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How do I make a screensaver or wallpaper from my animation?

If you want animated wallpaper or screensavers, the best thing is probably to save the animation as a Flash (.swf) file, then use a Flash to Wallpaper converter or a Flash to screensaver converter. Try a search on Google or other search engine for the phrases: "flash to wallpaper" and  "flash to screensaver."

How do I make an animation which takes a specific number of seconds to play?

First, two definitions: the Period is the number of frames (images) in the animation; the frame rate is the number of frames per second which the animation will be played at when your saved AVI or Flash animation file is run.

So if, for example, you used a Period of 200 frames when creating the animation, then you chose a frame rate of 40 when saving the AVI or Flash file, the AVI or Flash file animation will take 200/40 = 5 seconds to play back.

If you want the animation to take 5 seconds, and appear very smooth, a Period of 200 and frame rate of 40 should do that but will probably result in a large AVI or Flash file. Using a Period of 60 and a frame rate of 12 will give a smaller file and still take 5 seconds to play, but will appear less smooth. Its up to you to find the balance which suits you best.

How do I 'freeze' the morph at the start and finish?

Select the "Advanced Mix" option from the Morph menu, then set the "Start Fade %" and "Start Warp %" sliders to maybe 20% (to delay the start of the morph to 20% of the morph time), and set the "Finish Fade %" and "Finish Warp %" sliders to maybe 80% (to stop the morph  at 80% of the morph time). You should adjust the suggested 20% and 80% to suit your particular morphs.

How do I remove unwanted 'ghost' images near the start and end of my morph?

If your morph contains strong distortion of images, or a big movement across an image, you might see unwanted faint distorted bits of image around the start and finish of each morph animation cycle. Switching Fixed Boundary OFF will often remove this ghosting when you have movement near to the image boundaries. A more general solution to the ghosting problem is to select the Advanced Mix option and set the "Start Fade %" sliding control to perhaps 10% or 20%, and the "Finish Fade %" control to 90% or 80%. Doing this means the most extreme parts of the image warping are simply not displayed.

How do I make my morph stop at the final image without going back to the first image?

Use the "One Way" command in the Morph menu. When you save it, the morph will just go from start image to finish image.

How do I hide the part of the image within Outline 1 during an animation in Sqirlz Lite?

First create a new image from the original (with an imaging package like Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, GIMP etc) by removing the part of the image within Outline 1, but leaving everything else the same. Then set this new image as the background to your animation by using the Animate "Set Background" command (the button marked "B") in Sqirlz Lite. When you animate now, you will hide the original area of Outline 1.

How do I make more than one reflecting area with Sqirlz Water Reflections?

1.      Set up the animation as usual with a single Outline around your first reflecting area.
2.      Save the animation to an AVI file (preferably using no compression when saving).
3.      Load your saved AVI file using the “AVI Open” command in the File menu.
4.      Draw a new Outline around your second reflecting area.
5.      You can now view your two-reflection animation, or save it to an AVI or Flash file.

The above procedure can be repeated as many times as you like to create three, four or more reflecting areas.

How do I play my Flash animation?

When you have made your Flash file (name ending in .swf), the easiest way to run it is to load it into a browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox. You can load it from the browser's File menu, or just double-click on the file name and associate the .swf file type with your browser.

Your browser must be Flash-enabled before it will play the file. If it does not recognize the file, then visit  Macromedia to download the free Flash Player for your browser.

An alternative to a browser is to use the free IrfanView with its Flash plug-in.

How do I add my Flash file to a Web page?

If you have made a Flash file called MyExample.swf, it can be added to a web page using HTML code similar to that below. The code given is the complete HTML needed for a browser (such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox) to display the Flash animation. The code that refers just to the Flash file is the section beginning <OBJECT and ending </OBJECT>. The section beginning <EMBED and ending </EMBED> basically contains a repeat of the information before it, but is used specifically by Netscape/Mozilla-type browsers - Internet Explorer and related browsers do not make use of this section.

  <BODY bgcolor = #000000 leftmargin=0 topmargin=0 scroll=no>
   <OBJECT classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"
     width=100% height=100%>
<PARAM NAME=movie VALUE="MyExample.swf">
     <EMBED src="MyExample.swf"
       width=100% height=100% type="application/x-shockwave-flash"

In the above code, the background color is set to black (bgcolor = #000000), and the Flash animation is shown in full and made as large as possible in the browser window (width=100% height=100%). To display the animation with a width of 60 pixels and a height of 90 pixels, you would have width=60 height=90.

How do I save a single still image rather than the whole animation?

In Sqirlz and Sqirlz Lite, a warped image (made using the Warp command) can be saved in the usual way - via the Save and Save As commands in the File menu.

Sqirlz Morph allows the morphed or warped image which is displayed on the Preview window to be copied to a normal image window by clicking on the "Copy To New Image Window" button at the bottom of the Preview window. The newly-created image window can now be saved via the Save and Save As commands in the File menu. At present, only the "mid-point" of a morph can be displayed on the Preview window and saved in this way.

Sqirlz, Sqirlz Lite, Sqirlz Morph and Sqirlz Water Reflections all allow the entire animation to be saved as a set of still image files. After this is done, your favorite individual image can be selected and kept. To save the animation as a set of still images, click on the Animate menu, then the "File Sequence" sub-menu, then the Save command.

How do I change brightness, color etc of my animation?

If you save your animation as an AVI file, it can then be imported into a video editing program for further processing. The free VirtualDub and its derivatives (also free) like VirtualDubMod have a wealth of 'filters' for making simple changes like brightness to impressive effects like motion blurring [please contact the authors of these programs, not xiberpix.com, if you have any queries about them].

Why can't I save my animation as an AVI file with the compressor I have chosen?

When you try to save to an AVI file, after choosing an AVI compressor (codec) you might get the message "There is a problem using this compressor ...", or the AVI file might be saved but be very small or corrupted in some way.

Some AVI codecs, such as Microsoft MPEG-4, require you to make videos that have dimensions which are an exact multiple of four pixels (or eight or sixteen pixels). Other codecs require video dimensions which correspond to one of the "standards" in the the world of video/TV production [eg 720X576 (PAL) or 720X480 (NTSC)].

Even if the AVI is saved, any other dimensions can produce strange colored banding or diagonal distortions etc. So, for example, videos made from images with dimensions of 201X201 pixels might not work, but 200X200 or 204X204 or 300X208 pixels are fine. If in doubt, test by saving at 720 pixels horizontally and either 576 or 480 pixels vertically.

Why does my AVI video have colored lines or diagonal bands?

Please see Why can't I save my animation as an AVI file with the compressor I have chosen? above.

How do I make the program accessible by all users?

[Note: any of the xiberpix programs should be installed initially from an account with administrator privileges.]
When a xiberpix program is installed it is accessible only from the installer's account. You can make it available to all users as follows, where Sqirlz Morph has been used as an example:

Windows XP
cut the folder
C:\Documents and Settings\(admin name)\Start Menu\Programs\Sqirlz Morph
and paste it to:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Sqirlz Morph

where (admin name) is the administrator's account which you used for the initial installation.

Windows Vista
cut the folder
C:\Users\(admin name)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Sqirlz Morph
and paste it to:
C:\Users\All Users\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Sqirlz Morph

where (admin name) is the administrator's account which you used for the initial installation.

Why do AVI files take longer to make on Windows Vista?

You may have noticed with any of the Sqirlz programs that saving an animation to an AVI file takes longer with Windows Vista than with Windows XP. This is because of a bug in Vista which means that our programs have needed to carry out an extra processing step on the AVI file to correct its structure. However, as of August 2007, Microsoft have released Vista Update KB938979 which fixes the Vista bug. Please visit http://support.microsoft.com/kb/938979 to get the update if you don't already have it via automatic Windows updates.

Frequently Asked Questions (Sqirlz, Sqirlz Lite/Morph/Water Reflections)

If you have a query not mentioned below, please email support@xiberpix.com