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How to create widgets for the Chumby Network and optimize content in flash lite.

How to create widgets for the Chumby Network and optimize content in flash lite.

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Chumby Flash Lite Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Chumby Fest ‘08 Optimizing Content For Flash Lite 3.0 Liz Tervenski, Art Director Email: Liz@chumby.com
  • 2. Developing widgets for the Chumby Network A little about the Chumby Network:
    • There are currently 670+ widgets in the Chumby Network
    • There are over 235 active flash developers building widgets and participating at
    • http://forum.chumby.com
    • Some of our content partners include MTV, New York Times, CBS, Food Network, Shoutcast, The Weather Channel, Myspace, Mediafly, Mytoons, and Albino Blacksheep.
    • Content can be tested and viewed on both the actual chumby hardware as well as the virtual chumby located on our site - so you can create content for the network even if you don’t yet own an actual chumby.
  • 3. Developing widgets for the Chumby Network Why you should care:
    • Chumby is the place for you to promote your ideas, your work, your coding prowess and learn from others on the forum.
    • Making a widget is quick and painless. You can come up with an idea, develop it, and push it to the community in the same day.
    • It takes less than 24 hours for us to publish your widget live. There is no red tape.
    • The community can add comments to tell you what they think of your work.
    • You own your work! When you upload a Flash widget to our site, your work still belongs to you.
  • 4. Developing widgets for the Chumby Network Why you should care:
    • Your work stands out on our network. Really great widgets become top rated very quickly and get featured on the site.
    • Companies looking for talented flash developers can easily find you on the Chumby Network.
    • Dating DNA is an example of a widget that was created by a community flash developer at the request of a company.
    • The company saw his work, liked it, and then paid him to create their widget.
  • 5. Developing widgets for the Chumby Network The future of the Chumby Network:
    • The vision of the Chumby Network is to push flash content onto any wi-fi connected screen.
    • So the assumptions of what work well today on a chumby might be changing in the future.
    • Before building your Flash Lite widget think about the following:
    • -how your design will look on a larger or a smaller screen size
    • -design your widget to work with different types of navigation (like a remote control)
    • -consider processor speeds (important for complex animations or video)
    Image from a Sharp Aquos Net video on www.gizmodo.com This is just an example of what the future of widgets on connected screens might look like.
  • 6. Developing widgets for the Chumby Network What you need to know to get started:
    • Set stage dimension to 320x240 pixels
    • Set the frame rate to 12 fps max (24 fps max). FPS specified at the authoring level will not necessarily translate to an actual FPS on the chumby device. Test different frame rates on the chumby to see how performance is affected.
    • Publish for Flash Player 7 or Flash 8 if you are supporting On2 Video. Flash 9 is not supported.
    • Keep the total size of the published .swf to under 100k to reduce download time.
    • Create a 80x60 pixel thumbnail that summarizes the content of your widget.
    • Upload your widget at www.chumby.com
  • 7. Developing widgets for the Chumby Network Create from scratch or use an existing template:
    • Got an idea but don’t know how to build it? Go to the developers section of the website to find .fla files for various types of widgets:
    • Sample Clock Widget
    • Sample Binary Clock Widget
    • Sample RSS Widget
    • Sample Webcam Widget
    • Sample Banner Widget
    • Sample Accelerometer Widget
    • Digital Clock Widget
    • RootTools
  • 8. Developing widgets for the Chumby Network Performance and Optimization:
    • Minimize the use of bitmap graphics.
    • If you do use a bitmap, reduce the size of it by playing with the compression settings.
    • Make sure the hit area on navigation buttons are at least 30x30 pixels so they are easy to press.
    • Avoid gradients. Gradient fills are expensive and may result in color banding.
    • To reduce color banding, open your gradient image in Photoshop and run a filter by Telegraphics called 5_6_5, which reduces the color depth and dithers it.
    • Use tweens sparingly and avoid full-frame animations. Try to keep the percentage of the screen being updated as small as possible for any given frame.
    • Don’t do too many network fetches at the same time.
    • Watch your variables. Remove variables when no longer necessary (delete variableName;) to remove from memory.
  • 9. Developing widgets for the Chumby Network Performance and Optimization:
    • Simplify vector graphics. Use Flash’s curve simplification to reduce the number of points and curves.
    • Avoid lots of text. Lots of small text can be expensive to render.
    • When using outlines and fills, break apart each object and “convert lines to fills”.
    • Avoid hiding an object by setting its Alpha to 0, instead remove it completely from the stage.
    • Don’t overuse different font families as each font adds roughly 20k to the total file size.
  • 10. Developing widgets for the Chumby Network Widget ideas:
    • Want to develop a widget for the chumby but don’t know what to build? Here are some ideas:
    • Calendars
    • Countdown clocks
    • Dating widgets
    • Email/SMS/IM viewers
    • Entertainment
    • Humor
    • Games
    • Gas price watcher
    • Movie times or previews
    • Photo slide shows
    • Social Networking
    • Travel deals
    • Webcams