Ok, there was a recent article on Tech TV's website about "optimizing" your Flash movies. It was so stupid that I had to comment on it. Below you will see their "tips" in bold, and my comments below each.
Construct your animation as simply as possible. Create characters that are made of objects that can be used more than once.
This is a big "duh" for any decent Flash user, but there are tons of people who still don't get it, so this tip is ok.
Stay away from fancy features such as tweening, or transparency, as much as possible. If you do use them, understand that the feature will affect the performance of your animation.
I agree that transparency will slow down an animation and should be used in moderation (or avoided entirely), but referring to tweening as a "fancy feature" that should be avoided is utter nonsence. Tweening is the backbone for Flash's animation system - it should be used whenever fitting. Of course, the more tweening you have at one time, the slower your movie will run - but that didn't seem to be the point he was making.
The more bitmaps you use, the slower the playback.
MORE BULLSHIT! Anyone who has played my games knows that I use bitmaps when I want SPEED. I used bitmaps for games such as Crazy Shuttle and Wasted Sky - without doing so they would run like a turd. Bitmaps will most likely add to the filesize - increasing the load time - but that is completely different than "playback" speed. Vector graphics require extra CPU power to recreate the images using math - while bitmaps can simply plop onto the screen.
Take advantage of keyframes and the effects menu as much as possible. Draw something once and then tell Flash when you want to use that image again instead of duplicating it.
This is basically a repeat of the first tip... So they should just remove the first one and use this instead.
Very important: Set all of your symbols' behaviors to "graphic." Once you have everything perfect, set each layer in the final scene to "movieclip," then output it. This can reduce the file size by as much as 75 percent.
Ok, I am just baffled by this one. As far as I know, there is no way to set a layer to "movieclip". Am I wrong on this one? This whole statement just sounds so NUTS and I can't imagine the author has used Flash for more than a day. Especially the whole "this can reduce file size by as much as 75 percent" - where did that arbitrary number come from? Did he perform rigorous tests on dozens of Flash movies in order to obtain that statistic?
The only possible interpretation I can make is that if you use a graphic that is LOOPING throughout your movie, then converting it to a movieclip will most likely cut back your filesize. Graphics and movie clips have different properties, however. You can't simply convert ALL of your graphics to movie clips and expect the movie to run just like it did before. The whole bit is just crazytalk.
I am just amazed that people get paid to write this stuff. That's all for now.