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Chapter 4. Using Bitmaps in Flash > Flash at Work: Animating Bitmaps

Flash at Work: Animating Bitmaps

Flash’s vector bias is most evident when bitmaps are animated. Flash does not interpolate bitmap information as easily or as well as it does vector information. Remember, bitmaps map each pixel in an image, so there is much more information to interpolate. Bitmap tweens can dramatically increase file size and can produce unwanted effects such as slight stuttering during playback.

Use bitmap animation sparingly and keep the animation simple for best results. Faster, shorter bitmap tweens such as quick zooms are best, and can disguise stuttering that can be apparent in slower tweens. Smaller bitmaps will affect file size less, as will confining animation to as small an area of the Stage as possible. Also, try to confine file-size–intensive effects such as bitmap animation to frames where there are few other effects, or users will have to wait even longer for content to download as movie elements compete for scarce bandwidth. If bitmap animation is crucial, you can experiment with setting a higher frame rate for better quality, but this also increases file size. As always, test several frame rates to make the best compromise between image quality and file size.


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