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Your original artwork in Illustrator is vector. When you import this art into Flash it is still rendered as a vector image. Flash stores the vector information and redraws the art at runtime directly to the user's screen. The artwork's original quality is maintained. When you export that vector artwork as a digital video file, you are converting the vector images to raster images. Digital video files are stored as compressed raster files. This means that any animation sequence is stored as a set of keyframes with the in-betweening across these keyframes stored as approximations of the differences between those keyframes.
Raster images are usually more realistic and rich looking than vector images. Photographs are raster images. Raster images look best at their original size. When you enlarge or reduce the image size of a raster image, the original clarity is "muddied" as the individual pixel contents are approximated to fit the new size. This same "muddying" effect happens when you take a vector image or images and convert them to raster.
There are many steps that you can take to insure the best possible quality of the digital video output. The image size, frame rate, and compressor options, all play a part in the quality of the finished product.
There is no simple 1,2,3, to getting great video out of Flash. I've done a bit of this and my method goes something like this:
1. Set up Flash for the final output to video, make the stage size the same as the expected video file's image size.
2. Set the frame rate to match the video output.
3. Use the timeline for all movement and animation.
4. Test the video export frequently during production.
5. Export the final content as uncompressed video and uncompressed audio. I export to .mov file format.
6. Use a video editor app to compress the exported .mov. I use Final Cut Pro.
If you have any existing video content that needs to be imported into your Flash movie, use the best possible conversion processor. I use Sorenson Squeeze to convert digital video to .flv and then import the .flv into Flash.
Thanks for the prompt reply. I am new at this and have been studying for last few months and getting the hang of it. I bought the Adobe Classroom in a book to get started and it has been helpful. But now getting deeper into this program, it is getting more challenging. I have read you comments below and would like to request further help from you please. Please see my comments in RED. Also, I was informed that when I create my vectors in Illustrator and just before I export to SWF file, I will need to rasterize the file and this would help the graphics when I convert to MOV file. Is this correct?
Thank you for your assistance.
One more question...
The Flash setting is at 19" x 14" wide. When I convert to MOV, the screen size is small to approximately 640 x 480. I changed the video to 1920 x 1080 HD and there are no images. If I make the animation that big what is the maximum screen size can I achieve. My objective is to display on large screen Plasma TV.
Thank you again.
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I don't see any comments in red. I have no idea why rasterizing your illustrator art before you convert to an .swf would be useful. Where did you find this information? There are several methods for importing illustrator files into flash. There are four options in the Export to .swf panel. Depending on what you need to do with the illustrator art once it is imported, you may or may not need to keep the individual layers in the illustrator art. You have much more flexability if you keep the art simple and in layers in illustrator and then import each of those layers as separate swf symbols. Then you can animate each of these as you want and apply filters or masking as you want.
Flash has only one resolution, 72 ppi. and one color mode, RGB. Illustrator starts out at 300 ppi and CMYK color. You do want to set Illustrator to use Flash's defaults before you begin your artwork. Otherwise, when you export the illustrator art, you'll end up with GIGANTIC art that has color shifted. If you want your final movie to be 1920 X 1080 then set your art board in Illustrator to that size at 72 ppi and set your Flash stage size to that size. You may not need to set your original size this large, Films on DVD are usually rendered to 720 pixels wide, and they look just fine on a 1080 p video screen.
The video output is 60 x 480 because that is the default setting in the Flash export settings. When you export to .mov, and hit Save, a new QuickTime Export Settings window will open. You need to hit the QuickTime Settings... button in the lower left corner to open up yet another window that allows you to set the size and compressor values that you want to use. There is some sort of problem with the values showing these windows, at least in the Mac version. You will see different values for the .mov dimensions in each of these windows. You need to hit the Size... button and open the options to see what the actual value is, and change it if necessary. This problem has caught me out several times.
Thanks again. I will try your suggestions and get back to you. As for the raze from illustrator, I called Adobe tech support and thats what they suggested. Here is the PDF file of the email I sent you in Red. Again, please have a look and get back to me.
I am currently traveling in Asia and our time zone is about 12 hours apart.
There is no pdf. Are you trying to attach the pdf to your message in this forum? I was afraid that you were going to say that Adobe tech support gave you that advise. There is approximately one scenario where that advise would be correct, and about 60 scenarios where that advise would be spurious. In this case the advise is dangerously wrong.
If you still want to get this information in the pdf to me, you can send me a private message.
Ok, my bad mistake. Know the rules better now. Is it possible to send you the PDF file. It is basically questions I had on your last communication.
Yes, just click my photo and select private email. Then you can send the pdf as an attachment.