Legacy Document: This information is historical in nature. Click here to view current site


Macromedia Flash

NOTE: QuickTime 7.3.1 breaks QuickTime's Flash capability. Previous versions were sometimes enabled or sometimes disabled, but the version 7.3.1 Flash controls are not evidently enabled nor available. Further details coming soon.

iScreensaver uses Apple's QuickTime as its cross-platform foundation for movies and images. Currently, only a subset of Flash ActionScript commands are supported when playing back under QuickTime. QuickTime 7 supports most Flash 5 ActionScripting, but we recommend extensively testing your Flash movies as there are many differences when ActionScripts play under QuickTime. Upgrading to version 7.1.3 changes some preferences, see here for details.

More about Apple QuickTime.
Important Installation Instructions for QuickTime 7.1.3 under both platforms

A MacUser column detailing the popularity of iTunes and QuickTime.

Testing your Flash file for QuickTime Compatability

There are two quick and easy ways to determine if your Flash file will work with iScreensaver.

Method A (Faster) :
  1. Start the application ''QuickTime Player''.
  2. Using the 'Open' command from the 'File' menu, open your Flash file.
  3. Hit the Play button. If the Flash file plays correctly, there is a very good chance that it is compatible with iScreensaver.
Method B (More accurate) :
  1. Download and install iScreensaver (a free download).
  2. Create a new project and select your Flash file as the main content. (Examples of Content tab and Selecting a Movie.)
  3. Hit the 'Full Screen' button on the Content tab to test your file.
Notes :
  1. Which version of QuickTime are you using? Make sure you and your users are updated to the latest!
  2. Because there are subtle differences between the Macintosh and Windows versions of Flash, be sure to test on both computers.

Saving in the Flash 5 format

Click for larger version.

The important options are :

File menu: Export Movie...
Format: QuickTime
Controller: Standard
File: Flattened Movie

Saving in Flash MX or MX 2004 (aka Flash Version 6 or 7)

Publish Settings | Export Settings

The key for compatability is to Publish the movie in the Flash 5 format for QuickTime, by following these guidelines: Publishing in Flash.

Note: There are many Flash MX/Flash 6.0 ActionScripts that are not yet supported under QuickTime 7 please see the information below about 'Identifying Flash Versions of ActionScripts' for discovering which are most compatible for your projects.

If you export to QuickTime before saving as a Flash 5 .fla file, and you using features not supported under Flash 5, then there may be a warning message about the handlers for Flash not being installed, and the save will be cancelled. Be sure to test the new Flash movie file with QuickTime Player (under the version of QuickTime you plan to use) to verify that it still works as originally scripted.

Identifying Flash Versions of ActionScripts

In Macromedia Flash MX, use the Reference Window and choose an ActionScript to see its Flash Player Availability. This will list which Flash Player version the ActionScript command needs. Also, once a project has been saved in Flash as a Flash 5 .fla file, then those actions that require Flash 6 or greater will be highlighted in yellow in the Actions panel.

Flash Tracks in QuickTime Movies

QuickTime tracks can have multiple simulatneous data streams, which can include - among other data - video, audio, and multiple Flash tracks. Refer to Article ID #42636 in Apple's Knowledge Base website for an overview on Flash Tracks within QuickTime movies. Refer to Tech Note #14129 at the Macromedia website for specific issues with certain Flash features not working within QuickTime movies.

QuickTime Movies in Flash Tracks

Refer to Tech Note #14041 at the Macromedia website for tips on troubleshooting QuickTime movies within Flash.

Scripting Interactive Flash Movies

Click for more information.
A tutorial for looping, stopping, and referencing external websites from an interactive Flash movie.

There is a important change in iScreensaver Designer 3.0 concerning scripting Interactive Flash Movies. Using iScreensaver Designer 2.0, in order for the screensaver software to notice that the movie has exited (as a result of the user clicking an onscreen 'stop' button), the rule was to use the Flash ''stop()'' actionscript. With iScreensaver Designer 3.0, use a ''gotoAndPlay()'' actionscript that jumps to the last frame of the movie. The last frame should not include any goto or stop commands, so that the movie can run off the end of the timeline. If looping is desired, use a ''gotoAndPlay(frame#)'' in the next-to-last frame to jump back to the starting point of the animation.

Digital Video in Flash

Flash 5 cannot play digital video, so the recommended pathway is to import the QuickTime file into Flash and add the ActionScripts and animations. Then export the movie in the QuickTime format following the guidelines for Saving in Flash. An alternative pathway is to animate still frames. Refer to Tech Note #14571 at the Macromedia website on further video strategies for Flash in conjunction with Quicktime.

Interactivity in QuickTime

Here and here are excellent guides to resources on the Macintosh for creating interactive QuickTime movies.
You can use the QuickTime Pro editing environment to create slide shows.
Also, Apple's iPhoto now allows preserving background music and cross-fades when exporting to a QuickTime slide show movie, which can then be incorporated into an iScreensaver project.

Slideshows in Flash

Use the Slideshow Template in Flash MX to create a simple slideshow.
Other methods are located here.

QuickTime 6, Windows 95 and Flash

Under QuickTime 6, Apple has discontinued further QuickTime support for Microsoft Windows 95. We suggest, if designing screensavers with Windows 95 in mind, to venture no further than Flash 4 ActionScripting.