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Frame rate in Flash

Author: T Norman | Email
Website : www.ntdesigns.net


Frame rate in flash

Flash's default frame rate is 12 frames per second (fps) and generally produces the best results for the web. If the frame rate is too fast it will blur the details of the animation and become CPU intensive which could result in the deterioration of the overall movie (a higher rate will not effect the size of your file/movie). A frame rate that is too slow will have a similar effect where it appears to stop and start.

QuickTime and AVI movies are generally 12 fps, while video uses 24 frames per second. The human brain will see the individual frames of an animation if it's below 24 fps. At 24 fps the brain can no longer keep up and is tricked into seeing an animation like it was someone walking down the street (no bumps). Which is why motion-pictures screen at 24 fps.

Note: There is an exception to this rule. If you are performing calcuations and not requiring any animations bump up the frame rate to 120. If you keep your movie at 24 fps your 'go to and play' loops will take 1/24 of a second to complete. Now consider if your movie contain numerous loops, at 120 fps the speed saving is very big! This also raise the question of flash movie architecture. Should one keep heavy calculations in a separate movie to your animation?

Notes: For standalone Flash files and some hi-action movies like games. You may feel the need to push past 24 fps. This is up to you however be wary of the consideration mentioned later in this tutorial.

Flash creates compact web animations so a trade off occurs - smaller file sizes and less CPU intensive movies for slightly chunkier animations. At 12 fps, the end result is still pretty good. What will determine the quality of your movie on the web will be the complexity of the animation and the speed of the computer on which the animation is being played on.

An fast animation or one with lots of objects can be CPU intensive which means the computer will have to "draw" the images much faster, and the more complex they are, the harder it will be.

Sure, you can bump it up to 30 fps, but beware, if you have a groovy but CPU intensive animation many of your visitor's computers will grind away leaving them most unsatisfied - thus defeating the reason why you are using flash in the first place. You could use a preloader which would take out the bumps caused by a slow download but the CPU issue remains.

THE Rule: Test your animations on a variety of machines to determine optimum frame rates. Easier said that done, I know, but this is where common sense comes in. If you pII stuggles at times in an animation, can you imagine what a p100 will do with several applications running in the background?

You can only choose one frame rate for the entire movie so set it before you create your masterpiece. To do this choose Modify> Movie, and change the value in the text box.

A common mistake when trying to understand frame rates is that the Frames-Per-Second setting is an accelerator, it isn't. The frames-per-second setting cannot make the movie go faster. It acts as a barrier to prevent powerful systems from running the movie faster than was intended - a "speed limit", if you will.

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