Help for a Newb?

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

Thread Tools Display Modes
  03 March 2003
Question Help for a Newb?

Hey guys,
I told you I would post again as I made some progress and here it is. I'm an amateur but trying to make an intro to a friend's art portfolio. The idea is the have the introductory graphic "create itself." I might build in some buttons later to prompt the viewer to create it, but will work on that later.

What I have done so far is:
- Took an image and broken it into its different layers: Pencil sketch, colored drawing, background, and falling snow
- All images have been placed on different layers and bitmap traced
- I placed one image on top of another and then gradually erased the top one to reveal the one below

I think it looks pretty good though there are some things that I am not happy with. It definetely needs a preloader however as it is 1MB+ and doesn't look smooth until you replay it. Please take a look:

My criticisms and help I am asking for:
- I'll take care of that line at the bottom!
- Ideas on how to make the falling snow loop better (without that jagged cut)
- Ideas on how to insert a simple pre-loader
- Please ignore the "newspapers" with text that blow in as I plan to replace them
- Ideas on how to reduce this large file size
- Anything else that you would like to comment on

Appreciate the look & any input!

(* Please note that I take no artistic credit for the work that I am animating! :shame: )
  03 March 2003
this made me crack
Quote: I'm an amateur but trying to make an intro to a friend's art portfolio.

shouldnt 'he' be making his own work?

you might aswell put your credits on the intro page if he gets a job from some dude needing flash i dont think he'll beable to doit, do you? hehehe

anyways, reguarding your questions

as far as repeating snow, have you considered faster moving snow across the screen aswell as smaller pieces and more(thats my crit, for her hair blowing as much as it looks like, the snow is not making the scene any more believable), making it look more random? kinda hard to explain what im thinking :/ that or you may wanna look at learning actionscripting or wahtever it is in flash

as for file size, CROP that image from top to bottom, and then if the background is a bitmap, change it into vectors, cus its all simple colors no real gradient work, something you can do in vectors as far as i can see

by the looks of things the entire flash thing could be done in vectors which would save on filesize, it would just take a bit more work on the girl as theres some parts on her jacket/hair/skirt that have various colors you'd need to work with in vectors.

oh and consider resizing the thing as well as cropping as ive already mentioned.

im sure 500x400 or 400x300 would suffice it for that intro.
Lifes journey brings pain and suffering, but in the end life brings you, the peace of death.
  03 March 2003
Vectors aren't always smaller...

When you have an incredibly large number of anchor points, the file size of vector work can surpass that of a rastor image.

The fact that you used the "Trace Bitmap" feature is going to really hurt your filesize. There are a LOT of anchor points in the illustration as a result of Trace Bitmap. You can try CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+C to reduce the number of points, but you will notice that the more you optimize, the more you degrade the image.

Another way to approach it would be to manually draw the image, using the original image in a lower layer as a guide.

For the snow loop, you might consider it a two-step process. First, Make sure all your snow flakes make it from the top of the screen, all the way off the screen at the bottom. That will be your first movie clip. Then, put the movie clip on a timeline and offset another instance of the clip behind the first one so it doesn't look like it is falling in waves (first snow, then nothing, then snow then nothing--the second clip fills in the nothing part).

And finally, for the preloader:
Create a scene, call it Preloader and make sure it is before the main scene in the Scene Manager. In the first frame of the Preloader Scene, open your actions panel and type:

if (_root._framesloaded == _root._totalframes) {

in the second frame of the timeline, open the actions panel and type


Then on the stage, type loading... or something like that.

That is the simplest preloader I know of. If you prefer not to make an additional scene, you can push your entire timeline of your existing movie down two frames and use the first to frames for your actions (you'll have to change the first bit of code from "nextScene();" to "gotoAndPlay(3);"

There are better ways to do preloaders (nested in empty movie clips or with a percent loaded bar, etc) but that is by far the simplest, I think.

Hope I haven't been too long-winded and that you found at least some of it useful.

  03 March 2003
Quote: shouldnt 'he' be making his own work?

not if his portfolio has nothing to do with flash web design work. if he's a 2d penciller and has no clue about flash/webdesign then why would he do it himself?

rando if you're looking for a simple easy shortcut for a preloader you can goto and do a search for (you guessed it) preloaders. you should download the extension manager - that way all you have to do is find whatever component you want.. download it.. then it'll automatically install it for you. then you would go into flash and goto i think window and underneath that you'll see components.

it'll pop out a panel to the right and then you just click thru the list until you see the name of it. drag it onto the stage and in your properties window you'll see whatever settings you may need to set. it doesn't get any quicker than that.

like such:

Last edited by nickysee : 03 March 2003 at 04:45 AM.
  03 March 2003
Thumbs down

Thanks all!
Here's an update (long) on my progress so far:

Jaded was right about that the artist doesn't yet know Flash. He does work with animation software, but not yet with Flash. I agree that the snow needs to move faster and am working on that. I have also resized the picture sections to be smaller... You'll see what I mean via the new link below.

I'm working on the snow 2 step process but haven't yet linked them up correctly so the transition is smooth. Not sure what exactly I'm doing wrong but I should be able to hash that out in a day or so... Preloader idea was helpful and a very simple one now is included.

The site you provided gave me some good visual ideas, but I was unable to take advantage of any of the preloaders there since I am using Flash 5 and not 6.

Anyway, I appreciate all the input so far, have made some modifications, and included a new link below. I've put the picture into a smaller frame and added buttons to allow the viewer to initiate the drawing instead of having it happen automatically. Only the sketch and color buttons are really working right now, though you can "enter" the site to see the artist's other work.

This is still a draft stage, I'm still working on the snow, need to make the frame around the picture look more like a picture frame or possibly a sketch pad. I have a question which will make more sense after viewing the animation, which is about 850kb right now:

I currently have the different animations (sketch and color) as movies taking place on different layers and at different frames. But choosing one causes the other to disappear before drawing itself. How could I go about leaving the first image selected on the screen and have it be replaced by the new image? Can I have the different movies taking place at the same point on the timeline but not all run unless selected? And how could I have it so the user could select the buttons in any order and still have the animation work right? (sketch first then color over it, or color first and then sketch over it?)

Probably with some action scripting or whatever as mentioned above which I don't know anything about yet. Appreciate feedback & looking forward to more!
  01 January 2006
Thread automatically closed

This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.
CGTalk Policy/Legalities
Note that as CGTalk Members, you agree to the terms and conditions of using this website.
  share thread

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Society of Digital Artists

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright 2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:49 AM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.