WFD - Creating a Preloader
What is WFD and What is a Preloader?
This is a good question to begin with so here we go. WFD stands
for "Wait for Download" and it is exactly what it says. It is kind
of like a really simple Do Loop in computer programming. The WFD
will run a portion of your animation that you specify over and over
until it gets to the point in your animation that you specify.
A Preloader is a very short animation which you use to let your
viewers know that something is happening even though it appears
that nothing is happening. So before your animation runs the preloader
runs until your movie is downloaded to your viewers computer.
Why do we need a Preloader?
Well, the internet is no longer a grey background with Black text
and maybe some really small graphics. Today your web pages have
grown from that small 1 KB file to a 100 KB or larger file. This
is OK as long as your viewers have fast download speeds on fast
modems. You do need to remember that even though technology has
grown, everyone is not surfing the internet with DSL or Cable Modems
and Broadband networks.
Remember going to those sites that had tons of graphics that took
you a long time to load. You waited and waited until you got to
the point where you said "This isn't worth it!!!" and you canceled
the loading of the page. Well, imagine if you could have been watching
a small animation while the page was downloading and when it is
downloaded the main animation begins and you didn't realize that
you waited for that animation to run.
This is what a Preloader is and what it is for. The main trick
is to create a preloader that will download fast and will start
running while the rest of the movie file is still being downloaded.
Now are you getting the idea of what a Preloader is for? Now the
big trick is to create a preloader that is interesting as well as
For our example we are going to create a simple animation and use
it as a preloader. In fact we are going to look at our old friend
"Loading" the animation that we used in the Looping tutorial. Ahhh,
now I know why the Looping tutorial used the word Loading.
NOTE: Since this is a tutorial on how to create a
Preloader using the WFD Behavior we are going to insert it in another
animation. This animation is not large so the preloader is there
just to show you how to set the WFD labels. Our animation is set
at 24 FPS and our preloader is less that a second long.