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Chapter 6. Bitmaps > Using Animated GIFs

Using Animated GIFs

When the animated vectors that Flash creates aren't sufficient for your project, animated GIFs can provide a solution. These animated bitmaps abound on pages throughout the Web, and there are tons of cool animated GIF collections available for download and purchase. GIFs facilitate such visual effects as explosions, fires, people in motion, and more. They can have transparent backgrounds (just as they would on a regular Web page), which means you can blend them seamlessly into the rest of your layout.

To use an animated GIF in Flash, you must import it. As you are probably aware, an animated GIF comprises several bitmaps, or frames, which when played in succession appear animated. The time between frames determines the speed at which the animated GIF plays. When importing an animated GIF into Flash, each of its frames are placed in individual frames on Flash's timeline. Flash also spaces the animated GIF frames so that the speed at which the GIF plays in Flash is as close to its original speed as possible. For example, if you were to import a four-frame, 1-second animated GIF into a 12-fps Flash movie, Flash would place the individual GIF frames three frames apart on the Flash timeline (4 frames × 3 frames apart = 1 second in a 12-fps movie) (Figure 6.17).


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