Let's now shift our attention to tempo. Tempo is the number of frames per second that Director attempts to play back your movie. You can control tempo by using the Score tempo channel. That's the very top channel here in the Score. It's the very top of the effects section of the Score. Double click on any frame there in the tempo channel and that'll bring up the frame properties tempo dialog. Director tempo settings control the maximum speed at which the play head moves from frame to frame. This tempo does not affect the duration of any transitions set in the transitions channel, which I'll demonstrate in the next movie, nor does it control the speed at which a sound or digital video plays back. Tempo settings also don't always control animated GIFs in the way that you would expect. Settings here in the tempo channel can also make a movie pause and wait for a mouse click or a key press. That's one of my favorite uses of the tempo channel here. Notice that at the very bottom there is a wait for cue point. If you have a video or audio Sprite in that section of the Score, you'll get this option where you can wait for that particular channel, in this case my sound channel number one where I have a music file or a music Sprite and I can wait for either the next cue point or for the end of the file. You can add cue points to your Director cast members using various editors, such as Adobe Addition or Final Cut or Premier Pro. You add those cue points and then you can control playback based on those cue points. Now, for simple movies, using the tempo channel is often the best way to define tempos. For more sophisticated control of the speed of a movie playback, you'll want to use Lingo scripting to control tempo. Now, you can't make a movie go faster than the computer allows. For example, you can't say, well, let's make my playback 900 frames per second. What'll happen is that Director will try to play back at tempo but it will not and things will start to fall behind. So this number here is the maximum that Director will play back. In other words, it won't play back any faster than 40 frames per second if you set it to 40 frames per second. But if you've got a lot going on, it may not even be able to play it back at 18 frames per second. So just by setting it to 40 will not make it necessarily play back at 40. Many factors can make movies play more slowly than the specified tempo. Let me go through some of these. The biggest one is perhaps playing the movie on a slower computer or making the movie wait for cast members to download from a slow Internet connection. Also if you try to animate several large Sprites at the same time, that will drastically slow down your tempo. By the way, if you open up the Control Panel and leave that open while you play back the movie, it will tell you what the frame rate is, the current frame rate as it's playing back. So you can see there that it's 29.30. Pretty much maximum what I've set here in the tempo channel. That's the default, by the way, is 30. But if I set this to let's say ten frames per second, rewind and play this back, notice that the frames per second right there is ten and it will stick to that ten there. If I change this to five frames per second and rewind, it'll play it back at five frames per second. Notice right there. Other things that will really slow down your Director playback are trying to animate stretched Sprites. Better rather than stretching the Sprite is to fix the dimensions in a program like Photoshop first before bringing it into Director. You never want to do this; take your Sprite and then stretch it to make it fit the right size. Better to resize it permanently in Photoshop. Color depth differences between the movie and the monitor will also slow down playback, as well as animating Sprites that have blend values. Now, let me give you some practices for working with tempo. It's best to begin a movie with a tempo setting in the first cell of the tempo channel, first cell or frame right here. That's why I went there and added my tempo of five. Typically to do animation, you want to be between 12 and 18, 20, 25 frames per second. Thirty frames per second is default, so if you don't change anything, Director will try to play it back at 30 frames per second. If you don't set a tempo until later in the movie, the beginning tempo is determined by this default setting of 30. Director plays a movie at the tempo you've set until it encounters a new tempo setting in the tempo channel. So for example, if I start off at five frames per second but then I want to speed it up to 15 frames per second at frame 30, I double click on that cell, there in frame 30, change my tempo to 15 like so and now we may see this may be a little bit too fast. But if we rewind and play and then watch the tempo, right there notice that it went from five to 15. Now, you'll enter tempo changes in the tempo channel at the top of the Score there. If you don't see the tempo channel, remember to open it up using this little icon right there, the hide-show effects channels icon to open that up and to close it. Now, you can also use the effects channel up here to set up transitions. This is the transitions channel. Transitions create brief animations that play between frames to create a smooth flow as Sprites move, appear or disappear. So let me now move on to the next movie and demonstrate in more detail how to add and use transitions in your Director movies.
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