Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Exporting the animation to video file, compression settings and colors

The last part of the job was of course getting a video file out of flash.

The first problem I had was with the fps in the video file. Since the animation of Toast!/malfunction had movie clips with applied effects on them (some of the backgrounds) that really slowed it down. To get over that problem, I exported the background as jpg and imported it back to my libraries and replaced the movie clips with jpg files. Don't use too many effects on your movie clip symbols, that will slow it down. The ending result still had some slight slow downs on some of the shots. The slow downs didn't occur in the swf file, which leads me to believe that it had something to do with the way flash renders the animation to video files. I could still play with the settings there.

The second problem was getting a small file size with a relatively good quality. The defaut settings of exporting a mov file will give you a huge file,that is not internet-friendly. I had to set up three things (quicktime settings):

>settings: compression type:mpeg4 video,quality:best
>filter: you can play with the color settings ,but this will slow down the rendering time,so I didnt use any filters.
>size: 720x576 PAL , 4x3 , keep aspect ration with letterbox

>sound> I didnt touch the sound settings

I had to go and upload the file at Bradford university's horton labs. One thing those computers are useful for is downloading and uploading. After seeing the animation again, I found out that the colours look awful there. The boy's shirt was over saturated red, the robot's head is too purple. The lesson to be learned here was monitor calibration. While drawing my character's , I should have thought more about how they are going to look like on other people's screens. I have to find out- is the monitor at the labs set up badly or is it my own monitor. I tend to set mine in a way that doesnt strain my eyes. Changing the default settings to lower saturation, I also lower my brightness and contrast slightly. The weird thing was that it also had a slightly different hue (the robot's purple head). All and all, after I fix all the annoyances of the animation, I will export it properly as a big file and edit and encode it with Adobe after effects.

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