Testers / feedback needed. {resolved}

  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Was wondering if I could get a few of you to test this animation out for me. I'm particularly interested in how well this loads and displays for dialup users, but opinions and feedback from broadband users are welcome too.

http://www.alaron-nuclear.com/stream/snow1.html

The animation is a Quicktime Movie file saved for streaming and embeded in the Flash.

I was also wondering if someone could point me in the direction of a tutorial for some type of semi-transparent audio controls. I'm looking for a set of small controls with maybe a small equalizer display (not essential) that I can layer over the top right corner of the animation, but would like it to be transparent so you can still see the sky in the background underneath them. I'm fairly competent following tutorials, but having difficulty locating one.

Thanks for taking the time to look. The goal is to put this in my company's website ( http://www.alaron-nuclear.com ) on the main flash site where the clouds are now. So I need to be sure it streams well for most users. Our target audience for the most part will be broadband users.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

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Post 3+ Months Ago

if i had More than 2 thumbs , i would put them all up LoL .

Good job m8 , gr8 site , Professional , i like the colour Scheme and over all interaction ...

keep up the good work .
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Actually we have UNFLUX and Lostinbeta to thank for the bulk of the main Flash site, and thinkmango.com to thank for the intro. I'm just a beginner at Flash at best. All I've done on the site so far myself was the printer friendly text version and a few text revisions to the flash. Thanks for the compliments though.

The animation loop however, IS my first "major" flash creation and my CEO wants it added in place of where the clouds are on the main site, and I'm like stumbling all over myself trying to figure out what the heck I'm doing *lol. You learn as you go, I guess!

Primarily, at the moment I'm interested in knowing if the animation loop is loading quickly and efficiently for everyone. And I'm in much need of a "mute" option for the embeded audio stream and am lost. I found this http://www.kirupa.com/forum/showthread. ... audio+mute In reply #7 by the poster, it appears that's what I need for an action, but I can't figure out how to make a button or apply the action to it *lol. Yep, I'm a newb!
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Post 3+ Months Ago

well m8 everything startz with a step , Me myself im a begginer , but i know that the only way to learn this is to do it , to practice it and to lose it sometimes LOL !

im building a Juke box for my website , taking more than i expected , using simple Interface , still did'nt Build the interface , and have no idea wht it should look like , but codeWise , im doing good so far ...

i dont mind sharing the code with ya if u wanna help and :)
TeamWork is good .

let me know .
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

All I need is a simple mute button really. Once I find a tute I like (and can understand) I'll be able to get it. Thanks for the offer though.

BTW, here's what the end result will look like. I haven't made it live yet. I'm going to test it on my sister's dialup tonight to see how modem handles it for myself. But this will be the final product. Just lacking the audio mute.

http://www.alaron-nuclear.com/devsite/main.html
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, I got home and realize I have some more work to do on it. The preloader takes too long to start displaying the video. Man that sucks. Guess that's what I get for working on it on a LAN *lol. Oh well, back to the drawing board.
  • nancyW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey,

It looks great. I am on a 2MB broadband (which seems to be slowed a little by my wireless network) and it runs fine although it is a little jerky at times.

My only suggestion would be as well as a way to mute it (which is a very polite thing to do, especially if people are looking at the site from a work PC!) is also a way to stop it. There is so much good information on the site, and having something moving on a loop without a way to stop can be really distracting on the eye. And ultimately what we are trying to do is give information across to interested users.

That may be just my personal preference (I still think the person who invented animated gifs should be fined for every time one is used gratuitously on a website), but I like to be able to read my information in peace without my eye being dragged away.

Otherwise, fantastic job! You should be really pleased with it.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks. I still have some refining to do. I talked to three friends yesterday viewing from home and it took nearly 60 seconds for the video to display. I had the same problem myself and all of us are on broadband too. I'm going to have to figure out how the preload script is working on that and see if I can get that time shortened.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hmm, is it supposed to freeze from time to time or to flow?
because it stopped like 5 times till now, then continued after a few seconds.
and probably you`ll want to cycle it, but in such a manner so that you wont see the difference between the end and the begining.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, it's a stream, so it will probably depend a bit on your connection speed. I'm guessing it's pausing like that while it catches up to the buffer. I believe after you've completed one loop and it's in your cache it should run smooth after that
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

OK, I changed the way I'm streaming it. Rather than embeding the QT movie in an 11MB flash file, I used NetStream and set a 10 second buffer, and removed the preloader screen. If you've already looked at it before, see if the loading and display has improved now. At work I'm on a direct LAN connection to the server so I can't check again until I get home tonight.

http://www.alaron-nuclear.com/devsite/main.html

//edit - *lol went from bad to worse. Now it doesn't play at all. I'll was still seeing the cached version. Back to the drawing board!
  • IceCold
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Post 3+ Months Ago

allmost perfect ....
except there`s a delay between the end of movie and the begining of it. Try to make it smooth.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah, I'll try to work on that. The image sequence transition is a smooth transition. I think the little glitch there is when Flash is looping back to the start of the movie. I decided though to break down and just upgrade from MX2004 and get Studio 8. I'll buy the upgrade after lunch. Right now the QT file is embeded in the Flash, and even though I saved the QT file for stream, the Flash file is 11.3MB. I know how to make it work, but I need Professional to get the QT movie into FLV format, and then I'll be able to stream it properly with NetStream. Hopefully that will take care of the loop transition pause too.

Thanks for all the feedback so far guys. Very helpful.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Made one step forward and two steps backwards I think.

OK, I did upgrade to Studio8 and now have Flash 8. I think I finally got the stream and the video quality the way I want it. It's currently virtually the same quality as the original bitmap frames, only takes a max of 3-5 seconds to begin play on my Comcast broadband using a Wireless B router at 11.0Mbps. I finally got the FLV thing going and even discovered that Flash 8 has built in video import with Controls options, so at the moment here's where I'm at:

http://www.alaron-nuclear.com/devsite/s ... trols.html (Let me know if that loads OK, especially if you're on dialup)

Anyway, I think I have that stumbling block covered and the control starts and stops the video, but right now I can't for the life of me figure out how to get the audio to play (using the same method I was previously with FlashMX 2004) nor can I get the darn thing to loop.

Maybe it's time I should step through my methods.
The animation is generated with a combo of Terragen for the landscape and Terranim for the animation loop script. A total of 1274 frames. Terragen renders them in bitmaps and I convert them from 420 some odd KB files to roughly 15 KB jpg files using a batch action in Photoshop.

Originally I was trying to use the open source VirtualDub to create AVI files to import into flash, but the best codec I had to work with was MPEG4 V3 and could never get the quality compression I needed. I know the flash gurus swear by Sorenson, but I downloaded the trial and the quaility was even worse than VirtualDub (who knows - might have been the trial or I was doing something wrong, but it turned me off and I didn't want to spend the $200 bucs to decide if I was wrong or right). In the meantime, I decided to let loose of my longtime dislike of Quicktime (because I knew I could get the codecs to encode some high quality vids with it) and bought Quicktime 7 Pro.

So basically, the raw video is now created with Quicktime and I'm quite satisfied with the quality. But I can't get the video to loop or play audio period.

In the former link examples I imported the saved quicktime movie into Flash MX 2004 and simply imported the audio file into the library and included it in the same frame as the video, but the resultin publisghed file was nearly 11 MB. Worked fine at work on LAN with a direct connection to the server, but got home and took close to 60 seconds to load on broadband. Not acceptable.

I knew I had to do it with an FLV and Flash 8 handles that part just fine.

But why isn't the video looping, and why can't I get the audio to even play on Flash 8? I even created a separate layer for audio in Flash 8 and tried both an action script method of calling it and just including it in properties and it still doesn't play sound.

I'm thinking that when I create the movie in QT I need to include the audio prior to saving, and I've read the help files on the issue in both QT and Flash, but it's just not getting me anywhere.

*sighs.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Crap - this is never ending. OK, so I ask my best friend to look at the latest link and he only sees the controls and no video period. I'm like what? danged if the end user doesn't have to have Flash 8 player installed. That's all well and good if you are using IE because it will automatically download it and install it. But will Firefox 1.5? No... crap....I went to an older computer where I knew I didn't have a current version of Flash and knew I didn't have QT installed (on purpose). Danged if he wasn't right. Firefox only showed the controls and didn't show the vid. (And my FF version is 1.5 on that one.) I.E. at least prompted me to install the plugin. Dang....and just when I though I was getting close.

This is almost worse than crossbrowser compatability coding!
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I made what I think is some significant progress between last night and this morning. I've got the quality now almost to that of the original, the audio and controls are working. When I tested this at home last night, it took less than three seconds to display on my broadband connection there. The stream is all smoothed out and I found a nice audio track that spans the length of the movie. Could still use some feedback on how this one loads for everyone. (If you viewed it in Firefox before, you might need to clear your cache for the current version to load.)

http://www.alaron-nuclear.com/devsite/main.html

Now, I still have to resolve two final things. Some of the features incorporated in the movie are only available in Flash 8 so I had to save it as Flash 8 and Flash 8 player is required for viewing. This isn't an issue for IE, because IE automatically goes out and gets the plugin, but Firefox doesn't. And this animation is a separate movie clip dynamically loaded into the main movie. So what happens if Flash 8 isn't installed for FF viewers is they see the controls, but no video. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do to ensure that FF users have Flash 8 installed?

The other and final issue to resolve to complete this is I want the animation to loop. Here's how I'm making this work. The animation is created in Quicktime Pro (including audio) and then exported as a Quicktime .mov file. In Flash 8, the .mov file is imported into the first and only keyframe in the movie as a progressive FLV file. All well and good, and the result is what you see in the link above. I'm clueless how to make it loop.

When I was importing into Flash, I noticed I can create cue points, and I'm nearly certain this is the first step to my solution. But until last night, I never heard of a cue point. I'm thinking I make a cue point at 00:00:00 and say call it beginLoop and then make another cue point at 00:01:24 (which is the end of the movie) and call it endLoop. OK, I can handle that part, but I don't know whether to choose Event or Navigation type. I also don't know what if anything to put as parameters for beginLoop and endLoop. Nor do I know what to use for an action script once I do add the cue points.

Essentially, what I believe needs to happen is when the movie reaches endLoop I want it to go back and play beginLoop. That's what I don't know how to do and what I need help with to finish this up.

Thanks again for your attention to this.
  • bleepnik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Sorry I can't be of help, I know next to nothing about Flash. I just wanted to let you know that it plays fine for me (broadband)... it's nearly instantaneous.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I needed that feedback justG - thank you very much. That's good to know. I think I've just about got that part licked now. I'll know for certain tomorrow when I try it on my sister's dial-up *lol
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I solved the bulk of this problem and finally put it live
re: http://www.kirupa.com/forum/showthread.php?t=204623
Quote:
Solved the bulk of this problem with the help of a member at Kirupa forums
Quote:
Hi Mark,
I had the same problem just recently.
the following script I found helped me to make a flv loop
(at 0 fill in the name of the flv file;
the component must be named myMedia):

myListener = new Object();
myListener.complete = function(){
myMedia.play(0);
}
myMedia.addEventListener("complete", myListener);

It worked and I now have it live at http://www.alaron-nuclear.com (skip the intro if you'd like)

Still need to figure out how to get beyond that small glitch inbetween the loop and why FF won't install Flash 8 player automatically, but I'll work on it.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i had a problem with FF , i got the Detection kit in the header of my site [javascript] when i try to view it using firefox it just gives a black screen with no feedback , nothing at all , unlike IE , it works fine ...

thats why i had to include another js TO redirect depending on the browser ..
sucks ya ?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ATNO/TW, have you seen this? Kinda sounds like it'd be just what you need?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

justG wrote:
ATNO/TW, have you seen this? Kinda sounds like it'd be just what you need?


That does seem to be what I'm after! Thank you
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Actually I've had a lot of problems with the Macromedia browser test solution. Instead try this one its all javascript and you can do a lot for brower compatibility. Its pretty easy to set up and you can force flash to automatically update based on a version you specify
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, I tried the MM detection solution and it does work fine (tested on several computers and various browsers). I will have a look at the link you gave tomorrow graphixboy and see if that approach is better. The only thing I didn't like about Macromedia's approach is that users that have javascript disabled will never see the website until they enable javascript. Thanks for all the tips everyone.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

graphixboy wrote:
Actually I've had a lot of problems with the Macromedia browser test solution. Instead try this one its all javascript and you can do a lot for brower compatibility. Its pretty easy to set up and you can force flash to automatically update based on a version you specify


I tried flashObject and am having some trouble setting it up. It looks like it will do the trick as you suggested, but I'm confused on exactly what to do. Partly because it doesn't come with very good instructions. OK, I've got the flashobject.js and ExpressInstall.as in the same file as my flash file. It took me awhile, but I finally figured out I needed to edit the js file to change the version to mine which I did:
Code: [ Select ]
// check to see if we need to do an express install
  var expressInstallReqVer = new com.deconcept.PlayerVersion([8,0,0]);
  1. // check to see if we need to do an express install
  2.   var expressInstallReqVer = new com.deconcept.PlayerVersion([8,0,0]);

And in the HTML file, changed the version.

I followed the instructions from the ExpressInstall.as file and added this to my first frame:
Code: [ Select ]
* Usage: Place this file in your AS2 class path.
*    on the first frame of your Flash movie, place this line of code:
*    
*    ExpressInstall.init();
*    
*    You should not place any other code on the first frame of your movie, as the first frame
*    needs to be playable in the Flash player v. 6.0.65.
  1. * Usage: Place this file in your AS2 class path.
  2. *    on the first frame of your Flash movie, place this line of code:
  3. *    
  4. *    ExpressInstall.init();
  5. *    
  6. *    You should not place any other code on the first frame of your movie, as the first frame
  7. *    needs to be playable in the Flash player v. 6.0.65.


Now the problem there is that my file only consists of one frame and I need the following code to loop the movie
Code: [ Select ]
myListener = new Object();
myListener.complete = function(){
myMedia.play(snow0008.flv);
}
myMedia.addEventListener("complete", myListener);
  1. myListener = new Object();
  2. myListener.complete = function(){
  3. myMedia.play(snow0008.flv);
  4. }
  5. myMedia.addEventListener("complete", myListener);


It wasn't working that way so I moved my movie frame to the second keyframe and added a keyframe before and put ExpressInstall.init(); in the first keyframe and the listener in the second with the movie.

Anyway with that code all in place it plays the movie just fine if I have Flash player 8, but on machines where I don't, it displays the alternate content and never does the express install.

I tried a couple machines using both IE and FF and no joy.

Can you tell what I might be missing? Here's my test file
http://www.alaron-nuclear.com/expressinstall.html
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Never mind. I should have never changed the .js file. I put it back to version 6.0.65 and now it works fine. Nice script. Just wish there was a better set of instructions for it *lol
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

heh yeah sorry, I alwasy forget about that. If you want it to test for a different version do it in the html file where it calls the .js and then places the flash movie.

name of your flash movie

version number to test

Your movie dimensions

Background color of the flash file I believe taking this out completely let flash have a transparent background in some browers

Leave this ID name because the flashObject will replace that div with your flash content

<div id="flashcontent">
Place your alternate content here and users without the Flash plugin
or with Javascript turned off will see this.
</div>
<script type="text/javascript">
// <![CDATA[
var fo = new FlashObject("fo_tester.swf", "fo_tester", "300", "150", 6, "#336699");
fo.write("flashcontent");
// ]]>
</script>

Then the force update requires a little bit of code inside your flash file. There should be one included that you can snag the first frame of actionscript out of.

Hope that helps a bit
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

*smiles A little late but I'm glad you posted it for others to read. Should save them working on it for 8 hours like I did today. I knew it should work, but like I said, I'm still barely beyond beginner status with flash and total newb on action script. Only thing in my favor is I know how to research stuff. I got the thing working with my dev site just before leaving work and will do some tweaking and make it live tomorrow.

I really appreciate the link for this. It's about as perfect a solution as I could have hoped for.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey no problem. Glad it works I know how frustrating that can be
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ATNO/TW, just took a look at the site and wow... you guys really outdid yourselves... and how fitting that it's for a "nuclear mall" (do they have a nuclear food court?)...

nice, too, that you've got a full-on flash site and have all the content mirrored in a printer-friendly version... beautiful and smart!

only disconcerting thing i noticed was that the video's a little jumpy (a) where it loops and (b) with the pause/play function...
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