Blogging here has been light all week.  Yes, I know my readership is probably less than the number of people who watch Keith Olbermann’s nightly spitterflecking (but not by much).  Still, I committed to having regular entries, and I thought I’d present my excuses for not having so much on the page this past week.  This is like the note mom would send to school after you were absent.

I’m back on the movie again at work.  My “producers” had more things to add to it, which meant more voice over recording (mine), audio editing and mixing into the movie, adding more animations and descriptions, generally stretching the original movie out to another three or four minutes.

I had made the movie in Flash.  As I started adding parts, I noticed how sluggish my real-job Dell Inspiron was acting.  It got to where I had to wait a full minute after typing a letter of text for the memory to clear out.  So I had to, with permission, move production of the resource-sucking Flash file onto my home Toshiba.  I got to where I was happy with another cut of the movie, then tried to play it.  The projector file would play halfway through, then quit.  I checked all my ActionScript (the gibbery code that behind a lot of the actions you see in a Flash movie), found no errors, trimmed, tweaked, folded, spindled, and stopped short of mutilating. . .then I thought to do a little checking on Flash’s frame limitations.  I knew it had them.  I just didn’t know what they were.

Flash movies are limited to 16,000 frames.  The monstrosity I created was nearly 18,000.

I tried stringing the pieces together, so that one movie would finish and another movie would launch behind it.  Thing is, this is to be a self-running presentation.  The script to get it to run from one movie to another is based on an action.  You’ve got to click something or press something in order for it to move on.

So I turned to a trusty resource – the only one I had, really.  Macromedia Director:  Flash’s bigger brother.

I’ve been using Director for about 10 years now.  While I love the simplicity of Flash, and its design capabilities are quite stellar, I find its ActionScript to be inelegant and incomprehensible.  I don’t think I’ve ever come up against something Director couldn’t do, and its Lingo scripting is, I think, far more intuitive.  One other time I designed something in Flash and had Director run it,and it worked great.  That’s what I’m doing with this monster.  My movie projector file is a lot bigger, but since this will be running off CD-ROM, I’ve got room to spare now.

I’m delivering another version tomorrow morning, which means I’m spending part of my Easter weekend working on it.  Right after wife, daughter and I watch this.