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Flash CS5. With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more. First released in under the name FutureSplash, it was a tool for creating web-based animations. Flash has grown up with the World Wide Web and managed to carve out an important niche. In fact, there are a whole slew of programs that make use of Flash technology. Just right-click or Control-click an image that you think might be Flash.
Flash opens, displaying the Welcome screen. From the Workspace menu near the upper-right corner of the Flash window, choose Classic. If you wish, go ahead and check out some of the other layouts.
Top: The Essentials workspace is the one used throughout this book. Bottom: The Classic workspace shows the timeline above the stage, a look familiar to Flash Pro veterans. Choose the Essentials workspace again.
Back where you began, the Essentials workspace shows the timeline at the bottom. The stage takes up most of the main window. On the right, the Panels dock holds toolbars and panels.
In the Panels dock, click the Properties tab and drag it to a new location on the screen. Panels can float, or they can dock to one of the edges of the window. Drag the Color and Swatches toolbars to new locations. Like the larger panels, toolbars can either dock or float. You can drag them anywhere on your monitor, and you can expand and collapse them by clicking the double-triangle button in their top-right corners. Flash has dozens of windows.
Tip As you work on a project, the History panel keeps track of all your commands, operations, and changes. For more details, see Other Flash Panels. From the Workspace menu, choose Reset Essentials. The workspace changes back to the original Essentials layout, even though you did your best to mess it up. Menu Bar Like most computer programs, Flash gives you menus to interact with your documents.
In traditional fashion, Windows menus appear at the top of the program window, while Mac menus are always at the very top of the screen. The commands on these menus list every way you can interact with your Flash file, from creating a new file—as shown on Starting Flash —to editing it, saving it, and controlling how it appears on your screen. Using these menu choices, you can perform basic tasks like opening, saving, and printing your Flash files; cutting and pasting artwork or text; viewing your project in different ways; choosing which toolbars to view; getting help; and more.
If you prefer, you can also drag down to the option you want. Let go of the mouse button to activate the option. Most of the time, you see the same menus at the top of the screen, but occasionally they change. For example, when you use the Debugger to troubleshoot ActionScript programs, Flash hides some of the menus not related to debugging.
The Stage As the name implies, the stage is usually the center of attention. The stage is also your playback arena; when you run a completed animation—to see if it needs tweaking—the animation appears on the stage.
The stage is where you draw the pictures that will eventually become your animation. The work area light gray gives you a handy place to put graphic elements while you figure out how you want to arrange them on the stage. Here, a text box is being dragged from the work area back to center stage. The work area is the technical name for the gray area surrounding the stage, although many Flashionados call it the backstage.
This work area serves as a prep zone where you can place graphic elements before you move them to the stage, and as a temporary holding pen for elements you want to move off the stage briefly as you reposition things. If you decide you need to rearrange these elements, you can temporarily drag one of the circles off the stage.
Note The stage always starts out with a white background, which becomes the background color for your animation. The Timeline When you go to the theater, the stage changes over time—actors come and go, songs are sung, scenery changes, and the lights shine and fade.
Flash animations or movies are organized into chunks of time called frames. Each little box in the timeline represents a frame or a point in time.
So when the playhead is positioned at Frame 10, the stage shows what the audience sees at that point in time. The playhead is a red box that appears in the timeline; here the playhead is set to Frame You can drag the playhead to any point in the timeline to select a single frame. The timeline is laid out from left to right, starting with Frame 1. Simply put, you build Flash animations by choosing a frame with the playhead and then arranging the objects on the stage the way you want them.
Most simple animations play from Frame 1 through to the end of the movie, but Flash gives you ways to start and stop the animation and control how fast it runs—that is, how many frames per second fps are displayed. Using some ActionScript magic, you can control the order in which the frames are displayed. Tip The first time you run Flash, the timeline appears automatically, but occasionally you want to hide the timeline—perhaps to reduce screen clutter while you concentrate on your artwork.
Panels and Toolbars If you followed the little exercise on A Tour of the Flash Workspace , you know you can put panels and toolbars almost anywhere onscreen.
However, if you use the Essentials workspace, you start off with a few frequently used panels and toolbars docked neatly on the right side of the program window.
Flash has toolbars, panels, palettes, and windows. Sometimes collapsed panels look like toolbars and open up when clicked—like the frequently used Tools panel.
Panels are great, but they take up precious real estate. As you work, you can hide certain tools to get a better view of your artwork. You can always get them back by choosing their names from the Window menu. Just click and drag the tab or top of the panel to a new location.
Panels can float anywhere on your monitor, or dock on an edge of the Flash program window as in the Essentials workspace. For more details on docking and floating, see the box on this page. Floating A docked toolbar or panel appears attached to some part of the workspace window, while a floating toolbar or panel is one you can reposition by dragging.
Whether you want to display toolbars and panels as docked or floating is a matter of personal choice. If you constantly need to click something on a toolbar—which means it needs to be in full view at all times—docked works best. The actual visual effect is different on Mac and Windows computers, but the mechanics work the same. Drag the panel away from the edge of the workspace window and release the mouse button. Flash displays the panel where you dropped it.
Notify me. The 10 project-based lessons in this book show readers step-by-step the key techniques for working in Flash CS5. Readers learn what they need to know to create engaging interactive content with Flash CS5.
In addition to learning the key elements of the Flash interface, including panels, timelines, and frames, readers learn how to work with graphics, create and edit symbols, modify text, add interactivity with ActionScript 3.
They also learn how to prepare and export their finished projects for publishing. This completely revised CS5 edition covers the new text engine, Deco drawing tools, Spring feature for inverse kinematics, video enhancements, and more.
Everything you need to master the software is included: Classroom in a Book R , the best-selling series of hands-on software training workbooks, helps you learn the features of Adobe software quickly and easily. Classroom in a Book offers what no other book or training program does-an official training series from Adobe Systems Incorporated, developed with the support of Adobe product experts.
Note from the publisher: Simply register your product at www. Other books in this series. Add to basket. Classroom in a Book offers what no other book or training program does--an official training series from Adobe Systems Incorporated, developed with the support of Adobe product experts.
Table of contents Getting Started 1. Getting Acquainted 2. Like your favorite word processor, Flash now has a feature that automatically saves your documents. Incremental compilation.
Flash is smarter when compiling publishing your document for testing. Animation ABCs Animators used to draw each and every frame by hand. Major animation houses employed whole armies of graphic artists, each charged with producing hundreds of drawings that represented a mere fraction of the finished work.
What we chuckled at for a scant few minutes took weeks and dozens of tired, cramped hands to produce. One mistake, one spilled drop of coffee, and these patient-as-Job types would have to grab fresh paper and start all over again.
When everything was done, the animation would have to be put together—much like one of those flip books where you flip pages real fast to see a story play out—while it was being filmed by special cameras. With Flash on your computer, you have the equivalent of a design studio at your fingertips. You provide the inspiration, and Flash can help you generate pro-quality animations and full-blown interactive applications.
In addition, Flash lets you create and work with movie clips, which are something else entirely. Unfortunately, that description is a bit long and unwieldy, so in this book, what you create using Flash is called an animation or an app. Flash in a Nutshell Say you work for a company that does custom auto refinishing.
A voice-over informs your audience that your company has been in business for 20 years and offers the best prices in town. But you also want each part of the car to be a clickable hotspot. Within each keyframe, you might choose to separate your artwork into different layers.
Like the see-through plastic cels that professional animators used in the old days, layers let you create images separately and then stack them on top of one another to make a single composite image. For example, you might choose to put the car on one layer, your company logo on a second layer, and your city-street background on a third layer.
That way, you can edit and animate each layer independently, but when the animation plays, all three elements appear to be on one seamless layer. Through a process called tweening, you tell Flash to fill in each and every frame between the keyframes to create the illusion of the junker turning slowly into a brand-new car.
Flash carefully analyzes all the differences between the keyframes and does its best to build the interim frames, which you can then tweak or—if Flash gets it all wrong—redraw yourself.
As you go along, you might decide to save a few of the elements you create for example, your company logo so you can reuse them later. Without leaving the comfort of Flash, you can convert the editable. The scenario described above is pretty simple, but it covers the basic steps you need to take when creating any Flash animation. To click means to point the arrow cursor at something on the screen and then—without moving the cursor at all—to press and release the left clicker button on the mouse or laptop trackpad.
To double-click, of course, means to click twice in rapid succession, again without moving the cursor at all. And to drag means to move the cursor while pressing the left button continuously.
Keyboard shortcuts. Every time you take your hand off the keyboard to move the mouse, you lose time and potentially disrupt your creative flow. Choice is good. Flash frequently gives you several ways to trigger a particular command—by choosing a menu command, or by clicking a toolbar button, or by pressing a key combination, for example. Some people prefer the speed of keyboard shortcuts; others like the satisfaction of a visual command array available in menus or toolbars.
This book lists all the alternatives, but by no means are you expected to memorize all of them. About This Book Despite the many improvements in software over the years, one feature has grown consistently worse: documentation. At times, the terse electronic help screens assume you already understand the discussion at hand and hurriedly skip over important topics that require an in-depth presentation. Engineers often add technically sophisticated features to a program because they can, not because you need them.
The purpose of this book, then, is to serve as the manual that should have been in the box. Note This book periodically recommends other books, covering topics that might interest Flash designers and developers. The primary discussions are written for advanced-beginner or intermediate computer users.