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Brian CharlesNeed Advice - Rather Long Post
by on Apr 25, 2011 at 10:21:20 pm

For several years I've done the motion graphics for local awards ceremonies.

The presentation formats are similar, for example:

1) The name of the award appears then the video stops
2) As each nominee is revealed, the video stops after each one.
3) The winner is revealed and the video stops.
4) The next award title is revealed.

The Start/Stop is controlled by an AV person since they must monitor what is happening on stage, the presenter may linger on one or another of the awards, each winner's acceptance speech will differ in length etc.

In the past this was managed by a Flash-based video player which we scripted to stop at specific cue points in the video (F4V files in the end).

An on-site AV technician would press a key on the computer keyboard to advance to the next segment as required. Segments are set to stop or loop as they end.

This method had worked exceptionally well for the past 5 years, until now.

This year, I discovered that the old Flash Player required updating to run on Windows 7 (or shudder Vista). It seems that Windows 7 and the new Flash player don't like this any longer. The presentation (1280x720) does not go full screen, even though the command to do so is in the ActionScript. In addition, Windows 7 plays the video slowly and sometimes crashes as its preloading the videos. I won't bore you with the gory details but the Flash Player is loading a list of 50 videos from an XML file. There are 45 awards in the show, each with 3 nominees.

Of course, XP and the Mac have no issues at all, though the Mac only works with a player generated by Flash CS5.

The venue for the next awards show is using a Windows 7 system, and will not allow any other hardware to be used.

Does anyone know of any alternatives to the Flash Player, that would allow the same degree of control over the video (auto-stop at cue points, looping when set to etc)?

Prior to Flash, I used Director (any one remember Director?) and it worked, though Flash proved superior.

I've cross-posted this in the After Effects and Live Events forum.

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