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Optimizing Your Movie

Understanding the tools you use to create graphics, animation, sound, and ActionScript is important, but it’s equally important to know how best to use them to create streamlined Flash movies. After all, the best-laid designs and animations won’t be appreciated if poor construction and clunky code make them too large to download or too inefficient to play easily. To streamline a Flash movie, you use optimizations that keep the file size small, the animations smooth, and the revisions simple. Many different factors affect the file size and performance of the final exported SWF. Bitmaps, sounds, complicated shapes, color gradients, alpha transparencies, and embedded fonts all increase the Flash file size and slow down the movie’s performance. Only you can weigh the trade-offs between the quality and quantity of Flash content and the size and performance of the movie. Keep in mind the audience to whom you’re delivering your Flash movies. Does your audience have Internet connections with DSL or cable lines, or does your audience rely on 56K modems? Knowing the answer to this question helps you make more informed choices about what to include in your movie and how to build it.

The following strategies can help you work more efficiently and help you create smaller, more manageable, better performing Flash movies.


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