24 Replies Latest reply on Aug 28, 2010 5:05 PM by AndritaRMoore

    Flash and After Effects integration

      I made an animated text in After Effects and I want to now bring it into flash without a background. How do I do this? I am working with AfterEffects 7.0 and Flash CS3.
        • 1. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
          Render with Alpha channels to Flash Video. Still, I'm wondering why you are not creating the text natively in Flash? Do you apply any special effects that you cannot use in Flash?

          • 2. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
            bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3
            > Do you apply any special effects that you cannot use in Flash?

            If so, you may not be able to bring it into Flash as vector. It will rasterize.
            I'm looking at my Flash online help, there's a small section of integration information:

            Composite graphics, animation, and video
            Flash and After Effects each include many capabilities that allow you to perform complex compositing of video and graphics. Which application you choose to use will depend on your personal preferences and the type of final output you want to create.

            Flash is the more Web oriented of the two applications, with its small final file size. Flash also allows for runtime control of animation. After Effects is oriented towards video and film production, provides a wide range of visual effects, and is generally used to create video files as final output.

            Both applications can be used to create original graphics and animation. Both use a timeline and offer scripting capabilities for controlling animation programmatically. After Effects includes a larger set of effects, while Flashs ActionScript language is the more robust of the two scripting environments.

            Both applications allow you to place graphics and effects on separate layers for compositing. These layers can be turned on and off as needed.

            In Flash, composites do not affect the video content directly; they affect only the appearance of the video during playback in Flash Player. In contrast, when you composite with imported video in After Effects, the video file you export actually incorporates the composited graphics and effects.

            Because all drawing and painting in After Effects is done on layers separate from any imported video, it is always non-destructive. Flash has both destructive and non-destructive drawing modes.

            Exporting After Effects content for use in Flash
            You can export After Effects content for use in Flash. You can export a SWF file that can be played immediately in Flash Player or used as part of another Flash project. When you export content from After Effects in SWF format, the content is flattened and rasterized in the SWF file.

            • 3. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
              I have the Animated Gradient at Flash, and bring it to After Effect. However, when it export to video, the gradient is not as smooth as in Flash player. Help?
              • 4. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
                It get's rasterized at 8bpc and dithered plus in addition potential compression artifacts. To minimise the issues, rebuild it in AE or choose a different image format which is less prone to degenerating with compression.

                • 5. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                  Hi. i have been animating in Flash CS3 and i composite and add effects in after effects CS3. The animation and effects are awesome according to the directors. i test render the animation in flash and its very smooth and the colors are as i wanted them to be.I then export the animation as a quicktime movie, choose the 'NONE' option in the codecs and RGB+Alpha to retain transparency. Now, the problem is when i import the animation in either After effects CS3 or Finalcut Pro 6 and use an external well color calibrated monitor, i get lots of jaggies. The colors look darker and the movement ain't as smooth! I tried using thicker lines, converting lines to fills, exporting using different codec such as animation codec, interlacing, de-interlacing but nothing is working.

                  i dont know whether the problem is with flash or after effects.

                  I need urgent help coz i have a week to deliver and will have re-render all 6 episodes if i get a solution.

                  i believe there must be someone out there who's been through this .HELP.

                  If possible reply using my email bobuchir@yahoo.com or bobuchir0@gmail.com.

                  THANK YOU.
                  • 6. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                    Level 1
                    My last animation studio did the majority of our work in Flash sequences. After lots of trial and error, I got my best results exporting PNG sequences at 24bit (with alpha) color with only "Smooth" checked.
                    • 7. Re: Flash and After Effects integration

                      I'm not really sure, but I don't believe After Effects CS3 supports import of Animation Codec.  It's not listed on the AE CS3 compatibility list for import, here on the Adobe website.


                      I was just looking at exactly the same thing here.  We're working on a FLASH CS3 animated project and we exported 4 layers using the Animation Codec, Millions+ colors, alpha as a QuickTime Movie and etc..... so we could import as 4 separate layers in After Effects CS3, to do 3D FX and when we import the FLASH movies, we get major, useless jaggeys!!!!!  When we import those same movies in FCP, or open using QuickTime, they're beautiful!


                      So, I tried building a very, very simple animation project in After Effects CS3 and export as QuickTime with Animation Codec and Millions+, with Alpha.  I immediately import that right back into After Effects CS3, I see major jaggeys!!!!!  But that same movie opens fine in Final Cut Pro, or in QuickTime.


                      So.... from what I can tell, you can't import Animation Codec in After Effects CS3.


                      Maybe do as the last guy said, export as PNG sequence.  You can use QuickTime to build a QuickTime movie from a image sequence, or import into After Effects, an image sequence.


                      If anyone else has an answer, please let us know?  I really want to know if you can import an Animation Code Quicktime Movie, with alpha, into After Effects CS3.... right now, I only have my results and this persons results, with no definitive answer (other than ours)!!>!>!>>!????


                      Thanks all!:^)

                      • 8. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                        Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                        Yes, After Effects CS3 can import QuickTime movies with the Animation codec. After Effects CS3 can import QuickTime movies using any codec installed into QuickTime on your system, since After Effects uses the QuickTime software installed on your system to do the decoding.

                        • 9. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                          AndritaRMoore Level 1

                          Hello Todd_Kopriva,


                          Actually, CS3 doesn't import QuickTimes with the Animation codec, even if you have the animation codec installed into QuickTime.  The Adobe website does not include the animation codec on the list of compatible codecs AE CS3 can import.


                          What we do, to get moving FLASH projects (movies) to export from FLASH CS3 and to import into After Effects CS3, is we export the PNG image sequence option that FLASH CS3 offers for an export.  Then we import a PNG image sequence into After Effects CS3.  This works and it's very clean, and includes alpha.


                          When we export from FLASH, or any other program (on the same computer), an Animation Codec QuickTime and try to import that into After Effects CS3 as a movie file, it previews very distorted in AE CS3 and exports very distorted.


                          Hey Todd, try doing this yourself and tell me what you find?  (Maybe I'm missing an AE CS3 setting?)  Using AE CS3, export a simple project using the Animation Codec and QuickTime, then immediately import that Animation Code QuickTime right back into AE CS3.... it will be distorted!



                          • 10. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                            JaysonM-Y Level 3

                            It doesn't? then what had i been using a few years back working with Motion 3 and After Effects CS3?!! I'm pretty sure it was Quicktime Animation. Protip: I always install Quicktime before installing my adobe software when I'm not on a Mac.

                            • 11. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                              AndritaRMoore Level 1

                              It doesn't (can't import Animation Codec Quicktime into After Effects CS3), it comes out very jaggy!


                              I've tried this on several different systems over the last two days and get the same results.


                              It is impossible to tell you what you were doing a few years ago, with Motion and AE CS3.  You weren't likely bringing in Animation Codec, but likely bringing in video, unless into Motion, Motion will accept Animation Codec.


                              I tried the same Animation Flash files, also exporting a simple rotating cube from AE CS3 as Animation Codec Quicktime, and that file imports no problem, high quality (HD) into Final Cut Pro, Motion, FLASH... a few other apps and plays high quality using Quicktime, but After Effects CS3, that files/Animation Codec QuickTime is very, very jaggy and absolutely useless!!!!

                              • 12. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                                JaysonM-Y Level 3

                                Your problem sounds pretty unique. I technically began training on CS3... even tho I ended up using Motion more , but never had your problem. Cept when other people sent me files, which were usually AVI with Alpha, then i'd get the problems.

                                • 13. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                                  Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                                  Yes, After Effects CS3 does import QuickTime movies encoded with the Animation codec. I just did it.


                                  You've referred a couple of times to a page on the Adobe website. Please give the URL. I'm the person who has written almost every page about After Effects for the past 6 years, so you're probably referring to something that I wrote. I don't know of a page where we list all of the codecs that we support in QuickTime; the reason being that we just rely on QuickTime to handle these codecs, so we can just say "if it's installed into QuickTime, we can import it".


                                  Clearly, you're having some other issue, and we can help you get to the bottom of it.


                                  If you post a screenshot of what you're seeing and a sample movie that's causing you problems, we can have a look.

                                  • 14. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                                    AndritaRMoore Level 1

                                    The Abobe After Effects CS3 support page that lists what file formats for import that are supported is;

                                    http://livedocs.adobe.com/en_US/AfterEffects/8.0/help.html?content=WSB108BC99-A69B-46c4-86 D3-2192805C2AF8.html



                                    It does list Quicktime (.MOV), but it doesn't list what codecs within QuickTime is supported?


                                    I have tried on a few different systems to import, using After Effects CS3, an Animation Codec QuickTime and they all import that Quicktime with major distortion (it's unusable).  When I import that same Animation Codec Quicktime into Final Cut Pro, or open in QuickTime Player, it's perfect, excellent quality!


                                    So, if you are able to import an Animation Codec QuickTime, what settings do you use?  I using the default settings, though I have changed my Output settings?

                                    • 15. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                                      AndritaRMoore Level 1

                                      I just noticed that After Effects CS3 has listed as an import compatible file type, as ".swf", that's the same file type that FLASH exports when you use the default "Publish" settings.  So, I did a simple project, with an animated box and title flying in opposite directions and import that into After Effects CS3.  (I used FLASH CS3.)  And quess what?!?!?!?  The .swf file did import and it looks clean, one minor problem, the Text layer import with a black box behind it when it's by itself, but when it passes in front of the box, the black box behind the text goes away!?!!?


                                      weird stuff.....


                                      Anyway, maybe using ".swf" is the best method for getting from FLASH to After Effects?


                                      BTW, thanks Adobe guy for helping out!  (That would never happen at Apple.com, they just let you hang, though most often, someone of the Apple community does tend to have an answer....).

                                      • 16. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                                        Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                                        I recommend reading these pages and the book excerpts that they link to for information about how to work with Flash and After Effects together:





                                        • 17. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                                          AndritaRMoore Level 1

                                          Thanks Todd.  I'll take a look.


                                          BTW, I'm training an intern here on using FLASH for Animation (along with everything/anything to do with HD/SD broadcast.... in 6 weeks).  I don't normally use FLASH for what I do.  BUT, I have used FLASH for simple animation for film and TV, since pretty much the beginning of FLASH.  And for my projects, I never used After Effects in the process, I've always brought my FLASH projects directly into a video editor for final output.


                                          This time around, I am introducing this intern into all aspects of video production and post, over a period of 6 weeks.  So, on the first day I introduced him to HD, SD, Alpha, and using PhotoShop, After Effects, Final Cut Pro and working with Alpha.... with the last step being using FLASH for traditional cell animation and alpha.  My intent, with AE and FLASH, was to export 4 FLASH layers and import those into AE to create a 3D, HD/broadcast quality project for use on one of our systems here, in house.  So, I do remember doing a FLASH export as PNG image sequence years ago, and import into AE as a solution and never pursued why I couldn't import Animation Codec into AE.


                                          So, are you saying, by default, AE should import Animation Codec?  Because I am using the default settings and not making any changes to either FLASH, or AE.


                                          Should I email you my Animation Code Quicktime and your import into your AE and tell me what you see?

                                          • 18. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                                            Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                                            > So, are you saying, by default, AE should import Animation Codec?



                                            Yes, that is what I have said.


                                            If you post an exmaple of a file that is giving you problems somewhere where I (and others) can download it, then I'll take a look.

                                            • 19. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                                              AndritaRMoore Level 1

                                              Those links talk about using ".swf" (shockwave) files for export from AE, or FLASH and using ".swf" files in AE... not Animation Codec?


                                              That is what I found this morning, ".swf" works FLASH to AE, but with a black board behind the title (I'll find that fix).

                                              • 20. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                                                Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                                                My point in posting those links was to suggest that you might benefit from reading these resources that describe how best to work with After Effects and Flash.

                                                • 21. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                                                  AndritaRMoore Level 1

                                                  The zipped file is 14MB, the uncompressed Quicktime is 57MB.  So, do you have an FTP site for upload?


                                                  I've attached a simple AE animation project.  Export this using QuickTime Animation Codec and re-import the QuickTime back into AE.  It will be distorted, unless there are settings on your AE that are different than mine?  My AE settings are mostly default, though I have selected the "Lossless with Alpha" for the Output.  This is for a 1920x1080 HD project.



                                                  Robert Moore | Encompass Digital Media

                                                  Engineer, Digital Media & Post Production




                                                  3030 Andrita Street | Los Angeles, CA  90065 | www.encompass-m.com

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                                                  • 22. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                                                    Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                                                    Attachments don't come through when you send an email response to the forum.


                                                    If you want to exchange a file, then you need to upload to it using some service of your own so that you can post a link to this forum.

                                                    • 23. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                                                      AndritaRMoore Level 1

                                                      Yep and those are excellent sources of info.


                                                      How can I attach an AE CS3 project to this forum for others to use/view?



                                                      YouTube - Clean export from AE CS3 of project created in AE CS3 and export as QuickTime "Lossless with Alpha" (Animation Codec);



                                                      YouTube - Distorted export from AE CS3, from import of above file and immediately export "Lossless with Alpha" (Animation Codec);


                                                      • 24. Re: Flash and After Effects integration
                                                        AndritaRMoore Level 1

                                                        OK!!!!  I just got this today!!!!


                                                        The following is a fix for Distorted video in Adobe Production Premium CS3 suite of products, including After Effects and FLASH.....


                                                        When on an Intel Mac, using Leopard, or Snow Leopard (I'm on a very newest MacBook Pro, with newest version of Snow Leopard).... and Adobe Production Premium CS3, you need to select "Open using Rosetta" for the affected applications.  This cleans up the video.


                                                        When I tried to import an Animation codec and DV video into After Effects CS3, without this option enabled, I get very, very seriously distorted video!  Like the viewing is set to 1/10 resolution!


                                                        When I enable "Open using Rosetta", it cleans right up to what I expect.


                                                        THOUGH, for some reason, there is no "Open using Rosetta" with Adobe Premiere Pro CS3!?  So it's video is distorted and I don't know that fix yet (though I'm using Final Cut Pro, so it doesn't really matter to me).  I do want to start using Premiere Pro (it's one of the first video editing programs I started with, before Avid and before FCP.... I use Premiere Pro with a Radius Video Vision card and last, I think version 1.0?  And stop at version 4.21 (because version 5.0 was unusable!  Then FCP came out, I started with FCP 1.0).


                                                        HOw you enable "Rosetta" is..... click once on the Application icon to select it, then type in "Command+I" to "Get Info".  In the "Get Info" window there is an option to "check", or "un-check" "Open using Rosetta".  Check that box and close the window.  Now boot up into After Effects CS3 and you should be able to import clean Animation codec QuickTimes and DV!


                                                        Hope this helps!


                                                        I've been looking for this for about a year!!!!


                                                        AND, did an intensive search start two days ago, when a client absolutely needed to have this working and I didn't have an answer, until just a short while ago!


                                                        I support over 40 MacPro's all with Adobe Production Premium CS3 and FInal Cut Pro.... along with two SAN's (Xsan and SANmp), two networks and etc.,,,, also including a newest Avid facility for ABC/Disney!!!!  Normally, even though we have After Effects on all systems, most producer/editors only use PhotoShop and occasionally AE.... but this time the Producer/Editor absolutely needed AE CS3....


                                                        All's good now!!!!


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