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In After Effects CS5 Essential Training, author Chad Perkins discusses the basic tools, effects, and need-to-know techniques in Adobe After Effects CS5, the professional standard for motion graphics, compositing, and visual effects for video. The course provides an overview of the entire workflow, from import to export, as well as detailed coverage of each stage, including animating text and artwork, adding effects to compositions, working in 3D, and rendering and compressing footage. Exercise files are included with the course.
Adobe Flash is still a very popular animation tool. It's a little challenging to use and so a lot of people are looking at the ease of After Effects and wanting that same ease-of-use in Flash. And lately, they have been updating Flash a lot, so that there are more After Effects features in Flash, but for my money at least it's way easier to animate in After Effects and a lot of people feel the same way. So, there are a lot of great features when you're trying to work with Flash. Number one, if I add this comp to the Render Queue and go to the Output Module, we could change the format to F4V or FLV.
FLV is traditionally like the video format associated with Flash. Lately, they have come out with F4V, which is kind of like an updated version of FLV. And because it's more recent and updated, it's not as compatible with as many browsers. So, it's not quite as popular and it's taken a while to catch on, but it is again more optimal. So, you can export to a Flash video from this dropdown. Also, if you go to the File menu, as we have talked about before, if you go to Export, you can create a SWF directly here from After Effects and this is ideal for exporting things like text that will remain vector as they go output to SWF.
And actually, if you're interested in learning more about this topic, I created probably like an hour long video training series on lynda.com about going from After Effects to Flash integration and how to create an optimal SWF file from here in After Effects. A somewhat new file format is XFL and that allows you to actually export your After Effects project as a Flash project. If you choose to export your project as an XFL file, it will almost be like After Effects is trying to create an FLA out of the AEP, out of the After Effects Project file.
So, when working with Flash and After Effects, you really have several options. You have the Flash video, you have a SWF, and you actually can create a Flash project from After Effects as well.
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