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Simulating Video

Because Flash cannot display QuickTime movies in the Flash Player, you have to use a sequence of bitmap images, each in its own keyframe, to simulate video. Essentially, you must create a frame-by-frame animation with bitmaps. Although this process can be laborious and relatively low-tech, the rewards are enormous. When you work with bitmap sequences entirely within Flash, you are no longer restricted by the functionality limitations that the QuickTime Player imposes. You have full access to Flash ActionScripting. You can also tap into Flash's animation and drawing tools, which you can use to trace the bitmaps to vector shapes. This reduces file size and allows for resolution-independent scaling.

To create sequential bitmaps from a QuickTime movie:

Import a QuickTime file.

You will be importing the same number of images as you have frames, so you have to take care not to create too big a series. Change the frame rate so that the total number of frames occupied by your imported QuickTime movie equates to a manageable number of individual images (Figure 2.22).

Figure 2.22. Setting the frame rate to 8.0 fps and only allocating 14 frames limits the number of exported bitmaps.

Change the dimensions of the Stage to fit the dimensions of your imported QuickTime movie.

Choose File > Export Movie.

The Export Movie dialog box appears which lets you choose a file format and destination folder.

Click New folder to create a new destination folder. Enter a name for your exported image files and from the pull-down menu, choose PICT sequence (Mac) or Bitmap sequence (Windows) (Figure 2.23). Click Save.

Figure 2.23. The Export Movie dialog box. The Format pulldown menu gives you the choice of export file types.

The Export PICT dialog box appears (Mac only). Click the "Match Screen" button to make sure the Width, Height, and Resolution numbers match your Stage size at screen resolution. From the Color Depth pull-down menu, choose the appropriate bit map level. Check the "Smooth bitmap" option (Figure 2.24). Click OK.

Figure 2.24. The Export PICT dialog box.

Flash will export a series of bitmap images and append a numerical suffix to the filename to keep them in series.

Open a new Flash file, and import the first of the images you just created. Flash recognizes that this first image is part of a sequence (Figure 2.25), and asks you if you want to import the entire sequence. Click Yes.

Figure 2.25. The warning dialog box. Click Yes to import the entire sequence.

Flash places each bitmap in a new keyframe and aligns them all with each other in the active layer (Figure 2.26).

Figure 2.26. After you import a bitmap series, each image is placed in a separate keyframe and also automatically saved in the Library.



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