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quality of .swf file?

edited March 2013 in Announcements
I'm trying to use camstudio, to create flash-movies for making tutorials for our students. Seems to work great, but there is something I don't understand very well: When I use "producer" make a flash movie, it makes two files: "movie.swf" and "movie.swf.html".
When I drag the former file into a web browser, quality is very bad. Also, when I try to import this file into powerpoint (which is actually my final goal), the quality is very bad.
However, if I drag the latter file ("movie.swf.html") into my browser, the quality is very good. So, obviously, I'm doing something wrong when importing the .swf file into my browser or powerpoint...
Can someone help me out, please?
Many thanks,
Stef Pillaert


  • Likely, the HTML document includes settings for the player that are nonexistent in the raw file by itself, so the playback is defaulting to some inappropriate settings for that video. See if you can either drop the HTML into Powerpoint, or somehow include the settings you find in the code of the HTML file.

  • hmmm.... any idea what "magic setting" might cause this obviuos quality difference? I tried to copy as much as possible those settings into powerpoint, but no result. But also: I have the same effect in any web browser: playing the .swf.html is a lot better than the .swf right away in the browser. I there a way that I provide the two sample files to show what I mean?
  • Moreover... I tested very quickly some other free "AVI-to-flash" convertors (without digging too deep into the settings, just a quick-and-dirty test), and... the size of the file produced by the camstudio "producer" is A LOT smaller then the other results I get. And indeed, when just playing the "producer" .swf file in my browser, the quality is very bad. But when I use the "wrapped" .swf.html file, created by producer, the results beats every other result... How is this possible?
  • I do not know. That certainly does not follow what logic would tell you. Try selecting/checkmarking Options/Record to Flash options/Display Conversion Options Before Generating SWF - that may allow you to generate a higher quality SWF. OR generate an AVI and convert using another converter (Any-Video-Converter or MediaCoder FLV edition perhaps)

    I thought PowerPoint accepted mpg and avi files?

  • After some experimenting, I learned that everything has to do with scaling. If I set, in powerpoint, the "ScaleMode" to "3" (which means Scale=NoScale), the picture is perfect!!!
    The .swf-files created by Camstudio-producer are of the best quality I can create (and I tried quite a few free AVI-to-SWF convertors). Moreover, the size of the .swf files created by Camstudio-producer are the smallest in size I ever produced, without losing the quality. However, if you change the size while viewing the .swf-video (so actually scale it), the quality becomes very, very bad: for instance, there are always strange traces of rectangles around the moving cursor.
    So conclusion: as long as you can find a way to keep the original size, the situation with .swf files created by Camstudio is ideal: perfect quality and very small files.
    Unfortunately, it is not easy/flexible to work with flash movies in powerpoint: it's not obvious to restart the video when you return to a slide with the embedded .swf, interaction with the powerpoint becomes akward when your cursor happens to be inside the video while whatching, .... But I agree: these are powerpoint problems, not Camstudio problems ...
    Many thanks,
  • Yes, it is true that players do a pretty bad job of rescaling the videos!

    That is really great news (and very interesting!) to hear that CamStudio's SWF converter is working so well. I think I myself had become prejudiced against it simply due to the "shiny new object" syndrome: since there were newer converters, I assumed they'd possess improvements over CamStudio! I guess I was WRONG! ;-)

    Does PowerPoint accept MPG or AVI files? Just wondering.

    Thanks for the update!

  • Yes, Powerpoint accepts those filetypes. But I'm going to use the .swf files made by Camstudio, despite of the problems powerpoint has with flash. The quality and the size of those files is just too good...
  • To follow up on Terry’s question about other file formats, I think I might try experimenting with some others, just for the heck of it. According to MS, an embedded SWF requires Adobe Flash to run the file successfully, and that seems a bit redundant to me. I watched the tutorial and noticed that there’s no mention of FLV, but it does say that MPEG-4, MPG and AVI files are usable, among others. I might try an MPG file, already reduced to placement size, with appropriate compression to reduce the file size.

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