drop shadow effect on exporting

Working on a 6 miinute piece where each scene (12 scenes) is 1,000 frames or so long. Took care to minimive file size by using image where possible and heres my issue.

When I completed the first scene (exactly 1,000 frames) I was able to export the “swf” output in 15 seconds or so.

I then added a shadow to the only character in the ecenes (for the entire 1,000 frame) and tried to export …it successfully exported in swf …but this time in about 1 hour.

Is this normal?

My second question directed to TBS designers is this.

I should know this but let me ask …again about the differences using the brush and pencil tools. So far I have used only the brush tool. But my system just seem to respond better to the pencil tool when drawing and I have the luxery of maintaining the thickness of the drawing …with the pencil tool …as I expand or reduce my drawing.

I like to draw big …and many time find it better to use a ‘2’ or ‘3’ size brush/pencil size …but in the end I find the animation to look best with a ‘4’ size line thickness. Great to work around this using the pencil tool. Does this new upgrade give us anything that would make using the pencil tool just as efficient as using the brush?

I read the instruction and interpret the pencil tool as being less demanding on system processing …but I remember in the past being adviced to use the brush tool despite what the ‘help’ menu said.

Finally, the benifits that comes with the brush tool …(variable line width while drawing) is actually something I don’t need …as I always set both sizes to the same thickness …because of my style of animating …one more reason why I like the pencil.

Please …advice …one more time …in light of this new upgrade the pros and cons of using either tool.

One last time …can we get a GIF export feature …pppuulleezze? :’(


Our experience with the drop shadow effect is that it significantly increases render times to the point that we don’t like to use it even though it provides great shadows. Perhaps a future version will improve on this issue.

The difference between the pencil and the brush is in the number of vector points created. Simplistically the higher the vector point count the more calculations required to render the art. Using the line tool and the sub-select tool to bend and shape the line is the most efficient way to minimize vector points. The sub-select tool is next to the select “arrow” and it looks like an unfilled version of the select “arrow”. If you draw a line with the pencil and a similar line with the brush and then select each using the sub-select tool you will get a great picture of the difference in vector points created. I hope this gives you some insight into your question -JK

Ok …so its normal. I fell kinda bummed out with this limitation because the drop shawdow is such a great feature! It add depth to my work in such an effort-less way.

The disparities are huge however.
For the piece that I did, 1,000 frames one character with 6 elements
all background was media element exposed for the 1,000 frames

With no shadows:

Reneder time was -15 seconds
Exported SWF file size was 1.3KB

With Shadow:
Render time was 1.5 hours
Exported swf file size was 10.76KB

I’m running a Pentium M (1.7khz) with 1.5G and dedicated ATI Radeon video card

Huge difference.

Ok I did this and what I saw was consistent with what was porpurted in the help menu. That is, the brush tool will ultimately demand more processing. But as explained, in the past I was advised by TBS designers to use it despite this rationale, under previous versions. Has this changed with the new release?

The piece I am working on has some 12 or so scenes to go, The first scene was done using the “brush” tool about 95% of the time, and I won’t bother trying to change anything now.

However going forward, if I can in fact use the pencil tool instead and improve efficiency …that would be a win-win for me definately.

Hi Tiger,

Concerning the pencil feature since it is now possible to switch from pencil to brush you could simply be working with the pencil on single frame and when you are done with the frame convert the thing to brush. This will help you on your design while keeping the file size as small as possible on the processing part. Be aware that going from Brush to Pencil might change the shape of the element greatly but from Pencil to Brush it should stay pretty much the same.

To give more explanation about why the brush is harder on the processing then pencil, it is basically related to the fact that when you draw with a brush the machine need to generate 1 single outline (for display purpose) as if you paint with the pen the machine need to generate the center line then it has to generate the outline.

This being said, depending on the complexity of the drawing something the pen will seem lighter then the brush (for outline and such) and sometime the brush will be more efficient then pen (for dots suchs as pupils that people tend to draw over and over to get the proper shape). There is no absolute answer to this case and we are still working on improving the performances of the software so it runs even smoother.

Concerning the drop shadow effect I don’t have the exact results but indeed it will be much heavier then having the thing drawn. Although I will report this to the RnD team and hopefully we will come up with a solution that will increase the performances of the effect.

Finally for the gif format so far there are some limitation that prevent us to implement it and since it is a declining format we are not yet sure if we will put it in. In any case keep asking, the more we get request the better the chances are it will be implemented.

Best regards,