Advance Digital Studio 4 - Spring 2003

Basic Flash Timeline Help

To View Your Work
Menu Bar || Control >> Test Movie
Notice that this generates a .swf file in the folder where the .fla source file is saved
This will play the current timeline that you are viewing, but it will not show nested Tweens
What you DON'T see right away:
You should almost NEVER draw directly on the main Stage!
Use Instances of Symbols wherever possible.
Reason #1: You can reuse items from the Library without increasing the size of your movie.
Reason #2: You can control the properties of Instances dynamically with ActionScript.
REMEMBER: NAME all instances in the Property Inspector! This is how you will access the instance with ActionScript.

LIBRARY shortcut
Menu Bar || Window >> Library CMD + L
SYMBOL shortcut
Menu Bar || Insert >> New Symbol... CMD + F8
Library Window || Options >> New Symbol...
or, click the plus icon at the bottom of the Library Window
If you did draw directly on the stage and now want to turn your artwork into a Symbol, select the artwork then choose:
Menu Bar || Insert >> Convert to Symbol ...
This process will leave the artwork on stage, but it will now be an Instance of a Symbol added to the Library
You will be prompted to enter a library name for the Symbol (and to choose the Symbol "Behavior", which will usually be "Movie Clip", sometimes "Button", almost NEVER "Graphic" (which is just a one frame Movie Clip).
Drag a Symbol from the Library to the Stage
Copy & Paste or Alt + Drag a Symbol that's already on Stage.
FRAME shortcut context menu
Menu Bar || Insert >> Frame F5 Right-click
on a frame in
the timeline
to access a
context menu
with one or more frames selected:
Menu Bar || Insert >> Remove Frames
KEYFRAME shortcut
Menu Bar || Insert >> Keyframe F6
Menu Bar || Insert >> Blank Keyframe F7
with one or more frames selected:
Menu Bar || Insert >> Remove Keyframe
Keyframes are where changes occur in the Timeline.

A TWEEN interpolates the changes between Keyframes. To apply a TWEEN select a Keyframe, then SHIFT + click a contiguous Keyframe. You can Right-click the selected Frames to bring up the context menu and select "Create Motion Tween".
There are TWO KINDS of Tweening: Shape Tweening and Motion Tweening.
In general, Shape Tweens are applied to things drawn directly on stage; Motion Tweens are applied to Instances of Symbols.
Note that you can make more changes in your Keyframes after a TWEEN is applied.
You can have more than one Tweened object in a Symbol's Timeline, but they need to be on different layers.
Property Inspector || Tweening >> Motion
Motion Tweens can be applied to Instances of Symbols to interpolate changes in shape, color, rotation ...
Note that changes made to an Instance do not affect the original Symbol in the Library.
Property Inspector || Tweening >> Shape
Shape Tweens can be applied to morph between any images drawn directly on the stage in a Timeline.
Tools for controlling changes that can apply to BOTH Shape & Motion Tweens
Simply change the location of an element in a Keyframe
change it's position or size through the Property Inspector
Menu Bar || Window >> Transform
Menu Bar || Modify >> Transform
Tool Bar || Free Transform
Context Menu: Right-click an element
SEE ALSO: Onion Skinning
Motion Tween ONLY Tools
Menu Bar || Window >> Panels >> Effect
A variety of menus are available in the Effect Panel for changing color and transparency.
SEE ALSO: Motion Guides
Shape Tween ONLY Tools
Any of the drawing tools in the TOOLBOX (& their Options)
Menu Bar || Modify >> Smooth | Straighten | Optimize | Shape
Menu Bar || Window >> Panels >> Color | Fill | Stroke | Mixer | Swatches
Shape Hints

After Shape Tweening is applied you can add Shape Hints to control the morphing.
Menu Bar || Modify >> Transform >> Add Shape Hint    [CMD + SHIFT + H]
Menu Bar || Modify >> Transform >> Remove Shape Hint    [select and DELETE]
Menu Bar || View >> Shape Hints    [ CMD + ALT + H]
also: Right-click on a Shape Hint for Context Menu
TEXT as Image
Menu Bar || Modify >> Break Apart   [CMD + B]
"Break Apart" turns text into image, separates it from the font equation, allowing you to apply Shape Tweening;
also used to free an instance from it's library symbol.
To set the initial appearance of Text, use the Property Inspector
Flash Program Other
Menu Bar || Help >> Using Flash [F1]

Menu Bar || Help >> Lessons

Menu Bar || Help >> Tutorials

Use the Search Tool in Flash Help

Flash MX Bible
Parts I - IV, Part IX

Look for keywords in indices and tables of contents of other books.

Do Google searches on keywords.

Use the class list of links to Flash Tutorials by Category

Advance Digital Studio 4 - Spring 2003