Macromedia Flash hints, tips and discussion

Discussion in 'Fan Sites' started by jp-30, Dec 5, 2002.

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  1. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    I know not many of us have access to Macromedia Flash, but I'm hoping enough do to be able to discuss hints, tricks and tips.

    I think the biggest problem with flash-enhanced sites is that the novelty of the flash content can wear thin from the 2nd viewing.

    If HTML / Javascript can do a similar job with half the hassle, even if it's not quite as funky, then you're probably best to stick with the HTML / JS in my opinion.

    I think animated Flash splash screens are a complete waste of time, and if you must insist on one, make sure you have a "loading bar" if it's over 100k, and always include a "skip" link.

    Another common use for embedded flash is to initiate an audio loop or MIDI file. While some people might like an aural assault upon entering a site, it's polite to warn users audio is coming, and preferable (again, in my opinion) to have audio OFF by default, allowing people to turn it ON if they wish.

    That's not to say Flash doesn't have its uses, it sure does, and it offers wonderful diversity and flexibility... when used "properly". :D

    Unlocking and Bumping for Max ;)
  2. Night4554 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2000
    star 5
    NHL.com
    Flash Integration: 10/10
    Flash Use: 2/10
    Notes: The integration into the rest of the site is top-notch, you can barely tell it's Flash. The use is poor. It makes it multiple times harder for the coder of the site because he has to account for the eventuality that some people don't have flash. A better approach would have been to use HTML and a little JS so when a person puts his mouse over the link, the arrow would appear, and then if they really want a mouseover effect, use glow() or change a span box background color.

    Macromedia.com
    Flash Integration: 6/10
    Flash Use: 7/10
    Notes: The integration is okay, but not great. If they had it stretch to the length of the browser it would be better, IMO. The use is good. Allows people to head off to the right page without loading another page. Plus they have to have a demonstration, it's their site.

    ¤Night
  3. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I haven't really had experience with Flash... But I really need to make a flash intro for this site I'm doing for a school site. I don't really like it, but it will be novel and help my grade ;) I want to do like, an old fashioned movie countdown... I'm just not sure what kind of tools to use.

    Oh, and you wanna talk sites with flash... Trigger Street IMHO, too much flash!

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  4. Red_Oktobur Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2001
    star 6
    Anyone know how to make a loading page? I have no idea......
  5. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    > I want to do like, an old fashioned movie countdown... I'm just not sure what kind of tools to use.

    I hope this sort of assistance that isn'e specifically SW related is OK? :confused:

    All you'll need is a copy of flash (you can get a trial version from the link in the first page), and images (jpg / gif) of the 10 frames.

    Seeing the frames are grey & white, you could probably convert the source JPGs to vectors (flash will do this for you) to decrease the file size of each image. Alternately you may be able to get away with a 16-colour GIF colour reduction on each frame.

    Then it's a simple matter of starting a flash timeline, and inserting 10.gif (or whatever) at the start, 9.gif a second later etc.

    Every second you could play a short "beep"

    You could also add a "random" film grain by having a new layer with a "dirty / dusty" transparent image that moves around every few frames.

    If you want a sweeping arm that wipes through to the next number, that's a bit more tricky, but it can be done. I'd need to have a bit of a play before I could help there though.


    A great place for tutorials is flashkit.com
  6. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
  7. Rox Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2000
    star 6
    For preloaders try Flashkit.com. They have 100's of tutorials.
  8. Red_Oktobur Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2001
    star 6
    Sweet. Thanks!




    A tip of my own:

    When beginning to use Flash, go through the tutorials first. They are a big help. :D
  9. Qui Gon Jim23 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 5
    I little tip that I've found useful:

    When creating buttons from text, always create a second layer underneath the text that contains a box with an Alpha of zero (transparent) that is the same size as the text. This will make the entire area of the button clickable (including the spaces between the text) rather than just the actual text.
  10. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    When creating buttons from text, always create a second layer underneath the text that contains a box with an Alpha of zero (transparent) that is the same size as the text. This will make the entire area of the button clickable (including the spaces between the text) rather than just the actual text.

    I find it easier to put a rectangle the same size as the text in the "HIT" tab when you are creating a button.

    Off the top of my head I think the tabs are

    OFF | OVER | DOWN | HIT

    Where you can have different images for each of the states.

    The HIT tab does everything you said above, and is simpler (don't need to make new layers and change alphas).
  11. Rox Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2000
    star 6
    I do the same thing jp. I find that I don't have need one elsewhere if I include it in the hit box.
  12. Darth_Kevin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2001
    star 5
    A while back I recreated a Star Wars-like opening scroll. I won't even get into the difficulties I had making an image file with the text angled back, but I did have one problem I could never seem to work out.

    I could never get the music to synch properly with the animation. When I set it to synch, the flash animation played very choppy. Also, regardless of the speed I set for the animation, it always seemed to vary with processor speed when I tried it on different machines.
  13. Qui Gon Jim23 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 5
    Yeah, Flash is going to only play frames as fast as your processor can handle. Being object-based, the more thing you have changing in a given frame, the longer it takes to play the frame.
  14. Darth_Kevin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2001
    star 5
    Even if I set it for s specific speed though, it would go faster than specified on a fast processor.
  15. Lobot_Omy Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2001
    star 6
    Here are my bookmarks for Flash sites I came upon and most probably liked. There are some sites there that don't really focus on design, but on development, but mostly they're design sites. I hope some of these give people some inspiration. :)

    http://www.gmaxskateboarding.com/game.asp
    http://chattyfig.figleaf.com/
    http://www.marmotte.levillage.org/
    http://ssj-games.com/kazoowee/flashkart/
    http://www.ssj-games.com/kazoowee/bugonawire/
    http://spiritonin.com/capoeirafighter/
    http://www.optocentric.com/files/rpg/NEW%20RPG.html
    http://mx.coldstorageonline.com/studies/show.php?file=nooflat
    http://www.fransgaard.com/fransgaard.html
    http://www.outsideofsociety.idz.net/
    http://www.uncommonthinking.com/rethinking.html#
    http://www.bsurcey.com/movie.html
    http://www.bensherman.co.uk/centred.html
    http://bonfiresnowboarding.com/
    http://www.terminator3.com/
    http://www.ninedots.com/main.html
    http://www.ferryhalim.com/orisinal/
    http://www.robbycyron.de/index3.htm
    http://www.frostdesign.co.uk/done.html
    http://www.universaldesignstudio.com/thankyou.html
    http://www.newmedia.ie/
    http://www.velocityworks.com/index_flash.asp
    http://www.fantasyinterfaces.com/fi-corporate/index.html
    http://www.seanjohn.com/sj6/index.htm
    http://www.submotion.com/
    http://www.eforce.net/dcmedia_v5.html
    http://www.liquidchrome.net/newchrome.html
    http://www.frontdesign.co.uk/frontmedia/
    http://www.subwaydesigns.net/04.html
    http://www.designchemist.com/
    http://www.squarewave.us/
    http://www.kellerlab.com/
    http://www.dcentdesigns.com/
    http://www.mountain1.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/index.html
    http://www.oneorangesquare.com/
    http://www.flashlevel.com/home.html
    http://www.io-studios.net/enter.html
    http://www.glowingpear.com/
    http://www.davidgarystudios.com/
    http://aniadesign.com/mainpage.html
    http://www.balthaser.com/fx/builder/fx_boot.asp
    http://www.visualxtreme.com/samples.html
    h
  16. Night4554 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2000
    star 5
    Wow thats alot.

    Too bad you don't have an autotyper that could have done it for you like meee-eeee :D

    ¤Night
  17. Ardens_Furore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 4
    Phong.com - It's a really nicely designed site with Flash features. I also love the Photoshop tutorials.
  18. Lobot_Omy Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2001
    star 6
    Yeah, too bad the guy pokes fun of people in his tuts. :p
  19. GreenGreatWarrior Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2003
    star 4
    Do any of you guys know how to make a webiste on flash?
  20. Lobot_Omy Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2001
    star 6
    I have a portfolio web site made in Flash, but sorry I can't be explaining online how to make one. I've done much scripting for it, so I can't just say do this and that and you'll have a Flash site. There are helpful places where you can in fact learn what you need to know for making one, like FlashKit . They have tons of tutorials and downloadable fla's. It's worth checking out. Hope that helps.
  21. Darth_Imran Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    Flash is a very powerful tool, but only if user in the correct "manner". For example, only using flash buttons can be good, because it integrates flash intot he site without too much flash-orientated stuff.

    Using Flash in such subtle ways can benefit the design and asethetics of a site.

    Btw, Lobot_Omy, that site rocks! :D Fantastic design and content. :)
  22. Night4554 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 9, 2000
    star 5
    [bump] to avoid the server-lock

    ¤Night
  23. darthtuttle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2004
    star 4
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