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Lesson 12. Sprite Properties and Palette... > Setting a Movie's Stage Size, Backgr...

Setting a Movie's Stage Size, Background Color, and Default Palette

In the previous task, you applied the same palette to all the graphics in your movie. To make sure these graphics are displayed correctly in your movie, you must also make sure that the same palette is assigned to the frames in which the graphics appear. The palette channel in the score allows you to assign a palette to any frame of the movie. To keep this project simple, however, you will set a default palette for all frames of the movie. Unless you use the palette channel to override the palette assigned to a specific frame, the default palette will always be assigned to every frame of the movie. In this task, you will also set the stage size and the background color for the stage.

Choose Modify > Movie > Properties.

The Property Inspector opens with the Movie tab selected.

Figure .

Make sure the system palette for your type of computer is selected from the Default Palette menu.

By default, Director selects the System - Win palette for Windows computers and the System - Mac palette for Macintosh computers. When you're starting a project, however, it doesn't hurt to double-check these settings.

You have now ensured that all the graphics in your project will be displayed correctly, no matter where you use them. The graphics share the same palette, and that palette is also assigned as the movie's default. A palette conflict occurs when a graphic does not have the same palette as the frame in which it appears. This causes Director to display the graphic using the colors from the frame's palette, and frequently the colors are completely wrong for the graphic, leading to some psychedelic effects.

A related problem is palette flash, which occurs when a movie branches to a frame with a different palette. For a split second before the new frame appears, the new frame's palette becomes active, and the graphics on the current frame change color. One way to minimize palette flash is to first change to a frame using only colors shared by both palettes, such as black. Some developers prefer to reserve a common set of colors among all palettes for their background artwork to avoid this problem.

Set the movie background color to black.

To do this, click the stage color chip and select black from the palette. The black background was chosen because it works well with the art prepared for this project.

Set the stage size to 640 by 480.

To do this, select the size from the Stage Size pop-up menu. This common stage size matches the dimensions of the typical end user's monitor.

Figure .

Set the stage location to Centered.

To do this, select Centered from the Stage Location pop-up menu. A centered stage location ensures that the stage appears in the center of the user's screen independent of the size of that monitor. Other stage locations may work fine on some monitors, but the stage may be partially hidden on small monitors.

Close the Property Inspector.



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