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How to export to animated gif without bitmap qualityloss - Adobe Flash, Flex & Director

Hello, I am having a heck of a time exporting a backup gif banner from an fla file I created. Seemed easy enough to select export>animated gif, but the quality of the small bitmap is terrible, and the file size quadrupled. Any help? I'm on deadline..yikes. Thank you....

  1. #1

    Default How to export to animated gif without bitmap qualityloss

    Hello,
    I am having a heck of a time exporting a backup gif banner from an fla file I
    created. Seemed easy enough to select export>animated gif, but the quality of
    the small bitmap is terrible, and the file size quadrupled. Any help? I'm on
    deadline..yikes. Thank you.

    transc Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: How to export to animated gif without bitmap qualityloss

    couple of ideas...

    firstly - check the export qulity of your bitmaps in publish settings -
    default is 80% so try increasing

    as for file size - i kn ow when we've done backups for projects flash was one
    of the worst on file size - try using image ready - seriously simple to use too
    and lots more control on your file sizes

    hope this helps

    Nicholas Wood Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to export to animated gif without bitmap quality loss

    transc,

    Important things to realize about exporting to GIF: the GIF file
    format, at most, supports 256 colors; that's it. JPGs, SWFs, etc. support
    thousands of colors. So unless you're using 256 colors or fewer (little or
    no gradients, drop shadows, etc.) your GIF output will always look worse.

    SWF is primarily a vector format. For this reason and many more,
    changes in tweens and other animation features can be stored in keyframes
    and interpolated as needed. GIFs are raster only, so anything that changes
    at all must occur in a keyframe. If you tween a ball from 50 pixels to 400
    pixels, Flash only notes those to changes. The GIF must note those two *in
    addition to* every frame of movement in between. If your running at 12fps,
    the span of 350 pixels (400 - 50) would require approximately 29 keyframes
    of change in a GIF. This means the GIF is drawing all the changed areas (if
    not the whole image) 29 times, rather than noting only two keyframes and
    interpolating, like Flash does.

    Disigning a GIF animation is a completely different animal from desiging
    a SWF animation. GIF gives you far less wiggle room, and you really need to
    understand that going in.

    That said, Nicholas made a good observation on export quality in Publish
    Settings. I would argue, though, that ImageReady isn't necessarily the
    better program for generating animated GIFs. Flash is a perfectly good tool
    for this task, but you have to understand the limitations of the file
    formats involved. I find the timeline and drawing tools of Flash *much*
    less clunky than building a frame-by-frame animation in ImageReady. I
    usually export from Flash at the highest quality I can, then optimize in
    ImageReady.

    David
    stiller (at) quip (dot) net
    "Luck is the residue of good design."



    Nicholas Wood" <webforumsusermacromedia.com> wrote in message
    news:dm6sho$7j7$1forums.macromedia.com...
    > couple of ideas...
    >
    > firstly - check the export qulity of your bitmaps in publish settings -
    > default is 80% so try increasing
    >
    > as for file size - i kn ow when we've done backups for projects flash was
    > one
    > of the worst on file size - try using image ready - seriously simple to
    > use too
    > and lots more control on your file sizes
    >
    > hope this helps
    >

    David Stiller Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to export to animated gif without bitmap qualityloss

    > If you tween a ball from 50 pixels to 400
    pixels, Flash only notes those to changes. The GIF must note those two *in
    addition to* every frame of movement in between.

    However, if you place the bitmap into a graphic or movie clip, then Flash only
    has to keep one copy of the bitmap.

    Don McCahill Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: How to export to animated gif without bitmap quality loss

    Don,
    > However, if you place the bitmap into a graphic or movie clip, then
    > Flash only has to keep one copy of the bitmap.
    Of course. That's a reason to use Flash over animated GIF when
    possible. But an animated GIF will almost always be the larger file. The
    more animation, the more likely this is true.


    David
    stiller (at) quip (dot) net
    "Luck is the residue of good design."


    David Stiller Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to export to animated gif without bitmap qualityloss

    If you have Fireworks, why not just export the .gif to Exact instead of Adaptive or Web Adaptive. It always works for me. You don't lose any noticable quality and the file size is also decent.
    Ant0ni00 Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: How to export to animated gif without bitmap qualityloss

    I have found a solution to your problem, transc! I don't know when you posted this, but this thread ranked highly when I searched for "adobe flash animated gif quality", so I hope more people find this.

    After searching high and low on forums, all the replies to this type of question seem so pretentious and just make up excuses about the 256-color limit of GIFs. I don't think any of these people have actually tried what we're doing, since Flash doesn't seem to export GIFs anywhere near the quality of a GIF exported in Photoshop.

    Well, I've made my own solution! I'm using CS6 by the way, but this ought to work as long as your Photoshop can make animations.

    First, in Flash, once you have your animation all set up go to File > Export > Export Movie... and choose "JPEG sequence" as the type. When you're given the option set the quality to 100 and save them in their own folder so you can get to them easier.

    Now in Photoshop make a new file with the correct dimensions. Go to File > Scripts > Load Files Into Stack... and select all the individual JPGs you just exported from Flash. This is going to make a layer for each image, so be warned if you have a really long animation.

    Now go to Window > Timeline. Note that the Timeline window in CS6 might be called something else in previous versions (Animation I think?). Anyway, in that window find the "Create Frame Animation", which for me was right in the middle of the Timeline tab. Now select all the layers and click the "extra menu" icon at the top right of the Timeline window - choose "Make Frames from Layers". For me it set up the frames in reverse order - in this case you can click the little "extra menu" icon again and select "Reverse Frames".

    Now all the frames of your animation are there! You can preview the animation and set the delay time for each frame if you need to. Now you can just use File > Save for Web... like you would with any other GIF.

    That's it! Here's a couple examples of what I did. The first animation is what Flash exported (noted the color quality loss on the woman and logo especially) and the second is what I exported from Photoshop. I need to mess with the time delay settings in Photoshop, but the image quality is much better!
    yammez is offline Junior Member
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  8. #8

    Default Re: How to export to animated gif without bitmap qualityloss

    Quote Originally Posted by yammez View Post
    ...
    I just registered to say thanks for this explanation, it really helped out a lot!
    ender is offline Junior Member
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  9. #9

    Default Re: How to export to animated gif without bitmap qualityloss

    yammez—

    Thank you so much for posting this solution. My sentiments exactly about everybody else's pretentious answers. I have been trying to figure out a way to fix the gif quality issue for a long time, and nobody ever seemed to give a decent answer.

    This works and is not too time-consuming.

    Thanks!
    obli7vion is offline Junior Member
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