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Chapter 4. Animating Sprites > Animating Color Cursors

Animating Color Cursors

By creating an animated cursor, you can bring life to the boring static cursor, transforming it into a miniature animation. You can activate an animated cursor during a rollover, for example, as a way to communicate to your users that some action is possible when the mouse pointer is on a certain icon.

An animated cursor essentially is an animated sequence of a series of bitmapped cast members. You activate an animated cursor by writing a Lingo script (see "Lingo for Animated Cursors" in Chapter 17).

To create an animated color cursor:

Make sure that all the cast members you want to use for the animated cursor are in casts that are currently linked to your movie.

Choose Insert > Media Element > Cursor.

The Cursor Properties Editor dialog box opens (Figure 4.64).

Figure 4.64. Use the Cursor Properties Editor to create an animated cursor.

From the Cast pop-up menu, choose the cast that contains the cast members for the animated cursor (Figure 4.65).

Figure 4.65. Choose a cast.

You can use members from more than one cast.

Click the arrows below the Cast Members section (right side of the dialog box) to browse choices and select a cast member (Figure 4.66).

Figure 4.66. Find a cast member.

Only suitable cast members (8-bit color bitmapped images) show up as choices.

Click Add (Figure 4.67).

Figure 4.67. Click Add to select a cast member. Click Remove to delete one.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 to add all the cast members you need.

Use the arrows in the Cursor Frames section of the dialog box to review the frames you have added (Figure 4.68).

Figure 4.68. Check the cursor frames you've added.

Click Remove to delete a previewed frame, if necessary.

Enter a value (in milliseconds) in the Interval field to set the time delay between frames of the cursor.

This interval governs the entire cursor, regardless of the movie's playback tempo.

Enter x and y values in the Hotspot Position field to define your cursor's hot spot—the place that activates whatever you click (Figure 4.69).

Figure 4.69. Define the cursor's hot spot.

(0,0) marks the top-left corner.

Click a size option to select the maximum size of your cursor.

Depending on your system, only one option may be available.

Check Automask to make white pixels in the cursor transparent (Figure 4.70).

Figure 4.70. Check Automask to make white pixels transparent.

Click Preview to see the cursor animation.

When you are satisfied with the cursor animation, click OK.

The cursor goes into the cast. You need to use Lingo to add it to a movie (see Chapter 17, Scripting Lingo).


You can create an animated cursor that appears to have a variable frame rate by creating identical consecutive cursor frames. If your Interval is 100 milliseconds, for example, you can create a cursor frame that appears to last 500 milliseconds (half a second) by creating five identical cursor frames that you place back to back.


If you select Automask to make white pixels transparent, you still can have opaque "white" pixels in your cursor by selecting the lightest shade of gray from the color palette for those pixels.

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