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Wildform Flix 3 Pro

Video encoding software for vector and Flash animation By Dave Nagel
Wildform Flix Pro is unique in the video encoding market. Not only does it encode standard QuickTime, MPEG, AVI and other movie file formats into the Flash (.swf) format, but it also has the ability to convert standard video into vector animations. The new version, 3.0, builds upon the virtues of previous releases and also adds a few new touches that make the program irresistible for creating video for Flash.

Flix 3 Pro is an incredibly simple application that does what nothing else on the market can--at least not all in one package--and it does it at a reasonable price. (Incidentally, I've reviewed version 2.5 previously, and I'm not going to repeat that entire review here. If you'd like to get a detailed look at what the program does, along with analysis and screen shots, you can read my previous review here.)

On the most basic level, Flix 3 Pro converts standard video into several different formats for the Web and for working in it in Flash. These include Flash 3 through 6, Flash MX, FLV and the much-famed vector video format, probably the most compelling feature of the program. It also provides one- and two-pass variable bitrate encoding.

In terms of workflow, the software couldn't be more easy to use. You simply load up the source video and then choose from among the various presets (programmed for bandwidth considerations) or customize the settings using five option tabs built into the main interface. You can also choose to export HTML, JPEGs and cross-platform Projectors for distribution on disc.

The software also provides numerous controls for fine-tuning a file's SWF, audio and video settings.

But the killer feature of Flix 3 Pro is its ability to take any supported video format and convert the content into vector animations. It's sort of like a motion version of Adobe Streamline. Below you'll see two examples of the program's vector capabilities.

The top image shows a high-detail vector output, while the bottom version depicts a low-detail version.

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