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Thread: Getting "clean pixel" bitmaps at high quality

  1. #1
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    Getting "clean pixel" bitmaps at high quality

    I have a bitmap I created in Photoshop and I want to have it in a Flash movie such that when you zoom in on that bitmap, you can see the individual pixels that make it up. I've been able to do this by setting quality to "Low" when I publish. However, this makes some Flash-based text that I have in that movie look rough.

    What I want is a way to have both "clean pixel" bitmaps and "clean vector" text. How do I do this?

    Here's an example. If I go to http://www.serenitymovie.com and zoom in on "Blog," it looks like the word "Blog" is made up of discrete pixels, but the pop-up text beneath it ("Get the latest news...") is a smooth vector.

    For the bitmap, I've gone into the library and unchecked "Allow smoothing," and everything is placed on integer X and Y positions.

  2. #2
    bidibidibidi clicky2's Avatar
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    I would think that saving it as a gif image out of photoshop would work.

  3. #3
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    It didn't work. I created my bitmap in Photoshop, saved to GIF, and used "Import to Library" in Flash (MX 2004). I got the same results.

  4. #4
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    Hi,

    The graphics used in 'serenitymovie' are a combination of cropped Photoshop artwork (blog) and vector type (the wording underneith.)

    Designers tend to import bitmap graphics in from Photoshop because of the flexibility it gives in making your text look 'non flash' with halo's, 'fuzzy edges' and other filter effects. But at the detriment of filesize (an imported graphic is bigger filewise than a vector.)

    If you are looking to create a 'zoomable' pixel style animation, scaling a bitmap will just make it look fuzzy as it gets larger. Instead you should import a number of bitmaps from Photoshop, each image with a slightly higher 'mosaic' filter applied. This will trick the eye, but at the same time keep the edges crisp.

    Rashers.

    Ps, Always import a PNG into flash not a jpg or a Gif - the PNG is a lossless format (no degredation of the image), has an alpha channel which is useful for transparencies, but will look fantastic once exported. (and be smaller filewise)

    Hope that helps.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for replying.

    Could you give me a little more help? How would I arrange or work with these bitmaps, in Flash, to create that "clean pixel" effect? Or is there something more I have to do in Photoshop?

  6. #6
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    hi there,

    i think i understand your problem. this smoothing of bitmaps only takes place at the FIRST FRAME of the movie. if the movie is more than one frame (e.g you stop at frame 2) the smoothing effect does not take place and the zoomed images has clear defined pixels.

    hope this helps. try it.

  7. #7
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    I'm new at this, so I just don't understand exactly how having different bitmaps creates this effect.

    For the example, serenitymovie.com, I'm sure that they created the word "Blog" with Photoshop, but after that I don't know. From what Rashers said, I guess they run the Mosaic filter on this text (having rasterized it), with a different cell size each time, and save the output as a different file of .png type.

    Assume they call the output of running Mosaic with cell size 2 "blog-2.png" and with cell size 3 "blog-3.png" and with cell size 4 "blog-4.png". They they import all three .png files into Flash so they're separate bitmap items in the Library.

    My main question is, if this is the correct procedure, what exactly do we do in Flash? Do we place one instance of each library item in the same place, so that "blog-2.png," "blog-3.png," and "blog-4.png" all have the same X and Y coordinates? I tried that and I don't get the "clean pixel" look at zoom-in.

    Is the solution to have what's on the screen depend on the level of zoom? Is it possible to have ActionScript know how the reader's zoomed-in or out and display something different on the Stage accordingly?

  8. #8
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    I don't know if this is bad etiquette to bump this post up myself, but I haven't had a response from anyone and I'm no closer to solving this problem than I was before.

    I know this is a big favor, but I'd like a step-by-step procedure on how to create this effect. I'm out of ideas here.

  9. #9
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    OK, I read treejammer's post and just added a frame, and I'm getting the results I wanted. Thank you very much.

    I would like to know WHY this happens, though. It just seems kind of arbitrary that adding a frame removes the smoothing effect.

    Also, for Rashers, even though I didn't use it (I don't think that my example did either), I'd still like to know about the Mosaic Filter effect you described. Do you have links to any Flash movies online that are built in the way you described?

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