Im hoping someone clever can help...
What i have done so far:
1) Created a flipbook using indesign CS5.5 that contains approx 25
images (embedded PNG's), these need to be good quality as this is a
portfolio - I'd also like to keep the 'page curl' effect. This makes the SWF generated cira 25MB.
2) created a Flash website "wrapper" to hold the above flipbook and add
features such as "bookmarks", links to other sites and forward/backward
page navigation buttions.
The issue we have is that because the flipbook SWF is 25MB the site
load time is slow.
What can be done to speed this up without compromising the image
1) Is there a way to make the indesign SWF smaller?
2) is there a way in indesign to properly give each page an
"instance name" so that they can be controlled from flash and therefore
I can load each pages image as and when needed.
any other ideas?
(If you'd like to visit the website to view the loading issue http://www.lizblackdesigns.co.uk)
You can export every page you have as an individual SWF files. Then create an empty InDesign document and place those SWF-files back, one SWF / page.
Select all the placed SWF files one by one and check Play on Page Load in Window>Interactive>Media panel. Select also a poster type, I suggest From Current Frame option.
Now you can export your main SWF again. InDesign does not embedd your actual page SWFs to that main SWF so you probably can get a considerably smaller file. When end user opens up your SWF, he/she has to preload only your small main SWF, Flash Player loads your actual contens/page SWFs dynamically at runtime.
If you want to have extra functions, check out http://www.edocker.fi/index.php/en/products/edocker2-desktop-publisher /
You can use it for free for few days. It helps you to finalize your SWF inside user interface (adds a zoom, print, bookmarks dropdown menu etc)
ps. if you use this separate page SWF method, InDesign creates you a folder named filename_Resources and stores all the page SWFs there. Make sure that where ever you put your main exported SWF, put that resources folder to same place, in your computer and in server as well. If it´s not there, Flash Player won´t find your actual pages and shows only poster images to end-users.
these need to be good quality as this is a portfolio
The approach to your portfolio website seems very outdated and will not help you in the near future. Flash is being used less and less with the increase in Mobile Devices being used to access the internet - a large chunk of which include Apple's iDevices which don't support Flash. This alone is a reason not to do it, however there are a few other big issues with the method you have chosen.
If you are set on keeping the Flash setup for your website, re-build using as much text, color shapes and lines as you can (vector work in other words) and do not rasterize/export as image. This will drastically reduce load time and increase quality. You will also want to divide your file into sections and create more than 1 HTML page so that the browser only loads a bit at a time. You might also want to set a maximum size container for the Flash file as on my browser, it looks extremely pixelated and is very large, but unclear.
I would suggest looking into HTML5 if you are keen to create a website that can be viewed by around 98% of the web surfing people and it will also mean you can use an image slider (or similar) to show good quality images of your work. This will aid your site in being found by search engines but will also allow you to update sections of the site without re-publishing the entire Flash file.
I strongly second Rik's comments.
If you don't feel comfortable with HTML/CSS I would recommend looking at Muse. It's perfect for this kind of site.
It's part of Creative Cloud or you'll need to subscribe separately. Given that you already have a CS5.5 license you can move to Creative Cloud for $29.99/month for the first year. But that offer ends on Friday.
Excellent idea Petteri, I will give this a go tomorrow. My only worry before testing it out is that the pages might take a while to individually load, and I need it to run as smoothly as possible. Currently - as pngs the pages are currently around 400 - 700KB.
Rik - I am aware of the issue with apple, but dedided to stick with flash due to its ability to accomodate creative/animation content. Plus I'm familar with it, and Im hoping no one will will look at it on an ipad/mobile as its only intended for directing prospective employers to. So with regards to the content - for me this is irrelevant as I'm not a freelancer.
Thanks for the advice on the text, I will look into this as a a way of reducing file size, and yes I know the loading time is currently ridiculous, a five second rule sounds like a good amount of time.