand the syntax of video_screen.attachVideo(ns);

                                             

                                            This is turning into a complete cluster-you-know-what.

                                             

                                            I have a completed Premiere video with voiceover that looks -fine- as an FLV. All I want is to:

                                            a) add a play/pause button

                                            b) have it play on a web page without being horribly distorted.

                                             

                                            I had -no- idea it would be this difficult. Frankly, I figured there was a 'template' in flash to do this... like I've seen for 'slideshows'. Any code examples would be -much- appreciated. I accept full responsibility for being STUPID but I gotta get this to work.

                                             

                                            Thanks again,

                                             

                                            ---JC

                                            • 19. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                                              adninjastrator Community Member

                                              Sounds like you may want to switch over to using the FLVPlayback component. Just drag it out of the components window and place of the stage... edit path as needed.

                                              • 20. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                                                Suntower Community Member

                                                I looked at that, but the skin is so -ugly-. I was hoping to simply have a button and no 'skin'.

                                                 

                                                What I want is something like this: http://campjohn.dk/AS3/Lilly/brude_film.html

                                                 

                                                It comes from this article: http://www.campjohn.dk/wp/?p=325   which seems like -exactly- what I want, but I don't have enough 'pieces' of AS code knowledge to complete it. For example, I have graphics for the play and pause buttons, but I don't know how to 'attach' the listener code to make them 'do' something.

                                                 

                                                Can you help fill in the gaps?

                                                 

                                                Thanks again!

                                                 

                                                ---JC

                                                • 21. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                                                  adninjastrator Community Member

                                                  var nc:NetConnection = new NetConnection();
                                                  nc.connect(null);

                                                  var ns:NetStream = new NetStream(nc);
                                                  video_screen.attachVideo(ns);
                                                  /* Name of your video, with correct path, goes here */
                                                  ns.play("your_video_name.flv");

                                                  This is all the code you need to play a NetStream video.

                                                  Can you at least get this to play the video?

                                                  If you've never done a NetStream video before.... at the top of the Library Panel is a very small menu icon on the top far right... very top. Click that menu icon and choose new video... Now that video appears in the Library.

                                                  Drag that video onto the stage and give it an instance name "video_screen".... set the dimensions as needed.

                                                  Add the code shown above in a separate Actions layer. Save the .fla in the same folder as the .flv... This is from an older .fla publishes as Actionscript 2 so be sure to save as AS2 (not AS3).

                                                  Test the video... it should play just fine.

                                                  If it does, I'll provide code for the controls.

                                                  • 22. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                                                    Suntower Community Member

                                                    Thanks for hanging in there. Your code doesn't work for me. I always get the following error:

                                                     

                                                    "1120: Access of undefined property video_screen."

                                                     

                                                    I assume that 'Video_Screen' needs to be declared somewhere?

                                                     

                                                    However, I -have- been using the following which -does- work. Isn't this functionally the same thing?

                                                     

                                                    var nc:NetConnection = new NetConnection();

                                                    nc.connect(null);

                                                     

                                                    var ns:NetStream=new NetStream(nc);

                                                     

                                                    var vid:Video=new Video(655,480);

                                                    this.addChild(vid);

                                                     

                                                    vid.attachNetStream(ns);

                                                     

                                                    ns.play("Sequence.flv");

                                                     

                                                    ns.addEventListener(NetStatusEvent.NET_STATUS, netstat);

                                                     

                                                    function netstat(stats:NetStatusEvent) {

                                                        trace(stats.info.code);

                                                    }

                                                     

                                                    var netClient:Object = new Object();

                                                    netClient.onMetaData = function(meta:Object)

                                                    {

                                                       trace(meta.duration);

                                                    };

                                                     

                                                    ns.client=netClient;this

                                                    • 23. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                                                      adninjastrator Community Member

                                                      "video_screen" is an instance name, declared as described above.... but as I said, it's AS2 and it looks like you are using AS3... and since that works for you, so much the better!

                                                      Don't have controls in AS3 but this is all you need in AS2:

                                                      play_btn.onRelease = function() {

                                                      ns.pause();

                                                      }

                                                      "pause" toggles between play and pause.

                                                      And as for the metadata... you don't need any of that to actually play the video. just to inpect... if needed.

                                                      Keep pluggin' away, I think you are getting real close.

                                                      • 24. Re: Cross Fades and Dissolves Like Premiere?
                                                        Suntower Community Member

                                                        Well... here is my final code (such as it is). The onRelease method doesn't work in AS3 I guess so I did the following by guess and by golly. The trick is that I had to learn the Flash paradigm, which is a lot more idiosyncratic than I realised. (The name of a button in AS is the Instance Name. Who knew?) I'm sure the rest of the world is 5 years ahead but for anyone else as old as me, if you want to load an flv and have a play and pause button? This is it! What a way to (start) learning Flash.

                                                         

                                                        The irony is that I never really did learn what I was asking about: doing easy dissolves... or making the text sharper. But hey... no lives were lost.

                                                         

                                                        Cheers,

                                                         

                                                        ---JC

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        var nc:NetConnection = new NetConnection();

                                                        nc.connect(null);

                                                         

                                                        var ns:NetStream=new NetStream(nc);

                                                         

                                                        var vid:Video=new Video(655,480);

                                                        this.addChild(vid);

                                                         

                                                        vid.attachNetStream(ns);

                                                         

                                                        ns.play("sequence.flv");

                                                         

                                                        ns.addEventListener(NetStatusEvent.NET_STATUS, netstat);

                                                        play_btn.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, startMovie);

                                                        pause_btn.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, pauseMovie);

                                                         

                                                        function netstat(stats:NetStatusEvent) {

                                                            trace(stats.info.code);

                                                        }

                                                         

                                                        function pauseMovie(event:MouseEvent):void {

                                                             ns.pause();

                                                            }

                                                         

                                                        function startMovie(event:MouseEvent):void {

                                                             ns.play("Sequence.flv");

                                                            }

                                                         

                                                        var netClient:Object = new Object();

                                                        netClient.onMetaData = function(meta:Object)

                                                        {

                                                           trace(meta.duration);

                                                        };

                                                         

                                                        ns.client=netClient;this