Asynchronous control of many objects

Scott Rossi scott at
Thu May 13 01:24:02 EDT 2004

Recently, "Jim Hurley" wrote:

> I have a question about asynchronous movement of a large number of
> graphic objects.
> For example, consider a window with 50 graphic objects, perhaps 50
> small spheres--balls.
> I want to have all these objects moving asynchronously. The stack in
> which this comes up can be seen by running the following in the
> message box:
> go url ""
> My problem is that I use the *identical handler* in *each* of the 50
> balls. That seems inefficient. Is there a way to control a large
> number of objects asynchronously without duplicating the handler in
> each of the objects?

There are many ways.  Here's one (type the following in your message box):

  go url ""

See the card script for details.

Snowglobe anyone?


FWIW, in my experience, I've found that:

1) Enabling each object to track its own position via its own code requires
much heavier processor use than using one master script to move everything
simultaneously.  I've locked up several Windows systems doing what you
describe above, crashing Rev.  YMMV.

2) Interestingly, locking the screen between each call to position multiple
objects can also place a high demand on the processor; removing the lock
screen is surprisingly less demanding and, if your objects are small enough,
you won't notice much delay if any between the move of the first and last

3) Look at balancing the frequency of the message used to move the objects
versus the actual distance moved.  Sometimes you can employ longer interval
between moves with a longer distance moved to cut down on processor use, but
too long a distance may produce jittery, unacceptable results.

Depending on the size/type of objects, you may not be happy with performance
beyond about 30 to 40 objects or so.  The above demo does indeed use 50
objects and seems to perform acceptably on Mac OSX, but also appears to near
max out the processor.  Watch out for this on Windows (on my systems, Macs
seem to be more forgiving).  Again, YMMV.


Scott Rossi
Creative Director
Tactile Media, Development & Design
E: scott at

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