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What version of Flash/Premiere?
What is your target size in Premiere (NTSC or PAL? SD or HD? Interlaced or progressive? Computer-only?).
The best format to import into Premiere matches the project settings exactly and requires no interpolation or interlacing. If you cannot match the settings in Premiere then you may get jaggies on your export. The best solution at that point is to use a per-frame hefty rendering application like After Effects to process the video into something that matches Premiere's settings first.
I"m using Flash CS6 and Premiere CS5. The final output is going to be a submission to a film festival. I would assume SD, NTSC, interlaced?
So do you have any suggestions for how to export from Flash and import into Premiere.
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Do you have After Effects? While adding interlacing isn't that big of a deal for Premiere and it will do it rather well I do find the resizing of video to be on the poor side.
You can't assume. The film festival must have specifications mentioned somewhere on their brochures/website/etc, or call in and ask. These days I would never assume it's SD anymore. Before a full recommendation can be made you must find that out.
The only bit of advice anyone can give now is try to target a larger resolution, if possible, than your target. A slight reduction in size of a video gives a very appealing smoothness to video. If you don't have a 27"+ screen with 2560x1600+ resolution screen it may be hard to work on larger-than-HD video but if you can it's worthwhile.
You will be exporting from flash at the documents full resolution uncompressed square pixel. It's now that you'll need to bring it into an app like After Effects or Adobe Media Encoder. You should export your video to the exact project dimension and enable interlacing. It's much less lossy to convert progressive video to interlaced.
You may not need to go interlaced at all. They may require 1080p (progressive (non-interlaced)) video. If they are SD and you're in NTSC territory then you'll not only need to convert it to 720x480 interlaced but 0.9 aspect ratio (standard non-wide) or other and 29.97fps. Producing in Flash at 30fps won't suffer when you convert it to 29.97fps. However if you use 30FPS and need to convert to 24fps you're going to get some serious steppiness issues. There is some relatively expensive software plugins and entire applications dedicated to trying to convert 29.97 to 24fps because this task is so difficult. This is why knowing the target is absolutely vital.
I've been doing some testing and have run into an issue:
1) When I import a swf into Premiere, the animations in a movie clip are not retained. They all become static images.
Do you think that I could just publish (export) the flash file (using Export Movie option) as an avi, quick time etc., and have it be movie quality? Or is the another way to retain the animations in the movie clip?
I was thinking another way would be to publish each movie clip and then put on a different layer in Premiere.
You should definitely export from Flash as a movie (File->Export->Export Movie). Even Flash may not be able to export it perfectly. You might need to use a SWF2AVI or SWF2MOV (et al) type of utility to convert your animation to a video. Just make sure you use no compression (e.g. AVI uncompressed, MOV animation codec max quality, etc). The standard in the video industry has long been "garbage in, garbage out". Try to retain the best quality throughout your process.