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Chapter TWO. MACROMEDIA SHOCKZONE DECONS... > STEP 08 animating the text, PART 1

STEP 08 animating the text, PART 1

The first step in animating the text is to create the layers and break the text into individual characters that can be manipulated individually. Here's the process:

Create 10 layers, one for each letter in macromedia. Do not change the names of the layers yet (see figure 02:12).

Figure 02:12.

In your initial layer, select "macromedia" and then choose Modify > Break Apart or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-B / Cmd-B.

The Break Apart command is used here to convert a text object into a series of shapes; the object is no longer editable as text. Our next task is to make each letter-shape a symbol and place it in its own layer.

Deselect the word group by clicking anywhere on the stage.

Select the first letter, m, and then choose Insert > Convert to Symbol or use the keyboard shortcut F8. In the Symbol Properties dialog, name the graphic symbol ltr_m or something similar (see figure 02:13).

Figure 02:13.

Cut the letter using Ctrl-X / Cmd-X and select the keyframe in the topmost layer.

Choose Edit > Paste in Place or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-V / Cmd-Shift-V.

If you use the standard Paste command, Flash places the letter near the center of the stage. The Paste in Place command, on the other hand, retains the original positioning.

Repeat steps 4–6 for each of the remaining nine letters in macromedia.

Two notes on this process:

First, when you come to the second m in macromedia, Flash won't let you name the symbol "ltr_m" if you already have one. I add a number to indicate a different—but similar—symbol, such as "ltr_m2." The same holds true for the second a, obviously.

Second, be sure when you select the lowercase "i" to also Shift-select the dot above the letter before you cut and paste it.

After each letter symbol is in its own layer, name each layer accordingly by double-clicking on the current layer name and entering a new one—"m" for the layer that holds the letter "m," and so on. The result should resemble figure 02:14.

Figure 02:14.

Repeat this entire operation for the word "shockzone," in a new and separate symbol called "shockzone," but this time use a Black or Bold extended font face and type in uppercase. I used Vonnes Black Extended.



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