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Thread: Whats the secret of optimizing flash skins?

  1. #1
    Mo' Programming Mo' Problems
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    Sonicxtacy02's Avatar
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    Whats the secret of optimizing flash skins?

    As most of you know i've ventured into created a flash skin. While i feel pretty proficient in the matter there's one thing thats always bugged me. Using other flash skins like freedom and Flashdeck i notice the animation is always crisp and smooth. I've tried diligently to get my skin this way but it just seems like no matter what i try it doesnt compare. So i'm looking for the gurus to come out and explain how they get fade effects, moving effects and so on so completely fluid.
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    Constant Bitrate Playerbeat's Avatar
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    I noticed your was little on the choppy side myself. Are you using the solid command? What Frame fate are you using? Make sure that your skin is only running one effect at a time. The less effects the better. RR just can't handle much moving around at once. Also I found that the faster and shorter the effect(s) the less cpu you'll be using. For example, in my skin I have the track title scrolling, at first I had it scrolling by slowly hoping the slower it moved the less cpu usage it would take. I was wrong. Now I have the track title scroll by faster and stop in between scrolls for a few seconds. Works great. Anyways I know I'm not much help, but I thought I'd try and throw a few ideas out there and hope for the real gurus to show up.
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  3. #3
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    yes i am using the solid command and it does make a pretty big difference in the speed of loading the .swf files... though i havent noticed a difference in the actual speed of the effects. I must admit i do have ALOT goin on at once in my skins but i try to keep it all useful. I also wonder what the difference is in the export options. Is there any difference in exporting into flash 8 speed-wise. I've always used flash 6 pretty much because its so much easier to code than 8.
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    FreeDrive Creator CdRsKuLL's Avatar
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    I noticed simply by putting a emtpy frame between loops helps loads, its just a case of having task manager running so you can see the cpu usage and playing with timers / effects. Things like when you change tracks you cant have any effects going as the playlist flash takes up some cpu usage, thats why my track number zoom outs a second or so after the tracks changed.

    CdR

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    Quote Originally Posted by CdRsKuLL View Post
    I noticed simply by putting a emtpy frame between loops helps loads, its just a case of having task manager running so you can see the cpu usage and playing with timers / effects. Things like when you change tracks you cant have any effects going as the playlist flash takes up some cpu usage, thats why my track number zoom outs a second or so after the tracks changed.

    CdR
    Thanks for the advice CdR. Now while i have you in here i wanted to see if i could get some feedback on how you handle effects. For instance, on freedom when u fade into the config screen are you using the fade effect on every element in that sprite or are you simply fading in the entire sprite(i assume its a sprite). Cause right now with my fading screens i'm fading in individual elements and there's ALOT more lag than with yours. These are the things i need to grasp next. I'm at the point where i can get about anything to be functional but i need to learn more about making it work more efficiently.
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  6. #6
    FreeDrive Creator CdRsKuLL's Avatar
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    I'm only fading a single item, it looks like everything is fading in.. when infact something is fading OUT :-)

    CdR

  7. #7
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    lol well thats an interesting approach
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  8. #8
    FreeDrive Creator CdRsKuLL's Avatar
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    yeah, you have to limit everything.. the color checker doesnt take up alot of cpu usage, but it does stagger your flash and stop it running smoothly.. you need to put checkers in every thing.. ie..

    if (newcol <> oldcol) { // This is the checker
    oldcol = newcol;
    myColor = new Color (TRACKNAME);
    myColor.setRGB(parseInt(newcol));
    myColor = new Color (CURRENTTRACKTIME);
    myColor.setRGB(parseInt(newcol));
    myColor = new Color (TIME);
    myColor.setRGB(parseInt(newcol));
    }

    etc.. this way it only changes the colours when it changes, not when there the same colour as doing that is a waste..

    Also if you have lots of text that are going to be the same colour all the time, then its alot easier to group them in a sprite and just change the sprite colour.. ie..

    Insert a sprite into your scene, call it TEXTCOLOUR , then simple put all your TRACKNAME / TIME / TODAY etc.. etc.. inside it. To change the colour of all of them at once you just use one line, rather than like above, doing them all seperate..


    myColor = new Color (TEXTCOLOUR);
    myColor.setRGB(parseInt(newcol));

    hope this helps, just little bits like this will improve your flash speed :-) Its all a case of trial and error, making a change and testing it.. the other thing which I found which Guino added into RR was the SOLID thing, which can be added to a flash line in your .skin which saves it being buffered into memory before showing it.

    CdR

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    thats a great help.. i didnt think about all the things i have changing color every loop. Thanks!
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  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate DiNASTY's Avatar
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    I would do what CDR suggested and monitor your CPU usage. If one of your loops is taking up even the slightest bit of CPU, it can cause other effects to run choppy.

    I have also heard that the timeline is more efficient than using code when it comes to effects. For example, a fade-out effect would be better than sprite._alpha -= 10;

    AFAIK, the next flash player will have hardware acceleration or "3D" capability so that would be nice.

    -DiNASTY
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