All you need to know for this post: Flash is multimedia software used for art, animation, games, etc. When you complete an animation, it outputs a .SWF file that you can watch, embed on websites, etc.
I’ve been using Flash for most of my professional life. Since I was a kid, truthfully – for design, cartoons, and more. Many people I know began animating in Flash, and continue to do so to this very day. Myself included…it’s something of a love/hate relationship, but I’ll more than likely continue to use it until I kick the bucket. Which may be soon, if I don’t quit drinking. And smoking. Man, I quit.
SO – obviously, video reigns supreme on the net – now more than ever. It was an expected transitional period. Less and less websites were embedding .SWF files directly inpage, serious animation productions ran the risk of choking and dropping frames (especially on different connections and computer setups), and of course, the kings of content-delivery websites (YouTube, for example) are all about video. Nevermind how Flash runs on mobile devices; mobile is getting bigger and bigger (like my penis lol), and Flash doesn’t play well with most devices. Hell, I don’t even think Apple mobiles support Flash at all.
Bottom line, us Flash animators needed a video solution. Precious, uncompromising video. And it was really diffcult.
P.S. This is an 18+ post because I’m too lazy to swap out the screenshots. There’s a titty in them. Fuck it.
With most Flash animators wanting to present their work through video, there was a common problem; it was almost impossible to turn your Flash work into a video file. The Flash program itself couldn’t even export an acceptable video, which I find…unacceptable? You’d think, right? There’s was 3rd party software available, but it was incredibly hard to find anything half-way decent. Track one down, and it was more often than not riddled with bugs, difficult to use, or provided less than acceptable results (to say the least). Those who managed to choke a video outta one of these pieces of shit were dealing with missing frames, choppy playback, fucked up audio, and more. I call them ‘pieces of shit’, as many of them had to be purchased – thereby wasting the money and time of many unfortunate people. Myself included.
I was working at Newgrounds with my buddy Mike at the time. Being that we all worked with Flash and relied on it heavily, he took initiative off the back of our global frustrations and began developing this lil’ piece of software. Something that solved every problem; something that actually worked. He named it Swivel, and it worked great – almost too well! It was interesting to see frames of animation that otherwise wouldn’t play in various .SWF files.
Newgrounds was a great place to run the software through a battery of tests. Everyone uses Flash differently, and we had no shortage of guinea pigs to throw at Swivel – hopefully covering all possible variables or unorthodox techniques people employ. And I think Mike nailed it…thanks out again to all the testers!
As far as my part, I worked alongside Mike to develop the logo and visual end of the software!
You know, give it a lil’ character…
Would I do shit differently now? Sure! Especially in regards to the interface. God knows why I went with green and orange. Whatever, it works for what it is. Mike and I discuss a Swivel update from time to time, which would most definitely boast a new design – as well as potential new features (though it currently comes stock with everything you need to get the job done).
We’re both incredibly proud of this software…not so much because it was a technical success, but it’s truly a great feeling to know how many phenomenal artists and animators rely on it to release their hard work to the world – sometimes punctuating years of hard work!
If you’re a Flash animator, grab Swivel and run your cartoons through it! If you KNOW Flash animators who’re having issues converting their work to video, let em’ know you got the hookup! I stand by this software and have been using it for all of my work since it’s release.
Features n’ Bullshit Sales-Pitch
- ACTUALLY WORKS.
- Available on PC and MAC (32 & 64-bit)!
- 100% FREE, now and forever!
- NO ads, NO nonsense, JUST software.
- Lightweight, easy to use!
- Works with any and all .SWF files.
- AGAIN, IT ACTUALLY WORKS.