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Final Cut Pro to Flash

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Don Greening
Final Cut Pro to Flash
on Feb 2, 2009 at 6:51:49 pm

Soon I will need the ability to export web-sized Flash movies from Final Cut Pro. Is it possible to use a plug-in for this and if so does anyone have a recommendation? Ideally, I'd like to have something that works similar to my Flip4Mac QT Component plug-in that creates Windows Media files.

TIA

- Don


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Daniel Low
Re: Final Cut Pro to Flash
on Feb 2, 2009 at 9:32:03 pm

No, there's no 'plug-in' available. But you shouldn't be using FCP to do delivery-style compression anyway.

You need either Apple compressor (with Adobe Flash installed) or Episode with the Flash plug-in or VisualHub, if you can still grab it off the 'net..

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Don Greening
Re: Final Cut Pro to Flash
on Feb 4, 2009 at 4:57:50 pm

Thank you Daniel and Craig for your responses.

[Daniel Low] "But you shouldn't be using FCP to do delivery-style compression anyway."

I'm not sure I understand why you would say this. There are many, many people that choose to export a final version of their project by using the command "Export Using Quicktime Conversion" within FCP. I've done this countless times with great results in order to keep compression stages to a minimum. Unless I've completely missed your point or something.

To Craig: I'll continue to export for the web in H.264 and hope that web-based flash players will see the file as agnostic and play it without issue.

- Don



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Daniel Low
Re: Final Cut Pro to Flash
on Feb 4, 2009 at 5:15:06 pm

What I mean is that FCP is a fantastic non-linear editor, not a transcoding application. Even though it offers the facility to perform transcoding via Quicktime Conversion, you'll achieve much better results using a dedicated application, hence the need for compressor, episode etc..

Neither FCP or Quicktime can perform a good deinterlace or give you access to deep level codec parameters for example.

I'd only ever resort to QT conversion if nothing else was available.

If you export using sequence settings and as a reference file there are no additional compression steps and your sequences exports almost instantly.

The extra time spent in compressor or episode is always worth it in terms of final A/V quality and file size/bandwidth




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Don Greening
Re: Final Cut Pro to Flash
on Feb 4, 2009 at 10:02:00 pm

Thank you for your explanation, Daniel.

- Don


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Mark Hefley
Re: Final Cut Pro to Flash
on Mar 6, 2009 at 4:59:02 pm

Don,

I have been using the 'Export to Quicktime Conversion' option within FCP for years and it was working just fine. I was even able to export to Flash once i had Flash loaded on my machine. More specifically the Flash Video Encoder app loaded on my machine. It puts a nice little export option into FCP and lets you export straight from FCP into the Flash Video Encoder app.

My problem is that i have recently updated to Leopard and after doing all the system updates and getting everything else working properly my Flash export option no longer works. Does anyone know anything about this. I've looked all through the plug-in folders and can't seem to find it. I've even re-installed the Flash Video Encoder app and still no joy. Please help!

Regards,
Mark


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Craig Seeman
Re: Final Cut Pro to Flash
on Feb 2, 2009 at 11:28:56 pm

On2 might have a Flash export plugin.
http://www.on2.com/index.php?399
But you can already export to Flash.
Flash now uses H.264 (Flash 9) and supposedly extension agnostic so .mov or .mp4 should work. .f4v or .flv shouldn't be necessary for H.264 to work in Flash.

BTW even Microsoft SilverLight will be supporting H.264. It looks like we have a winner in this codec war. Certainly there's still reasons to use On2 or even Spark (quick someone come up with a reason).



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Daniel Low
Re: Final Cut Pro to Flash
on Feb 3, 2009 at 8:11:45 am

"(quick someone come up with a reason)"

The main reason not to go with H.264 is that it requires a far, far more power computer than either VP6 or Spark to play back.

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Craig Seeman
Re: Final Cut Pro to Flash
on Feb 3, 2009 at 5:02:12 pm

Based on what I hear actually VP6 is more demanding. It may depend on whether it's the E or S variety. In fact On2 recommends S ("simple" for HD encodes because "E" encodes take more work to decode).

Vimeo has issues with pushing the frame rate of their HD VP6 encodes that YouTube does not with their HD H.264 encodes. Hence Vimeo has limited the frame rate to 24fps (now 25 too) because too many of their users complained of decode issues at 30fps and this is with a data rate of around 16-1800kbps. YouTube actually uses 2000 with peaks of 4000kbps for their H.264 encodes (these are 720p encodes I'm talking about).

In other words it's not as simple as "VP6." It's VP6-E vs VP6-S and one must make sacrifices and use S because E encodes are NOT EASY to decode and therefore problematic with HD. Apparently H.264 does not suffer that issue with Main profile.

I think there are pragmatic reasons beyond licensing that resulted in the move to H.264 Flash and it's about the decode IMHO.

BTW Vimeo has said that they are looking at moving to H.264 too.



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Daniel Low
Re: Final Cut Pro to Flash
on Feb 3, 2009 at 5:42:42 pm

It all depends on how you've encoded your H.264 and what platform you play it back on!

For example if you turn on Deblocking and CABAC you can really stress a decoder but at the same time the improvements in picture quality are certainly noticable. Switch those off and use CAVLC instead and you'll need to increase your bitrate bu anything between 10%-30% to achieve the same quality.
With CABAC the higher the bitrate, the higher the decode requirement but go for CAVLC instead and higher bitrates do not demand more decode power. At high enough bitrates it's preferable to use CAVLC over CABAC.

More:

http://www.flashcomguru.com/index.cfm/2008/7/9/silverlight-flash-codec-comp...

Some great comments at the bottom there, had me laughing my head off!


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