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Optimizing artwork

From: Flash Catalyst CS5 Essential Training

Video: Optimizing artwork

Everything that we create inside of Flash Catalyst is going to end up being displayed on a computer screen, either in a web browser or on the desktop if I create an AIR application. It's important to realize that even though you yourself are not writing any computer code with Flash Catalyst, everything that you do inside of the application is converted into code for you. Now when working with code, there are certainly ways to make things more efficient, and specifically, I'm talking about ways to make things playback faster from a performance standpoint inside of a web browser.

Optimizing artwork

Everything that we create inside of Flash Catalyst is going to end up being displayed on a computer screen, either in a web browser or on the desktop if I create an AIR application. It's important to realize that even though you yourself are not writing any computer code with Flash Catalyst, everything that you do inside of the application is converted into code for you. Now when working with code, there are certainly ways to make things more efficient, and specifically, I'm talking about ways to make things playback faster from a performance standpoint inside of a web browser.

For example, let's take a look at this logo here. The Two Trees Olive Oil logo is actually made up of many, many different vector shapes. If I reveal the contents of the Border layer, I'll see many different groups here that make up that logo. I have this Group here, this one, this one, so on and so forth. Now to make things easier for myself as a designer, to work inside of Flash Catalyst, I could certainly take all these elements and group them together. In fact, I'll do that right now. I'll click on the first group over here, I'll hold down the Shift key and click on this Path to select all the elements used to make up that logo.

Then I'll press Ctrl+G or Command+ G to turn that into a single group. However, that Group is still made up of many, many vector objects. Those vector objects are all represented as computer code, and that means that when I'm plying my application back in a web browser, the browser has to go ahead and decipher all of that code. Just to get a better idea of what I mean here, I'm actually going to go over here to where it says Design, and I'm going to toggle to the Code view. Because I have the Group selected on my artboard, it brings me directly to that area here inside of the code.

Now I only see the Group highlighted right here, but all of these elements are inside of the group. These are all the paths and objects that make up that group. In fact, if I come back over here for a moment and I click on this Minus sign to collapse the Group, you can see that Group itself is made up of about 150 lines of code. Now, if that logo is being displayed in many different areas of my application, it means every time that that logo gets displayed, my web browser has to now process 150 lines of code. If I know that logo is being used several times throughout my project, it might be more efficient for me to load that 150 lines of code into my browser once and simply have the browser refer to that code whenever it needs to display that graphic.

Now, I certainly don't want to make any changes to any code, after all as a designer, I don't want to have to see code at all. However, as a designer I can choose to optimize my graphics in order to get better performance on playback of my contents in a browser. Let's see how we do that. I'm going to switch back to Design view and with this group right now selected, you can see that in the HUD, I now have a new option. It's called Optimize Artwork. I can choose a command called Optimize Vector Graphics. In this case, because all of this artwork is vector, choosing this option will create something called an Optimized Graphic in my project.

That means if the code is saved off once in my file, and any time that graphic appears, it simply refers to that separate code. So, I'll choose this option here and I've now successfully converted this object into an Optimized Graphic. You can see that now that appears here in the Properties panel and also in the HUD. Just so that you can appreciate what happened here in the code, if I go back to the Code view now inside of Flash Catalyst, you'll see that I now have single graphic called Graphic1 that takes up just one line of computer code. This way the entire logo gets loaded when my application first appears in my browser and it's already loaded in memory each time the application needs it.

I'll go back to Design view because I have one other thing which I would like to share with you about optimizing graphics. You'll notice there is also another option here called rasterize. There may be times when a vector graphic is really a very complex and made up of many, many different Path objects. In those cases, it may be best simply to rasterize that entire graphic. By the way, when working with rasterized images, there is also an option here called Convert to Linked Image. This way, I would have a smaller SWF file that will download quickly and that will load the image externally.

So while you certainly don't have to be a programmer to use Flash Catalyst, you can definitely benefit by optimizing certain artwork to enhance performance so that your project plays back faster in a web browser.

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This video is part of

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Flash Catalyst CS5 Essential Training

66 video lessons · 19571 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 9m 24s
    1. Welcome
      1m 29s
    2. Key concepts
      4m 33s
    3. When should I use Flash Catalyst?
      2m 51s
    4. Using the exercise files
      31s
  2. 33m 12s
    1. Creating a new project
      5m 14s
    2. Defining components
      6m 26s
    3. Adding pages
      5m 41s
    4. Adding interaction
      6m 20s
    5. Adding transitions
      7m 12s
    6. Publishing options
      2m 19s
  3. 21m 37s
    1. Planning your project
      8m 11s
    2. Starting your project in Illustrator
      4m 9s
    3. Starting your project in Photoshop
      4m 22s
    4. Starting your project in Fireworks
      3m 10s
    5. Starting your project in Flash Catalyst
      1m 45s
  4. 30m 55s
    1. Understanding components
      5m 14s
    2. Creating a button component
      7m 10s
    3. Creating a checkbox component
      3m 55s
    4. Creating a radio button component
      5m 10s
    5. Creating a toggle button component
      2m 4s
    6. Creating a text input component
      1m 35s
    7. Creating horizontal and vertical slider components
      2m 46s
    8. Creating horizontal and vertical scrollbar components
      3m 1s
  5. 31m 55s
    1. Using the drawing and selection tools
      5m 52s
    2. Setting object properties
      4m 48s
    3. Importing artwork
      2m 27s
    4. Editing artwork in Illustrator
      6m 29s
    5. Editing artwork in Photoshop
      4m 27s
    6. Working with text
      3m 39s
    7. Optimizing artwork
      4m 13s
  6. 28m 56s
    1. Understanding pages and layers
      9m 50s
    2. Editing pages and states
      7m 24s
    3. Using grids, guides, and rulers
      1m 40s
    4. Aligning and arranging objects
      2m 27s
    5. Moving elements between pages and states
      4m 33s
    6. Using the Library panel
      3m 2s
  7. 54m 43s
    1. Understanding interaction types
      8m 24s
    2. Creating conditional interactions
      3m 6s
    3. Understanding the timeline
      7m 40s
    4. Creating smooth transitions
      7m 44s
    5. Defining Move transitions
      3m 33s
    6. Defining Resize transitions
      3m 53s
    7. Defining Rotate transitions
      2m 53s
    8. Defining Rotate 3D transitions
      3m 35s
    9. Adjusting basic timing
      5m 57s
    10. Creating an action sequence
      7m 58s
  8. 18m 11s
    1. Creating Flash video files
      3m 32s
    2. Placing video into a project
      3m 51s
    3. Controlling video playback
      3m 51s
    4. Adding sound effects
      3m 17s
    5. Integrating Flash content
      3m 40s
  9. 25m 53s
    1. Using a Data List to define repeating elements
      4m 11s
    2. Creating a basic Data List pt. 1: Building the components
      5m 31s
    3. Creating a basic Data List pt. 2: Adding the data
      3m 8s
    4. Planning a complex Data List
      1m 57s
    5. Creating a complex Data List pt. 1: Building the components
      6m 33s
    6. Creating a complex Data List pt. 2: Adding the data
      4m 33s
  10. 12m 14s
    1. Publishing an SWF file to view locally or offline
      2m 30s
    2. Publishing an SWF files to upload to the web
      2m 35s
    3. Integrating an SWF file into a web page with Dreamweaver
      2m 25s
    4. Integrating an SWF file into a web page with an HTML text editor
      2m 48s
    5. Publishing an Adobe AIR file
      1m 56s
  11. 7m 52s
    1. Creating custom components
      4m 27s
    2. Working with Library Packages
      1m 47s
    3. Using the Code view in Flash Catalyst
      1m 38s
  12. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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