Hi all, I recently started using Flash CS6 and could really use some help with a couple issues I'm having. I was using CS4 but it kept crashing on me. Anyway a project I'm working on requires about 40 layers, most of them start and end at the same time. Everything works works up to the 23rd layer, I can do a published preview and it works smooth and quick. However when I try adding an additional layer to make it 24 layers or anything above 24 layers, then the published preview slows to a crawl with jerky animation.
I don't know if it matters but I imported all but two layers from Photoshop, the other two layers are from Illustrator.
The second issue is that I have a background gradient image on its own layer that I also imported from Photoshop, except this one single Background doesn't show for the first half of video. Then for no reason at all a secondary background (that should not be there) drops out of video, which then shows my imported gradient background. Weird thing is I only have the one background, so I don't know where the second one is coming from or why it suddenly drops away.
Without actually seeing your movie, I'm guessing that you have too much going on for the graphics board to keep up. Importing Photoshop files will fill your movie with raster graphics. These take a lot more processing power to display and animate than vector graphics do.
Perhaps I should have added my system specs. I have 16 GB of Ram, an i5-3570K CPU @ 3.40GHz, 1TB hard drive, as well as a 512MB NVidia GeForce GTX 560TI graphics card.
As for the vector graphics versus raster graphics, the images I imported from Photoshop I made myself. Do you mean I should verify the format or convert them in Flash? It's been awhile since I learned about the two formats so I'm a little unclear.
From what I have read through online the .png, .gif, and .jpg are raster formats and from what I know via my prior classes I need to use .png and .gif formats (.jpg can be used but it's lower quality). The vector formats you're refering too are Illustrator native, Corel Draw, and openoffice, to name a few. Using anything beside .png, .gif, or .jpg really isn't going to help me at all.
Not only that but each image in my project is less than 60KB in size, which is tiny! The size of my Flash file itself is less than 8MB in size.
Having said that I really do not see how 24 layers each with an image that is 60KB in size could be causing the problem. Plus it isn't as though it's gradually getting slower up to having 24 layers, no. With 23 layers everything works smooth and quick. But add one more layer and the.swf video slows to half speed.
The Flash program itself doesn't change it is only the .swf video that suddenly appears as though the animation is super slow.
I hope having explained more of this helps to help me.
Ah, right...I should just post the video...I guess I should have done that from the start. I'll try uploading as a private youtube video and posting the link here. It will be two links, one with it running smoothly with 23 layers and the other with 24 layers and running very poorly.
As for sound or actionscript, it doesn't have either. Just the images.
Give me about 15-30 minutes. This will only be my second time uploading something to youtube.
Sorry about not replying with the links sooner, but Youtube and other online conversions sites wouldn't recognize the .SWF videos. So I used a program to record my screen while playing the .SWF video.
Here is the one (on the next line) with 23 layers, that plays good and smooth
Below is what happens when I try to add one more layer, for a total of 24 layers. It drags on for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. But about half way through is when the background falls away and it begins playing smoothly. As I said before, the background that drops away, is not even a layer I put in there...it's like a ghost layer.
You may noticed that they look different from each other, that's because I've making changes to the current contents.
It looks like the problem is caused by the complexity of the bubbles' moving under the text. Although each individual bubble is small and should be a simple matter to animate, because they are raster, bitmap, images and are moving under the text, which I'm guessing is also raster art, there are a lot of pixels that need to be composited in each frame. Remember that Flash builds each frame of the animation at runtime, it is not rendered beforehand and just displayed at runtime like video. The problem is not the size of the artwork objects, it's the complexity of the animation.
The text could easily be produced right in Flash and therefore be vector art. The bubble could also be drawn in Flash as a vector. Changing each of these would make for a simpler animation.
This is a screen capture I took to show the path of animation, which is shown by the black line. The bubbles on each layer were made by using the brush tool in photoshop (which I first had to made the bubble myself), I painted five random bubbles per layer and than saved that layer as a .png for the transparency effect. Then after importing it into Flash I used the Motion Tween to draw the path of animation.
So really the animation is a rather simple line with a few curves.
I made the text in Adobe Illustrator, which I think I read was vector based.
Also, what about the background issue? Even with 23 layers in this project the background doesn't show up. If I have 24 layers the false background drops away half-way through play back. But with 23 layers there is no background when playing the .SWF video.
I understand you are focused on the raster versus vector as being the possible culprit here and you could possibly be right! However!! For arguements sake, let's say that is not the case...or maybe that is only partly the case.
Are there any other possibilities which could cause these issues or any settings or clearing of cache or setting a image as a graphic instead of a movie or symbol instead of a graphic.
Also I want you to know that I am grateful for your help and patience with this so far! The reason I keep questioning is that up until Flash CS4 suddenly crashing on me and saying it was out of memory with this project. I had made probably a dozen class projects similar yet different to this one without any problems. Of course that probably doesn't say much since people on this forum have probably made hundreds of projects.
All I'm saying is this is the first major problem I've encountered between Flash CS4 (the constant crashing) and CS6 (the current problem).
It also seems rather strange that if this were a raster versus vector issue, shouldn't Flash be powerful enough to work with that? Because I'm working on a computer I built to handle 3DS Max so that in addition to working in Flash one dimensional projects, I can work in 3DS Max to build 3D models, texture them, and animate them in 3DS Max. Which requires substantially more rendering power.
At any rate, I'm going try saving the Illustrator text layer in it's native format to see if that makes any changes. I'll also attempt to remake the background directly in Flash, but I still feel as though their is some easier way to fix all this aside from the raster versus vector........there just has to be.
One last item I want to mention is that as we know Flash, Photoshop, and Illustrator are all Adobe products and have been developed and improved upon for years. So wouldn't it stand to reason that Flash would be capable of handling numerious layers of the file formats from Photoshop and Illustrator without the type of problems I'm facing.
Sorry for running on and on, I'm just feeling confused. Please let me know what you think.
And again I am grateful for your help!
Ok, so I remade the gradient background in Flash and it is showing correctly now. Go figure. But remaking the background was easy. However again adding up to 24 layers and back to the same problem.
As far as the bubbles and the Illustrator text layers, that is another matter. I'm going to try importing the text layer in as the native file and see if there is any actual improvement with that.
If your movie is using all of the available resources on your computer and the movie is failing then you need to reduce the load on the computer. If you save out an .swf using the, successful, 23 layers, can you play it back on more than one computer? Does it run correctly in all cases?
If you are designing for the web, you need to design for the lowest common denominator in your expected audience. You want your movie to play anywhere, not just on your computer.
I'm suggesting that you use vector art so that you can get a more successful animation. You might also try using fewer bubbles in each layer, or just fewer layers altogether.
The problem with the background is just a manifestation of the overall memory problem. Flash was losing its ability to correctly render the movie.
Alright, well, I think we are at an impase here because we seem to be rehashing the same issues over and over. I've remade the background in Flash and converted the Illustrator files to .swf files prior to importing into Flash. Yet I'm still running into problems.
From all this I'm not entirely convinced that remaking the bubbles in Flash will be an improvement, that's assuming I can remake them the same in Flash. Overall, I'm simply done with this project.
I'm not going to rate this session, because honestly we didn't accomplish anything here. However you did attempt to help me. So I'm leaving the session as neutral.