Flash Optimizing, Bettering Your FLA & SWF
by Chris Charlton

Flash performance means everything. With Adobe's name on Flash, there's bound to be floods more inexperienced Flash users publishing animations that aren't bandwidth and CPU friendly. As industry professionals, we have a responsibility to not let Flash backfire on us. You may have experienced this already with a client, refusing a feature because of bad personal encounters. Features are one part of the battle, performance is always part of the battle.

Time for that phrase we all enjoy - production standards. We all need to be responsible with our authoring work. There are some work flow techniques that can be second nature to you when working in Flash. Some may seem simple or common, but do you use them 100% of the time?! I'd hope so. Things like simple asset considerations must be met before importing assets, true, and there are considerations for production when using the assets. Here's where work flow techniques cash in; imagine opening an FLA 6-months later to not know where or what everything is, very unprofessional.

By adopting techniques covered here, you can be assured your published movies and FLA's all well made and maintainable. This article covers techniques I've trained, learned, borrowed, and invented in over 7 years of using Flash.

  • Library & Symbol Commandments - authoring and maintenance standards.
  • Timeline Production Must-do's for Stage & Moveclips.
  • Optimizing Timeline animations and ensuring performance.
  • Movie Frame rate and Filter/Effect recommendations.

A few Flash 8 specific features are covered, but this entire article is for any version higher than Flash 3.

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Chris Charlton

Chris CharltonChris, Los Angeles' CSS & ActionScript guru, successfully cannonballed into web development in the late 90's. Always caught up with the latest in Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and XML, Chris authored premium articles for the largest Dreamweaver/Flash community (www.DMXzone.com) and produced WebDevDesign (iTunes featured), a popular Web Design & Development Podcast. Somewhere, Chris finds time to run an authorized Adobe user group focused around open source and Adobe technologies. Being a big community leader, Chris Charlton remains a resident faculty member of the Rich Media Insitute and lends himself to speak at large industry events, like JobStock, NAB, and FITC Hollywood.

Brain cycles from Chris are always Web Standards, Flash Platform, and accessibility.

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