How to export Flash SWF animations to PNG sequences

By Mike Berg / March 12th, 2012 / Resources / 3 Comments

I looked around for quite a while to find a good tool for exporting simple Flash frame animations to PNG sequences that could be used in game development. It’s true, Flash supports exporting a PNG sequence at different sizes, but it’s error-prone and tedious.

Then I found swf2pngs. It looked like it did exactly what I needed. When I first downloaded it a few days ago it didn’t quite have the features I needed. But the developer has been extremely supportive, and even added some new features to accommodate my requests.

The big reasons I now love and fully recommend this app are:

  • Export from the SWF, not from within Flash. Exporting via Flash at different sizes means doubling (and quadrupling for retina iPad) the pixel values in your head *every time* you export. It’s tedious and error-prone.
  • It’s fast and accurate:
    – load up a single SWF
    – export at the default settings for normal-res
    – switch the scale popup to 2 and add the @2x suffix and export again. (I particularly like that I don’t have to rename all the files after)
    – switch the scale popup to 4 and export again.
  • You can target a specific movie clip inside your SWF, though I haven’t ever needed to do that.
  • If you have a bunch of animations that are the same size, stick them in the same FLA and rename each sequence right in the timeline (see their homepage for a much clearer explanation)

After using it for a few days, I can’t imagine doing any kind of frame animation for a game without it. And it’s only $10.