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Lesson 9. Creating a Flash Movie > Making the Timeline More Efficient

Making the Timeline More Efficient

As you can see just by clicking around the timeline, each of the three screens is contained within a keyframe segment, beginning in Frame 1, 47, or 67. While the timeline basically works, in that it represents the three screens well enough, it could be more efficient.

Click the word freehand in the layer name stack to select that layer. Click the Delete Layer (trash can) button.

The freehand layer is deleted, and the bottom layer now is buttons.

This freehand layer is unnecessary, because it is entirely empty, and you're never going to put anything into it. Removing this layer won't really affect the final output SWF file, though. When you export a movie as a SWF, Flash flattens it anyway to minimize file size. Having superfluous layers only clutters the authoring environment, so you might as well get rid of it.

Click Frame 67 of the logo layer. Choose Modify > Timeline > Clear Keyframe.

This step removes the keyframe from Frame 67. This keyframe wasn't really necessary, because its content—the logo and the gray line—don't change from the previous keyframe. Remember, use keyframes when you want something to change. The logo and gray line are present and in the same location in Frames 47 and 67, so a keyframe is superfluous.

Superfluous keyframes are not a good idea, because Flash provides instructions for each keyframe in the output SWF. So if a keyframe has the exact content as the keyframe before it, Flash ends up sending the same instructions twice, which bloats the file size and requires extra processing cycles.

Remove the keyframes from Frame 67 of the text What is it and text Organic farming layers.

The content on these layers do not change between Frames 47 and 67, so these two keyframes are superfluous as well.

The remaining keyframes in Frame 67 will all hold unique or changed content, so leave the rest of the keyframes alone.



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