FLIR (Face Lift Image Replacement) bills itself as an “alternative to sIFR”. They are definitely in the same category. sIFR has some extra functionality, but is relies on more technology on both the server and client side. FLIR may be a little easier to use and requires less technology, but has less functionality. In this screencast I walk through integrating FLIR on a WordPress site I was working on.
Links from Video:
Great video as usual really helpful!
wow very awsome that technique
I’m liking this approach more than sIFR. Not having to touch Flash is nice. I guess your problems using sIFR on that site turned out to be a good experience!
What type of images generates? Do they support transparency?
Nice tutorial by the way…
They appear to be transparent PNGs, John.
Here at work I used FLIR in a project very heavily once only to have our security team come two days before launch and veto it. Apparently its not secure at all, the image paths generated have the full script parameters displayed, and there is nothing stopping someone from just blasting your script, over and over creating tons of server processing and filling your cache…
Was really nice to work with but such a bummer to have to remove…
Thanks for that heads-up ClarkLab. It is a real shame, because the security issue aside, FLIR looks like a very worthy option.
Does anyone else have some expert security opinion on the matter..?
Yea I wish I had some more specifics but security isn’t really my thing. I just know word came back from our security department as ‘absolutely not.’ And I work for a huge MMO company so we have quite the expert security team…
That’s a point for me, I agree …
The second idea is to introduce a “timestamp”, so that the “generate.php” does not work without a correct time (plusminus a few seconds) in the $_GET-parameter.
What do you think about >>that?
Interesting stuff. Must say I still prefer sIFR, there’s a lot to be said for scale-ability and selectability, plus you don’t get that ugly effect on reload.
So all it really comes down to is file size and personal preferences.
Looks really nice, not sure about the security stuff.. but is the lack of being able to select the text out way the size of the files created with sIFR?
You mention that its all fine for SEO. Does it create the ALT text for the image? How does that work?
Great tutorial :)
Let’s not get carried away with file size. The last site I used sIFR on the swf came in at 16kb which, to put it in perspective, is less than a third of the size of the footer image (56kb) that Chris is using on this site.
Neither method needs to use alt text as they are both converting whatever is written in the html which is what the search engines read.
too bad it only works with PHP (which is not immediately obvious on this page or the FLIR site
I think she means that not everyone’s server is running php, not that the end user won’t be…
@Chris (or anyone):
Do you think it would be feasible to use FLIR to create expandable menus? I have just such a project I’m working on today and the client want to use a non-standard front for the menus.
I assume it would have to render each menu item. That could get expensive as people tend to hover the cursor over each main menu item to see what is revealed. Is there a way to have FLIR cache the images?
According to this thread on the flir forums it works with suckerfish so the short answer is yes.
I recently tried out Cufon for the first time which is extremely lightweight as well. It uses canvas (or VML where canvas isnt supported) to render fonts. So far its seems to be the easiest font replacement solution to implement and style, but the drawback I see is that there is no highlight on text selection (although the documentation states that it selects, just doesn’t highlight).
Wow, Cufon looks really great. I’m definitely going to poke around with that when I get a chance…
can’t seem to be able to upload my fonts to cufon, any tips on how to go about, sent them a message aswell
Exactly what I needed for a couple of projects I’m working on now. Thanks Chris.
Thanks, good summary…
Also like FLIR, that font is pronounced “A-ve-NEER”, not “A-ve-nur”…
Hey, I noticed the JS script tag was confined in an “If not IE 6” conditional. I assume it’s therefor not compatible with that version of MSIE? Unfortunate if not, since that’s a large part of the market (nearly a quarter?). Otherwise, really cool stuff. Nice to be able to do stuff without requiring Flash on the client-side.
Any idea which PHP graphics lib. is being used on the back-end? GD or Magick? Something else?!
Only really wish the text were selectable (and not images)!!
The FLIR page renders perfectly in Opera.
Awesome screen-cast Chris,
Strangely, when I went to test FLIR using a font I downloaded (Sketch Rockwell) it was able to retain its “selectability” on the page.
I know I asked this on Twitter, but I’m really curious – what’s the benefit of using this versus typeface.js?
I used FLIR for a project last week after strugglign to get SIFR working. More detailed fonts sometimes render a bit weird but other than that its pretty good
downloading this to my pmp right now to watch later on the subway. do you have a link to all screencasts for bulk download?
Suggestion for future screencasts, include title in file name.
Awesome as always – I was wondering if it would be possible to make the embedded videos zoom in the browser. I discovered a trick with the videos at theme-forest.net.
I wanted full screen, but I hate how it drops out if you press a key or click the mouse. After some experimenting, I discovered that the embedded flash videos will zoom with the browser (at least in firefox). So, I just zoom the video to fill the screen on one monitor while I follow along on my second monitor. Full screen all the time. Awesome. It would be great if this worked on your site as well.
I’m a HUGE fan and greatly appreciate you sharing your knowledge with the rest of us. I always look forward to your next video. BTW – They’re never too long or long-winded. So much great info. I’ve learned a ton.
Very nice tutorial, Chris! Good job, and thank you for the link <3!
There is a FLIR plugin for WordPress that works really well. My biggest problem is that without imageMagick on the server, the rendering of the font can be a little off/chunky (depends on the font, some work better than others). I think I’m leaning back towards sIFR these days.
And, I don’t care what they say, I prefer Flur over Fleer (reminds me of the old Gif/Jif wars).
Thanks, can’t wait to try it out on my next project!
Your tutorials are great. I just wish you would stop using “RIGHT?” as a period to your sentences. It’s grating.
I’ve been watching myself for that and it is epidemic. It’s like slang or something and I’m not sure where it came from. I heard Merlin Mann doing it in a presentation the other day now that I’m watching for it, so I must have subliminally picked it up from others.
Try having sIFR text on a page and then layer something over top of it like a modal window. Even if using wmode transparent you are going to run in to some z-index issues on a few browsers. Basically the flash will show through anything you place above it. There are ways to fix it but it is a time waster.
I have more sIFR issues but I don’t want to bore you all.
I have been eying FLIR because I know it will solve lot’s of these very annoying issues I have had with sIFR and flash.
Not sure if this was mentioned above, but I had a difficult time with FontForge so I found this http://onlinefontconverter.com/
Thanks for this tutorial!
It was great and easy to implement.