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I have a stop motion animation of about 35 seconds in duration (~150 frames). The resolution is quite large at around 900px x 450px.

What is the best format to play this looping on my website? I think my options are either .gif, standard .swf, or convert it into a movie .swf.

What is the recommended approach to this? I want the images to have a high fidelity and I was hoping to not use flash due to Apple incompatibility.

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If you want to avoid Flash, you can look into CSS animation. Here's one link (google for many others):

http://css-tricks.com/snippets/css/webkit-keyframe-animation-syntax/

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You might find that Adobe Edge provides everything you need to make this work as an animation, although that's a hefty image set, even as jpegs, and I suspect you would have loading speed issues. Edge is in public beta, so it's a free download from Adobe Labs. Its output is HTML5/CSS3/javascript.

The way I would probably tackle this would be to make it a streaming video (not a swf) with plenty of compression and loop that. Photoshop Extended makes it easy to import an image sequence and turn it into a video. If you have the Adobe Media Encoder as part of the suite edition you're working with, you can feed it .mov or .avi from Photoshop and have it output anything you like.

A brilliant and elegant example of this kind of effect is the Maersk fleet tracking website. (There's a lot about that site that is exceptionally well done, in fact.)

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