Graphics Programs Reference
a different animation somewhere else on the web page.
The quality of time is a nonintuitive thing to add to the
mix when you design something, but once you get a
handle on all the dimensions of a presentation, you can
produce work many other folks can't.
Vector versus bitmap
When considering your
audience, and also what you can do to animate an idea,
the structure of your animation can be bitmap, vector,
or a combination of both. Bitmap animations are very
large when compared to vector Flash format, but on
the other hand, some things (such as animating photos)
cannot be achieved with vector artwork. A Flash slide
show of photos, for example, can be created by placing
a number of photos in a Xara document, and then over
time, you increase the transparency of one slide to
reveal the following photo. Bear in mind that Xara can
reference vector artwork in an extremely compact way.
If, for example, only the changes in a path are recorded
to Flash file format, you could in reality make a lasso
twirl about for several minutes and the file size would
be less than 1K! This is because the path is only written
once to the Flash data file, along with the changes as it
animates. Conversely, bitmap animations usually have
to be written to a Flash and GIF file one complete frame
at a time, exactly as motion pictures are sequenced.
Although you can occasionally make GIF files smaller
by reusing parts of a frame, the rule is that bitmap
animations are larger than vector animations of the same
visual quality. If you think your audience is mostly
composed of users with dial-up connections, it would be
deadly to cobble only bitmap animations for the website
no one will have the patience to wait to see.
Object Properties You Can Animate
Xara has features that Flash does not support, but if you're
careful in planning, the workarounds covered in this chapter
will get your idea where it wants to go. The following is a list of
actions supported in Flash as pure vector animation.
Move, scale, disproportionately scale, skew
shape you draw can be moved on the page and distorted
(transformed) by using the Selector Tool and by nudging.
You cannot change a path's control points and have