Embedding a QT movie in flash.
My partner and I are trying to get our trailer posted on our website and we would like it embedded within the webpage. We exported our one minute trailer from FCP using the H.264 codec and sent it to our webmaster.
Once our webmaster received it, he told us he was having problems "compressing" the file- as he was losing quality. What I don't understand is why he would have to compress it within the flash program, rather than just writing a code to embed it such as-
Does he need to actually compress the quicktime within flash to make it a .flv or .swf. If so, then what is the point of the H.264 codec?
The only other solution I can think of is to export our trailer as a uncompressed file out of FCP, and have our webmaster compress within Flash- however, I am not familar with flash, and don't know it's compression capabilites. We chose the H.264 due to it's quality and low file size.
If anyone has any advice/experience with this situation please let me know. Thanks
He should just use the Flash 8 encoder to convert to an flv. However, if he has any NLE, usually with the install, they will get the flv format as well.
I sometimes use After Effects to output an flv but for what it sounds like you're doing, he should just import the video into Flash, select Flash Player 8, select High and there shouldn't be a problem.
Another option is to use a div to place the actual quicktime file instead of within Flash itself. So the construction of the page could differ.
See http://www.donfriesen.com choose the highbandwidth site and then clips. Though most of the site is in Flash, he had clips he provided us in the H.264 format so I opted to use a different window. But, it doesn't have to be a pop-up.
Though I'm trying to avoid html tables and opt for CSS layouts, it's still easier and more predictable across the platforms to use a table and stick a video whether FLV, AVI MPEG or MOV into a cell.
Flash 8 video includes bitmap-based as well as vector-based movies.
It offers very good quality for bandwidth (as does H.264 in Quicktime). See http://www.on2.com/technology/on2-difference/and dig around on the On2 site if you want for more on quality comparisons (not unbiased, but interesting!).
Your web guy will almost certainly get a better flash video encode from an uncompressed or very lightly compressed source, rather than from an H.264 Quicktime at high compression settings.
One reason to keep the video in Flash if the rest of the site uses Flash is to keep down the number of helper apps called, reducing potential memory / system resource problems for visitors.
For playback compatibility, H.264 in Quicktime file format requires QT 7 player, which is quite limiting in terms of reach to percentage of browsers. Flash 8 does a bit better - for flv using the On2 codec - and better again in terms of reach using the alternative Sorenson codec, which is not quite so clean in pic quality but is less demanding in playback processor power, and I believe also plays fine in the Flash 7 player - which is in a high proportion of browsers.
Tough choices all round - we're so near to go video on the web for most browsers, without having to lock in to wmv ...
Thanks for all the advice all. My web guy is still having problems-
We would like to stick with the H.264 codec I exported out of Final Cut Pro-
Our web guy is using Flash MX 2004, if that helps. Can anyone explain the workflow on how they import a Quicktime H.264 codec into Flash? It appears that our webguy is compressing the file even more when he brings the file into Flash- and we want to avoid that- All we want is a quicktime H.264 codec file that plays within the web browser, but for whatever reason, when he hosts the video on our site the video and audio compression is HORRENDOUS.
Any idea of what he is doing wrong? This is driving me crazy!
If you want to display your trailer as Quicktime H.264 you may do better to embed it directly in the html page as a quicktime object, and not make it part of your Flash output - there's no need for the swf to occupy the whole screen space. That way you can avoid recompressing.
Otherwise, this is from Flash help:
"Importing QuickTime video clips as linked files
If you are importing a QuickTime video clip, you can choose to link to the video from the Flash movie, rather than embed the video. A linked QuickTime movie imported into Flash does not become part of the Flash file. Instead, Flash maintains a pointer to the source file.
If you link to a QuickTime video, you must publish the movie as a QuickTime movie. You cannot display a linked QuickTime movie in SWF format. The QuickTime movie contains a Flash track, but the linked video clip remains in QuickTime format. For more information on publishing your Flash file as a QuickTime movie, see Choosing publish settings for QuickTime 4 movies.
You can scale, rotate, and animate a linked QuickTime movie in Flash. However, you cannot tween linked QuickTime movie content in Flash.
To import a QuickTime video as a linked file:
Do one of the following:
To link the video clip directly to the current Flash document, choose File > Import.
To link the video clip to the library for the current Flash document, choose File > Import to Library.
In the Import Video dialog box, select Link to External Video File.
Previewing a linked QuickTime movie
When you import a linked QuickTime movie, only the first frame of the movie is displayed. You must add frames to the imported movie's Timeline in order to view additional frames of the movie in Flash.
To preview a linked QuickTime movie:
Add the number of frames to the Timeline that correspond to the length of the QuickTime movie you want to play.
Choose Control > Play.
Note: You cannot preview linked QuickTime movie content using the Test Movie command.
Setting the directory path of a linked QuickTime movie
You can set the directory path of a linked QuickTime video clip in the library for the current Flash document.
To set the directory path of a linked QuickTime video clip:
Choose Window > Library and select the linked QuickTime movie you want to edit.
In the options menu in the upper right corner of the Library panel, choose Properties.
Click Set Path in the Linked Video Properties dialog box.
In the Open dialog box, navigate to the file for the linked video clip and select it, then click Open.
In the Linked Video Properties dialog box, click OK.
Thank you so much, you've been a great help. I will pass this along to our webmaster
Just to clarify- If we choose to "Link the Quicktime movie" we will still be able to embed it in the webpage, correct? Thanks!
Sure, you can embed your output in html as normal, though your Flash output has to be set to Quicktime (in publish settings), and also to target an earlier Flash player (5, I think).
This prevents use of some more recent later features, but if that presents a problem it can probably be worked around by splitting the site into sections, and just putting a minimum necessary around in the stuff surrounding the showreel, with a link to call a swf file for any fancier stuff ...
It all shouldn't trouble your web person.
Hope it works out!