Flash Domain 3: Understanding the Adobe Flash Professional CS5 Interface


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FLASH cs6 - Domain 3 Overview

INTRODUCTION

Objectives

  1. Identify elements of the Flash interface.
  2. Use the Property inspector.
  3. Use the Timeline.
  4. Adjust document properties.
  5. Use Flash guides and rulers.
  6. Use the Motion Editor.
  7. Understand Flash file types.
  8. Identify best practices for managing the file size of a published Flash document.

VOCABULARY


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Objective 3.1 Identify Elements of the Flash Interface

workspace


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Objective 3.2 Use the Property Inspector

The Property inspector, sometimes also referred to as the Properties inspector, displays attributes of the current selection or tool, to make accessing common attributes easier when making modifications.


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Objective 3.3 Use the Timeline

  1. The Timeline is where you manage objects in a Flash document, using layers and frames.

    timeline1
  2. Layers organize your artwork and animations in your Flash document.
  3. Frames contain the layers and represent time. Time is indicated in frames per second (fps) and is referred to as the frame rate.
  4. The playhead indicates which frame is displayed on the Stage.


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Objective 3.4 Adjust Document Properties


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Objective 3.5 Use Flash Guides and Rulers

In Adobe Flash visual aides are indispensable when you need to line up, arrange, or measure objects on the Flash stage with absolute accuracy. Some designs will take advantage of the place-it-anywhere flexibility that Flash provides, but other designs demand more precise control over placement and sizing.

The Flash built-in rulers appear on the top and left edges of the stage and are used to position and measure objects on the stage. You also use the rulers to create vertical and horizontal guides by dragging them off the ruler bars.

Ruler units are in pixels by default, but you can choose Modify→Document to change to other measurement units, such as inches, centimeters, or millimeters.

The top ruler represents the X, or horizontal axis, and the left ruler represents the Y, or vertical axis. The upper left corner of the stage represents absolute 0 for both X and Y, with X increasing as you move right and Y increasing as you move down.

These visual aids don’t appear in any way in your final movie; they’re strictly for your benefit during the design and building process.

Use rules and guiles in Flash CS5

To set up and use rulers and guides, follow these steps:

  1. In a new document, choose View→Rulers.

    The rulers appear on the top and left edges of your stage.

  2. Click and drag anywhere on the stage.

    Markers on both rulers follow to indicate your X and Y positions and the width of your selection area. Now you can create guides that you can use to position artwork on the stage.

  3. Click the top ruler bar and drag down.

    You’re carrying a guide with you while you drag.

  4. Watch the ruler on the left and drop the guide where you want it.

    Use the left ruler for reference so that you know exactly how far down you’re placing the new guide — for example, at 120 pixels.

    image0.jpg
  5. Click and drag on the top ruler again to place another guide.

    Position this one slightly above the one you previously created — for example, place it at 100 pixels.

  6. Use the Type tool to create a single line of type on the stage.

    Use a large enough font that you can easily see and drag the new text.

    image1.jpg
  7. Choose the Selection tool; grab the text with it and drag until the bottom of the text snaps in place on the lower guide you’ve created.

Use snapping in Flash CS5

Your text snaps easily to the new guides because of a built-in mechanism —snapping. Think of snapping as turning on a magnetic force that allows objects to adhere to each other or to visual helpers (such as guides) to make positioning easier. By default, Snap Align, Snap to Guides, and Snap to Objects are enabled (choose View→Snapping). You can also enable Snap to Pixels and Snap to Grid.

Snapping

You can access additional snapping by opening the Edit Snapping dialog box.

edit snapping


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Objective 3.6 Use the Motion Editor


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Objective 3.7 Understand Flash File Types


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Objective 3.8 Identify Best Practices for Managing the File Size of a Published Flash Document

It is important to consider some best practices as you publish your Flash document to be viewed over the Internet.

Optimize Documents

  1. For every object that appears more than once, convert it to a symbol.
  2. Use tweened animations; frame by frame animations create larger files that run slower and take longer to load.
  3. When creating animation sequences, use movie clips instead of graphic symbols.
  4. When using keyframes use a few changes as possible on the keyframe.
  5. Use bitmapped images for static or background elements.
  6. When using audio use the MP3 sound format.

OPTIMIZE OBJECTS

  1. Group objects
  2. Use layers to separate animated elements from those that do not change.
  3. Use the Optimize command on the Shape list of the Modify menuto reduce the number of separate lines that are used to create a shape.
  4. Solid lines require less memory, and lines created with the Pencil tool use less memory than brush strokes.

OPTIMIZE FONTS

  1. Embedded fonts increase file sizes, so therefore limit the numebr of fonts and font styles used.
  2. If you choose to embed fonts, embed only the characters that were ysed instead of the entire font.

OPTIMIZE COLORS

  1. Use the Color menu in the Symbol Property inspector to change the color of an instance of a symbol instead of making a new symbol in a different color.
  2. Use the color panel to match the color pallette of the Flash document to a browser specific palette.
  3. Gradients require more memory than solid colors.
  4. When using transparency alpha transparency can slow down playback.

ANIMATION FRAME RATE

  1. The frame tate can cause processort problems and therefore affedt the perfornance of your published SWF file.
  2. Always use the lowest possible frame rate that will make your animation play smoothly.

 


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Domain 3 QUIZ

After reading the Domain 3 requirements and viewing the presentations you are ready to take the quiz. Click on Domain 3 Quiz to get started.


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