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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old February 16th, 2004, 06:51 PM   #1
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Flash experts: How is this done?

Any of you Flash experts know what software or extension is used to do

THIS

Wait for one or more of the small images at the top left corner to load, then click one. See how big and beautiful the images are? Notice that they resize if you resize the window?

I'm guessing they've been converted to vector "symbols"... but I've never seen such beautiful, sharp photos this size compressed so much.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 08:38 PM   #2
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That's just Flash. Flash can be set to take up however much space is available. If you resize your browser, then the field changes. It's great for getting the same image with different resolution monitors. The big picture looked a wee bit blocky to me, but nothing objectional.

I used to know Flash but have since forgotten how to create with it. Since it is a Macromedia app, it is far from user friendly and intuitive. Flash really isn't much more than eye candy these days.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 08:43 PM   #3
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Ah, Kimosabee...but it isn't just Flash.

I'm aware that Flash can be resized...but something else is going on with these photos. First of all, the image quality is comparable to PNGs rather than JPEGs. But if you'll click on one of the larger two-spread shots, you'll see that the total file size is 16 Kb. Now, perhaps that's just the Flash movie and it is using loadMovie to pull the photos into it, but still the compression amount and quaity is startling.

I've done numerous tests with JPEGs and PNGs in Flash, and to get anything that looks this good requires a pretty sizeable file. Also, JPEGs can't be stretched out to the full width of my Cinema Display like these can without starting to look stretched.

There's some sort of vectorization or super-compression going on here that I haven't come across yet.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 09:17 PM   #4
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you can not "vectorize" a photo, that's not how it works, period. What's going on here is that the small photos on top are all small, about 10k each give or take, the large photos are pulled in when you click on the small ones. They are two seperate images, the large ones are from 100 to 300k each and they are just regular jpegs. He probably used a "tell target" movie clip in flash to pull them in from another scene.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 09:18 PM   #5
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Then, what are your theories about what's going on with that site?
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Old February 16th, 2004, 09:27 PM   #6
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read my edit.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 09:38 PM   #7
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Right...I suspected that and have done that before. But the thing is, have you ever seen a JPEG look that good when it's been stretched to fit a Cinema size display?

I've tried again and again to fiddle with compression, compare JPEGs and PNGs (PNGs looking better, of course, but being much better file sizes)... and they both resize somewhat, but once you start stretching them too much, they look stretched.

Now, if a 1600 x 1024 photo is used as the original, and most probably in PNG format to look that good, there's no way it would load that quickly. If we reduce the resolution by half, it'll start showing stretch marks once you've resized as much as 1600 x 1024.

But that's not happening with this guy's site.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 09:59 PM   #8
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yeah i'm not sure exactly, they do look good even for their size. Check your temporary internet files, you can pull the photos out of there. As far as loading quickly i bet that he's got a fat upstream conneciton.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 04:04 AM   #9
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I just got a response from the developer that made that site and you guys were right...it is just the standard resizing capability in Flash, with the one difference being that the JPEG images are huge, 1280X1024...something I though was impossible due to the fast download times.

Amazing to me that they can load that fast. It takes me, on average, about three seconds for an image to appear on that site. That's incredible considering the size and the fact that they're probably being set at 90% in Flash at least to get that quality.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 04:21 AM   #10
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cool, mystery solved i guess. Y'know seems to me that nine times out of ten it's the server that a website you're surfing is on that is the bottleneck as opposed to your downstream connection, maybe this guy's close to an OC12 backbone or something.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 07:46 AM   #11
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Found two interesting things... one, it shows how to convert a PNG to bitmap, then to make that one image appear like video (http://www.informit.com/isapi/produc...tent/index.asp)... the other is a free extension that allows you to quickly load large JPEGS and also zoom them (http://www.zoomify.com).
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Old February 17th, 2004, 08:33 AM   #12
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The Zoomify demo seems to have some glitches. It's easy to get part of the image to fail to reantialias upon zooming.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 08:42 AM   #13
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I didn't experienced that Robert, so it's not a universal problem.
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Old February 17th, 2004, 11:30 AM   #14
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One thing that certainly matters is that the photos are very well done. Nicely lit and composed. It has to make a difference in over perception of the quality of the images at any size.
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