Alpha Channel Video in Flash

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I have learned today that alpha-channeled video can be embedded into a flash movie and interact beautifully with other visual elements draw into Flash. I only experimented briefly with a a sample I came across from an Adobe Dev article(I can’t find the article right now or I’d include it in here) on the topic, but I am already excited by the potential.

What I hadn’t realized was that a converted .flv file can hold an alpha channel and that can be embedded into a Flash timeline frame by frame and be maniplulated like any other Flash symbol in either movie clip or graphics-type symbols.

Unfortunately, it does require external software (After Effects, Premiere, or Final Cut) to key out the background color (blue or green screen) and then to save the video with the alpha channel to an .flv format using the On2 VP6 compressor. Once converted, it can easily be imported into Flash selecting the embed option, instead of the typical streaming option. The program warns about a decrease in performance with extended video clips and potential sync problems with the audio. I would think that if you were to return to export the final animated piece back to a Quicktime video that this wouldn’t be an issue. I’ve not yet test it.

There is some great potential for fun. More to come.

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Brent is married to a very supportive woman, is father of a large family, and went into business for himself in 2006.

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