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Interactive film using flash?

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Mike Hall
Interactive film using flash?
on Feb 9, 2012 at 11:40:52 am

Hello. Is it possible to create an interactive film in Flash? Let's say I have a very short story of a guy who sits in a room and can choose one of two doors. So I pre-recorded how he chooses door number 1 (and subsequent events) and then how he chooses door number 2 (independently; a parallel story). My aim would be creating just one output file that would contain 3 tracks: main track, where the guy sits in front of a door and he is yet to make a choice, track 1 with events of door 1 and track 2 with events of door 2. Then there would be 2 buttons inserted into the video, "select door 1", "select door 2". Hitting each button would enable track 1 or track 2, discontinuing main track. Is that at all possible? PS. I know the example is kind of dumb, but I needed something simple to show what I mean.


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Pieter Helsen
Re: Interactive film using flash?
on Feb 10, 2012 at 4:31:37 pm

Hi Mike,

Definitely possible. You can look at an example here:
http://www.survivetheoutbreak.com/

Or, if you're willing to incorporate existing technology (Youtube :)):






Another thread about this topic:
http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/190/869090#869090

Kind regards,
Pieter

General notice: from now on, I would like to ask everyone to put [AS2] or [AS3] (corresponding to the version of actionscript you are using on your project) in front of their post titles when the question is actionscript related! Please help us help you faster. Thank you.


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Mike Hall
Re: Interactive film using flash?
on Feb 11, 2012 at 10:03:43 am

Hi Pieter,

thanks for your reply! The survivetheoutbreak film is close to what I had in mind, however I still would like it to be a bit different, in terms of technology. What I mean is inserting buttons during still playing movie (notice how in survive... the options appear only when the clip has ended), and make transitions a very subtle crossovers. So I would actually like to have, let's say, a 30 minute short film that would load in total (so all 30 minutes of it) and certain options, alternative to the main story, would appear during it for, say, 3 minutes. If chosen, the alternative story would replace the main one, but all of them being in the same file, without the need of waiting for each alternative clip to load. In other words, if the 30 minute short film contains story A and story B, both of them are within one file called film.swf, which is later uploaded to a website and gets loaded only once. Does that make sense?


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demetri tashie
Re: Interactive film using flash?
on Feb 14, 2012 at 2:59:26 am

hi mike,

first off, there are many different strategies on how to do an interactive movie where you can choose different endings.

it can be done like the way you describe, although it might not be the best way to go about it. breaking up the movies into smaller consecutively loaded movies might be better, or even using multiple players to trick the eye into believeing things are seamless when they are actually not.

if you are intent on working with one long video, you will need to work with CUE_POINTS, encoding both event and navigation type cuepoints into your video to enable you to trigger events, and navigate to the correct points in the movie.

say you were doing 2 different endings, you could lay it out so the first choice plays from start to end. the second ending could start right after the first ending ends. for this set up(see image below), the minimum sequence of cuepoints needed would be an event c.p. at the point of change ( lets call it eventA), and an event c.p. where the first ending ends ( call it eventB), and a navigation c.p. at the beginning of ending 2 ( call it navigationA).

the yellow bar represents the films timeline for the beginniing up to the point of divergence.
the red bar represents the first ending
the blue bar represents the second ending

the top bar is the complete timeline
the middle bar shows how the common beginning plays, and goes right into the first ending, then ends
the lower bar represents the common beginning playing up to the point of change, then jumping to the second ending

i made a real crude example of this you can see here:

of course, this is describing it in its most simplest bare bones form. to deploy it for real, you would need to take many things into consideration, one being that cue points can't be accessed until they have buffered.

if you want more help with cuepoints, i'd be glad to help.


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Mike Hall
Re: Interactive film using flash?
on Feb 14, 2012 at 11:54:10 am

hi Demetri,

this is exactly what I had in mind. Using cue points allows to have a continuity which I think gives the whole film a much better reception. And the example might be crude, but really hits the jackpot. Notice how it looks a lot better when you don't have to wait for the next clip to load, where usually the take is different than the previous one and it all just looks so "partial". In your example, even though it's a stop-motion video, it preserves continuity and keeps the viewer "inside" (so to speak).

Now, it would really be tough to record two versions that begin with the same shot, I mean you'd always see a difference. So I think the best way to introduce the alternative version would be by an almost unnoticeable crossover, which of course is visible, but doesn't "hurt" that much.

Anyway, thanks for your involvement in the matter and I'll get in touch shortly.


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