Flash 8 – Using Filters and Custom Tweens to Save Filesize

DefaultComments Off on Flash 8 – Using Filters and Custom Tweens to Save FilesizePosted on August 10, 2005 by:
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I put together a quick set of changes to the Philadelphia Flash MMUG site yesterday to incorporate the new box shot and rune logo for Flash 8. While I was at it I went ahead and replaced a tween sequence for the box shot with the new filters, specifically blur and drop shadow. Previously this effect involved a series of about 4 seperate imported images with varying degrees of motion blur fliters from Photoshop, played in sequence, in order to acheive the motion blur affect of the box shot moving into the scene from the left across the image and then stopping at the right. When I finished that, I then added in a quick glow effect for a moment at the end of the sequqnce that did not exist before. Prior to these changes and Flash 8, this little animation took up several keyframes and several individual tweens, and as mentioned several imported images. Now it only requires a single transparent .PNG file, and a single tween. Thanks to the custom tweening feature of Flash 8 I was able to set the tween properties on the blur filter and motion at seperate and custom rates. In the end it shaved about 32k in image size off the resulting file, its easier to create and edit, and it looks smoother and plays back much faster. I was also able to fix a longstanding typo in a handcoded image in the top “About Our MMUG” section. Previously it was .gif file imported in order to retain readability at the small size. Now using the saffron enhanced type quality I was able to set the quality of the type exactly how I wanted it.
All these changes took just a few minutes to implement and the impact it has may seem subtle to the viewer, but for the development and maintenance and creative process, these few enhancements and new features are just incredible. Traditional animators, and cartoon style animators are really going to love the custom tween features. The ability to control multiple properties individually in one custom tween with custom levels and settings for each has been something that could only be done programatically via ActionScript until now. I have been wanting something like this in Flash since Adobe’s Livemotion had implemented some very cool tweening features, think that was about the only thing I liked about LiveMotion back then.
I’ll be posting up some more examples of other features as time permites. One other thing I’m going to implement on the PhilaFlashMMUG site, once the Flash Player 8 is deemed Final and is the default installer from Macromedia, will be to replace my existing Flash detection routine with the new Flash Player 8 Detection Script and incorporate usage of the Flash Express installer so it will prompt a user to install Flash directly inline in the Flash content, ala-Central style. Hopefully that will be very soon. 🙂

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