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Ultimatum
02-10-2006, 07:06 AM
Hi,

I have two questions :

1. Iīm working on a small and short animation in LW which will be located on a website and looping there over and over. I donīt know much about web specifications so Iīm asking you which animation type is the right choice? AVI or MOV or what?

2. The animation is 8 secs long and will loop. Itīs size is 330x219. It has 200 frames which I have rendered with FPrime. I have packed each frame in Photoshop as JPG and with 40% quality in Save for Web. Each 200 frames are about size 10kb - 12kb. My second question is how I get the animation as small as possible without losing too much quality? The best results I have got with *.mov and Sorenson3 with quality set to 25%. The size of the animation is 880kb. But lower size would be better. Do you have any advices?


- Ultimatum

thomasvandenabeele
02-10-2006, 12:38 PM
My advice?

First of all, start with the ORIGINAL frames as rendered in LW of fPrime. Save them as a TGA or another format with LOSSLESS compression (especially if your images are very detailed and colourful). If you must, save them as LW JPEG (i.e. with the highest quality settings). Do NOT use the 'save for web' images at all, I repeat DO NOT. Saving your separate frames with lossy compression (to reduce file size for single frames) introduces noise in every frame. The video codec will see this noise as A LOT of changing pixels for every other frame and this will seriously increase the video file size.

Second, encode to FLV, you can find freeware or shareware programes to do this on www.shareware.com (I use RIVA flv encoder).

allaboutkeys
02-10-2006, 01:13 PM
Sorry, but I wouldn't follow thomasvandenabeele's advice (no offense here ;) ). He is right as far as the compression is concerned. Don't do it in LightWave or PhotoShop. But don't export to FLV. A streaming video file doesn't loop properly. For a perfectly looping animation go for a usual Flash SWF file.

I do a lot of this web animation stuff, and from my experience your best choice is to render your animation as a sequence of PNG files (you can use PNG 32 if you need transparency). PNG is the preferred image format for Flash. Then import the image sequence into Flash and let Flash do the compression. You can set the amount of compression in the export options (70% to 80% should do). Publish the SWF file, and you are done.

geoff3dnz
02-10-2006, 03:53 PM
Personally, I'd go for Quicktime. Take your rendered frames from Lightwave (.tga, whatever, but use a lossless format) and stick them straight in After Effects or whatever you have that can make movie files (this is where the compression will occur - it doesn't help to do to each frame in Photoshop first!) - and make a Quicktime using Sorenson 3 compression @ ~50% quality, keyframes every 25 frames with no data rate limit. I've just performed a test with lots of motion in the footage and at your file size (330 x 219) I got a 550Kb quicktime movie (without audio). Loops fine too.

Ultimatum
02-11-2006, 09:17 AM
Thanks for the advices.
I will try them out.

I donīt have Flash or AE. Is it not okay to put the rendered images together in Lightwave? Does Flash or AE compress the animation better?


- U

allaboutkeys
02-11-2006, 09:24 AM
Thanks for the advices.
I will try them out.

I donīt have Flash or AE. Is it not okay to put the rendered images together in Lightwave? Does Flash or AE compress the animation better?


- U

It's not clear to me if you want to play the animation as a video (with play/stop/pause etc. controls) or as a looping animation that is part of the web design.

If your animation is an integrated part of the design I guess there's no other way than publishing it in Flash. If it is a video that can be controlled by the user you can go for the Quicktime solution.

geoff3dnz
02-11-2006, 09:54 AM
If your animation is an integrated part of the design I guess there's no other way than publishing it in Flash. If it is a video that can be controlled by the user you can go for the Quicktime solution.You can set Quicktime to not display the control bar.

Ultimatum
02-11-2006, 10:48 AM
Yes, it is meant to be integrated to a web site. So when the site is opened, it would download quickly and start playing automaticly. And looping also.

So is Flash the only way to go?



- U

allaboutkeys
02-11-2006, 11:53 AM
You can set Quicktime to not display the control bar.

Thanks for this hint. I didn't know about this option.

Tom Wood
02-11-2006, 12:06 PM
Sorry to butt in here, but I'd like to ask, what is the practical difference between FLV and SWF Flash files?

Thanks,

TW

allaboutkeys
02-11-2006, 12:12 PM
Sorry to butt in here, but I'd like to ask, what is the practical difference between FLV and SWF Flash files?

Thanks,

TW

FLV files stream, SWF files don't. Flash SWF files have to be downloaded completely before they can be played. That's why you always see preloaders on Flash web sites.

Tom Wood
02-11-2006, 02:39 PM
Thanks,

I downloaded and installed the Riva FLV Encoder and got it to encode, but when I tell Explorer to open the file, nothing happens. I know I have the latest version of the Macromedia Flash Player, is this not supposed to work this way?


To get these files to stream on a website, do I have to use the Riva Producer (or Lite) program to publish the website? That's okay, just trying to understand.

Sorry to hijack the thread, I was looking for this functionality. I currently have the website set up with QT7 but I'd like it to be more user friendly.

TW

allaboutkeys
02-11-2006, 03:22 PM
Thanks,

I downloaded and installed the Riva FLV Encoder and got it to encode, but when I tell Explorer to open the file, nothing happens. I know I have the latest version of the Macromedia Flash Player, is this not supposed to work this way?


No, the Flash Player cannot stream FLV files directly. You need the Flash authoring environment to set up a Flash file with an FLV player component.

The Flash file with the player component is published as SWF. Since it only contains the player code and some graphic elements for the video controls, it's a rather small file. The FLV file is then streamed by the FLV player component in your Flash movie.

Tom Wood
02-11-2006, 08:40 PM
Sorry to keep bugging you,

I got the RIva Producer Lite and it creates a HTML file and a RVML file. I'm using Yahoo! SiteBuilder, which is a very basic drag and drop website builder. I can insert HTML, but I can't figure out how these files are supposed to be added. Any tips on the basics appreciated.

TW

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