12 Replies Latest reply on Mar 19, 2010 7:15 PM by Dragotro

    tips for keeping load times down

    Dragotro

      Can someone give me tips for keeping load times down? i'm using strictly flash catalyst and photoshop

       

      The site i'm working on is a bit slow about 30 seconds and I need to add more than twice the images to the gallery still... the site can be found here:

      http://forums.adobe.com/thread/596824?tstart=0

       

      Where I initially posted on the topic.

       

      I'd also like to understand at what point does Flash Catalyst embed images into an SWF file and at what times does it create a folder and store the images as JPGs?

        • 1. Re: tips for keeping load times down
          Tara Jane Feener Level 3

          Hey!

          When you choose to run your Flash Catalyst project, the swf is compiled with any embedded images in the project.

          Embedded images are those marked in code view as: a BitmapImage tag, with a source property, and your image source wrapped in '@Embed'.

          Catalyst beta 2 auto embeds all images, so you may have a large swf if you're placing large image files on the artboard.

           

          If you were to create an externalized image in a Flash Builder project (i.e. - an image loaded dynamically at run time, and not compiled into your swf), you would see Flash Builder create a folder and place your externalized image inside.

           

          You can bring your Catalyst project over to Builder to externalize any images you'd like, but it will require some hand coding.

           

          In the meantime to reduce file size you can compress your images in Flash Catalyst through the library panel.

          It will result in a loss of image quality.

           

          Load times/project optimization are something we're actively thinking about and enhancing, so please post any suggestions for further feedback.

          If you need some pointers with creating externalized images in builder, please let me know and I'll find some good resources.

           

          Does this answer your questions?

          Thanks for posting,

          Tara

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: tips for keeping load times down
            Dragotro Level 1

            thanks Tara, i'd definitely like to have more information on how to make this work with builder. Is this the best way to do this? i don't know much about coding at all. What do I need to know to do this? When I set this up to load the images externally. Does it affect my animation at all? I've even considered creating a new SWF altogether for each gallery page but thought that would probably be too excessive.

             

            Or should I just compress the images in FC?

             

            thanks...

            • 3. Re: tips for keeping load times down
              Tara Jane Feener Level 3

              Hey!

              So as a first attempt, and to stay within the bounds of Catalyst, you can start by compressing your images.

              Try compressing at 90% such that you don't see a drastic reduction in quality and test to see if it helps load time.

               

              If compression doesn't give you what you want, you can try diving into some code in builder.

              Check out the Images reference: http://livedocs.adobe.com/flex/3/html/help.html?content=controls_16.html, and in particular the section subtitled: Specifying the image path

               

              Note that once you go over to builder you won't be able to bring your project back into Catalyst.

               

              For more information on decreasing your swf size (and hence your load time), you may want to check out this flex cookbook article:

              http://cookbooks.adobe.com/post_How_do_we_reduce_SWF_size_so_that_the_download_tim-12169.h tml

               

              Let me know if this helps, and again, we're thinking about deployed project performance for future versions of Catalyst so we'll continue to expose new features to help.

              Thanks,

              Tara

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: tips for keeping load times down
                Dragotro Level 1

                thanks Tara,

                 

                so I tried compressing some of the images in FC...it makes a copy of the image and I have to reanimate it? Or can I just delete the old one?

                • 5. Re: tips for keeping load times down
                  Tara Jane Feener Level 3

                  Hey!

                  So the copy actually replaces your original in the project.

                  If you look at code view, you should see the new image name (copy1.jpg) now replaces your old image.

                  You shouldn't have to do anything else.

                  Deleting the old image will delete your original image, so it's up to you whether you'd like to keep the original artwork in your project.

                  You can always delete it, and reimport it later if you want original image quality.

                  Thanks!

                  Tara

                  • 6. Re: tips for keeping load times down
                    Dragotro Level 1

                    It seems like so many changes you make within FC is cause for having to reanimate things that you do! Is there a replace artwork option that i've overlooked or something?

                     

                    Also, what exactly is builder? Would I need to know a lot of code to simply make my SWF load my images externally? And once I went through all the trouble would it give me unfortunate results?

                    • 7. Re: tips for keeping load times down
                      Tara Jane Feener Level 3

                      Hey!

                      You shouldn't have to re-animate your image.

                      Compressing an image just creates a new, compressed image file, and updates the source of your image to point at the compressed image instead of the original image.

                      Which is essentially, a compress and replace artwork operation.

                      If you do have to re-animate, that sounds like a bug, and if so, I'd like to take a look at the FXP.

                      You can find out everything you need about Flash Builder here: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashbuilder4/

                      The links I provided you with previously describe the code needed to make your images load externally, and if you decide to try and go down this route the Flash Builder forums should be able to assist you: http://forums.adobe.com/community/labs/gumbo/

                      I hope this helps, and if you'd like to post ideas/performance as something which is important to you please go to: http://ideas.adobe.com/flashcatalyst

                      Thanks again!

                      Tara

                      • 8. Re: tips for keeping load times down
                        Dragotro Level 1

                        thanks! I guess I didn't really understand the library view... so am I right to assume that not everything in the Library view actually is put into the SWF file? Where can I find a list then of everything that is going to be placed in the SWF?

                        • 9. Re: tips for keeping load times down
                          Tara Jane Feener Level 3

                          Yes! That is right.

                          Not everything in the library is embedded in the swf... only the images which you actually use on your Catalyst artboard (stage).

                          There is no easy way to 'see' what's included in your swf.

                          Does this make sense?

                          Thanks!

                          Tara

                          • 10. Re: tips for keeping load times down
                            Dragotro Level 1

                            yes that makes sense. thanks!

                             

                            now, I wanted to ask.. if I want to make a change to something on the artboard but on EVERY stage.. how do I do that. Say I change the formatting of some text. Or the position of an image. Is there a way to edit this across a selected amount of stages?

                             

                            I have noticed that deleting while pressing the CTRL button actually deletes across all stages.. are there other tricks like this?

                            • 11. Re: tips for keeping load times down
                              Tara Jane Feener Level 3

                              If you edit the position (or size, or other property) in one state, you can make it the same in all states by using the 'Make Same in All States' command.

                              Right clicking an item in Catalyst which exists in multiple states, exposes 'Make Same in All States' in the context menu (if a property differs).

                              Is this what you're looking for?

                              Thanks!

                              Tara

                              • 12. Re: tips for keeping load times down
                                Dragotro Level 1

                                Yes thats great! thanks...!

                                 

                                If I want to lower my load times for the site I listed in the first post... would you suggest I figure out and create an in between SWF so I have a seperate SWF just for the gallery? Or do some sort of preloading so it loads AFTER the rest of the site? Or would you suggest I just compress everything? Or put the images as JPGs? What would most people do with a site of this size... and gallery like that?