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Subject: MOVIE SIZE CONSIDERATIONS for Pascal and others [was: Re: FLASH:SITE CHECK please-Thanx]
From: unique
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2000 22:47:15 GMT



From: Pascal Brun <brunatflyart [dot] ch>

> Hi all

> thanks a lot for your feedback .. I really do appreciate it. This list ROCKS!
> A few comments to the different feedbacks:
> ...
> Ken: Thanks for the constructive critisisme..

Hi Pascal,

You're welcome, and I'm happy to hear that it sounds as if you took
it well! :-)

> what's wrong with the background in Navigator 4.08?


If you use the Publish feature, have you downloaded and installed (by
hand) the upgraded Templates from MM's site? Some of the original
templates are faulty/broken. Read:


(If you're on a Mac and have downloaded the Flash4.0a upgrade, you've
already DLed the upgraded templates, too.)

(2) HTML

You also probably want to learn more and understand how to tweak your
HTML in order to work around particular browser idiosyncracies. I'm
not up on all of the ins and outs of this, but the best place for you
to start is to go to flashcentral.com, hunt around for the flashtech
resources, get to the index / contents page, and scope out the info
under "HTML". Colin Moock also has some good info about this
territory ... you'll probably find him linked from the flashcentral
(John Croteau's) site.

Then check how your movie appears in the more common browsers
(Netscape 3.0 and up, Explorer 3.0 and up; *both* platforms (PC and
Mac). Do this "in-house" as much as you can (all the browsers for
your platform, at least), and by asking here for specific platform
checks that you may lack the equipment to do in-house.

> The size of my swf is 600 x450pix.. apparantely too big?!


I haven't had time to check out your entire movie. MUST you have it
be at a fixed size? (Only reason I can think of is if you are using
bitmaps in your movie, and they *must* remain as large as they
currently are). Otherwise, Publish so as to allow your movie to
resize in order to fit the viewer's browser window.

If, for whatever reason, you prefer to design for a fixed movie size,
you need to (a) determine what is the smallest monitor (set to
standard resolution) that you will allow (by your choice of movie
size) to see all of my movie, and then (b) get out a ruler and a
calculator and open up your browser and open up a window and start
measuring and calculating.

"*Everyone please go do this exercise on your own.* *Now.*"


"All right! Pencils down, now, please! Terminate all writing! Hand
your papers forward! Be sure to put yours on top!"

Sample Answer:

On my 17" AppleVision monitor, set as close to standard
72-pixels-per-inch resolution as I can get it (832 x 624), with a
Navigator 4.08 window fully expanded, toolbars NOT minimized (that
would be cheating), I have almost exactly 12-1/4" x 7" of "canvas"
area. Allowing for constant browser window frame area, that
translates to:

canvas area canvas area aspect
(inches) (pixels) ratio

17" 12-1/4" x 7" 882 x 504 1.55 : 1
15" 10-3/4" x 5-7/8" 774 x 423 1.83 : 1
14" 10" x 5-1/4" 720 x 384 1.88 : 1

compare: monitor viewable area 1.33 : 1
compare: wide-screen mon. view area 1.78 : 1

Now, long story short, for a "minimum" movie size, you (or at least
I) want a height that will fit on a 14" monitor (smallest height in
above chart), and an aspect ratio for a 17" monitor (smallest aspect
ratio from chart above). (Remember, I've (somewhat arbitrarily)
*chosen* to cover a range of monitors from 14" to 17"; if you choose
a different range, your math and numbers will be different.)

This comes out to 384 pixels for height (same as 14" max.), and,
multiplying by 1.55, 595 pixels for width.

Okay, hang in here, one more step. Grid considerations. You may have
none, or many. I prefer the flexibility of a constant movie size
coupled with at least 2 grid options: 10 and 12. 10 = 2 x 5, and 12 =
2 x 2 x 3, so I need movie sizes of multiples of 60
(2 x 2 x 3 x 5) in order to be able to have either size grid fit
evenly on the stage.

So, given my personal considerations (monitor size range and grid
needs), I would design on a stage that's 540 x 360 pixels. YMMV, of


Now, compare the canvas size needed to accomodate *your* movie,
*without scroll bars showing* (very unsightly; you never want scroll
bars showing). I experimented carefully, and found the minimum to be
688 x 554 pixels! TOO HIGH to fit on my 504-pixels-high monitor! Food
for thought for you.

> How would you solve the 50 seconds of boring waiting?

Think in terms of a preloader for your preloader! You always want
your audience to be "entertained" (*you* must define that word for
yourself). Static, repetitious, and minimally-changing graphics JUST
DON'T CUT IT. That includes the ever-so-popular thermometer bar
(blame Macromedia and their Shockwave "standard intro" for setting
*that* precedent!), and the flashing "LOADING".

BTW, *Flash 4 Magic* has a good discussion of and exercise in
preloading, right in the first project. You should also be able to
find good references at flashcentral (tech resources again).

> Tom: I appreciate CONSTRUCTIVE critisisme but I do *not" really
>understand your
> comment: What do you mean by a "Aren't I clever!" Flash site."? I have almost
> no programming experience and Flash is the first time ever I was
>confronted by
> scripting (and there sure ain't a lot of it in my swf :-))

I agree ... Tom's comments were antagonistic and lacked compassion.
Perhaps he will be willing to rephrase his commentary into terms of
constructive criticism ... as if you were one of his students. He's a
good guy, ya just caught him in a mood.


Ken Sherwood

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  Re: Site Check Pascal - for Ken & Tom [w, Pascal Brun
  Re: FLASH:SITE CHECK -for Ken and Pascal, Tom Green

  RE: FLASH: SITE CHECK please, Stefaniw, Ted
  Re: FLASH: SITE CHECK please-Thanx, Pascal Brun

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