‘Encoding’ Video as JPEG real time in AS3

A few days ago I was thinking if there was a way to reproduce the effect of JPEG compression real time in flash. I figured the best way would be to literally encode the image with the native AS3 JPEGEncoder class. The problem there was that the returned ByteArray could not be interpreted as an image anymore. However, the Loader class does allow for loading a ByteArray and converting it to a Bitmap. And luckily, the loadBytes method let us load the ByteArray right from Flash (as opposed to having to save out a file and load it externally).

So, applied to a webcam video on an interval, a bitmap data snapshot is taken of the current video frame. Then it is encoded as a JPEG and returned as a ByteArray. The ByteArray is then loaded back into Flash though the loader, which takes a one frame delay, which I imagine is because the loader object probably needs to initialize. Then, the bitmap is extracted from the loader the same way any image is, and the bitmapdata is copied to a display bitmap on the stage, and the cycle loops again.

You’ll notice a pretty significant delay on the demo. The delay comes from the encoding of the image, not the loading. You can play with the example here: JPEG Video Experiment. No webcam? There’s a prerecorded video below.

1 thought on “‘Encoding’ Video as JPEG real time in AS3”

  1. Cool!
    I plan on experimenting with that kind of stuff some time in the future, especially I’d like to achieve “broken divx” effect where everything mushes together :)

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