5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 20, 2006 7:33 PM by Newsgroup_User

    Placing an .avi behind an image?

      Hi, I am very new to director (and finding the thing to be an absolute ruddy nightmare to be honest)... In my director movie I have an .avi file playing, and I have created a .png frame, which I want to go in front of it - just hiding the edges of the .avi file. However, unlike any other cast members I have, the .avi file seems to always be on top in the stage/projector, regardless of where I place it in the score. I am assuming that there is some way around this?

      ...Also can't seem to move the .avi to reposition it as I I wish on the stage (oddly I can rescale it though).

      Thanks in advance for any help.

      P.S. What the hell is with only one level of undo?

      P.P.S. Apologies if my questions are horribly basic.

        • 1. Re: Placing an .avi behind an image?
          chalexmandrake Level 1
          (I am on MX2004 if that makes any difference).
          • 2. Re: Placing an .avi behind an image?
            Level 7

            And welcome to the wonderful world of Director. It is not as bad as it may seem
            Since you're new to Director, I'll give you the link to my Director tutorials.
            I am currently cleaning them up so if you do take a peek at them, feel free to
            send me any feedback.

            To your questions. Video in Director is by default set to Direct To Stage (DTS),
            which means it will be the top most layer, regardless of the channel it's placed
            and no transparencies can be applied to them. This is because it can be CPU
            intensive if the computer has to think about layering and transparency issues for
            the video. You can turrn the DTS property off in the Property Inspector. Look at
            the AVI tab and you'll see DTS. Depending on the video, it may not play as
            smoothly if DTS is off.

            I'm not sure what you mean by not being able to reposition the AVI. Can't you
            click the centre of the AVI sprite on the Stage and drag it to a new location?
            Don't click and drag the handles, that will just resize the sprite.

            By the way, video in Director is always linked to the external file. So, you will
            need to bundle your video files with your movies to get them to play when you move
            them to another computer. Video cannot be embedded into the movie as can other
            cast member types.

            And yes, only one level of Undo. I'm sure many have put a multiple undo feature on
            teh wishlist for the next Director.


            Director Lecturer / Consultant

            • 3. Re: Placing an .avi behind an image?
              chalexmandrake Level 1
              Excellent - thanks for that!

              Re: Repositioning the sprite - no, I literally cannot click and drag (from the centre of the sprite) as I would with any other sprite. I can pull the handles and resize - but this, as you have gathered, is not what I want.

              Also; is there a way to fade the video in from invisible (as you would with a sprite by keyframing from Ink: 0-100%)? I can't seem to work this out either.

              Oh (pretty, pretty please) another quickie (if you don't mind)... (And this gives new meaning to the word basic)... I am really struggling to get to grips with the text editor. It seems bizarrely difficult to use... So much so that I am having to do all my text in Illustrator, and then import it out as an image file to use in my director movie. The most baffling bit is the colour checker. It just won't seem to let me change the colour of the text as it should. I have a Lynda.com membership, and in the tutorial I have been following, the tutor simply selects new colours, as any right minded human being would expect to. In my version it just won't seem to select.

              Many, many thanks for your help

              P.S. I shall boomark your tutorials for later consumption.
              • 4. Re: Placing an .avi behind an image?
                chalexmandrake Level 1
                Ok, have worked out the repositioning of the video sprite (was automatically making my movements into keyframing earlier, despite the fact that I had not entered any keyframes myself - this was due to the default setting of sprites defaulting to an 18 frame representation in the score. Oddly enough it director doesn't automatically assume that I want keyframing for sprites other than video until I manually enter a keyframe. The problem was fixed by reducing the video down to a single keyframe in the score).

                Would still really love to know how to be able to fade a video in from invisible, as requested in my previous post though.

                Is this possible?

                • 5. Re: Placing an .avi behind an image?
                  Level 7
                  Hi again,

                  I didn't follow exactly what was happening witth your video. As a guess, you may
                  have accidently pressed a key that converts your sprite into 'Sprite Frames' mode.
                  When you look at your score, can you see your sprite as a series of blocks over
                  each frame? If so, then this is 'Sprite Frames' mode and when you click and modify
                  the sprite at any frame, a keyframe will be created. To convert this back to the
                  normal 'Entire Sprite', right click any frame of the sprite and select 'Edit Entire

                  To fade a video, using the Blend (from 0% to 100%), you will need to set the DTS
                  off. I just tested this with an AVI, imported as an AVI and ecven with DTS off, I
                  couldn't get the Blend property to change. It worked fine if I imported the AVI as
                  a QuickTime or as a Windows Media file. The AVI ios a very old format, which many
                  think will become obsoltete one day. It hasn't undergone any development since it
                  was created when desktop video first came about. Microsoft created the Windows
                  Media Video format because they realised AVI was old technology not worth updating.
                  So, AVIs have limited use today. They are OK for simple applications but do not
                  have the same capabilities and support in Director as other video formats. The only
                  advantage of AVIs is that they do not require any additional software on Windows

                  OK, the above said, your otions to create a fade are:
                  1. Change teh Blend property from 0% to 100%, taking into account what i said
                  2. If you don't need the vidoe to be abimating while teh fade occurs, why not just
                  grab the first frame of the vidoe as a still image, create a fade with this frame
                  and then have the video play after.
                  3. Build the fade into the video. If it's fading from a solid colour, it would eb
                  easy, otherwise you'd need to incorporate the background image into the video.

                  As I've said before, video will play less efficiently when it's not DTS so option 2
                  may work best.

                  Hope that helps.


                  Director Lecturer / Consultant