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Preloaders

All the care you put into creating complex interactivity with multiple Timelines will be wasted if your viewer has to wait too long to download it over the Web and leaves. You can avoid losing viewers by creating short animations that entertain them and trigger the main Flash movie to start when enough data have been delivered over the Web to the viewers'computer. In effect, you hold back the playhead until you know that all the frames are available to play. Only then do you send the playhead to the starting frame of your movie. While you wait for the downloading to be complete, a common diversion is to play a preloader, or a small looping animation, to keep your audience occupied. Preloaders must be small in size since you want them to load almost immediately, and they should be informative, letting your viewers know what they're waiting for or how long they need to wait.

Flash provides two ways of creating the conditional statements inside your preloader that test for downloaded frames. The first is the action ifFrameLoaded. Although considered a deprecated action, it is easy to use because it provides you a way to specify a number of required frames in one simple statement.


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