Chapter 13. Testing and Debugging

Testing your animation is a lot like filing your income taxes. Both can be tedious, time-consuming, and frustrating—but they’ve got to be done. Even if your animation is short, straightforward, and you’ve whipped out 700 exactly like it over the past 2 years, you still need to test it before you release it into the world. Why? Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Choosing a motion tween when you meant to choose a shape tween, adding content to a frame instead of a keyframe, tying actions to the wrong frame or object, and mistyping an Action-Script keyword are just a few of the ways a slip of your fingers can translate into a broken animation. And it’s far better that you find out about these problems before your audience sees your handiwork rather than after.

Throughout this book, you’ve seen examples of testing an animation using the Control → Test Movie option (for example, Figure 3-5). This chapter expands on that simple test option, plus it shows you how to test animation playback at a variety of connection speeds. And if you’ve added ActionScript actions or behaviors to your animation, this chapter shows you how to unsnarl uncooperative Action-Script code using Flash’s debugging tools.

Testing Strategies

All your audience ever sees is the finished product, not your intentions. So no matter how sophisticated your animation or how cleverly constructed your Action-Script code, if you don’t test your animation and make sure it works ...

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