Join Chris Florio for an in-depth discussion in this video Using Flash video presets, part of Flash CS3 Interactive Video Techniques.
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So here we are back in Flash and in this movie we're going to talk about video presets. Now if you remember when we last left Flash, we had chosen to import video using the Import Wizard, pointed to the QuickTime file we want to import, and determined that we were going to use progressive download from a Web server. Now when we continue on to the next screen, we see all kinds of options. We're going to look at these options so you can consciously choose the best options for your project, but there's times where you just quickly need to crank out video for a specific project and these presets are wonderful for that. For example if you're creating a Flash application, you just need to put a video file into it for the general public.
A good general choice might be Flash 8, medium quality, 400 kb a second. The two main things that the different presets determine are the data rate of your video, which will determine the file size and quality of the video, and whether the video will use an older type of compression that was found in the Flash Player or a newer and higher quality compression that requires the user to have at least the Flash 8 Player. Unless you're required by the parameters of the job to develop for the Flash Player, you'll usually get better quality and smaller video files using the Flash 8 presets. Higher data rates produce larger files that look better so choose a rate that's based on the expected connection speed of your audience and how patient you think they'll be if they have to wait for the video before it plays.
For example, if you choose to compress your video at 400 kb per second and you user has a 400 K connection, then they should see the video immediately and be able to watch it in real time. However, if they only have a 40 K connection, they'll have to wait 10 seconds for every second of your video file. If you intend to use these presets, it would be a good idea to take a short video file that you're very familiar with and make a number of copies of the file using the different presets and look at the resulting file qualities and sizes and see which ones work best for you. We'll talk about working with Flash video and DV later on when we talk about H.264 and the latest Flash Player.
For now, you probably want to stay away from these bottom two choices. Even if you plan to customize the settings for your video rather than use one of these presets, it may be helpful to start by choosing one of the presets that's closest to the settings you want and then modify individual settings with the controls and the other tabs in this window. Once you're more comfortable of all the various settings for Flash video, you can make your own video presets for the type of Flash files that you use. We'll look more at these settings in the next movie, starting with compression settings.
- Using video in Flash with an alpha channel Working with hardware and multiprocessor acceleration Creating custom controls in three different ways Setting FLV parameters with ActionScript Understanding the difference between embedded video and progressive download Accessing NetStream metadata