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Hour 3. Importing Graphics into Flash > Task: Import a Raster Graphic

Task: Import a Raster Graphic

In a new file, select File, Import and select a .bmp, .pct, .png, .jpg, or .gif file (c:\Windows\ is a good place to look).

Click the graphic onstage and delete. Because it's a raster graphic, it's safe in the library.

Open your library with Window, Library (Ctrl+L).

Click the line in your library with the tree icon and the name of the file you imported.

From the library's Options menu, select Properties. The Options menu is inside the Library window at the top right. You should see the Bitmap Properties dialog box shown in Figure 3.8. (This dialog box may look slightly different depending on what type of file you imported.)

Figure 3.8. This dialog box offers individual control over how bitmap items in your library will be treated during export.

The Bitmap Properties dialog box is where you can decide on the export settings for this graphic. Leave this dialog box onscreen while you walk through the next few paragraphs.

Adjusting Bitmap Properties

Flash imports all kinds of raster formats but only uses JPG, GIF, or PNG in the exported movie. Additionally, any raster graphic is called a “bitmap” item once inside Flash's library. This means that, no matter what file type you import, you must use the Bitmap Properties dialog box to choose between JPEG (and its compressing level) and lossless GIF/PNG for exporting. You can experiment with the Bitmap Properties dialog box, clicking the Test button after each change to see the effects on both image quality (in the little picture at the top left) and file size (in the text information at the bottom of the dialog box). See Figure 3.9. The process is one of experimentation where you make adjustments and view the corresponding results.



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