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flash ideas and links




I took notes on Chuck's presentation on Tuesday's class. Here's what I gathered. Keep in mind we covered a lot of material in one hour and I KNOW I missed some things. Feel free to add comments to my notes to make them more complete.


-Great for the web - allows interactivity

-Doesn't weigh down the website

-Must be played in Flashplayer

-The difference between:
--Image Ready = animates images
--Flash = makes animation

-Flash works with vector images and not bitmaps.

-When a Flash image is enlarged, it does not pixilate because it's mathematically manipulated.

-How to make a bitmap into a vector image: export .SWF (flash file) or .MOV.

-It's possible to animate an image or text in flash.

-In flash, click on any area of the screen to show that feature's properties.

-There's a timeline across the top of the screen in flash. The slash lines are frames.

-Higher # of frames/second = smoother animation.

-Stack multiple layers just like in PhotoShop

-The white area is the stage. This is visible once published. Can be sized to preference.

-IMPORTANT: While working in Flash, save files as .FLA files.

-When finished, save .SWF version (comparable to .JPG in PhotoShop). This version is compressed and takes up less space.

-To see what your animation looks like while you're working on your file, do one of the following:
--Control>>test movie (gives preview)
--Click on the first frame and click enter on the keyboard

-Standard editing tools are on the left - similar to PhotoShop tools

-Unlike PhotoShop, enlarging images does not pixilate the edges.

-Import saved images from: File>>Import. This brings the images to active keyframe.

-Keyframes are the frames with the circles in it. It's a frame containing new information. This is where images can be altered.

-To end the animation (stop it from looping through over and over again), add a keyframe on a new layer at the last frame. Then go: Window>>development panels>>global functions>>timeline control. This action creates a code to put on a layer or object within your animation.

-To add sound, add a new layer and name it sound. Then import the sound file which is saved in a .WAV format. Go to: File>>import to stage. The sound file is added to the library only, not to the stage. Get to the library by: Window>>library.

A helpful link Chuck gave is "http://www.yusthaus.com/flashstuff.html

Flash Demo
July 18, 2006

“The Stage? (white box you’re working on)
Set the height/width
Each number is a frame
Frames per second (FPS) controls length of movie
Work like Photoshop layers
Layer(s) on top appear on top (as in Photoshop)
Empty white circle means that frame is empty
File Types
Working file: .fla
Finished file: .swf
Preview: File > publish or control > test movie
Preview: Push enter to play movie as is
Palette of Tools
Some are similar to Photoshop
e.g. shapes tool, eraser tool
Color: choose both shape color & fill color
Color mixer (on right)
Solid, linear (gradient), radial
File > import to stage
Modify > Trace Bitmap (turns bitmap into vector)
Lower threshold = more color
Minimum area: lower # = more detail
Keyframes control action & visibility (right-click to add/delete them)
Window > Development Panels > Actions
Global functions > timeline control
Bringing movies into flash

Convert .mov files first (QuickTime Pro only)
File > export … movie to image sequence …
jpg options 8 frames per second (fps)
Make a new folder to hold this sequence of jpg images (8 images per frame of video)
In flash
Highlight first keyframe
File > import to stage (must import all images in the sequence
Doing the sound
In Quicktime Pro, export audio to .aiff or .wav
In flash, create a layer called sound
Select frames in sound layer
Choose file > import to stage (but sounds will import to the library only)
Drag the .wav file from the library to the timeline (all frames on the sound layer highlighted)
* You can change the length of your sound with flash’s sound editor (count frames & frames per second to

HYPERLINK "http://www.yusthaus.com/flashstuff.html" www.yusthaus.com/flashstuff.html

Tips to understanding a simple FLASH animation

Step 1
Create a small circle to the left in the Stage area. Do this by selecting the circle tool from the left toolbar. Draw the circle in the Stage area.

Step 2
Select the Arrow tool from the left toolbar. Double-click on the circle to select it.

Step 3
Now we have to convert the circle to a symbol. When the circle is converted to a symbol we can create instances of the circle. From the top menu choose INSERT > Convert to Symbol> select graphic. Name the symbol "Ball", and select OK.

Step 4
Go to Frame 10 in the Timeline. Do this by clicking the gray field below 10. From the top menu Choose Insert > Keyframe. Keyframes appear as circles in a frame. This operation duplicates the image. 

Note: A keyframe specifies changes in an animation. You create keyframes at important points in the Timeline and let Flash create the frames in between.

Step 5
Select the circle and move it to the right a couple of inches.

Step 6
Click on the Timeline at frame 5. Then go to the top menu and choose INSERT > Create Motion Tween.

Step 7
Save your project. From the top menu go to FILE > Save As >
save as ball.fla on the desktop.

Step 8
From the top menu choose Control > Test Movie from the top menu to test your Flash movie.

To save a final project as an animation video go to FILE > Export Movie >
"title" Format: Quicktime Video > Highest Quality > OK.

To import a series of images to the stage, you only have to select the first image of the series, then hit import.

A prompt will appear asking if you would like to import the rest of the series.

Selecting every image when importing will not work the way you want it to, so remember this tip.

For those of you who are intrigued by the possibilities of Flash and bummed (yes, bummed, that's a retro baby boomer term)
that class will soon be over, as will your access to this tool, remember that you can download Flash for free for a 30 day trial. That at least gives you 30 days to play some more, finish any inspirations that came too late, etc.

Most of that ultra expensive software offers a 30 day trial... and if you have a healthy budget, you can also buy it at journey ed, if you are nervous about using the pirated stuff circulating around school, and want access to tech help.