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Flash Animation 4: Animating Your E-card

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Movie Clips
Flash Animation 4: Animating Your E-card
Now that we’ve set the stage for our E-card, let’s go ahead and animate it. For the first part of that, we’re going to use a new kind of symbol called a Movie Clip. Thus far we’ve been creating our symbols as the Graphic type; that is, a simple shape or group of shapes locked in as a single static symbol that can be dropped from the library and into our movie, and manipulated as we see fit. A movie clip is the same as graphic, but it’s animated with its own separate internal timeline; with a movie clip, you can capture an animation as part of a neat little package and duplicate it for continuous playback in as many instances as you’d like—it’s like having a mini-movie inside a movie. It also allows you to manipulate that animation in ways that might be more difficult otherwise, because you can tween the movie clip symbol in the same ways that you can tween a graphic symbol.

To do that, first we’re going to convert one of our fireworks drawings to a symbol. Open the drawing that you did in the last lesson. Use the Arrow Tool to select all of the shapes in one of your fireworks bursts (make sure that the layer is unlocked), and then go to Insert -> Convert to Symbol (PC shortcut F8). This time, when the symbol dialogue comes up, we’re going to select Movie Clip as the type, then type in a name for the symbol, and click OK. You’ll see that the shape now has the blue outline marking it as a symbol, and you can no longer edit the individual pieces.

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