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Performance Issues and How to Resolve Them

Performance Issues and How to Resolve Them

It’s no secret that devices are slower than desktop computers. In the case of Flash content, this means optimize, optimize, optimize. For example:

  • Start your project with a frame rate of 10 to 15 fps.

    Apart from making it easier for the Flash Lite player to keep up, a lower frame rate will also lead to a smaller file size. Remember, each keyframe of a symbol adds 12 bytes to a SWF movie. This may not sound like much, but it sure can add up, especially in the case of animations.

  • Place your artwork in symbols rather than on the main Timeline or in groups.

    Optimize the symbols by selecting Modify > Shape > Optimize or by hand with the subselection tool. Remove unnecessary points, and any hidden shapes and symbols. This can be tedious work, but it’ll make your content look and perform better and it will reduce the SWF file size.

  • Simplify your animations.

    Don’t have too many things going on at the same time. Avoid performance killers such as alpha transparencies and gradients. They create a better-looking animation, but they also affect performance. Besides, on a small phone display, much of the effect is lost anyway; it may even look worse. Simpler graphics will often look better and perform better on the small screen.

  • Avoid pans and alpha fades.

    Short (five-frame) fades over a static background may work just fine. If possible, work only with shapes and remove lines, including outlines around shapes. Lines are more complex to render for Flash, and thus slower. Create outlines using shapes instead if needed.

All of the above also applies to desktop animations; however, when creating animations for mobile devices, you will run quickly into problems when you ignore these best practices.