Converting Flash for television commercials will add an extra life to your animation and video files.
Adobe Flash provides a multitude of professional multimedia authoring possibilities for creating a compelling television commercial. Converting your Flash animation or video into the proper format for a television commercial can be challenging, but using the proper techniques and software will ensure that your content is produced properly. Use a professional-level video editing software program, such as Adobe’s Premier or Apple’s Final Cut Pro, to ensure that the quality of video output is appropriate for broadcast and to ensure that the proper broadcast formatting is applied.
1. Open the appropriate FLA file in Flash and select “File” > “Export” > “Export Movie.” Click on the “Format” option and select “QuickTime.” Your Flash video will export as a MOV file and to be used in a video-editing software program.
2. Import the MOV into your video-editing program’s timeline and apply the proper broadcast settings for NTSC, located in the sequence settings section of the editing program. NTSC is used for broadcast in North America; the PAL setting is used for international broadcast. According to the Final Cut Pro support site, “NTSC and PAL are both interlaced video formats, as opposed to computer video and some High-Definition video formats, which are capable of using progressive scanning.”
3. Adjust the proper viewing ratio to 4:3 or 16:9 for wide-screen playback. Adding letter-boxing will allow you to play a 16:9 format at a 4:3 viewing ratio without recreating the video from scratch. Depending on your video editing software program, the viewing ratio will automatically set at 4:3 when you select the NTSC setting.
4. Set your “In and Out” markers on your editing timeline and render your video.
5. Add the “Bars and Tones” to the beginning of the video. Most video-editing programs allow you to add this when sending the video to the “Print to Tape” function. Set your “Bars” to 30 seconds and your “Tone Level” to approximately -12 dB. Add a “Countdown” to the beginning of your video under the same editing window as “Bars and Tones” and add your production company name and the title of your commercial to the “Slate” option in the same window.
6. Export the master video in an MOV format, which will create an uncompressed file. Store this file in your archive in a digital format for future use or as a backup for the file sent to the television station.
7. Create a duplicate of the master file in the proper format that your television station uses. This will vary from DV tapes to digital files using a multitude of output formats, and every station uses a different method.