Monday, December 12, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

html5 from Flash or timeline-based tools

 My guess is that timelines won't come into play like they did with Flash. We'll be hand-coding most things.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

working late

PM: I have a simple Flash revision that I need someone to do. It will only take 15 minutes.
Me: Everything I do is simple and takes 15 minutes but I've been here till 9 every night this week. Can't do it.
Vinny: You don't want to work till 9, Brad?
Me: I don't want to work till 9:15!

9:00 rolls around and I hear a guy across the room complaining that Flash sucks and they're making him do a banner.
So, by 9:15 I'm helping him fix it.
Weird bug today, only on Mac Firefox. The last tween didn't draw correctly and left artifacts trailing along its path, so that the logo, rather than gliding into position, stayed partly out of the frame. Any little nudge to Firefox (zoom change, menu click, resize…) would startle the Flash player into finally drawing the end frame correctly. This in a very expensive 1-day Youtube masthead placement! I tried moving the tweening symbol out from under its mask; no change. I tried changing the tweens to be scripted instead of timeline: no, that last tween still didn't render fully.

The workaround was to put a constantly looping stage-size graphic in the background of the parent swf. This reminds the Flash player to keep updating the screen.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yes, fixing design errors is a normal part of a banner developer's job. You are expected to use your eyes and think as you work. Center text, swap in apostrophes for foot marks and quotes for inch marks; add 1px borders to all creatives that are on plain white backgrounds; check to make sure correct RGB brand colors are being used.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

broken text

The only time that breaking apart text will save file size is when you have a simple headline with no repeating characters.
The more text you have, the more file size will be saved by keeping your text as text.
I worked on a banner today that had text broken into shapes, and grouped. Then that group was duplicated underneath as a drop shadow. I more than halved the file size by bringing the font back in and using filters to get the shadows.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

You probably already know these tips

FILE SIZE strategy

40kb = 40960 bytes, and 30kb = 30720 bytes. You may have more room than you thought. Do "get info" on a file in Mac to get the exact byte count.

Uncheck 'Include MXP Metadata' in Flash publish settings to save roughly .5 kb (more depending on fonts)

In most cases, vector will be smaller than bitmap, so try redrawing flat graphics as vector

Breaking text into shapes usually adds file size. Instead, use static text as fonts, and get rich effects using masks and filters.

In some cases, such as with grunge fonts or some display fonts, it is smaller to use limited palette gif in place of vector fonts.

Bring in all photo images as flat PNG so that you can adjust jpg compression in Flash. It's convenient to be able to adjust settings in the library, or all at once in publish settings.

Avoid the use of transparent pngs wherever possible. Instead, use flat images and mask them. Or, use flat images in screen mode or multiply mode to achieve transparency. 

It's usually smaller to bring in complex illustrations or heavy fonts as limited-palette gif images. 

Background images can be tiled or repeated to save on bitmap size. Any symmetrical images can be brought in as halves, and flipped.

Selective blurring and 'smart blur' filters in Photoshop can help to keep a crunched jpg from looking nasty. In some cases you might want to cut up an image so that you can compress some parts more than others.

Long tweens are smaller done as scripted rather than timeline animation. If you just have simple tweens and fades, you might be able to skip the tween class and write your own onEnterFrame script.

Friday, July 29, 2011

We're starting to include space for the AdChoices icon in a lot of our banners. I'm seeing it all over the place. Not real pretty from a design perspective. Probably not very helpful either. Given the choice between targetted ads or un-targetted ads, who cares? Most people will just continue to ignore the ads. Well, they're trying.

Friday, July 8, 2011

visualizing the display ad business

I've seen this on various sites and by itself, it's more interesting than the articles that reference it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

IAB innovation days 2011

I didn't make it, but I saw some of the video.

Make it smaller!

Often I am asked for tips on making the banner smaller.
My #1 tip is: don't use transparent pngs. If you need transparency, mask a flat jpg.
More tips to come!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Interesting banner dev blogs?

A search for banner blog 2011 flash as2 tween "rich media" "30k" turns up nothing of interest! I know there are a lot of people out there building ad banners, but they aren't talking about it...