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The Animation Workshop Series explores various alternatives for game animations and for displaying a few of these on a fan page. This page will explore what to do if your game's animations are  Flash or SWF files as they are in say Tiny Monsters. These are not used by Tiny Village - which instead uses sprite sheets with smart files. But perhaps any success here, will help with the still unresolved project of highlighting a few smart dinosaurs on a fan page. 

Goal: Suppose your game has a fun animation saved as a SWF file (pronounced swiff). Is there any way to highlight this animation on your wiki page? Here is what not to do. Do not try to load it using the "Add Photo" button as you would with an animated gif. This gives the following "Illegal File Type" error message - but hey, it was worth a try!

IllegalFileType


You might try to use the "Add Video" button and directly upload the SWF animation. Let's see what happens - just for fun. On a test page, click edit and look for the "Add Video" Icon. It's the one labelled Video. Go ahead - Click it!.

EditIcionsAll

More information about the Video Embed Tool can be found here . You will note there is no option to locate our local SWF file, as there is say when you want to upload an image.  Instead we have two options, that involve first uploading our SWF to a video hosting site or making it available with a unique URL, that is, internet address. Unfortunately , the swf file type is not allowed. 

A String of FailuresEdit

Attempt 1 on April 1: Attempt to import swf files into "ImTOO Video Converter" failed.

This converter did not recognize the swf files as legitimate. 



Attempt 2 on April 1: Downloading the command line tool ffmpeg2theora now.  You can find it here . Will report shortly if this works. I am following these steps. 

1) Go here: 
ffmpeg2theora and download the mac os x universal binary of ffmpeg2theora


2) Run the installer



3) fire up terminal and open up the finder window where the video file is located



4) In terminal, type: ffmpeg2theora 



5) leave a space after ffmpeg2theora and drag the file you want to convert into the terminal window. This will put down the correct path to the file.



6) Hit Enter

That's it! 

ATTEMPT FAILED!!! Arrrrgggghhh  Messages:

 > > [swf @ 0x1976620]  SWF compressed file detected

> > [swf @ 0x1976620] Estimating duration from bitrate, this may be inaccurate

> > Unable to decode input.

Attempt 3 on April 1: Quicktime could not open these swf files. Failed!!

Compressed SWF Files

OK! Now we have found out why all these methods are failing. These files we are attempting to convert are not ordinary SWF files! They are Compressed SWF files and as such contain boat loads of additional meta data and even coding that the above simple-minded converters cannot handle. Using Eltima Player Pro for Mac OS X,  we were able to strip some of these files into their components. They contain a lot of stuff! The complexity of these files suggests another approach is needed. Hmmm, ...

Lets start with the compressed swf for the monster Cornocopia, stage 1 in an idle or resting state. 

Here is a single still from this swf file. It is an ordinary png inage.

CornocopiaStage1 Idle 011

Success Producing Small QuickTime MovieEdit

OK, now I have a very brief little movie of the Bug monster that I can play on my Mac. However it is a QuickTime movie ending with the mov extension. Let's see what happens if we try to upload this movie. Likely it is an illegal file type. Let's click the upload Video button and see what happens - eh? 

Looks like the video has to first be uploaded to a "Supported Site" or converted to an animated gif

Working on manual frame by frame conversion now. All right, let's test this animated GIF!

It is a little buggie - but it represents a first success! An improved version will appear later. 

BugGif1

Animation Test for the ProtoceratopsEdit

Let's see how this looks. 

Protoceratops1

Good grief, that baby protoceratops is really jumping! May need to slow him down a little!

Protoceratops2

Hmmm, do you think that looks about right?

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