Transparent video effect? How is this achieved?

I'd like to use a 3D program to create an animated character, which I will then export to Flash.  The problem is that the background is also imported into Flash which totally destroys the effect.

For example in this movie;
  http://images.templatemonster.com/screenshots/7000/7052.swf

the character animates over the top of other layer information.  How is this effect achieved, as the creative possibilities for using it are endless!!?
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RouchieAsked:
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negatyveCommented:
Probably the software the character was created with can export png images with alpha channel...
Jakob_ECommented:

I've not done any 3D in flash myself, but checkout : http://www.erain.com/

Jakob E

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FLAASHERCommented:
u must use addtional video sotware to make it like adobe premier pro

see the help of flash in www.macromedia.com ( flash video center )for more detals

FLAASHER
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DavidCrossmanCommented:
The effect that you are striving to achieve is not yet possible in Flash. Supposedly, the next version of Flash will allow Video alpha channels. However, MX 2004 does not.

Your best bet is to keep the character in a limited area such that you can easily incorporate the background into the video using your favorite video editting tool.

My team recently shot videos over blue screen, alpha'd out the blue, pulled it to Adobe, added the standard background behind the video and moved the background around as necessary to sync with the Flash app.

We then dropped the video into Flash and added extra elements on top of the video.

Best of luck.

David Crossman
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DavidCrossmanCommented:
Went to the site that you posted. Likely as not, the animation was ported from 3D Studio Max or a similar tool, direct to SWF. Then the SWF could be placed in a layer. That's the general method of achieving this effect to date.

Once you've created the SWF from your 3D tool and you import it into Flash, you can manipulate it. Have several sequences with an identical start and stop position and so on.

Best of luck.

David Crossman
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RouchieAuthor Commented:
Okay, I've got Premier and understand the blue-screen idea, however, the video exported is still rectangular in shape.  On the example I posted there are interactions (i.e. button animations) occurring behind the 'video' layer.

I've visited the ERain web site and the 3DS Max plugin they sell certainly looks as though it is the key.  Got to do a test animation from 3DSMax and see what the end-result is....

When is the next version of Flash due?  I hope its not for a while as we've only just invested in MX2004 Pro!
DavidCrossmanCommented:
Like I mentioned in my second post, the best way to acheive your effect is 3-D direct to SWF. My first post was before checking out the site.

Last time I looked, there wasn't a definite date for the next version of Flash. Expectations are for late this year or early next, as far as I am aware.

Concerning the interactions happening "behind" the video...

You can easily fake that with transparent hotspots on top of the video, if necessary. I'd need to run a test, but I think that Flash will send the mouse rollover to a button under a video anyway. Unless you code it otherwise, the video will not have anything to trap the mouse events. Thus, Flash will send the message to lower layers until the message is caught. This can be a pain when your users don't see something, but are interacting with it anyway.

Hope this helps. I'm not a 3D expert, so I'm not familiar with the mentioned plug-in, but anything that assists you getting out of a 3D tool to a clean SWF export should get you there. Most of those tools allow a demo period now.

Best of luck!

David Crossman
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