PAL 16:9 Video export from Flash

Here’s how I do it.

PAL 16:9 displays using rectangular pixels at 720×576. unfortunately Flash uses square pixels so you will need to set up your Flash stage slightly wider than the video 1024×576.

I export the video in three ways.

1) Set your publish settings to Flash 5 and select the Formats tab and check the Qucktime with Flash Track (.mov) radio button to export the video directly. Unfortuantely this method only supports Flash 5 graphical elements for not funky line strokes or filter effects show up. – I was reading an article that explained that this doesn’t actually create a video file – it embeds the Flash movie inside a

2) Goto File > Export > Export Movie > Then select PNG sequence from tdrop down Format box. – You then use After Effects or some such video program to import the series of images as frames of a video project – easy.

3) If you’re on a Mac you get to export Quicktime directly – this supports later versions of Flash so – you can use your strok effects and filters after all!

The last two options seems to work best for me – personally the third option seems to be the best at dealing with more complex Flash animations. If you don’t have a mac – option 2 is your best bet.

Set up a project in After Effects whos export setting are set to PAL 16:9 High Quality 720×576 Next you open your or .png sequence in After Effects and export out a new file – hey presto rectangular pixels!! Unfortuantely the file will look rubbish on your monitor because your monitor uses square pixels but once you get the Flash into a video compositing application like Final Cut Pro or Avid Xpress it will ping back to clarity suitable for broadcasting.

Tips: Be aware that until we all go digital, which is still a couple of years away TVs are rubbish. They display substantially less information than a monitor and their gamut of colours is much smaller. Broadcast Safe Colours are as follows:

RGB between 16 and 235
Pure white= 235,235,235
Pure black= 16,16,16

Good luck!

Zinc .exe won’t autolaunch

Boy this one got me in all kinds of trouble.
The problem is this – you develop your Flash CS3 Zinc application and everything works fine – you burn it to disk and it throws up all kinds of error messages when you auto launch.
The solution is this – save your application out of CS3 as Flash 8 – open it in Flash 8 and re-export it again. I run Zinc on Parallels running on a macBook Pro so I don’t know if anyone else has ever had this problem. Hope the tip helps!

Colour in Photoshop CS3

How come colours look all washed out when I save for web on my MacBook Pro?

The answer is slightly more convoluted than I would have expected from a brilliant application like Photoshop – it’s all to do with colour profiles, gamma settings and monitor calibration. ‘Good grief’ I hear you cry. Fear not as I leap to your ‘save for web’ rescue.

Firstly download a brilliant shareware application called. SuperCal?
Use the sliders to match the colours and set the brightness etc. It will create a brand new colour profile, try it as many times as your like until you’re satisfied.

One thing to note is set the Gamma on your monitor to 2,2 and your colour space to sRGB – the reason for this is simple – it makes your mac monitor behave more like the monitors that your end user would use to view web content. PC windows.

Note: You’ll be in for a shock when your monitor is calibrated it’s like looking at the world after spending weeks looking through yellow tinted glasses.

Trust me it works! Unfortunately you may have to adjust some of your photoshop layers that were designed using a dodgy colour profile, but you’ll quickly get used to the more vibrant colours. That Dreamweaver icon never looked so green.

Variables in objects

How come I never knew the following?
I’ve got a lot on fun ahead of me.

var myObject = {
firstname: “Patrick”,
lastname: “Wall”
getlastname: function(){return this.lastname;}

Class in classes

In an attempt to learn classes and ratchet up my knowledge to the next level of useage I’m going to add some entries to my blog as I learn. So that I can chart my progress.

By declaring a GenericObject an external actionscript class of the same name is automatically called when the movie plays. For instance:

var myGenericObject:GenericObject=new GenericObject();
trace (myGenericObject);

will trace [object Object] from .as file with the name of

For instance:
class GenericObject{


The player automatically looks for it in the root directory and hey presto – you have created a class!

getURL – Trash the target!

How many times must I try my _self targeted Flash links in IE only to discover that they open in new browser windows rather than into _self.

The following:
getURL(“”, “_self”);
…doesn’t work in IE.

For future referrence – trash the target!

The following:

Flash components don’t work in Flash Player 6+

Although the movie doesn’t appear to contain anything that doesn’t work in Flash 6.x when I export to Flash 7 my components don’t work in Flash 6.x.

It took me a while to realise that you have to export the movie as Flash 6+ – Annoying because CSS doesn’t work in Flash 6. Still my components are working now, which is the main thing..

Bugged by empty keyframes!

I don’t know about you but I get bugged by empty keyframes in Flash. I often catch myself wasting valuable development time selecting stretches of timeline and clearing empty keyframes.

I suspect that I’m an obsessive compulsive.

Anyway I’ve stumbled upon a delightful cure for my neurosis.

It works in CS3 – simply select a layer and run the command! Hurray!

Flash vectors to InDesign

The problem being this – when a complex Flash Vector is imported into Illustrator the objects are sometimes broken up into horizontal pieces, aligned perfectly editable and selectable etc. Unfortunately these pieces can show up in printed output. Not ideal.

Export the graphic out of Flash with an .ai extension and import it into Corel Draw – then export out again as an .ai file – import into Illustrator and copy and paste it into the InDesign document.
It’s still not perfect – but it will vastly improve the situation.