Thank goodness for find and replace

So I’ve just completed my first extensive Flash project for my grad Producing Interactive Media course. The task was to create an interactive infographic using the culmination of knowledge we have gained so far.

I decided to piggy back off of my current theory course research topic (Social TV) and do a graphic that evaluates how the new Fall TV shows are using social media. The graphic compares # of Viewers, # of Twitter Followers, Facebook Likes, GetGlue Check-ins, and Online games. [I’ll be sure to figure out a way to post it after I have turned it in for class]. It was interesting to see the correlation between the highest rated shows (mostly CBS) and their social media presence (comparatively none existent for CBS). I guess Twitter followers don’t always equal ratings.

The best thing about doing the project was moving away from classic and motion tween animation. I was able to put the majority of my animation in ActionScript 3.0 and trace all of my images so as not to use an .JPGs to keep the file size of the project around 100 KB.

However, with over 1,000 lines of code it can be a tedious task to have to make changes and adjustments. That’s where I discovered a number system and the use of Find and Replace saved me hours of code writing insanity. Instead of naming my MovieClips with a code name like “prime” for Prime Suspect, I found simply calling it “show1” helped with easily copying all codes. For my next show I could just call it “show2” and do a find 1 and replace with 2. Tah-da! In a matter of minutes I had the same code I needed done for shows 1 through 14.  It was a great breakthrough when I started realizing the complexity of managing a lot of code.

Playing with the visibility of MovieClips was a great breakthrough as well. Instead of gotoAndStop() on a blank frame, which is what I had been doing on previous projects, by toggling the invisibility with the buttons, it created a much simpler, smaller and more fluid project.

Same goes for Dynamic Text, I used these boxes for the number data that I wanted to appear when someone rolled over one of my shows. Instead of having to go into layer within layer to adjust the textual information, by putting it in dynamic text, I can simply update the information in the ActionScript. Time Saver!

I am sure my code is still a little bloated, but I look forward to more mind-blowing discoveries and finding even more efficient ways to create these Flash projects in the future!


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