I was given a SWF file of an animation that was created a few years ago. When I import the SWF file into After Effects CC, I get a black square with a black circle in the middle that moves in and out of the animation.
I think the animator was using camera movement in Flash, because the black circle and outline follows certain objects as they move across the scene. Also, when I play back the original SWF file, there is a virtual camera that occasionally pans across an image that is larger than the frame. In the imported file in After Effects, I only see the initial part of that image in the frame, which remains stationery while just the black square and circle outline moves across the frame.
Would this be corrected if the original Flash movie was exported to SWF in a newer version of Flash? Or is this just a limitation of After Effects CC's SWF importer?
The import of SWF files into After Effects is very limited and is only intended to be used for flattened, simple movies.
Here's the excerpt from After Effects Help that most likely explains why you're only seeing some animation preserved in After Effects:
"Interactive content and scripted animation are not retained. Animation defined by keyframes in the main, top-level movie is retained."
At first I thought it was an ActionScript 2 versus AS3 issue. However, I tried an older version of After Effects in one of our computer labs (AE CS6), and there was the same issue. I guess After Effects cannot handle that scripted virtual camera.
So the workaround was just to play back the Flash movie and run a screen capture program. This was much easier than trying to deal with out of memory errors in Flash's export movie option.