[thelist] save image from shockwave movie to disc

John Dowdell jdowdell at macromedia.com
Wed Jan 3 19:07:08 CST 2001

At 7:50 AM 1/2/1, Howard Scott wrote:
> We want to create a small painting application in shockwave/flash
> where the user can draw a basic picture. Not a problem! But - we
> want the user to be able to save that to disc so they can download
> it / email it, whatever.

Sorry, this isn't a built-in ability, so it's not automatic. The Shockwave
Player does have runtime import filters, but not a matching set of export

Atop that, plugins are usually prevented from writing files to disk
themselves... there are ways to get around this, but it requires permission
from the site visitor.

That said, the Shockwave Player is extensible, and can be set to
auto-install new abilities. The standard solution for writing image data to
disk from the Shockwave Player is the DirectXport Xtra:

In addition to exporting dynamic screens in a variety of graphic formats,
this allows runtime blurring, noise, and other filtering effects. There's
documentation and free trial on the web site. Their coding has drawn raves
from other folks... allows things otherwise impossible.

Incidentally, this points out some of the differences between Shockwave and
Flash. The Macromedia Flash Player is optimized for small player size, so
it can achieve ubiquity (over 3,000,000 installs each day now). But it
can't afford to include the runtime import filters like the Shockwave
Player has... can't import GIFs, JPGs, MP3s or the rest like Shockwave can.

The extensibility layer is another cost in the engine size. With Shockwave
you can add new drop-in renderers on demand -- see the 3D RealPool or the
arcade emulation on shockwave.com for examples. Here we're adding
file-writing abilities.

The Macromedia Flash Player is small and ubiquitous, but the larger
Shockwave Player enables things that are otherwise impossible.

How does this do for you there... does the DirectXport Xtra help in this job?


John Dowdell, Macromedia Tech Support, San Francisco CA US
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