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Interactive Film

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Aaron Duane
Interactive Film
on Mar 1, 2011 at 2:54:38 pm


I'm in my final year of Multimedia and for my group's thesis we're doing an interactive film where the film will pause and you will make decisions that will affect the course of the film.

I realise this concept has been done to death on things like YouTube especially, but we want to make this project as immersive and polished as possible i.e. smooth transitions between video clips, graphics that overlap with the paused (or even playing?) video footage etc.

Our first instinct was to use Adobe Flash, however embedding video clips into the timeline GREATLY reduces their video quality (we're working with HD 1920x1080 resolutions) and when we simply link them externally, they become very unpredictable, sometimes failing to play for no reason whatsoever (we are NOT moving the .fla or the video files).

Does anyone know if there is an effective and reliable method of producing this project in Flash, or am I barking up the wrong tree? Should we make this using another more effective program?

Any help would be appreciated.

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Brodd Nesset
Re: Interactive Film
on Mar 1, 2011 at 8:58:03 pm

What other program would that be?
I think HD movies like this is a pretty heavy task in itself for most computers. The smoothness you can optain depend more on the computer's raw power and memory, than on Flash in this case. Typically video will need a little buffering before it can play, and this makes it difficult to have smooth playback between random selections. In Flash it is definetly possible to cue up several videos at once, i.e. all of them are buffered, but only one is visible.
Linking externally is definetly the way to go.

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

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Graham Reidy
Re: Interactive Film
on Mar 9, 2011 at 12:21:00 am

Hi, I am also a University student, and am creating an interactive film similar to yours. At first I tried Adobe Encore, but it is proving to be a pain in the a**.

My interactive film has to be on a DVD, and it will have simple directional buttons (go left, go right, etc) leading to the corresponding scenes)...

What software would you recommend for this?


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Brodd Nesset
Re: Interactive Film
on Mar 9, 2011 at 3:18:19 pm

Flash can't make DVDs. In the Adobe family, only Encore can really do that (After Effects and Premiere has basic DVD creation only). Sure, Encore is a bit different, but this is very much down to the DVD spec itself. It's the way it has to be.

To create videos like this, it is important to understand some concepts, limitations, and have a 'hackish' mind ;)

First af all, to solve the OP's problem, it could perhaps work better if he assambled all video clips in one longer one. Mark the sections with cuepoints and jump between these. "As if" you jump to a different video. The focus for any multimedia solution should be on the user's experience, not on the way it is acheived.

Secondary, on a domestic DVD, where you have to use Encore, you must grasp that only menus can contain interactivity. Menus can look like 'anything' remember. So to turn it around: To make a portion of a video interactive (i.e. have buttons on it), you need to make that portion into a menu. This is totally feasable!
You can make your project like this: video-as-timeline1 [default linked to] video2-as-menu [default linked to] video-as-timeline3 [default linked to] video4-as-menu ... and so on. The video-as-menu bits needs to have their background looping set to '1' or a timing exactly the same as the video background before they move on. When you dig into Encore you'll get what I mean. Glitch free it can be, but you are likely to need some trial and error on the video's exact lengths (hint-hint).

Gee - I though this was a Flash forum ;D

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

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