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video

VideoFrame

Tag Info
Tag Number: 
61
Tag Type: 
Define
Tag Flash Version: 
6
Brief Description: 

Show the specified video frame of a movie.

Tag Structure: 
struct swf_startsound {
	swf_tag			f_tag;		/* 61 */
	unsigned short		f_video_id_ref;
	unsigned short		f_frame;
	unsigned char		f_video_data[variable size];
};

The VideoFrame tag is used to render one frame. It includes the data of exactly one video frame to be drawn on the screen.

The f_object_id_ref parameter is a reference to a DefineVideoStream.

DefineVideoStream

Tag Info
Tag Number: 
60
Tag Type: 
Define
Tag Flash Version: 
6
Brief Description: 

Defines the necessary information for the player to display a video stream (i.e. size, codec, how to decode the data, etc.). Play the frames with VideoFrame tags.

Tag Structure: 
struct swf_definevideostream {
	swf_tag			f_tag;		/* 60 */
	unsigned short		f_video_id;
	unsigned short		f_frame_count;
	unsigned short		f_width;	/* WARNING: this is in pixels */
	unsigned short		f_height;
	unsigned char		f_reserved : 5;
	unsigned char		f_deblocking : 2;
	unsigned char		f_smoothing : 1;
	unsigned char		f_codec;
};

This tag defines a video stream. To playback the video stream, one needs to add a list of VideoFrame tags.

The f_width and f_height are defined in pixels. This is rather uncommon in SWF so it is to be noted multiple times.

SWF Any Filter (swf_any_filter)

SWF Structure Info
Tag Flash Version: 
8
SWF Structure: 
/* the filter type */
struct swf_filter_type {
	unsigned char	f_type;
};

struct swf_filter_glow {
	swf_filter_type	f_type;		/* 0, 2, 3, 4 or 7 */
	if(f_type == GradientGlow || f_type == GradientBevel) {
		unsigned char		f_count;
	}
	else {
		f_count = 1;
	}
	swf_rgba		f_rgba[f_count];
	if(f_type == Bevel) {
		swf_rgba		f_highlight_rgba[f_count];
	}
	if(f_type == GradientGlow || f_type == GradientBevel) {
		unsigned char		f_position[f_count];
	}
	signed long fixed	f_blur_horizontal;
	signed long fixed	f_blur_vertical;
	if(f_type != Glow) {
		signed long fixed	f_radian_angle;
		signed long fixed	f_distance;
	}
	signed short fixed	f_strength;
	unsigned		f_inner_shadow : 1;
	unsigned		f_knock_out : 1;
	unsigned		f_composite_source : 1;
	if(f_type == Bevel) {
		unsigned		f_on_top : 1;
	}
	else {
		unsigned		f_reserved : 1;
	}
	if(f_type == GradientGlow || f_type == GradientBevel) {
		unsigned		f_passes : 4;
	}
	else {
		unsigned		f_reserved : 4;
	}
};

struct swf_filter_blur {
	swf_filter_type		f_type;	/* 1 */
	unsigned long fixed	f_blur_horizontal;
	unsigned long fixed	f_blur_vertical;
	unsigned		f_passes : 5;
	unsigned		f_reserved : 3;
};

struct swf_filter_convolution {
	swf_filter_type	f_type;		/* 5 */
	unsigned char	f_columns;
	unsigned char	f_rows;
	long float	f_divisor;
	long float	f_bias;
	long float	f_weights[f_columns × f_rows];
	swf_rgba	f_default_color;
	unsigned	f_reserved : 6;
	unsigned	f_clamp : 1;
	unsigned	f_preserve_alpha : 1;
};

struct swf_filter_colormatrix {
	swf_filter_type	f_type;		/* 6 */
	long float	f_matrix[20];
};

struct swf_any_filter {
	swf_filter_type			f_fitler_type;
	swf_filter_blur			f_filter_blur;
	swf_filter_colormatrix		f_filter_colormatrix;
	swf_filter_convolution		f_filter_convolution;
	swf_filter_glow			f_filter_glow;
};

A filter defines how to transform the objects it is attached to. The first byte is the filter type. The data following depend on the type. Because each filter is much different, they are defined in separate structures. You can attach a filter to an object using an ActionScript or the PlaceObject3 tag.

The following describes the different filters available since version 8.

PlaceObject2

Tag Info
Tag Number: 
26
Tag Type: 
Define
Tag Flash Version: 
3
Brief Description: 

Place, replace, remove an object in the current display list.

Tag Structure: 
struct swf_placeobject2 {	/* and swf_placeobject3 */
	swf_tag			f_tag;		/* 26 or 70 */
	/* NOTE: the following flags can be read as one or two bytes also */
	if(version >= 8) {
		unsigned	f_place_reserved : 5;
		unsigned	f_place_bitmap_caching : 1;
		unsigned	f_place_blend_mode : 1;
		unsigned	f_place_filters : 1;
	}
	if(version >= 5) {
		unsigned	f_place_has_actions : 1;
	}
	else {
		unsigned	f_place_reserved : 1;
	}
	unsigned		f_place_has_clipping_depth : 1;
	unsigned		f_place_has_name : 1;
	unsigned		f_place_has_morph_position : 1;
	unsigned		f_place_has_color_transform : 1;
	unsigned		f_place_has_matrix : 1;
	unsigned		f_place_has_id_ref : 1;
	unsigned		f_place_has_move : 1;
	unsigned short		f_depth;
	if(f_place_has_id_ref) {
		unsigned short		f_object_id_ref;
	}
	if(f_place_has_matrix) {
		swf_matrix		f_matrix;
	}
	if(f_place_has_color_transform) {
		swf_color_transform	f_color_transform;
	}
	if(f_place_has_morph_position) {
		unsigned short		f_morph_position;
	}
	if(f_place_has_name) {
		string			f_name;1
	}
	if(f_place_has_clipping_depth) {
		unsigned short		f_clipping_depth;
	}
	/* 3 next entries since v8.0 */
	if(f_place_filters) {
		unsigned char		f_filter_count;
		swf_any_filter		f_filter;
	}
	if(f_place_blend_mode) {
		unsigned char		f_blend_mode;
	}
	if(f_place_bitmap_caching) {
		/* WARNING: this is not defined in the Macromedia documentation
		 * it may be that it was part of the blend mode whenever the person
		 * who defined this byte was testing (I copied that from somewhere else!).
		 */
		unsigned char		f_bitmap_caching;
	}
	/* since v5.0 */
	if(f_place_has_actions) {
		unsigned short		f_reserved;
		if(version >= 6) {
			unsigned long	f_all_flags;
		}
		else {
			unsigned short	f_all_flags;
		}
		swf_event		f_event[<variable>];
		if(version >= 6) {
			unsigned long	f_end;	/* always zero */
		}
		else {
			unsigned short	f_end;	/* always zero */
		}
	}
};
  • 1. Assuming that this PlaceObject2 references a DefineSprite, this name becomes the name of this instance of the sprite. This feature enables you to place the same DefineSprite multiple times in your display list each time using a different name.

This tag will be used to specify where and how to place an object in the next frame. The PlaceObject is much different and is presented separately.

The f_depth field is used to indicate at which depth the character is inserted in the current frame. There can be only one object per depth value (thus a maximum of 65536 objects can appear on a single frame).

The f_place_has_move and f_place_has_id_ref flags are used to indicate what to do at the given depth. The following table presents what happens depending on the current value.

f_place_has_move ...

SWF Tag (swf_tag, swf_long_tag)

SWF Structure Info
Tag Flash Version: 
1
SWF Structure: 
struct swf_tag {
	unsigned short		f_tag_and_size;
	f_tag = f_tag_and_size >> 6;
	f_tag_data_size = f_tag_and_size & 0x3F;
	if(f_tag_data_size == 63) {
		unsigned long	f_tag_data_real_size;
	}
	else {
		f_tag_data_real_size = f_tag_data_size;
	}
};

struct swf_long_tag { /* i.e. the last 6 bits of f_tag_and_size = 0x3F */
	unsigned short		f_tag_and_size;
	f_tag = f_tag_and_size >> 6;
	unsigned long	f_tag_data_real_size;
};

The tag and size are saved in a 16 bits little endian unsigned integer. The tag is always aligned to a byte (not a bit). The size is defined in the lower 6 bits. And the short value is in a little endian format as expected by the declaration. If the size is 63 (0x3F), then another 4 bytes are read for the size. This is used for really large tags such as fonts with many characters, audio, video, or images.

File Header

Tag Info
Tag Number: 
-1
Tag Type: 
Format
Tag Flash Version: 
1
Brief Description: 

Although it isn't a tag per say, we consider the file header as being a tag because it represents a block in the flash file. Since version 8, it can be complemented by the FileAttributes tag.

Tag Structure: 
struct swf_header {1
	unsigned char		f_magic[3];	/* 'FWS' or 'CWS' */
	unsigned char		f_version;
	unsigned long		f_file_length;
}

struct swf_header_movie {2
	swf_rect		f_frame_size;
	unsigned short fixed	f_frame_rate;
	unsigned short		f_frame_count;
};
  • 1. This part is never compressed
  • 2. Although considered part of the header, this part is compressed in the 'CWS' format.

The file header is found at the very beginning of the file. It should be used to determine whether a file is an SWF file or not. Also, it contains information about the frame size, the speed at which is should be played and the version (determining the tags and actions possibly used in the file).

The f_magic[3] array is defined as the characters: 'FWS' (it is going backward probably because it was supposed to be read in a little endian as a long word). A movie can be compressed when the version is set to 6 or more. In this case, the magic characters are: 'CWS'.

The f_version ...

About SWF

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At the very beginning, a company created the SWF format to generate small vector animations on the Internet called Shockwave Flash (hence the name of the format, SWF.) It also included images. This company was bought by Macromedia around 1997 (if I recall properly). This is when Flash v3 was created. Since then, Macromedia created a new version about once a year up to version 8. At that time (in 2005/2006), Macromedia sealed a deal with Adobe which wanted to use the SWF format in their PDF files.

Today (May 1st, 2008), the SWF format is available for free to all. It can be ...

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