Performance vs filesize vs fidelity

Performance, file-size and visual/audio fidelity is something every designer and developer should consider when creating content for the web. I can remember when I first started using flash it was all about doing as many cool and complicated on-screen concoctions as possible, regardless if the frame rate slowed to a crawl. However as I and the platform as a whole has matured I’ve found myself considering and weighing up the above to get the most out of every experience I fashion. This post looks at a recent project of mine, which at face value appears quite simple, however behind the scenes there were a number of hurdles that needed to be overcome before the finish line. you can view the final advertisement here (turn the sound on!) So the basic idea was to have hundreds of coffee beans sitting in the leader-board banner at the top of the screen and an Espresso cup sitting in an MPU banner bottom right. When the user interacts with either banner the beans would begin to fall down, get ground up and coffee would pour into the espresso cup. Once this animation finished the user would be prompted to pick their favorite type of coffee, which would then transition the MPU banner to the users selection. Sounds easy enough right… Well yes… and no. The main problem with this campaign is that it was for McDonalds, they expects the finest visual aesthetics however we have very limited file-size and processing power to play with. I first concentrated on creating a realistic looking bean. Seeing as the geometry involved is quite simple I decided...

First Person Interaction For Flash Please!

Update: This feature has now been added to flash 11.2. you can read more about it here: http://www.bytearray.org/?p=3755 ———————————————————————————————————- ———————————————————————————————————- While creating 3d environments within flash you are currently limited in the way you get user mouse input. In your traditional first person shooters moving the mouse will turn the view left and right, up and down. The problem you face within flash is that once the mouse hits the edge of the movie or if it is in full-screen mode, the side of the screen there is no way to receive mouse input as the mouseX and mouseY values to longer change, even if the user is still moving the mouse. The first two videos below show methods which are achievable with the current functionality, the last video shows what would be possible if we had access to raw mouseOffset values. AbsoluteDrag shows the view turning via the absolute location of the mouse. The problem with this method is that as soon as the cursor hits the side of the flash movie input stops. AbsoluteClickAndDrag only turns the view when the user clicks and drags the mouse. This method continues to turn the view after the cursor has left the stage as long as the mouse button remains held down, however stops as soon as the cursor hits the side of the screen, it’s also not ideal for the user to always have to click and drag to turn as you would usually use the left mouse button as an action input (eg fire your gun). RelativeDrag is my suggestion to this problem. With this extra functionality you...