Rendering and exporting for Flash Professional and Flash Player

You can render and export movies from After Effects as movies that can play in Adobe Flash Player. SWF files play natively in Flash Player, whereas an FLV or F4V file must be contained in (or linked to from) a SWF file to play in Flash Player. You can also export compositions to Flash Professional as XFL files.

For a video tutorial comparing various aspects of the integration between After Effects, Flash Professional, and Flash Player, go to the Adobe website at

For a video tutorial on exporting to XFL format, go to the Adobe website at

For a video tutorial on rendering and exporting to FLV and F4V formats, go to the Adobe website at


XFL files are representations of compositions that can be opened in Flash Professional CS4. XFL files are essentially the XML equivalent of FLA files.


SWF files are small files that play in Flash Player. They are often used to deliver animated vector graphics (such as cartoons), audio, and other data types over the Internet. SWF files also allow viewer interaction, such as clicking to follow a web link, control animation, or provide input to a rich internet application (RIA). SWF files are the output created from FLA files.

FLV and F4V

FLV and F4V files contain only pixel-based (rasterized) video, not vector graphics, and they aren’t interactive. FLA files can contain and refer to FLV and F4V files, which are then embedded or linked in SWF files that play in Flash Player.