Working with Large File Sizes - Flash

Because Flash output is usually intended for the Web, Flash file size is often a dominant concern. But when creating cartoons for broadcast output, this concern is thrown to the wind. In cartoon land, you create for digital video output via QuickTime or .AVI and these file sizes can be huge. It’s common for such projects to expand into the gigabytes, so it’s important to have the equipment to handle this kind of work.

This means large, fast hard drives and plenty of RAM. The extensive use of bitmaps and full-fidelity 16-bit 44 kHz stereo audio tracks means that Flash itself will require a great deal of RAM. Your machine should have at least 128MB of RAM with at least 90 MB available to Flash. Even with this configuration, however, you may like some nefarious cartoon character paint yourself into a corner and find that you need more RAM in order to render (export raster video) your scene. In addition, the time required to perform a render can often exceed 45 minutes. This may cause you to think that the machine has crashed. . . . Sometimes it has, sometimes it has not. Sometimes, very annoying results can happen. When rendering complex scenes that take a long, long time, it may seem that all is proceeding just fine, but then Flash may hiccup and report that there isn’t enough memory to finish. That’s when patience is required. Remember that, although some amazing cartoon animations can be created in Flash, it was engineered to create small, compact files for the Web; our cartoon use is pushing it far beyond its calling. Keeping this in mind may save a brick from going through your monitor.

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