How do I improve efficiency of playback of my movies?
Problem: My Director movie plays OK on one machine but then on another, the sound is out of synch and the animation becomes jerky and slow. Is there anything I can do to avoid that?
Solution: This is a question which professionals in the industry continue to explore. Slow playback can be due to a number of reasons, all concerned with memory management. If you run your movie on a slow computer with low RAM, it won't play as well as a fast computer with lots of RAM.
So how do we fix the problem?
Well, first keep your file size as low as possible - this doesn't mean you must use only black and white images or simple shapes, but it does mean you should be careful when using lots of high resolution images. Keep them to a low colour depth - as low as practical. Don't use redundant images - this means that if you have an animation with only part of an image changing, have separate cast members for the changing area ONLY. Avoid having multiple cast members that are identical. Delete any unused cast members, then choose 'Save and Compact'.
Other things that use a lot of Director memory:
Using lots of transparency ink effects, such as fades.
Stretching large images for a zoom type effect.
Both of the above make Director think harder. It has to work out the in between steps, so it may be faster to have separate images of different sizes or different transparency.
Sound takes up a lot of space, try experimenting with Shockwave Audio. Synchronizing sound to animation can be very difficult because it depends on how fast the computer can load the sound and animation. To have tight synchronization, you should use short sounds and use the tempo setting to wait for cue points.
The primary way to keep your movies playing smoothly is to avoid making Director having to overwork. So break up your presentation into manageable chunks for Director to handle. Having lots of small movies will make Director load 1 section at a time rather than trying to load everything and then causing the whole project to slow down.
If you have lots of digital video or other large cast members, try unloading them from memory after they have been used.
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