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swf problem in After Effects

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Riley Beachswf problem in After Effects
by on Jul 21, 2012 at 2:50:13 pm

This is an incredibly frustrating problem that I hope someone will be able to help me with.

Right now I'm doing a 35 second animation sequence with numerous characters, backgrounds, etc. All of the assets have been created in Flash, and imported into AE as swfs. Now, everything works fine until AE will either randomly transform the swfs into 72x72 squares of black, or will start literally chewing up the swf files themselves - removing text, details, layers, etc. It's like AE actually opens up the SWF somehow and starts hacking away at layers.

The odd thing with this is that the swfs are directly affected by this - if I open up the swf in Flash or the Flash player, it now looks the same as it did in AE. Whenever this happens, I've been re-exporting the swfs and reimporting them. This works for a little while, until POOF - chewed up SWF or tiny black square.

This is driving me absolutely mental, and if anyone could weigh in on what could possibly be wrong, I'd be a very happy camper.


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Angelo LorenzoRe: swf problem in After Effects
by on Jul 22, 2012 at 7:02:31 am

That seems insanely strange, as I don't recall After Effects doing anything to ingested files (Adobe Premiere will add a metadata serial number so it can see if the audio has been conformed yet).

So you're saying you export the SWF and play it immeiately in Flash Player and it's fine? But once it's imported to After Effects, all hell breaks loose?

After export, set the file attribute to "read-only". First step to seeing if After Effects is doing anything strange I would think.

Angelo Lorenzo
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Riley BeachRe: swf problem in After Effects
by on Jul 22, 2012 at 7:11:52 am

"So you're saying you export the SWF and play it immeiately in Flash Player and it's fine? But once it's imported to After Effects, all hell breaks loose?"

That's the gist of it. I really have no idea how AE would alter a SWF after an arbitrary length of time, but it's happening. I thought it might have to do with the cache so I purged it, but still nothing. I tried using the SWF (now edited by AE somehow) on another computer, and it was still altered.

This started happening after I got the mysterious "72x72" problem, where imported SWFs stop showing up completely in AE, and just appear as 72x72 blank icons in the browser. There was no way to reload or reimport the file - it would stay as a blank icon. As a workaround, I'd go back into Flash and export a new SWF and reimport it, which would fix the problem... until it would randomly happen again later.

The new problem of portions of SWFs vanishing is completely new, and it's driving me nuts. Thanks for the read only suggestion - I'll give it a go and see what happens. If nothing works, I'll have to export the animations as PNGs and assemble them in AE, which is an extra step I'd rather not deal with.


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Riley BeachRe: swf problem in After Effects
by on Jul 22, 2012 at 3:03:46 pm

All good so far - files are stable and nothing getting messed up. I have no idea how, but AE seems to alter SWFs with something after a while - setting all the files to 'read only' in explorer has worked wonders so far. Thanks for the suggestion!


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Simon SmithRe: swf problem in After Effects
by on Sep 13, 2012 at 1:24:01 am

I'm having the exact same problem on my Mac with AE6 and Flash6. Am about to try the same solution. It's extremely frustrating (would have though this is something Adobe would have picked up and sorted out). Also I seem to be having similar issues with RED files in AE6, will try the same approach.

Cheers.


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Ethan ClarkeRe: swf problem in After Effects
by on Sep 29, 2012 at 3:41:57 am

Im having this same problem. Ive worked extensively with swfs in aftereffects and this is a brand new thing. and so far I've tried switching the swfs to read only with no luck. Somehow after effects is altering the swfs. For me mostly reverting to old versions of themselves even after I copied the flash timeline into a new flash file and exported using a different name. But yes sometimes it just wipes them. I'm currently working in cs5.5 but i'm going to go back to 5 and hope for the best.


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Brendon EldridgeRe: swf problem in After Effects
by on Nov 12, 2012 at 12:55:40 pm

I think I've found a solution to this rather annoying issue (in CS6 at least, haven't tried with 5.5 or lower): You just need to disable "Write XMP IDs to Files on Import" in Media & Disk Cache preferences. I'm not sure how important this setting is, but it seems to stop swfs from being wiped when you reload/update them.


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thomas fourniretRe: swf problem in After Effects
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 1:15:23 pm

thank you very much for that help, looks to work great at the moment


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Riley BeachRe: swf problem in After Effects
by on Mar 5, 2013 at 5:24:43 pm

This solution (disabling "Write XMP IDs to Files on Import") is easier than my method (enabling Read Only for files you import) - I tried it and it works like a charm.

This works for Illustrator files as well. Seems like AE doesn't like the extra data on vector images.


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Nadia GomezRe: swf problem in After Effects
by on Nov 5, 2013 at 3:06:57 pm

Hi! I have the same problem importing SWF files to AE CS5. I have already disabled the option "Write XMP IDs to Files on Import" but i keep getting the 72x72 p black square on screen. tried it in different computers and CS4 and it keeps happening.

¿Any ideas?
Thanks!


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Kate AndersonRe: swf problem in After Effects
by on Oct 9, 2014 at 9:39:09 pm

I had endless frustrations with Flash SWFs in After Effects not playing to their last frame. Freezing on character blinks and penultimate frames etc. I am using CS6. Adjusting the XMP setting in AFX's "media & disk cache" didn't work for me but what DID work was disabling XMP metadata in my Flash Publish settings. Many many thanks for putting me on the right track.


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