Hello everyone, its been a while since the last blog and it couldn’t be a good time to write a new post. I keep getting queries to our Support Desk about the use of the enlarge image option found in the Flash Apps ( 3D Carousel, CoverFlow etc). It seems that there is confusion as there is no clear documentation as to how to use this feature. I thought its right time to clarify this through this blog entry. The enlarge option is used to show images in a popup window (like a preview) when the smaller version of the image. The enlarge image option can be accessed by selecting an image in any of the Flash Apps initial upload screen
The the confusion arises with this question – how do I provide the smaller and the enlarged version of every image? There seems to be no option in the Flash Apps to be able to achieve this. This is the true and the other fact is that Toufee actually doesn’t show any enlarged version. The idea around the enlarge image is this – when one uses Flash Apps like 3D Carousel, Flash CoverFlow Maker, you’ll notice the initial images that are displayed are smaller or reduced by 1/4th in proportion to the original image size. This is the default setting to allow the 3D Carousel or the Flash CoverFlow to operate. When one clicks on the image, the original image is shown. This is what we refer as the enlarged image (note that we don’t enlarge the image).
As opposed to the meaning of enlarged, what exactly happens is the contrary – Toufee actually shows reduced sized images in the initial screen of the Carousel or a CoverFlow flash movie. The enlarge option actually initiates Toufee to show the actual size of the image.
The above CoverFlow flash movie show thumbnails or icons of the images. When one clicks an image, the original size of the image is shown. All the images used in the above flash movie are 640×480 pixels. The size of the thumbnails are 160×120. The important factor to consider is to set your Carousel flash movie size to 640×480. The idea is to set the canvas size of the flash movie to the same size (or higher) to those of your images. This allows the flash movie to show the entire image when the enlarged option is clicked.
The problem many customers seem to have is that they used very high resolution images but set the flash movie area to half its size. This caused the image to get cut-off when the enlarge image is shown.
In this article, I’ll quickly walk through the steps involved in downloading your Toufee flash movie as a standalone SWF flash file. Though the process is straightforward, let me show you the various ways you could download the flash movie as a SWF file. Let’s begin right away.
SWF download process
To export your flash movie, select Publish -> Export to Flash (Standalone SWF) option from the main Toufee menu
The Downloading SWF file dialog box should open.This will be followed by an Open dialog box that should prompt you the location to save the SWF file. Browse the directory in your computer and click Save. That should complete the download process. However, if the Open dialog box does not appear then proceed to step 3.
If for any reason you do not get the Open dialog box, click Save As button found in the Downloading SWF file dialog window (shown above). This will initiate the download of the SWF file as a zip file.
You would now need to uncompress or unzip the zipped file. For this, you would require a free utility such as WinZip, WinRAR etc. If you have Windows XP or Vista, then there is a built-in feature that will extract zip files simply by right-clicking on it
Upon successfully extracting the zip file, you should see the SWF file in the same folder (if you extracted by selecting Extract Here option) or in the target folder that you extracted the flash movie SWF file.
Manual download of Toufee Flash Movie SWF file
If clicking the Save As in step 3 did not intiate download of the zipped file, then you could follow the manual approach to saving the SWF file of your flash movie. Here is how:
In the Downloading SWF File dialog window, click on Copy URL!. This will copy the URL of the SWF file in memory.
Open Firefox, and enter the URL in the browser address bar and press Enter key. This will then open the SWF file of the flash movie in the browser window. Select Save Page As option to save the SWF file.
If using Internet Explorer, then you would have to do the following. After pasting the URL in Internet Explorer’s address bar, select Tools -> Internet Options
Under Temporary Internet files section, click on Settings button
In the Settings dialog box, click on View Files button
The Temporary Internet Files folder on your local computer should open. Search for the SWF file, right-click it and select Copy
Paste the SWF file into any folder and you now have the SWF file of your Toufee flash movie ready. You can publish the SWF file to your webpage. For the HTML code to use embed the flash movie SWF file in your webpage refer the following KB article:
It’s here finally…we’ve updated the Toufee flash movie maker so that you can set hyperlinks to open in the same window as the flash movie. The default behaviour of hyperlinks however will still remain – they open in a new browser window. However, you now have the option to change this to open hyperlinks in the same window.
Let me explain this with a test flash movie of mine (I know you’re complaining, its the same old promobanner flash movie that you might have been used to by now:) ). So here is a simple flash movie with a hyperlink button on it (Learn More). As is the default behavior, Toufee will open this hyperlink in a new window.
We’ll be now adding a few lines of code to the HTML code that Toufee generates so that hyperlinks open in the same window. The original HTML code of this movie is this:
Wherever it says userID=56&projID=promobanner we’ll be appending an additional parameter called target=_self such that it reads userID=56&projID=promobanner&target=_self (you’ll have to change it at three places in the code). Also, you would add this <param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”/> just before the </object> tag. So the final code would be something like this (note I’ve highlighted the extra code)
One of the most powerful features of Toufee flash moviemaker application but relatively less used is the built-in text-to-speech option. With the help of Toufee’s text-to-speech engine you can add voice narrations to your flash movies without any additional burden of needing to have a “audio” file for the voiceover. Consider having to add speech to your flash videos manually by recording your own – this not only requires additional software/hardware to record the voice but also requires lots of effort to synchronize the timing of the flash movie with that of background audio. Toufee flash moviemaker saves you all the hassles so you can concentrate in creating your flash movie. To have your text read out, simply double click the text object in your flash movie to bring up the Text Editor as shown below:
Click on the dropdown list as shown in the screenshot. This is where you select the Text-to-Speech character for your text. Note that Toufee offers six different characters to choose from. Each character has a different pitch and a pause so preview the voices well when you create your flash movie. Please note that you can change the character any time from the Text Editor window.
Toufee’s Text-to-Speech feature can be a powerful asset for your flash movies. This feature is extremely useful when if you are planning to develop flash video tutorials, personal biographies, or flash movies that narrate a story or incident etc, as adding voice narrations would create a much better impact that can really enhance a flash movie.
Hope this is useful. If you have something to share, please do leave us a comment.
Timing is an advanced feature of Toufee flash movies and an important feature which could deliver amazing results if used effectively. Just to give a background, timing is the lifeline of a Toufee flash movie, i.e. every flash movie object has a timing value that has start and end points associated with it. All flash objects (i.e. your text, images, etc.) in a Toufee flash movie are relative to each other and any inconsistent timing value might affect other objects in your flash movie leading to deviation from your desired result. Before we go into the nitty-gritty of Toufee movie timing and timelines I would recommend that you please take a moment to go through my earlier article Working with Frame Timing which introduces the basic concepts of frame timing and how to use them.
What’s in a timing?
Timing is everything in a Toufee flash movie – it determines the sequence and flow of your flash movie. To control the timing of an object, select the object and expand the Timing (Experts Only) option under the Advanced tab on the Left Panel.
The three important timing settings associated with an object are as follows:
Show It: The number of seconds after which the object should show
After: Show the object after this event, for example, after Frame1 shows
Then Hide It: Hide the object after this event, for example when Frame1 ends. The Hide It takes more values, i.e. you can also specify the number of seconds after which the object should be unloaded. To enter a custom value, one would have to select Custom from the from the Then Hide It dropdown list. Why would you want to select a custom value? Well, there might be instances where you would want to show the text (maybe a tagline) or your company logo throughout the flash movie. I have written a separate blog article on this which you might want to have a look at.
Timelines – that extra push!
Well, you had Timing options which are great when you want to adjust the timing of your flash movie. Isn’t that all one would need? To answer the question, yes, you should be fine with the Timing options in most of the cases, however, there are some instances when you might need more than what the Timing options has to offer. For example, you might in the future run into a situation where you change the Then Hide It value of an object (say an image) to unload along with the frame in which case you would use “when Frame2 ends” (assuming Frame2 is the current frame). You go then ahead and press the Save button but only to find that the changes are not saved? Why wouldn’t it save – the reason as I mentioned earlier is the relativity of the Toufee movie objects, i.e. the timing of every flash movie object is relative to one another. So if Toufee finds an inconsistency in timing, it will not save the changes and hence the problem. So how do you rectify this? Timeline is the answer!
Where is the Timeline?
When you select a Toufee object, you’ll immediately notice a timing slider just beneath the Toufee MovieMaker stage. This is the timeline.
When you select an object, you’ll notice two arrows (triange-shaped) marking the Start and the End timing of the object relative to the frame in which it is present.
For example, let’s say you have a text control named TControl71. Click on the text control and you’ll immediately notice the Timing bar (below the stage) and the Start and End arrows. Simply drag the End arrow to the end of the timing bar – this makes the object TControl71 to unload along with the frame). Please note that the timing bar of TControl71 is relative to the Frame and not to the Movie. If you want to delay showing (say by 2 seconds) of the TControl71, then you would simply move the Start arrow in the slider as in the image below.
When you run into instances where you could not set an object to unload witht the frame (i.e. when you cannot select When Frame ends option as the value for Then Hide It field), then simply use the Timeline and set the End arrow to the end of the timing bar.
In this brief article, we’ll be looking at how to use HTTPS URLs in your Toufee flash movies. Though Toufee flash movies support HTTP and HTTPS URLs, some users run into issues when using hyperlinks in their flash videos. To overcome this problem, we’ll be using a free service called TinyURL, that takes an URL as an input (generally, a lengthy URL, for example, something like http://www.toufee.com/moviemaker/how-to-show-flash-movie-objects-through-a-flash-video/) and converts this into a tiny URL of the form say http://tinyurl.com/dkzsbz (just as the name suggests!).
Before I run you through how to get this working, for those who do not know how to add hyperlinks, I would suggest that you please refer the following KB article that shows how to add hyperlinks when you create a flash video.
Assuming that you are now familiar with adding hyerlinks to your Toufee flash movies, here is how you shorten your URL using TinyURL
Go to http://www.tinyurl.com
In the very first page (i.e. the Homepage), you’ll see a textbox that says Enter a long URL to make tiny:
Enter your URL into the textbox and click on Make TinyURL! button
You’ll see a new page open with your newly created TinyURL. Copy the new TInyURL
Switch over to Toufee, select the object for which you wish to add hyperlink, switch to the Advanced tab on the Left Panel, expand Link To – Website / Email option. In the Link To dropdown list, select Website and enter the newly created TinyURL in the URL textbox.
If you ever have problems with using hyperlinks in your flash movies, then try using TinyURL. This feature is also very useful when you want to add HTTPS or very long URLs.
Ever wondered how you can show your own custom image, maybe your company logo or your brand identity when your Toufee flash movie is loading in the background? This feature is now available but only for Business Account users.
It is very simple to add your own logo to your Toufee flash movie. Follow the steps below
1. Login to Toufee
2. On the Members Home page (the first page you see after login), click on the Settings tab
3. Click on the Logo option
4. Click the Browse button to browse the image file and click on Update >> to add the logo
5. Your new logo will now be available for use with all of your Toufee flash movies in your Business Account. Anytime you want to have the logo show on your movies, simply select Use my custom logo in preloader option in the Publish Movie dialog box (Publish -> Publish Online).
Please note that the custom logo is not enabled by default for the simple reason that not all of your flash movies will take long time to load. Hence you have to select the Use my custom logo in preloader option when you are publishing your Toufee flash movie.
Showing a custom logo as a preloader not only keeps the customer interested when your Toufee flash movie is loading in the background, but helps customers retain brand identity improving your product or service recall value.
I am sure most of you would have noticed that we’ve updated Toufee website. The Members page, i.e. the first page that you see after login, has also undergone a major overhaul in design and strategy. The new Members Home UI is more focused meaning it will let you quickly get on with functions that are used frequently. This tutorial quickly introduces you to the new UI of Members Homepage.
Members Home: The new UI The new Members Homepage is now divided into major section – Create a New Project and Open a Recent Project
Â Create a New Project: This is where you go to get started with a new movie. To create a new movie project, click on the Blank Project (the large moviemaker picture) to open the Toufee MovieMaker window.
Open a Recent Project: This section lists all your Toufee ProÂ movies (Please note that this section will only list your Toufee Pro movies and not your Toufee Classic movies (if you hadÂ previously used Toufee Classic). All paid subscribers with an active Business Account will continue to have access to all their Toufee Classic movies via the Toufee Classic link at the top of the homepage).
This section lists all your movies horizontally (like the Pictures folder in your Windows), so if you want to quickly search for a particular movie, enter the name (partial text will do) of the movie in the Search Projects textbox and click Go. Toufee will now list those movies that match the search criteria. When after a search, you wish to display all your movies, click on the Show All Projects link and Toufee will revert back to displaying all your existing Toufee Pro movies.
The Left Panel
You’ll now notice that the left part of your new UI has the Blog and the Getting Started sections to assist you in your movie making. After a lot of thought and design changes, we identified the Blog and the Getting Started to be of vital importance to assist users in their movie making andÂ provides quickÂ updates of new features/announcementsÂ and tutorials. These are also the two sections that are frequently updated by us and hence it made sense to put these directly on the Members Home
Blog: This section lists the most recent articles from Toufee’s Blog, the official source of information for all new updates related to Toufee Movie Maker. Toufee Blog provides the latest updates on Toufee MovieMaker, information on new features, preview of new enhancements, how-to articles on new features and general announcements.
The Blog also provides tips on effective movie-making and guest columns by Toufee users and experienced flash authors. To read an article, click on the article link and you’ll be redirected to that article on Toufee Blog. If you haveÂ a RSS reader installed on your PC, then you can subscribe to Toufee Blog by clicking on the RSS Updates link to stay up-to-date with all the new posts that happens on Toufee Blog.
Getting Started: This is where you access all the Video Tutorials and the Step-by-Step Tutorials. We’ve made it such a way that all new tutorials are listed here, so you can be rest assured you don’t miss those easy-to-understand video tutorials. Clicking any tutorial will take you straight to the Tutorials page.
Searching the KnowledgBase:Toufee’s KnowledgeBase is your gateway to all your answers related to anything on Toufee. Toufee’s KnowledgeBase contains FAQs on all topics related to Toufee. You can quickly search the knowledgeBase by typing in a keyword in the KnowledgeBase search textbox and clicking on Go
Additional Links As you see in the previous screenshot, we’ve also added few quick links on the top right of the screen to make navigation easier. The Get Started redirects you to the Tutorials page and the Help link takes you to the Support Desk Homepage from where you can access all documentation, FAQs and ToufeeÂ tutorials and alsoÂ view/post support tickets to the Toufee Support Desk. The Logout link logs out of the Members Home.
Toufee Pro flash movies can be used to make great Autorun CDs which can be used for a variety of applications like custom-made birthday CD specially for a friend, a corporate flash presentation, video tutorials, etc.
Step 2:Â Convert your SWF file into an EXE
Autorun files need to be EXE to work. Your SWF flash movie needs to be converted into a self-executable EXE file so that it runs automatically when the CD is loaded without having to launch another program to open it (which is generally the case with a SWF file).There are a number of free utilities that can convert your SWF file to an EXE. One such program called SWF to EXE 3.0 from Brothersoft can be downloaded from this UR http://www.brothersoft.com/d.php?soft_id=58065&url=http%3A%2F%2Feurotest.chat.ru%2Ffi%2Fswftoexe.zip
Step 3: Create the AUTORUN.INF configuration file An autorun CD contains the AUTORUN.INF configuration file that contains information on what program needs to be launched when the CD is inserted. The format of the autorun.inf file is as below
Open a blank Notepad file, type the above lines (replace FlashFile.exe with the name of our flash movie exe file that you just created). The ICON.ico is for if you want the CD drive to display a specific icon file you’ve included, if not leave that line out. Save this file as “Autorun.inf”
Step 4: Burn the files to CD
Copy the flash movie .exe file and the autorun.inf (that you created in the last step) and burn them onto a blank CD. Please make sure that you put both the .exe and .inf files in the root of the CD. Once the data is tranfered, test the CD and your Toufee flash movie should now popup automatically – looks cool isn’t it?
Toufee Pro’s most popular feature, besides the hundreds of new preset effects, enhancements and new options is the ability to export flash movies to standalone SWF files which allows your flash movies to be played independently on any PC or Mac platform without the need to access Toufee Pro MovieMaker.
1. SWF (Shockwave Flash) files can be opened by an standard browser like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape, Opera etc., Simply drag and drop the SWF file into a browser window and the SWF file will automatically play.
2. SWF can also be run standalone if you have converted the SWF files into EXE files, I’ll cover more on this in the next post.
Problems running SWF files
The most common problem with running SWF file is directly related to not having the latest Adobe Flash plugin. Installing the latest flash plugin resolves this most of the time. In some cases, a corrupt SWF file may also not run properly, and this can be corrected by redownloading the file.