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Best way to optimise animation frames?

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His Dudeness
Best way to optimise animation frames?
on Mar 30, 2006 at 4:11:59 pm

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to spare some time to help me out here? I'm an artist currently working with a programmer to produce a small Flash game. I'm rendering short character animations (eg. jump) in 3DS Max as 2D frames to be imported into Flash. There frames were are then compiled into symbols which can be called upon when certain keys are hit. In this way the game will have a 3D like appearence but will ultimately be 2D. Our problems lie in memory usage and slow down which we got a lot of! We created a prototype where each of the frames was imported into Flash as a PSD to preserve the transparency/alpha so that the character could be layered ontop of a vector background. Are we better off:

a) importing frames as PNG's which also have alpha channels - does Flash recognise these though?

b) filling a layer of pure green behind each of the character frames in photoshop, then saving as JPeg's with smaller file sizes and finally keying out the green using Flash's 'ink' tool?

c)sticking with the PSD's?

Also we plan to have each of the animations running at 24fps - is this too ambitious for a Flash game?

Finally anyother actionscript tweaks we could make to optimise things further. I dont fully understand the whole issue of memory, cache, etc but I could pass on tips to my programmer (his first time working with flash/actionscript).

Thanks for your time!

His Dudeness


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His Dudeness
PS...
on Mar 30, 2006 at 4:17:53 pm

i forgot to mention that the game is to be dilivered offline from a disc/install so streaming/bandwidth is not an issue, just cpu performance...


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Chris Figat
Re: PS...
on Mar 30, 2006 at 6:25:13 pm

I'd go PNG, and yes flash will recognize the alpha channels. As far FPS it's tough to say, you might want to do some testing and see how it performs. you could prob go to about 15fps without noticing too much quality loss at that size though.



i'm not random i'm tangent oriented...


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Matt Klundt
Re: PS...
on Mar 31, 2006 at 5:12:26 pm

I'd agree that PNG is the best way to go. I also think that 24fps is not too high to aim for, unless you are expecting it to play full screen, but I would still try anyway.

I don't know if you are aware of it, but if you are using Flash 8, be sure to check out the cacheAsBitmap property to help you optimize the rendering.

Matt
--------------------
http://www.mcquillendesign.com
http://www.mattfoxgames.com


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His Dudeness
Re: PS...
on Apr 1, 2006 at 9:20:28 am

Ok thanks guys, PNG it is. I think im going to knock up a quick prototype using one idle animation running at three different frame rates 12, 18 & 24fps.

I'd never heard of the cacheAsBitmap property. Unfortuneately we have to use Flash 7 as opposed to 8 because the game is being developed for schools which supposedly, the majority of, are still using Flash 7.

Thank you for your help!

His Dudeness

PS - Matt: Pixel Monkey rocks!


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