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Chapter 10. Animating Frame by Frame > Understanding the Timeline

Understanding the Timeline

Chapter 1, "Getting Accustomed to the Flash Environment," used the analogy of a conductor creating a Flash movie. To extend the metaphor, the timeline is the conductor's score. It reads almost like a high-tech scroll of sheet music, with various instruments chiming in on cue as the player moves along the timeline. Along the way, events and triggers can occur, skipping the entire orchestra and all the actors to an entirely different place in the score.

Notice that the timeline, shown in Figure 10.1, is graduated both horizontally and vertically. Running along the horizontal axis, the tiny breaks are the individual frames. Moving vertically, the timeline is broken into layers. At each point in the playback, the total visual set is the compilation of all objects on every layer appearing in that given frame. When you view the stage, you are really looking through all the layers, manipulating the actors and objects that appear at each point in time.


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