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Integrating Flash and QuickTime Video

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Flash and QuickTime were destined to be together. Using Flash's lightweight vector format, you can add custom playback controls and subtitles to QuickTime 4 videos. David Emberton shows you how.
This article is excerpted from Flash 5 Magic (New Riders, 2001), by David Emberton and Scott Hamlin.
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QuickTime video is one of the most powerful and flexible systems available for Web-based media. It can integrate more than 135 different file formats, but one of the more potent combinations is QuickTime Video and Flash. The Flash Player is built right into the QuickTime Player, and it's possible to create interactive QuickTime presentations right in the Flash authoring environment.

There are thousands of possibilities for combining Flash and QuickTime. This tutorial will demonstrate how to add play controls to a video and how to include English subtitles that can be toggled on or off (see Figure 1). The video is an episode of Navy Bay, the fictional drama series.

Figure 1 A look at the finished product.

Importing QuickTime into Flash

In this tutorial, the final file created will be a QuickTime file instead of a Flash movie, and the Flash elements will be displayed in conjunction with the video as a Flash track in QuickTime Player. The first step toward creating this Flash track is to import the video file for use as a reference.

  1. Download the zip file containing the tutorial files in ZIP format (3.6MB) here or HQX format (5MB) here. Unzip it and open the Episode7_start.fla file. (Episode7_final.fla is the finished file.)

  2. A layer for placing the video file has already been created; it's called QuickTime Video.

  3. Click to select the first frame of the QuickTime Video layer, and then choose File, Import.

  4. In the Import dialog box, locate the file Episode7.mov from where you unzipped the project files, click the Add button, and then click Import.

  5. In the center of the stage, there should be a 200-by-110 pixel bitmap image representing the first frame of the video file.

  6. Use the Info panel to position the video at X: 92.5 and Y: 15.9 (see Figure 2).

  7. For the file to work, a frame must be inserted on the Flash timeline for each frame in the video file. To do that accurately, the frame rate of the Flash movie needs to match that of the QuickTime movie, which, in this case, is 10 frames per second (fps).

    Figure 2 Import the Episode7.mov file to the QuickTime Video layer, and reposition it using the Info panel.

  8. Click the Modify menu, choose Movie, set the Frame Rate to 10, and then click OK (see Figure 3).

  9. The frame rate is now correct, but there is only one frame.

    Figure 3 Change the movie's frame rate to 10fps.

  10. Click the red playback head selector above the timeline to deselect all frames and layers, and then press F5 to insert new frames on each layer. Keep inserting frames until the QuickTime movie changes to a green or blue box with a cross through it, signifying that there are no more frames in the video. (See Figure 4.)

  11. Figure 4 Add enough frames to every layer to accommodate the video.

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