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Part: 5 Dreamweaver and Flash PROJECT 2:... > Nonlinear Flash Interactions

Lesson 12. Nonlinear Flash Interactions

One of the advantages of multimedia is that you can pack a lot more information in the same amount of space as a traditional printed page. In the project you will begin in this lesson, an interactive map of Dante's Inferno, the text presented is three pages, single spaced, and yet all of the text appears in only two Macromedia Flash screens, using about 20 percent of the space on each screen. This efficiency is possible because only a certain portion of the text—the text that the user actually needs—is showing at one time.

Determining which pieces of text the user needs is easy. When she or he clicks on an object, the descriptive text for that object should appear. Before the user clicks on an object, a generic set of directions appear, telling the user what to click, roll over, or drag.

Making the movie this responsive by changing the text on the fly, depending on the user's actions, is possible with dynamic text. To create a dynamic text region, you set up a text field, just as you would for static text, but you designate it as dynamic text in the Property inspector. You then dynamically change the text through ActionScript. In this lesson, you will explore many of the possibilities of user-controlled dynamic text.

Both the text in the Swamp pop-up window and the main text in the scrollbar box are set dynamically, depending on what the user is doing.

The resulting movie is nonlinear; users can access content in any order they want, they can skip content, and they can see content as many times as they like. Creating this open-ended Flash experience is best with a different movie architecture than the linear, timeline-based movies you made in the previous lessons. Nonlinear, interactive movies rely on a low number of keyframes—often just one or two—and lots of ActionScript. Fortunately, as you will soon see, the ActionScript needed to power the dynamic text in the interactive map of Dante's Inferno is simple.


In this lesson, you will:

  • Learn about Flash objects and how they are accessed and manipulated via ActionScript

  • Control the visibility of movie clip instances

  • Create and position Tooltips using a movie clip, dynamic text, and mouse positioning

  • Format dynamic text with HTML tags

  • Use onRollOver and onRollOut event handlers

  • Implement a scrollable TextArea component


This lesson takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.


Starting Files:



Lesson12/Start/dante/Text Source/script_inferno_html.txt

Completed Files:




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