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> Play AVI (Animated Splash)    
post Apr 3 2007, 07:21 AM

UdderAccess Admin + UA Ruler
Posts: 19,557
Joined: 27-April 02
From: Upper MI

History (Its a good idea to read this one all the way through BEFORE downloading the demo)
A few years ago, I found an interesting Access application that perported to contain a minicalendar that would let a user "pick a date".
aving caught my eye, I downloaded this app and examined it's contents. It was an Access 97 development by Drew Wutka and the calendar aspect of the tool was interesting. But what really got my attention, was how Drew had used an .avi file as part of his 'splash' screen.
I've know for quite some time that animated GIF's and other sorts of animations could be used in Access, but at the cost of using some form of ActiveX control. ActiveX is a control type that I desperately effort towards avoiding. In my opinion, ActiveX controls add more to an app than is readily addressable by an end-user in the event of a problem. With that in mind, I went searching through the app to find the references to any activex controls and couldn not find a one. That's when I became really intrerested in the process by which an AVI file was displayed in an Access form.
Opoured through the code and tried several times throughout the past few years to contact Drew regarding his use of AVI files in this app; but Drew has never responded. I really wanted to know what tool(s) he used to create his demo avi file, (New.avi). Recently I was able to decipher his usage of the API calls he used in the modules and procedures in the application and extracted them to a new app of my own design.
This application demonstrates Drew Watka's use of API to open an uncompressed AVI file as an animation in a form. All I did was skinny down the code to it minimum requirements (as best I could determine) and provide some graphical interfaces and examples of usage.
Primarily, I wanted a fancier splash screen for my users. I use splash screens to message and alert the user as to its status while the app loads and sets up. An animation is just a slicker way to splash a screen in my opinion.
The downside to this demo, is that in order to play an AVI, the AVI itself MUST be uncompressed or Microsoft RLE encoded. Some other forms of compression may be useable, as I have gotten one setting with the Radius This means that even small AVI's are going to have large files sizes compared to the file size of the Access app itself. So, if you are not well versed in the making of AVI files or do not understand video codecs, this demo may be somewhat of a dissapointment for you. Or, it may drive you to distraction learning what it takes to make it all work out.
Somehow, Andrew Wutka got an AVI file to play inside of a box control. That's right. Not an image, exotix ActiveX control or Bound/Unbound OLE control, but a simple box control. (go figure) I am not fully sure how this thing works, but it does and I am grateful to Drew for his efforts.
Normally, the animation player control that ships with the Access Developer's kit, demands that the AVI used is uncompressed or Microsoft RLE encoded. However, Drew's API calls allows for certain other AVI file codecs to be played. I haven't figure out the list of them, nor am I likely to delve into that adventure, but a little experimentation will yeild some results. I do know that AVI files rendered with the Cinepak codec by Radius will play with this code. But not all frame rates will work. Again, experiment.
Demo Details
This demo file has two styles in the zip; fancy and simple. Both are Access 97. The simple version has no fluffed up user interface with distracting code for screen and color manipulation. The fancy version has a lot of extraneous code for managing the color scheme and user interface graphics, which has nothing to do with the AVI playing aspect of the app. It just makes it "prettier". The simple version is bare bones and has only the elements required to get and play and AVI.
And there are a few demo AVI's for you to download. Each version of the Access app has two sets of forms; plain, native Access controls with no fancy graphics (so you can dress up any way you like) and a fancy set of forms with lots of graphics for window dressing (part of the GUI presentation).
There even are some WAV (audio) procedures in the code as well, but I've not even played with them yet. Drop me a PM if you learn something interesting about this app.
Although not thoroughly tested, this app should convert well all the way up to A2K7.
Because of the final size (even when zipped) of the AVI demo file, it is NOT included in the attachment. It can be acquired from:
• here: clox.zip (2.7 Meg)

(click the image to download the access 97 mdb file)

(click the image to download the avi file)
Attached File(s)
Attached File  PlayAVi.zip ( 434.71K )Number of downloads: 636
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