Thursday, August 09, 2007

Flash Scenes

One thing that I never used with Flash is the Scene feature. I was always aware of it, I'd just never needed it. Plus, scenes don't get much of an buildup from the online help (the emphasis in bold I added):
  • Scenes can make documents confusing to edit, particularly in multiauthor environments. Anyone using the FLA document might have to search several scenes within a FLA file to locate code and assets. Consider loading content or using movie clips instead.
  • Scenes often result in large SWF files. Using scenes encourages you to place more content in a single FLA file, which results in larger FLA files and SWF files.
  • Scenes force users to progressively download the entire SWF file, even if they do not plan or want to watch all of it. If you avoid scenes, users can control what content they download as they progress through your SWF file.
  • Scenes combined with ActionScript might produce unexpected results. Because each scene Timeline is compressed onto a single Timeline, you might encounter errors involving your ActionScript and scenes, which typically requires extra, complicated debugging.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement for scenes!

I've been doing some Savvy Development, following the Allen Interactions way, using Flash. While I was working on the media prototype in Flash, the media prototype is developing the look of the piece. I was getting frustrated with doing different screens for the app and was about to switch to Photoshop to just do a static bitmap representation of the screens. Then I decided to try the scene feature. WOW! Did that make doing different screens easy! In the Scenes panel you can give the scenes meaningful names and keep it open to quickly switch between scenes. Then I saw the Duplicate Scene and things got even easier!

Now I wouldn't recommend them for the final developing the final product, but I would for when you need to develop a series of screens rapidly. If you're not using them, you should give it a try.