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Flash Preloader for 11 MB TIF Animation (using Adobe Effects)

I needed to make an animation using high resolution TIF files. I took approximately 150 TIF files, each 540 KB, and used Adobe After Effects (version, around 2004?) to make a .swf file. It works great although heavy at 11 mb (for my purposes, this sizing is fine). The only problem is that I would like to warn the user that the file needs to load.

So, I would like to use a flash preloader screen that shows percent completed in terms of the 11 mb loading. I do not have the Flash program.

a.) Is there any way I can use a pre-built flash loader and that could calculate the time remaining to load my 11 mb file? I don't have the actual .fla file because one was not generated.

b.) Or, if the Flash program is really needed, what would need to be done since I don't have the .fla and only the .swf?

If the answer is in item a.), please provide a link, etc. for me to get access to an appropriate preloader .swf and or script.

I would prefer a Javascript-free solution, but if required, I would accept it. Thanks for any thoughts!

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webdude77
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webdude77
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1 Solution
 
ZefferCommented:
can make you one..if you tell me the dimensions of the swf you generated..and the name of the swf.

Z
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Tom RayCommented:
yeah you would have to have the flash program to do this.

only other option would be download a free 30 day trial version of flash to create the preloader.

i'd take 'z' up on his offer... he's good.
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webdude77Author Commented:
The filename is smart.swf, the width is 350 and height is 500. Here is my embed tag:

<embed src="/img/smart.swf" width="350" height="500" loop="false" play="true" quality="high" pluginspace="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed>

I am going for a simple, professional look. If you are able to create a preloader for me, a simple font like Arial or Verdana to show the percentage left would be great. I imagine the word "Loading" or something similar would be helpful too, but I'll leave that up to you guys, the pros!

Thanks Z and sibgig for your quick posts!
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ZefferCommented:
Here you go..
http://www.redpearl.co.nz/ee/preloader.zip
and change the source in the embed tag..
<embed src="preloader.swf"
leave smart.swf where it is in the /img  folder as that's where the preloader will look for it.

Z
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webdude77Author Commented:
Thanks for the post. I downloaded, unzipped and uploaded the file. I also changed the embed tag to the following (below), but it says "Loading" for a brief moment without any percentage showing and then the smart.swf plays underneath the preloader at the same time.

In other words, it says "Loading", and then the word stays there and the smart.swf begins to play (almost like it is two layers).

<embed src="preloader.swf" width="350" height="500" loop="false" play="true" quality="high" pluginspace="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed

I do appreciate the work so far. Would it be possible for you to create a working scenario (preloader.swf, smart.swf, index.htm) in a zip file? This way, I can see how it works and we can troubleshoot together. Also, could the font size be tripled? In a 350 x 500 space it currently appears very small.

Thanks for your help so far!
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webdude77Author Commented:
I just noticed that when the smart.swf 11 mb file is fully loaded into the Web Browser cache, and I reload the page, it does actually show the percentages, but cycles through them in less 1 second since the file is already loaded. Also, the word "loading" never disappears. It stays permanently while smart.swf plays.

Thought I should mention this observation as it may be helpful...

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webdude77Author Commented:
Do the autostart, loop and play attributes have anything to do with things? I just added autostart... doesn't seem to fix everything...

<embed src="/img/preloader.swf" width="350" height="500" hspace="0" vspace="0" autostart="True" loop="True" play="true" quality="high" pluginspace="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed>
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ZefferCommented:
try this one..you can see it working..
to use this preloader you will need to rename smart.swf to .. pictures.swf
and we could maybe update the embed code..

<object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=8,0,0,0" width="350" height="500" id="preloader" align="middle">
<param name="allowScriptAccess" value="sameDomain" />
<param name="movie" value="preloader.swf" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" /><embed src="preloader.swf" quality="high" bgcolor="#ffffff" width="350" height="500" name="preloader" align="middle" allowScriptAccess="sameDomain" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" />
</object>

Z

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ZefferCommented:
yes well better give you a url..:)

http://www.redpearl.co.nz/ee/preloaderx.zip

Z
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webdude77Author Commented:
It seems to be browser dependent. I generally use FireFox and it does not show the percentages. Here's the example:

http://www.stardeck.com/helpafriend/smart/

Only I.E. shows the percentages. Do you have an all-browser compatible version?
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webdude77Author Commented:
Also, while it may work in Internet Explorer, when using the 11 mb version of pictures.swf, once we get to 99% it then shows the pictures.swf more than halfway through it's own animation sequence (basically the end). How do we get it to g from 99% to the start of pictures.swf?
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ZefferCommented:
I found one in my files that I have never used as downloaded it to look at the code. It's an entirely different approach to mine and might deal with the browser compatibility. Can't remember where I found so have posted the zip file.There's a text file with instructions..

http://www.redpearl.co.nz/ee/flash-preloader.zip

Z
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webdude77Author Commented:
I couldn't understand these instructions.

<-- INSTRUCTIONS-->

1) Copy and paste the "content.txt" and "preloader.swf" file to your website directory

2) Open the textfile in notepad (this text file) and enter the swffile variable (&swffile=yourswffile.swf& )with the name of your swf file. (you can find this parameter below in this textfile(see below))

3) Save the text file.

4) In your HTML editor insert the "preloader.swf" and use the same dimensions as for the original SWF file

5) Save and preview the html file.  


&swffile=b.swf&

<-- IMPORTANT: DO NOT CHANGE, DELETE OR ADD ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE-->

&loaded=1&
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webdude77Author Commented:
Thanks for your efforts so far.

Are there any setups that are throughly tested for cross-browser compatibility and popular?
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ZefferCommented:
don't know of any others.
in a text file put..

&swffile=smart.swf&
&loaded=1&

save it as..  content.txt

put ..content.txt  and smart.swf together in the image folder

then use the new embed code I gave you above.
you need the <param name ....etc ..code as well as firefox reads that but does not read the embed tags. IE reads the embed and not the param tags..that code should give you your cross-browser compatibility

Z
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webdude77Author Commented:
I'll take a closer look at this on the weekend. Thanks for your patience.
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webdude77Author Commented:
Seems to actually work in two browsers that I've checked! The one major problem I see is that the text shakes in a convulsive manner that is quite distracting and hard to look at. Do you have the FLA file? Can it be changed to be a steady text? Also,

It reads:

Loading
5% Loaded.

Seems a bit redundant. Can it simply read:

5% Loaded

(with no period at the end).

webdude77
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ZefferCommented:
It's not my creation so don't have the fla.
what about going back to the one I made..
If you use the new embed code it should take care of the browser issues
but to deal with it starting halfway through you will need to put a stop in frame 1 when you generate the swf..is that possible?
then I can tell the preloader swf ..once swf is loaded.. play();

Z
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webdude77Author Commented:
I don't think it's possible, but maybe you might know... I created the flash in Adobe After Effects using 150 TIF files. I still have the TIF files... but I don't know Flash, nor have a copy. Could I download a trial of the latest Flash and recreate the flash movie easily with the 150 TIF files? Then maybe I could add the line you mentioned...
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ZefferCommented:
Flash 8 does not support tiff files..you will need to change them to png or jpg. also you will need a basic understanding of timelines and actionscript.
Look in after effects help to see if there is anything on actions and timelines..I'm sure there must be something when you are exporting to swf

Z
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webdude77Author Commented:
Okay, I now have Flash 5 installed on my computer. I have 150 JPG files that were generated from a 3-D program in which an object rotates. I would like to simply make a Flash animation of these 150 JPG files. Is there an automated way of doing this like I was able to do a while ago in Adobe After Effects? I don't want to have to enter 150 keyframes, etc.

Once complete, I would like to add a preloader.

Thanks for your patience!
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ZefferCommented:
if they are all name sequentially..ie 1.jpg, 2.jpg ..etc.. go..
File/Import and select the first jpg in the sequence
you will get a pop-up saying .."these appear to be in a sequence do you want to import all of them"..or words to that effect.
flash will generate keyframes and drop the images in.

you could try the whole lot and see what happens but as you have so many it would be advisable to set up folders splitting the images into groups of say 30..otherwise you might crash flash..

put blank keyframes on frames 1 and 2 to take the preloader..which is..

a dynamic textField on frame 1 and 2   ..variable name : loadText
put it in a keyframe on frame 1 select frame 2 and hit F5
then on frame 1..
(in the actionscript panel)..

bytes_loaded = Math.round(this.getBytesLoaded());
bytes_total = Math.round(this.getBytesTotal());
getPercent = bytes_loaded/bytes_total;
this.loadText = Math.round(getPercent*100)+"%";
if (bytes_loaded == bytes_total) {
      this.gotoAndPlay(3);
}

and on frame 2..
this.gotoAndPlay(1);

Z
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webdude77Author Commented:
Zeffer, I seem to be making progress. Thanks for your help so far. 2 last things I'd like to do in relation to the preloader are:

1.) I'd like to fade in from the preloader to the animation's first image. So, it seems once the preloader reaches 100%, it starts the animation. Once, it reaches 100%, I'd like the screen to be white, and then slowly fade from 0% opacity to 100% opacity (for that first image) in about 3 seconds. Then the animation would run as normal.

2.) Instead of having the animation constantly looping, once the animation finishes, I would like "Replay" text to appear in which the user could click "Replay" if he/she wishes to play the animation a second time, third time, etc. I'd like the animation to start after the preloader (since it will already be loaded!)

Are these simple to accomplish?
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webdude77Author Commented:
Also, this is probably a repeat of item #1, but:

3.) I'd like the final frame of the animation to fade from 100% opacity to 0% opacity (white). Then, I'd like the "Replay Text" to appear.

: )
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ZefferCommented:
yeah we would all like a lot of things.. :/

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