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So when the playhead is positioned at Frame 10, the stage shows what the audience sees at that point in time. Figure The playhead is a red box that appears in the timeline; here the playhead is set to Frame You can drag the playhead to any point in the timeline to select a single frame.

Playhead Keyframes The timeline is laid out from left to right, starting with Frame 1. Simply put, you build Flash animations by choosing a frame with the playhead and then arranging the objects on the stage the way you want them. Most simple animations play from Frame 1 through to the end of the movie, but Flash gives you ways to start and stop the animation and control how fast it runs—that is, how many frames per second fps are displayed.

Using some ActionScript magic, you can control the order in which the frames are displayed. Panels and Toolbars If you followed the little exercise on page 20, you know you can put panels and toolbars almost anywhere onscreen. However, if you use the Essentials workspace, you start off with a few frequently used panels and toolbars docked neatly on the right side of the program window.

Flash has toolbars, panels, palettes, and windows. Sometimes collapsed panels look like toolbars and open up when clicked—like the frequently used Tools panel. Panels are great, but they take up precious real estate. As you work, you can hide certain tools to get a better view of your artwork. You can always get them back by choosing their names from the Window menu. Just click and drag the tab or top of the panel to a new location. Panels can float anywhere on your monitor, or dock on an edge of the Flash program window as in the Essentials workspace.

For more details on docking and floating, see the box on page Click the double-triangle button at the top of a panel to expand or collapse it. Expanded panels take up more real estate, but they also give you more details and often have word labels for the tools and settings.

Use the Window menu to show and hide individual panels. Checkmarks appear next to the panels that are shown. On the Mac, click the X in the upper-left corner. The F4 key works like a toggle, hiding or showing all the panels and toolbars. Use it when you want to quickly reduce screen clutter and focus on your artwork. Click and drag the name on a tab to separate it from a group of tabbed panels.

To add a tab to a group, just drag it into place. Up to Speed Docked vs. Floating A docked toolbar or panel appears attached to some part of Figure , especially as you begin to move the panel. Whether you want to display toolbars and panels as docked or 2. Drag the panel away from the edge of the workspace floating is a matter of personal choice.

If you constantly need window and release the mouse button. Flash displays to click something on a toolbar—which means it needs to be the panel where you dropped it.

You can reposition it in full view at all times—docked works best. But if you usually anywhere you like simply by dragging it again. You see a line or a shadow when To turn a docked panel into a floating panel: the panel is ready to dock. When you let go, Flash docks the 1. If, later on, you hide the Toolbars toolbar—or exit Flash and run it again—your toolbars appear exactly as you left them.

Every- thing else is a panel, even if it looks suspiciously like a toolbar. Figure shows all three toolbars.

The Main toolbar gives you one-click basic operations, like opening an existing Flash file, creating a new file, and cutting and pasting sections of your drawing. With Flash Professional CS6, the Controller is a little obsolete, because now the same buttons appear below the timeline.

Using the options here, you can change your view of the stage, zoom- ing in and out, as well as edit scenes named groups of frames and symbols reusable drawings. Tools Panel The Tools panel is unique. In the Essentials workspace, the Tools panel appears along the right side of the Flash program window. There are no text labels, just a series of icons.

However, if you need a hint, just hold your mouse over one of the tools, and a tooltip shows the name of the tool. Most animations start with a single drawing. And to draw something in Flash, you need drawing tools: pens, pencils, brushes, colors, erasers, and so on.

Chapter 2 shows you how to use these tools to create a simple drawing; this section gives you a quick overview of the six sections of the Tools panel, each of which focuses on a slightly different kind of drawing tool or optional feature.

For example, you might use the Pen tool to start a sketch, the Paint Bucket or Ink Bottle to apply color, and the Eraser to clean up mistakes. Figure The Tools panel groups tools by different drawing chores. Selection and Transform tools are at the top, followed by Drawing tools. Next are the IK Bones tool and the Color tools. The View tools are Selection tools for zooming and panning.

The Color tools include two swatches, one for strokes and one for fills. If you like, you can drag the docked Tools panel away from the edge of the workspace and turn it into a floating panel. In either of these situations, you can use the tools Flash displays in the View section of the Tools panel to zoom in, zoom out, and pan around the stage. Each dot is a pixel. You can use these tools to choose a color from the Color palette before you click one of the drawing icons to begin drawing or afterward to change the colors, as discussed in Chapter 2.

Flash applies that color to the stage as you draw. For example, when you select the Zoom tool from the View section of the Tools panel, the Options section displays an Enlarge icon and a Reduce icon that you can use to change the way the Zoom tool works Figure Figure On the Tools panel, when you click each tool, the Options section shows you buttons that let you modify that particular tool.

Zoom in option Zoom out option Properties Panel In many ways, the Properties panel is Command Central as you work with your animation, because it gathers all the pertinent details for the objects you work with and displays them in one place. Select an object, and the Properties panel displays all of its properties and settings. The Properties panel usually appears when you open a new document.

For example, if you select a text field, the Properties panel lists the typeface, font size, and text color. Here, because a text field is selected, the Properties panel gives you options you can use to change the typeface, font size, font color, and Subpanel open paragraph settings.

Click the triangular expand and collapse buttons to show and hide details in the Properties panel. Fortunately, the various panels and tools work consistently.

For example, many objects have settings that determine their onscreen positions and define their width and height dimensions. These common settings usually appear at the top of the Properties panel, and you set them the same way for most kinds of objects. Library Panel The Library panel Figure is a place to store objects you want to use more than once.

This trick saves time and ensures consistency to boot. When you click this button, a menu of options appears—different options for each panel. For example, the Color Swatch panel lets you add and delete color swatches. Figure Storing simple images as reusable symbols in the Library panel does more than just save you time: It saves you file size, too.

Using the Library panel you see here, you can preview symbols, add them to the stage, and easily add symbols you created in one Flash document to another. For now, Table gives a thumbnail description and notes the page where the panel is described in detail. See page 91 for more.

Motion Editor none A powerful tool used to create and control animation effects. See page for more. See page 60 for more. Even the stage has properties, like width, height, and background color. See page 29 for more. Common none When you want to share buttons, classes, or Libraries sounds among several different Flash docu- ments, use the common libraries.

See the tip on page for more. Motion Presets none Serves up dozens of predesigned animations. Mac: Option-F9 The Actions panel provides a window for code, a reference tool for the programming language, and a visual display for the object- oriented nature of the code.

Specific bits of code perform timeline tricks, load or unload graphics, handle audio- visual tasks, and program buttons. See the box on page for more. Messages explain the location of an error and provide hints as to what went wrong.

Debug Panels none Additional panels to help you find errors in your ActionScript programs. The display uses a tree struc- ture to show the relationship of the elements.

The Output panel is used to display text messages at certain points as a program runs. See page 78 for more. The Info panel also keeps track of the cursor location and the color immediately under the cursor.

You can create your own swatches for colors you want to reuse. You can even use the Transform panel to reposition or rotate objects in 3-D space. Earlier versions of Flash used the Component Inspector. See the box on page Flash keeps track of every little thing you do to a file, starting with the time you created it or the last time you opened it.

You can also use this panel to save a series of commands you want to reuse later. Using the Strings panel, you can create and manage multi-language versions of the text. But there is help. Other Missing CD files for this book are named the same way.

You can download all the exercise files in a single ZIP file or you can grab them chapter by chapter. The Missing CD also includes links to all the web-based resources mentioned in this book. When the Open dialog box appears, navigate to the file you just downloaded, and then click Open. When you open a document, the Welcome screen disappears. Flash shows you the animation on the stage, surrounded by the usual timeline, toolbars, and panels.

Figure After you open the exer- cise in Flash, your screen should look like this. At the bottom, the timeline shows two layers—one named background and the other, wheel. The stage shows surprise, surprise a background and a wheel. To the right, the Properties panel displays the properties for the document. As shown in Figure , it shows the Property settings for objects. Initially, it shows the properties for the Flash document itself. Click another object, such as the wheel, and you see its properties.

Why are properties so important? They give you an extremely accurate description of objects. If you need to precisely define a color or the dimensions of an object, the Properties panel is the tool to use. It not only reports the details, but it also gives you the tools to make changes, as shown in this little exercise: 1. At the top of the Tools panel, click the Selection tool solid arrow. As an alternative, press V, the keyboard shortcut for the Selection tool.

Click the white part of the stage. The Properties panel shows the properties for your Flash document. Figure Left: When you first open a document, the Properties panel shows property settings for the document. Right: Select the wheel in the document, and you see its properties. Click the triangle buttons to expand and collapse the subpanels.

Subpanel open Subpanel closed 3. Click the triangle button to open the Properties subpanel. The button works like a toggle to open and close the subpanel. Click the white rectangle next to Stage. A panel opens with color swatches. Click a color swatch—any color will do.

Click the wheel. Information about the wheel fills the Properties panel. The wheel is a special type of object called a Movie Clip symbol.

For more details on locking layers, see page But you can resize the stage at any time. With the Selection tool, click on a blank area of the stage to make sure nothing on the stage is selected.

In the Properties panel, open the Properties subpanel, and then click the Edit button. The Document Settings window appears, as shown in Figure At the top of the window are boxes labeled Dimensions. Figure The Document Settings dialog box puts several related settings in one place. Test Drive You can change both the width and the height.

Undo works like it does in most programs, undoing your last action, and you can press it multiple times to work your way back through your recent actions. The stage resizes according to your instructions. Zoom In and Out When your Flash project gets big or complicated, you may want to focus on just a portion of the stage.

In the Tools panel, click the Zoom tool, which looks like a magnifying glass Figure Click any spot you want to zoom in on, and you get a closer view. As an alternative, you can click and drag over an area to zoom in with more precision.

As you drag, a rectangle appears to mark the area of interest. Figure Choose the Zoom tool and then click the stage to zoom in on your Flash document. Hold the Alt Option key down to zoom out. Very handy for some operations. Even easier, choose the Hand tool H and then click and drag the stage within the viewing area. Want to zoom out? Hold down the Alt Option key as you use the Zoom tool.

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You use it to create animations, to display video on a website, to create handheld apps, or to build a complete web-based application. Once the help panel opens, click Using Flash Professional. Starting Flash You start Flash just as you would any other program—which means you can do it in a few different ways, depending on whether you have a PC or a Mac.

Installing the program puts Flash CS6 and its related files in the folder with your other programs, and you can start it by double-clicking its icon. You can create a shortcut or drag the file to the taskbar for quicker starting.

You Flash can make an alias or drag the file to the Dock for quicker starting. Figure The Flash Professional workspace is divided into three main areas: the stage, the timeline, and the Panels dock. This entire window, to- gether with the timeline, toolbars, and panels, is sometimes called the Flash desktop, the Flash interface, or the Flash authoring environment. As you type, Windows searches for a match and displays a list with programs at the top. Most likely, the Flash program is at the top of the list and already selected, so just press Enter.

Otherwise, use your mouse or arrow keys to select and start the program. As you type, Spotlight displays a list of programs and files that match. Flash Most likely, the Flash program is at the top of the list and already selected, so just press Return. Otherwise, use the mouse or arrow keys to select and start the program. When you first start Flash, up pops the Welcome screen, shown in Figure This screen puts all your options—like starting a new document or returning to a work in progress—in one handy place.

For good measure, Adobe includes some links to help references and resources on its website. See page for more advice. Clicking one of the little icons under this option lets you create a Flash document using a predesigned form called a template. A template helps you create an animation more quickly, since a Flash developer has already done part of the work for you.

You can find out more about tem- plates in Chapter 7. As you create new documents, Flash adds them to this list. Clicking one of the filenames listed here tells Flash to open that file.

Clicking the folder icon lets you browse for and open any other Flash file on your computer. Figure Several of the options on each menu include keystroke shortcuts that let you perform an action without having to mouse all the way up to the menu.

Clicking one of the options listed here lets you create a brand-new Flash file. Most of the time, you want to choose the first option, ActionScript 3. ActionScript is the underlying pro- Starting gramming language for Flash animations. The current version of ActionScript Flash is 3. You can use the ActionScript 2. For details on the file formats for different Flash projects, see the box below.

Frequently Asked Question Understanding Flash File Formats Why are there so many different options under Create New on has the programming options and support for making the Welcome screen? What are they all for?

The other options are for special Flash projects nothing but ActionScript, for use with a Flash animation ; targeted to specific devices, like iPhones, iPads, or Android a Flash JavaScript File used to create custom tools, panels, devices. Some options are for specific programming needs, like commands, and other features that extend Flash ; or creating an ActionScript class. Integrated Runtime tools page Use the Air for iOS option. Clicking the Flash Exchange link under this option tells Flash to open your web browser and load the Flash Exchange website.

There,you can down- load Flash components, sound files, and other goodies that you can add to your Flash animations. Some are free, some are fee-based, and all of them are created by Flashionados just like you. As you might guess, these links lead to materials Adobe designed to help you get up and running. Click an option, and your web browser opens to a page on the Adobe website. The first few topics introduce basic Flash concepts like symbols, instances, and timelines. Farther down the list, you find specific topics for building applications for mobile devices or websites AIR.

First, focus on the three main work areas: the stage, the timeline, and the Panels dock. Then you can gradually learn how to use all the tools in those areas. One big source of confusion for Flash newbies is that the workspace is so easy to customize. You can open bunches of panels, windows, and toolbars. You can move the timeline above the stage, or you can have it floating in a window all its own. Adobe, in its wisdom, created the Work- space Switcher—a tool that lets you rearrange the entire workspace with the click of a menu.

The thinking is that an ideal workspace for a cartoon animator is different from the ideal workspace for, say, a rich internet application RIA developer. The Workspace Switcher is a menu in the upper-right corner of the Flash window, next to the search box. The menu displays the name of the currently selected workspace; when you first start Flash, it probably says Essentials. Start Flash. Flash opens, displaying the Welcome screen. See Figure , top.

From the Workspace menu near the upper-right corner of the Flash window, choose Classic. The Classic arrangement harkens back to earlier versions of Flash, when the timeline resided above the stage Figure , bottom. If you wish, go ahead and check out some of the other layouts. Choose the Essentials workspace again. The stage takes up most of the main window. On the right, the Panels Workspace dock holds toolbars and panels. Figure Top: The Essentials work- space is the one used throughout this book.

Bottom: The Classic workspace shows the timeline above the stage, a look familiar to Flash Pro veterans. In the Panels dock, click the Properties tab and drag it to a new location Workspace on the screen. Panels can float, or they can dock to one of the edges of the window. Drag the Color and Swatches toolbars to new locations. Like the larger panels, toolbars can either dock or float.

You can drag them anywhere on your monitor, and you can expand and collapse them by clicking the double- triangle button in their top-right corners. Flash has dozens of windows. For more details, see page From the Workspace menu, choose Reset Essentials. The workspace changes back to the original Essentials layout, even though you did your best to mess it up.

As shown in Figure , when you use the Essentials workspace, the Flash window is divvied up into three main work areas: the stage upper left , the timeline lower left , and the panels dock right.