The FLI/FLC Animation Format

The FLI/FLC animation format, originally developed by Autodesk, Inc is sometimes more desirable than the MPEG animation format, particularly for computer-generated animations, as relatively large (640x480) movies can be played back at reasonable speeds on X11 workstations, PCs and Macs.

Playing FLI/FLC movies:

Get one of the following players:
If you are running a graphical Web browser and you want to view these movies "on the fly", you probably will need to tell your browser to recognize .fli and .flc extensions as MIME type video/fli, and you will also need to tell the browser to use the appropriate FLI/FLC player when it encounters type MIME type video/fli.

For example, if you are using an X windows browser, you need to first add the following line to the file /usr/local/lib/mime.types or $HOME/.mimetypes:

video/flc                      flc fli
If you are serving FLI/FLC files, you should add the above line to the mime.types file in your httpd's conf directory so that the server can identify FLI/FLC movies to browsers. Then add the following line to /usr/local/lib/mailcap or $HOME/.mailcap:
# This maps all types of video *other than MPEG* to the viewer 'xanim'.
video/*; xanim %s

I sometimes compress FLC Files greater than 1 Mb with UNIX compress or GNU's GZIP, both of which can be uncompressed with GZIP . If you are using X-windows Mosaic, the movies should uncompress on the fly. Otherwise, you may need to select "load local", download the file, then unzip or uncompress before viewing. If you are really bummed about not being able to view these movies on the fly on your PC, let me know and I'll change them back to their uncompressed form.

Making FLI/FLC movies:

FLI/FLC makers generally take a bunch of image files that each contain a single movie frame and combine them into a FLI/FLC movie. Since FLI/FLC movies are 8-bit, there are usually some options for picking the optimal colormap from images that have more than 8-bits of color information or have separate 8-bit palletes for each image.

Here are the FLI/FLC makers I use:

If you are interested in a complete animation package (with modeling and rendering tools) that generates FLI/FLC files, you might check out Autodesk's 3D Studio VIZ.

If you are serving your FLC files up on the web, you might consider installing Klaus Ehrenfried's Java applet which can play Fli/Flc animations within HTML pages without the need of plugins.

Assorted FLI/FLC utilities

The following programs convert FLI/FLC to other movie forms directly (GraphicConverter), or allow one to split the FLI/FLC into individual frames and then generate another movie format (DISPLAY & PPM2FLI).