Correction, when I export a video the normal way it also does not animate properly. This used to work, so I'm not sure what I've done wrong. Any help getting it to animate properly would be appreciated.
From your description it sounds like you have some of the animation inside movieclips that are told to play using Actionscript. Is this the case with your movie? If that's true then the animation inside the movieclips will not render correctly. When you export anything other than a .swf Flash will only show whatever is on the main timeline, not embedded movieclip animation unless those movieclips runs as soon as the playback head hits them in the timeline.
Ok thanks, it sounds like you understand the problem here. I do have little animations of a face talking and animations of a guy walking (moving his arms and legs). Whether or not those are done with Actionscript I couldn't tell you. I've included a screen shot of what it looks like in Flash Pro.
When I play the animation in Adobe Pro (using the play button on the bottom of the screen) it does not animate the guy or his talking head, same as when I export. Then if I choose Control > Test Movie > In Adobe Flash then everything is animated as expected. However, exporting a movie or PNG sequence gives me the same non-animating characters.
Do you know what needs to happen to make this work? Should I not be using Actionscript?
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I can't tell how those movieclips might be played from your description, but, if they don't play from the timeline play button, then they won't export as an image sequence. Is a video the final product that you want to have? If that's the case then you may need to output the file as an .swf, a Flash file and then convert that to video using a third party product or a screen capture. If you have animation that is held in movieclips it will not export to image sequence or video. To get what you want you will have to re-do the animation so that everything is on the main timeline. That may or may not be a simple thing. Outputting to .swf and then converting may be the simplest option.
We tried exporting the SWF and converting to video, but the programs we found all made it blurry (Free SWF to AVI Converter, SWF to Video Converter Standard). Is there a free or cheap product that is confirmed to do a good job without blurriness?
We also tried screen capture programs. I tried VH Capture but I think it produced 12 FPS maximum, and as a result the animation jerked a bit here and there.Probably need to capture the screen at 30 FPS to make this work. Any proven screen capture program that you know of?
You may have reasons not to switch to Flash Pro CC, but in case you don't, you should give it a try! It can export pixel perfect, frame rate perfect videos, even if the animation is created using ActionScript, and if it's full HD sized.
No, I don't use them, so I don't have one to recommend. You might try changing your movieclips to graphics. This will let the animations run wild but they may work for you. You won't have any Actionscript control over the animations.
I installed the trial for Flash CC 2014 and tried some exporting, it seems to have the same output quality as Flash CS6. Here's what my original .SWF looks in the player:
As you can see, nice and crisp lines. It's bitmap art, so it's important the pixels look like pixels without any smoothing. Next here is what the .MOV file looks like generated right from Flash CC 2014:
Blurry! Any settings I can use to turn off compression in the MOV file?
I also tried exporting a PNG file sequence (to reassemble into a video), and as usual, it has nice crisp lines, but my characters still aren't animating in them for some reason. This is so frustrating.
Anyone care to take my SWF file and output it to video?
Hi Rob, you mentioned two possible solutions I'd like to look into:
1. "To get what you want you will have to re-do the animation so that everything is on the main timeline."
I understand what the main timeline is, just not sure how to have an animation on the main timeline. What does this require me to do specifically?
2. "You might try changing your movieclips to graphics. This will let the animations run wild but they may work for you."
Also not sure how to change a movieclips to graphics, but it sounds easier than 1.
Did you use the option "Convert video in Adobe Media Encoder"? If you did, try not doing that.
You video screenshot is bigger than the still image size, could that be why it looks blurry?
Symbols in Flash, usually seen as movieClips, can also be typed as graphics or buttons. A movieClip or button symbol can have an instance name and is addressable using Actionscript. A symbol cannot have an instance name and is not addressable using Actionscript. When you create a symbol, like your foot and head movement. I'm guessing that those animations are created as movieClips that are set to play.
You can take the contents of the layers in that movieClip and place that on the main timeline instead of inside a movieClip.
You can also select the movieClip in your Library and change its symbol type to graphic. Then select the movieClip instance on the stage and change it its instance type to graphic in the Properties window.
Either of these methods should allow your animation to run as expected when exported.
The clarity and crispness of the image is an entirely different matter. Make sure that your video output is set to use the same image size and the same frame rate as your flash movie. Use the highest data rate that you can and allow the compressor that you are using to set the keyframe rate for the video. If you change the image size or the width to height ratio, the video output will be stretching the pixels. This is never a good thing. If you change the frame rate then the Media Encoder will have to interpolate pixel changes from frame to frame. Again, never a good thing.
Okay, I woke up today and the solution was in my head. As usual, I was doing something stupid. I was exporting the video at 320 x 200, because that was the resolution of the Amiga computer that I'm making this bitmap art in homage to. For some reason that causes it to look fuzzy, even though the pixels themselves should fit fine in 320 x 200. Instead I exported at 1280 x 800 and now the pixels look crisp. Such an easy solution, so much wasted time...
Thanks everybody for all your help. If someone here knew I was exporting at that size it probably would have been solved rather quickly.