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Performance Hits

So far, this hour has covered optimization as it applies to making files smaller (so they download quickly). The other side of optimization involves making a movie play quickly—in other words, ensuring that its performance is consistent and smooth on all users' computers. If you set your frame rate to, say, 12 fps, it will never exceed that number. However, on some computers, it might slow to a lower rate. Unfortunately, there isn't a “Performance Profiler” (similar to the Bandwidth Profiler) where you can simulate performance on other machines. There are far too many variables that can affect playback speed. For the rest of this hour, we'll look at ways to avoid common performance hits to ensure the best possible performance on every user's machine.

Avoiding Gratuitous Special Effects

In previous hours you learned how unnecessary special effects can distract users from your core message. However, there's another reason to avoid gratuitous special effects: Having too many effects can cause a movie to play slowly. For example, it might not be necessary to rotate and motion tween each piece of text that appears onscreen. Maybe this is interesting for the first block of text, but it can get tiring to wait for each to do its animation. Plus, if a user's computer slows down for each tween, the effect is even more disruptive.


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