I was creating a little visual animation for a client the other day. I was using Flash, because that's what I've got, and that's what I'm familiar with. No Maya for me: I'll leave that to the pros.
He wanted to create a little animation to present a brand concept to a client of his, and was presenting on a Macbook, so thankfully I had the exact dimensions of the screen it would be presented on. I started out with a quarter-sized version: half the width and half the height of his screen. His screen is 1280x800, so I did a test animation 640x400. The trouble was, it was looking a bit pixellated when blown up to full screen. No problem.
I did the rest of the visual at the full 1280x 800. Then came the moment to export to a quicktime file, so I could email it off to him. Right, so I clicked export movie to quicktime... and that was where the problem started.
The exported movie was rubbish! Even on a Core 2 duo machine, it was stuttering and stalling. It wasn't the playback - but the encoding that was the problem. It was time consuming to work around the issue. I exported the movie as an image sequence. Then using ffmpeg, transcoded that image sequence into a .mov file. It worked fine. This left me feeling let down by Flash's exporter engine. Why couldn't it simply render each frame out in its own sweet time rather than just bowling along assuming that things could be encoded real-time? I don't know. All in all, it would have saved me a lot of hassle.
Oh, well. Lesson learnt. When creating high-def animations with motion blurs and transparency in Flash, export to frames. I wonder if that knowledge will be useful to me again? Perhaps it's useful to you.