Optimising bitmaps for Dancing Stick Figures
These instructions are about how to optimise your bitmap-based
stick figures, so that they run faster and have a smaller file-size.
The instructions will only make sense if you have already created
some bitmap-based stick figures yourself. Instructions on doing that
are on the pages
Stick Editor Instructions
and Photo-based Figures.
The basic principles are listed below, in order of
importance. There's further
discussion of how to achieve each one, below. Note that
a professional paint-program such as Photoshop will make all
of this easier, and more fun.
- Non-rotated bitmaps are about ten times faster than rotated
- Non-transparent bitmaps are about four times faster than
- 256-colour bitmaps (i.e. 8bpp indexed colour) are about twice
as fast, and yield file-sizes about 80% smaller.
- Small bitmaps are much better for moving foreground parts.
An image that is twice as big will be FOUR times slower.
- Big bitmaps are often better for non-rotated non-transparent
backdrops. Windows can shrink a bitmap about twice as fast as it stretches it.
1. Non-rotated bitmaps
A rotated bitmap is about ten times slower to draw than a non-rotated one.
(Also, rotated bitmaps aren't even supported on Win95/98/Me).
2. Non-transparent bitmaps
3. 256-colour bitmaps
4. Small bitmaps for moving parts
5. Big bitmaps for backdrops
This page was last updated by Lucian Wischik in January
2003. It relates to his Dancing Stick Figure visualization for
Windows Media Player and Winamp. If you have any comments, please