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Open the panel, highlight the text and use the controls to change the color, font and size of the text. Right-click frame 10 on the timeline. Select "Insert Blank Keyframe. Click the "File" menu, and click "Import," then click "Import to Stage. Double-click it, then drag it into place on the center of the stage. Click the "A" icon again, and type the information to go with this portfolio piece. This step isn't necessary; just use it if you want to identify the piece's name, date, materials used or your methods and mindset while creating it. Right-click frame 20, and select "Insert Blank Keyframe.

Click the "File" menu, and select "Save As. Click the "File" menu, and select "Export," then click "Export Movie. The "SWF" option is already selected in the "Save as type. Click the "Save" button. Skip to main content. Start Flash. In this case there is no subfolder to indicate here, because the ActionScript file is sitting directly next to the FLA file. Line 3 imports the MovieClip class, so that it can be referenced locally in this ActionScript file. Line 5 declares the class name and declares that the class extends the MovieClip object. That's the same as saying that this script is a movie clip object and therefore has access to all of MovieClip's properties and functions.

Line 7 declares the constructor function. The constructor function is the core of the ActionScript class and always shares the name of the class. The constructor is significant because it gets called immediately when the class initializes. Classes are initialized when you create a new instance of them similar to the way a symbol is initialized when it's instantiated. You can place code inside the constructor function so that it will execute immediately when each instance of the class instance is created.

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This is handy for initializing variables and data related to the class. The next step is to add properties that define the frame labels.

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To do this you add what are called constant static properties. Constant means that the values never change and static means they are associated with the class definition and therefore can be referred to directly from the class name. The purpose of this step is to expose the frame labels in a programmatic way so that you can see them in code hints and allow the text editor to enforce the correct names while you're coding.

Now that the frame labels are exposed to the code environment, you can simply use the code hints to find the label names and use gotoAndStop to navigate to any of those frames. However, it can be advantageous to create a new function in your API to handle navigation. The showState function accepts two parameters when you call it. The first is the frame label to navigate to and the second defines whether you call gotoAndPlay or gotoAndStop on that frame.

The conditional statement at the beginning checks to see if the label is "pause", in which case it pauses on the current state by returning out of the function. This feature is handy when working with more complex multiframe animation states. Calling any of the shortcut functions in turn calls the showState function passing it the correct constant static property as the label. The showState function definition sets the play parameter to false by default.

You can use the second parameter to go to the frame label and play instead if that suits your animation. That said, you don't want to do that in this sample as there are no stop actions separating the graphic states. Before moving on, take a look at your project folder and notice that Flash Builder has saved the Character. In the next section you'll use the CharacterAnimation. In the last section you assigned the Character. The result is that the code behaves as if you had written it on Frame 1 of the symbol's timeline without all the ActionScript class syntax. The benefit of using the external ActionScript class is that you can assign it to any number of animation symbols using the Base class setting in the Symbol Properties dialog box.

This is really handy if you're creating a range of different characters that all have the same behavior but different graphics. In a similar way you can assign an ActionScript class to the main timeline. You do so by typing the class name as the Document Class in the Document properties. In the steps that follow you'll create a document class that instantiates the Character symbol and creates a looping animation using ActionScript and the symbol's code API.

Follow these steps to create the document class:. In Flash Builder, you'll see that the CharacterAnimation class has the same skeleton structure described earlier. The only difference is that the class extends Sprite instead of MovieClip a Sprite is a MovieClip with only one frame. In CharacterAnimation. You're going to use the timer to call an event handler function at an interval. You'll create an animation queue of Character symbol states and play through the queue in sequence every time the timer calls the function.

So the next step is to add variables to the script to use while generating the animation sequence. The target property will hold an instance of the Character symbol. The states property will hold a list of frame states to play in sequence as an animation queue. The state property holds a reference to which state is being displayed.

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And the timer and timerDelay properties define the timer and delay between playing states in the queue. Next you'll add code to the constructor function, which will execute as soon as the main timeline loads and start the animation. This is the equivalent of dragging an instance to the Stage from the Library panel. Notice that since the Character symbol is a movie clip, you can use its x and y properties or any other movie clip property in addition to the custom API you added to it. Notice the numbering pattern of the indexes in the array. You can add and remove states following the same pattern.

In this simple example you're only visiting the frame labels once before looping, but you can create any combination of states in the sequence and any length of animation queue you like. Just make sure to set up the queued states in the order you want them with the array indexes starting at 0 and counting upward. Lastly you need to advance the character's state based on the animation queue.

This is done in the event handler for the timer you set up in the constructor. Save the file. You've created a simple yet scalable animation structure using a Flash symbol and ActionScript classes. Now that you have something to look at, it's a good idea to test your work. One of the great things about the new Flash Builder integration is the ability launch Flash Professional from Flash Builder to run the Test Movie command, launch the debugger, or publish your Flash project for deployment.

After you watch the simple looping animation you built, close the SWF and you'll return to the Flash Builder workspace. If you run into problems you can launch the ActionScript 3 debugger from the Flash Builder workspace to try to figure out what's going on. Assuming that your file is working at this point, you'll need to inject a bug to experience going through the debugging process.

You can do this by declaring an object without instantiating a value and then trying to call properties or methods from the object instance. Follow these steps to run the debugging workflow from Flash Builder:. These lines won't trigger any author-time error checking in Flash Builder, but they will cause a runtime error in Flash Player. TypeError: Error Cannot access a property or method of a null object reference. Return to Flash Builder and add a breakpoint at the suspected problem location by right-clicking just to the left of the line number on line 26 and selecting Toggle Breakpoint to turn on a breakpoint at that line.

Breakpoints suspend execution of the SWF and allow you to inspect all the available variables in the debugger, which is particularly useful for null value errors and errors that can't be seen clearly otherwise. Flash launches, the movie plays, and then it immediately stops on the breakpoint you set. The debugger opens the CharacterAnimation. With this information you can either edit the code in Flash Professional or in Flash Builder to fix the problem. The key concept here is that you were able to place a breakpoint at a line of code, which stops the SWF execution at that line when in debugging mode.

Once the debugger pauses execution you can review the state of variables as the SWF is executing to expose null values and other issues. Examine the project folder to see the files produced by the project. Note: If nothing happens when you click the Publish In Flash Professional button in Flash Builder, make sure there are no errors in the file and that you have the correct project selected in Flash Builder.

That's it. You've completed the first part of the Flash Builder integration workflow tutorial. With the growing popularity of the Flex framework for RIA development, it's not uncommon to be tasked with preparing your Flash Professional work for use in a Flash Builder project. This is particularly common for animations and content that can be built more easily in Flash Professional than in Flex. This section shows you how to convert your animation into a Flex-friendly component and the first steps of implementing the component in Flex.

The first thing to do is to prepare your Flash content for use in the Flex framework. In the following steps you'll convert the Character symbol into a component for use in the Flex framework. Follow these steps to prepare your content:. Now you're ready to convert the Character symbol into a Flex components. Note : If your symbol didn't have a custom class assigned to it, you would be done at this step. Because it does, however, you need to update the component class in Flash Builder to extend mx. UIMovieClip instead of the standard flash. This is what the command tried to do, but it can't assign the base class when you've already defined it in Flash Builder.

The workaround can be applied with a simple update to your scripts. This change to the class along with the addition of the Flex SWC in the FLA file's library is all that is needed to prepare the file for the Flex framework. Return to Flash to complete the setup process. The symbol's icon changes to a Flex icon see Figure 8.

Figure 8. The final thing you need to do is export a SWC file for consumption in Flex. Notice that a file named CharacterAnimation. Note: It's important to align your Flash symbols' graphics to a 0, 0 coordinate in the top left of their timeline. If you don't, you will not have reliable positioning control over them in the Flex framework. Flex projects are defined and built entirely in Flash Builder.

To incorporate your Flash Professional authored content, you add the SWC created in the last step to the Flex project's library folder. Follow these steps to create a Flex project and add your SWC file:.

Tutorial: How to configure Adobe Flash Professional CS5.5.

You'll use this file to set up a simple user interface for testing your Flash components in Flex. Leave the file open for editing. To see your Flash Professional authored components in the Flex framework, you'll work with MXML to declare the components and add a couple of buttons to trigger the animation states. The end result will show two versions of the character on the screen where the CharacterAnimation instance is animating on its own and the Character instance states are triggered by the Flex buttons.

In these next steps you'll build a simple user interface.

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If you haven't worked in MXML before, this is a great way to get started and understand how to incorporate your Flash Professional project work in the Flex environment. Follow these steps to build the sample user interface in Flex:. The Application tag contains a number of xmlns attributes, which define namespaces class paths for content referenced in the file.

Start by adding a new namespace identifying the local content in the libs folder. In Flex you don't have access to the Test Movie command as you do in Flash. To test your project you'll launch the SWF in a browser. Follow these steps to compile and preview the Flex project:. Note: If there are any errors that will keep you from running the project, they will appear in the Problems view. After the project is built, the published files appear in the bin-debug folder.

Note: You need to have the debug version of the Flash Player installed to be able to use the Flash Builder debugging workspace. Check out my article, Understanding ActionScript 3 debugging in Flash , for more information on working with the debugger in Flash Professional and Flash Builder. For more information on debugging and profiling your Flex applications in Flash Builder, see Debugging your applications in the Flash Builder online documentation.

For further exercises, you may want to expand the animation symbols with more frame-by-frame animations, tweened animations, and more realistic animation queue sequences.