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Hour 22. Working on Large Projects and i... > Task: Use Shared Library Items to St...

Task: Use Shared Library Items to Start Assembling a Movie Without Final Graphics

In this task's scenario, you'll use a Shared Library item in order to let the assembly people start working before the artist is finished creating the graphics. This technique is called authortime sharing (because everything is copied into your movie upon export—before runtime). Here are the steps to follow:

Imagine that the programmer wants to start working, but the graphic artist hasn't finished creating the graphics for the background. The artist can create “holder” graphics (really, Library symbols) that can be replaced later.

Create a new file and save it as source.fla. Draw a box and the text “HOLDER.” Select everything and convert it to a symbol. Name the symbol “Background” and make it a Movie Clip, but before you click OK make sure to set the default center point to the top left, as shown in Figure 22.3. This will make registration easy if the size needs to change (it will only grow to the right and down).

Figure 22.3. When creating a symbol, we can select any of nine points around which the symbol will be registered.

Select the instance of Background on stage and copy it. Start a new file (Ctrl+N) and then Save As… the new file with the name user.fla.

While in the new user.fla file, paste. Open the Library (Ctrl+L) and notice that Flash copied the Background symbol into user.fla's Library (make sure you're looking at the Library for user.fla as the Library from source.fla may be visible). Select the Background item and use the Library's Options menu and select Properties… (alternatively, you can right-click—or Control+click on the Macintosh—to access the item's properties). Expand the dialog box by clicking the Advanced button if it's not expanded already (it should look like Figure 22.4).

Figure 22.4. A Library item's properties dialog box can be expanded to show advanced settings that include authortime sharing options.

Notice in the Source section the original shared.fla is listed. Select the option “Always update before publishing,” which can be translated to read, “Recopy the original symbol (in shared.fla) every time I test or publish this movie.”

At this point the programmer or animator can use the Background symbol in user.fla as needed—as if it were the final version. Scale it, position it in the center of the screen, and then make a tween in a new layer on top of it.

Now, let's say you want to see what happens when the graphic artist replaces the original Background (in shared.fla). Simply open shared.fla and edit the master version of Background. Make a clearly visual change (pretend you're the artist putting finishing touches on the image). Be sure to save shared.fla.

When you return to user.fla you'll still see the old Background. However, just do a Test Movie and you'll see that the new version of this symbol is copied into the file. When you're done testing the movie you'll also notice the change remains.



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