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Old February 26th, 2009, 08:28 AM   #1
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Getting the flash back into your flash gordon

Hi There,
I have a bit of a conundrum that I am trying to unravel, as to why my flash videos are not looking at their best. I suspect that this is due to my lack of knowledge about the specifics of this programme.

Iím shooting Mini DV cam, and editing through FCP studio1 on a dual 2.7 PPc mac. My flash is the CS3 professional. I am shifting over to an HDV cam or similar in the future, but I still have to sort out my SD files that I own.

In terms of overall quality I have had better success using H.264 as my final encode output, but I am looking to find out if I can improve my flash files. I export the final cut into a DVpal file and wack it into the stand alone flash video encoder and then send it to the web guys as an .flv.

Can anyone give me some pointers as to what I need to be looking out for in an FCP-Compressor-adobe flash workflow.

The other question that I would like to ask is probably considered stupid! Obviously there are big quality differences between SD and HD, I am wondering if the difference that I am experiencing is directly attributable to the fact that I am working with SD DVPal material, (even within the flash environment)?

A heartfelt thanks to anyone who can point me in the right direction!

Max x
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Old February 27th, 2009, 09:09 PM   #2
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After years of testing (including Adobe Flash) I can testify: unless one uses very expensive encoders, Flash will not look good on the internet.

See this thread for a possible alternative. HD originated h264 will definitely look a lot better than DV. MPEG Streamclip is also available for the MAC.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 07:07 AM   #3
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Hi Ervin,

Thanks mate, for your response. I think in terms of flash itself I'm going to have to go back to basics and relearn the programme. There's a damn site more to learn than I know at the moment.

In terms of using a different encoder - what would you suggest? I was looking at Flix pro?

Alternatively it has been suggested to me that I seek 'expert' services and pay someone to take me through it. Allthough of course, I really can't tell at this stage what the nest course of action actually is!

Thankyou again and have a great week

Regards max
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 07:47 AM   #4
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Whoever suggested 'you seek expert help', summarized the flash issue nicely. At this point it looks like only experts can do a good job; regular guys like us have not reported the kind of quality we see on high-end websites.

But we don't have to go that route; since Adobe opened up their code for mp4/h.264 to play 'behind' the Flash player, there is no need to break your neck. At this point in time there is nothing better out there at bitrates useable for the internet that can come even close to h.264.

Unless you need the special functions of Flash (interactivity)...
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 07:53 AM   #5
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Max, as you're Mac based, you already have the tools to make H.264 for playback in Flash Player:

- with Quicktime Pro, or
- Compressor.

I used to have On2 Flix Pro (to make .flv files) but once Flash Player (about v.9.something onwards) starting playing H.264 files, I ditched On2, and now use Compressor. See my signature for sample Compressor generated H.264 clips, playing back in Flash Player.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 08:00 AM   #6
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Martin,

that's very good video! Mine at In Contact is slightly larger (480x272) but plays a little choppy at least on my PC, compared to your smooth video.

What bitrate have you used? Would you share all of your settings, please?
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 12:26 PM   #7
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Sure.
Video bitrate = nominal 800 Kbps, 426x240 pixels, 25fps, H.264 from Apple's Compressor.
Audio bitrate = nominal 64 Kbps, 32kHz stereo, AAC (also done in Compressor).

Produces files of about 5 Mbytes/minute - which:

- play quite well/smoothly (even over slow connections - like my own, at home!),
- start playback quickly, yet
- still look quite good!
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Old March 4th, 2009, 07:03 AM   #8
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Hey Chaps,

Thanks for the input!

I agree that H.264 does give far superior results to just a flash encode. Even when encoding my SD files, the results are far better. I maybe competely incorrect but for web designers who design completely in flash, there seems to be the idea that the video must be converted in a .flv before they can get there head around it and employ it within their design concept.

I thought I was right an SD file will look totally different to an HD file similariry encoded. My web designers disagree with me and the arguement under the surface has been that I am missing a series fundamental of settings, or I have changed my workflow in such a way as to provide them with inferior work!

Allot of what I do is about subtlety, I'm not a web designer, but I am attempting to make inroads into it primarily so that I can make the intergration of video in designers sites more seemless and in term build better relationships.

My SD files in flash looked great untill they shifted to larger brand spanking new screens. I think that the shift to HD has now become a neccesity as opposed to a choice. Allthough for me budgetry speaking with this credit crunch milarky going on it would be nice to hear the words 'we love your concept, heres the dosh now do the job' as opposed to what I'm encountering at the moment which is - we love the concept but we've no monay to pay you. If I can get through this as a small company I think I'll be able to get through anything!

Thanks again chaps - much love to all of you,

And may your week flourish - max x
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