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...