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Part: 4 Flash PROJECT 1 > Animation and Interactivity

Lesson 10. Animation and Interactivity

In Lesson 9, “Creating a Flash Movie,” you worked with the layout, architecture, and graphic design of the organic farming movie. You didn't work specifically with the movie's behavior, that is, what the movie does. Developers primarily turn to Macromedia Flash to create animations and interactivity. In this lesson, you'll upgrade the organic farming movie so that it becomes much more interesting to the user than a static graphic.

Originally intended as an animator's tool, Flash enables developers to create several types of animation. You can make an element move across the stage in a straight line or along a curved path. You can also make an element change its shape or color over time and rotate or spin. You can combine any of these capabilities, along with acceleration and deceleration and nested animations (animations within animations) to create complex motion. Flash provides abundant animation tools, which enable you to automate animation for simple motion or painstakingly plot out an animation one frame at a time. In this lesson, you'll make an element fly across the stage and another element that fades in and out over time.

Use the Actions panel to add the scripts that make your movie functional.

Flash also provides developers with a powerful toolset to add interactivity to a Flash movie. At its core is ActionScript, Flash's native scripting language. Using ActionScript, you can change the behavior or appearance of elements within a Flash movie in response to user actions. Whether you want to provide basic VCR-like controls to a long animation, create a nonlinear interaction such as a video game, or collect data from the user via a form, you can achieve it all using ActionScript. Macromedia Flash MX 2004 also offers a number of tools to facilitate using ActionScript, including a visual code editor, complete with code coloring, code hints, and syntax checkers. A useful feature for beginners and noncoders is Behaviors, which are prewritten ActionScripts that achieve certain common tasks. In this lesson, you'll hand-code a small amount of ActionScript to make the triangle buttons functional.


In this lesson, you will:

  • Learn three different ways of animating in Flash

  • Convert a text box to a graphic symbol and animate it

  • Animate fade-ins and fade-outs

  • Learn basic ActionScript concepts and syntax

  • Add basic actions to stop and play the movie

  • Specify a button's appearance in four different states


This lesson takes approximately 60 minutes to complete.


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