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Part IIC: Advanced Workshops > Offline Production

Workshop Chapter 14. Offline Production

This workshop chapter combines offline production with time-based animation. As discussed in Chapter 3, “The Programmer’s Approach,” offline production is any procedure that’s executed only during authoring. The process of collecting coordinates for the mapping exercise—which we covered in Workshop Chapter 5, “Mapping and Scripted Masks”—is an example of offline production. In this workshop chapter, we will build a data string and output it using the trace() command. Then we’ll take the text that appears in the Output window to another file and use it in a time-based animation sequence. Making one file that gathers data and another file that uses that data might seem like extra work, but you’ll see that both files can be quite simple. The file that acquires data has one simple job: to gather data; the file that uses that data also has a simple job: to use the data.

Think about how a player piano accepts a roll of paper that has holes punched out of it. Imagine now that there was a special piano that punched the holes as you played on the keyboard. We’re going to build a special Flash movie that produces the data for an animation and another movie that uses the data. After the data is produced, the offline movie that produced it can be discarded or saved for future jobs because it will have done its job.


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