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P5-describe factors that need to be taken into account when

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Tom Reidy

on 27 January 2014

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Transcript of P5-describe factors that need to be taken into account when

P5-describe factors that need to be taken into account when creating animations for the web
Animation Software

Animating for the web
Email attachments and e-cards
Viral advertisers have taken advantage of this new phenomenon and use it as another way of spreading news of their products, using digital word of mouth.

E-cards are digital cards that are sent via email in place of traditional paper-based cards. E-cards are generally animated and often have sound as well. E-cards sites will often offer a few cards for free, but charge for the cards with higher animation or messages. Parts of the e-card are usually customisable, including the heading, the greeting, the message and the goodbye message. For example, a sender could personalise a birthday card by writing ‘Happy Birthday, Tom’ instead of the generic ‘Happy Birthday’
File Types Full Name Features
.gif Graphics
Format Max 256 colour palette
Supports transparency
Compresses file using lossless compression

File Types Full Name Features
.swf Small Web Format Shockwave Flash Created by Adobe Flash
Locked and un-editable (as opposed to a .fla files)

Know the software techniques used in animation
There is a multitude of software available to animators, from simple 2D beginner packages to complex 3D applications. Which software to use depends on the animation to be created and its purpose-for example, if it is to be used on a web page or whether the file size is important?
A vector graphic consists of a mathematical algorithm that is calculated every time the file is opened. This means that the file size is generally smaller, as it only holds data about the picture rather than an actual image. Because the file is a set of calculations, the image can be resized as much as necessary without any loss of data.

Adobe Flash is a vector based program-although bitmaps can be imported to be used, any images created in Flash are vectors. Other vector based programs include Adobe Illustrator.
File Management
Keeping files organised is a skill that you need to develop. One method is to keep all working files in one folder and all finished files in another. This should prevent working on a compressed file such as a GIF and compressing it further each time it is saved.
In addition, backing up is crucial, especially when working on large files, which is common for animations. Saving regularly can also prevent data loss.

Managing File size
The file size of an animation is crucial, especially if it is to be used on the internet. If the file is too large, it will take too long to download and the user may lose patience and navigate away from the site.
Balance against quality of image
Images that are a very high quality generally have the largest file sizes. In a bitmap, if the resolution is high, more pixels need to be stored in that image.
The more detail that needs to be recorded about an image, is detailed, the more likely it is that compression will have a detrimental effect on the image. When an image is compressed, some loss of quality will always occur and with detailed, photographic-type images, this degradation is usually more noticeable. An animator must choose whether it is more important to high quality images and a large file size, lower quality images and a small file size or to find a happy medium balancing the two.

Output devices
Some animations are designed for portable devices such as mobile phones and PDAs. Although a large percentage now have full colour screens, some are still monochrome which should be borne in mind when creating animations for these devices.
If an animation is to be projected onto a screen, some quality may be lost as it is enlarged, and the animator must take this into account.

Bitmaps graphics
A bitmap file is made up of individual pixels, essentially a map of where each one and what colour it is. This results in a larger file size than vectors. The files can be compressed to make them smaller using formats such as GIF or JPEG but this result in a loss of quality. The more times a file is saved in a compressed format, the more quality is lost. Due to the image being stored with the pixels in place, when it is resized larger they become stretched and this causes a pixilation effect.

There is a multitude of specialist animation packages available. Some used in the design, films and games industries include.
Dream Studio, Bryce, Maya, trueSpace, 3D Studio Max, Flash, Blender
Some specialise in particular areas-Bryce focuses on building environments-other tackle characters and objects as well. Some are good as learning application, such as Flash, while others can be complex. Most are relatively expensive, but Blender is an open source program and is free.
Importing and exporting files
An animation will quite often include images and animations from other sources, rather than all assets being created for that project. The animation software being created will determine what can be imported and how but in general terms, both bitmap and vector static images will be accepted, as well as other animations made in the same program.

Exporting files involves publishing them in a viewable format that makes it possible to distribute. For example, when an Adobe Flash animation is published, it is then viewable using Flash Player and can be watched on a computer that doesn’t have the full Flash application installed.
When animating for the web, the file size is not the only constraint. In the medium, the animation is generally not the focal point but is used to enhance the content of the site-for example, buttons or logos. A house style may have to be followed so that the animations blend with the site as a whole.

Special techniques
Animated rollovers are buttons which perform an action when an event triggers them, for example when a mouse hovers over them. They usually have three states: up (where the button is unaffected), over (where the mouse hovers over the button) and down (when the mouse clicks the button).

Email attachments and e-cards
A popular use for animation is to attach them to emails. They can include humorous jokes, inspirational messages and other entertaining distractions. Once they have been sent to one group of people, they are generally passed on and can spread all round the world. In a busy modern life, where people sometimes don’t have time to write a full email message, they can send them an animated email message to let the person know they are thinking about them.

Before starting to animate, it is useful to know what file type will be used as this may influence the software or the method of saving used.

File Types Full Name Features
.mov Designed for QuickTime media player
Able to contain graphics, video and audio

File Types Full Name Features
.mp4 MPEG-4
Moving Picture Experts Group Based on the .mov format
Can obtain graphics, video and audio
Mainly playable on Apple software or specialist hardware, including iTunes, QuickTime, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iPod

File Types Full Name Features
.wmv Windows Media Player Created by Microsoft and popular on Windows platform
Can contain graphics, video and audio
Recently developed to store high definition files as WMV HD

When creating animations, attention should be given to the devices on which it will be viewed. Monitors can be set at a variety of resolutions so the animator cannot know which will be used. Common practice is design animations for the most popular resolution at the time-this will influence the animator’s decisions on size of the stage and other factors.
Use of special techniques

Optimization of animation files is quite complex process and can involve a detailed understanding of the file type and any compression methods that are used. Two common techniques are frame disposal and auto crop.

Auto crop-is used to ensure that only the area that contains images is shown, areas with no images (which are transparent or a solid colour) can be trimmed.
Animating for the web: special techniques eg animated rollovers; email attachments, e-cards; output devices eg mobile phone, PDA, monitor

Files: file types; file type features; converting files; importing files; exporting files; file management

Managing file size: quality of image; special techniques eg frame disposal, autocrop

Animation software: vector graphics; bitmap graphics; specialist software packages eg Dream Studio, Bryce,
Maya, Blender, TrueSpace, Lightwave, 3D Studio Max, SoftImage XSI, Adobe Flash (2D)
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