Studio '13: Flash Movie Best Practices

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Articulate Studio '13 supports both interactive and non-interactive Flash movies. For the best results, use these guidelines when developing Flash files.

Flash Settings

If you're creating files in Adobe Flash, use the following settings for Studio compatibility:

  1. Player Version
    Studio publishes content for Flash Player version 10. Output your Flash movies for Flash Player 10 or lower.
  2. Frame Rate
    Studio publishes at a rate of 30 frames per second. Create your Flash movies at 30 frames per second, so they play at the correct speed in Studio.
  3. Duration
    Keep each Flash movie under 8 minutes 53 seconds in duration. Flash has a maximum number of frames: 16,000. At 30 frames per second, that translates to 8 minutes 53 seconds per slide.
  4. File Name
    Follow sound web naming conventions for your Flash files. Avoid the following:
    • Spaces
    • Periods
    • Any character that isn't a letter, number, hyphen, or underscore (don't use special characters or accents)
  5. Test Flash movies outside of Studio
    We recommend viewing Flash movies in a standalone player, such as Swiff Player. Often, a standalone player shows you the duration, frames per second, Flash Player version at which it was published, and other details. Compare them against the best practices described here. Also, a standalone player lets you see how your Flash movies behave outside of Studio, so you can compare the results to how they operate in Studio.

ActionScript

If your Flash movies contain ActionScript, follow these guidelines:

  1. Use ActionScript 3.0
    • We recommend using ActionScript 3.0.
    • Some Flash movies that use ActionScript 2.0 may work, but we cannot guarantee it. If your ActionScript 2.0 movies don't behave properly in Studio, you'll need to upgrade them to ActionScript 3.0.
    • SWF files aren't supported in the Articulate Mobile Player app. For full comparison of Studio's Flash, HTML5, and Articulate Mobile Player output, click here.
    • SWF files aren't supported in HTML5 content. For full comparison of Studio's Flash, HTML5, and Articulate Mobile Player output, click here.
    • Follow sound programming techniques. Articulate doesn't support ActionScript programming or Flash development. If you have questions about programming techniques for ActionScript, please visit Adobe’s Flash Support Center.
  2. Don’t use references to _root or _level0
    If you use ActionScript 2.0 (not recommended—see above), note that references to _root and _level0 can cause issues with the Studio player and should be avoided. For more information on how to avoid using _root and _level0 references, please visit Adobe’s Flash Support Center.

Limitations

Here's a list of known limitations when adding Flash content to Studio:

  1. SWF files aren't supported in the Articulate Mobile Player app.
  2. SWF files aren't supported in the HTML5 player.
  3. FLV movies with alpha channel transparency aren't supported.
  4. Off-stage elements contained in a Flash movie (i.e., those elements that extend beyond the movie's dimensions) will appear in Studio (i.e., they won't be hidden). You should mask them in the original file and republish as a Flash movie.
  5. Because the presenter panel in the Articulate Presenter '13 sidebar was designed for video content, SWF files must include at least two frames to work properly.

How to Add Flash Movies to Studio Content