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Animation Tips
„ Animation is all the rage on the web and is becoming more
popular every day.
„ But before you begin to create animations for your web site
or multimedia application, you need to consider some basic
questions, such as:
… What is its purpose?
… What kind of audience do you want to attract?
… What are you trying to say/promote?
… Will the animation add interest to your site or detract from

Animation Tips
„ Below are animation tips designed to help you make clear
decisions about animation aesthetics, implementation,
storyboarding and optimization, without sacrificing quality.
These tips, while aimed at 3D, can also be applied 2D

„ Placement
Before you even begin to create animations, there are several important
aesthetic issues to take into account. To elaborate, a single animation
on a web page will overwhelm all static images, so placement is
important. As mentioned above, make sure that the animation is
beneficial to your web site, otherwise you will lose your audience.

„ Looping
Before you place a finished animation on your web site or multimedia
application, be aware that if you have more than one animation on a
single page, the effect can overwhelm the viewer and turn them off,
rather than draw them in. Also, animations that cycle endlessly can
quickly become annoying. Design your animation with a finite number of
loops, so that it eventually stops

„ Storyboard
Once you've decided to create an animated sequence, you need to start
with the fundamentals. Of these, a crucial step is the creation of the
storyboard. Here, you detail the animation in a precise fashion with
sketches, scripts, transitions, timing, etc. It is with the storyboard that
you can work out many creative difficulties. And once you’ve finished the
storyboard, you have, in a sense, created the animation.

„ Keep in simple
A key issue in storyboard design is complexity, which was a common
problem encountered by many students. Often, they would design
animations that were beautiful in theory, but impossible to complete in
the time available. Whenever possible, keep it simple. If necessary, you
can always add detail later.

„ File size
This will reduce file sizes and is useful for gamers. If you’re
using a 2D application to create your shapes (such as
Adobe Illustrator, or the Corel KPT 6 plug-in), these
applications offer a command to reduce the number of
points in a path. Finally, when placing an animation on your
web site, give the viewers an idea of the file size so they can
determine if they want to watch it or not. This is especially
important for users with slower modems.

„ Detail
When working in 3D, reduce geometric complexity for
objects that are further away in a scene. At a distance, such
detail is not likely to be discernable by the eye.

„ When objects are in motion, the eye is not able to discern

information one would normally see in a still image and is
much more forgiving. This means that details can be further

„ Complexity
In 3D applications, lines and facets can appear on an object that points
away from the viewer. Turning these off reduces image complexity and
rendering time. Also, turning off anti-aliasing will speed up rendering.
The down side is that the edges will appear jagged, but this may not
affect your animation.

„ Points
As with vector images, it's important to reduce the number of points and
not to rely totally on geometry alone to define create an object. A better
option is make use of image maps, which create the illusion of geometry
while reducing the file size. One note of caution: be careful how you use
image maps, as they can bloat your file sizes as well. Until the
bandwidth issue is resolved, keep file sizes as small as possible. This
issue becomes even more important when you consider that many users
still use 56.6Kbps modems.

„ Compressing
One method for compressing image maps or bitmaps is
"Weighted Optimization," available in Adobe Photoshop and
Adobe ImageReady. Weighted Optimization uses an alpha
channel to vary compression settings across an image. For
areas where quality is important, you use a lower
compression, and in areas such as sky, you use a higher
compression. The end result is an image of a small size but
certain areas are of a high quality. Weighted Optimization
gives you control over GIF dithering, lossy GIF settings and
JPEG compression

„ The above tips will help you make wise decisions about
animation aesthetics, implementation, storyboarding and
optimization, without sacrificing quality.