Flash Symbols, Instances, Frame Labels
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- Types of Symbols:
- Graphic symbols: static images, reusable animation elements
- Button symbols: interactive
- Movie Clip symbols: reusable animation; (has own timeline)
- To Create a Symbol from Selected Object(s) on the Stage:
- Select Object(s).
- Modify > Convert to Symbol.
- To Create a New EMPTY Symbol:
- Make sure nothing is selected.
- Insert > New Symbol OR Select New Symbol button in Library menu on the top right OR click New Symbol button on the bottom of the Library window (little icon with the +).
- You must choose the type of symbol (graphic for animation).
- Sends you into Symbol Editing Mode.
- Edit an Instance of a Symbol (Edit in place, on the Stage)
- Double-click on symbol instance on stage.
- Edit the Symbol and ALL Instances:
NOTE: Editing a SYMBOL updates all its instances, editing an instance updates itself.
- Select symbol on Stage; Right-click, Edit OR Double-click in Library.
- Edit > Edit Document to return to movie mode (exit symbol editing mode) OR click on SCENE # in Edit Bar above timeline.
- In Flash, file size is kept to minimum by re-using elements stored in the library multiple times, such as, creating a snow storm from one snowflake movie clip by duplicating it on stage and varying the size.
- For added scripting control of Instances, you can give each one a unique name by clicking once on the MC (movie clip) or Button symbol on stage and typing a name in the property inspector in the grayed out Instance Name area.
NOTE: GRAPHIC symbols are NOT given instance names because they cannot be called through actionscript.
- Flash allows for markers to be placed within the timeline, called: frame labels. In both cases, Actionscript can refer to both frame labels and instance names. Labels can be used to indicate parts of an animation also. The key is to use descript and unique names.
Creating Frame Labels:
- Create a labels layer
- Click in the frame where you want the frame label placed
- Insert a BLANK KEYFRAME (Insert menu - Timeline - Blank Frame or F5)
- Type the label name in the property inspector below the word Frame. A tiny, red flag will appear in the frame.