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Symbols in Flash





You are going to use Symbols to make an animated Fall Picture....(or a snowfall picture)

Symbols will let you create complex movies at small file size.

Symbol is a reusable object that serves as a master from which you can create copies (instances).

Symbols are stored in the Library palette.

You can edit symbols and its instances.

Start with importing a bitmap image for your background. Find a nice "Fall" photo, save it as a .jpeg image in your folder.
Go to File > Import to Stage
This will place this photo in the Library as a bitmap, and onto stage.

Let's have out movie last for about 50 frames.

Click on frame 50 and press F5 on your keyboard. It will add frames to your background layer. This is going to be a static layer, so no keyframes are necessary.

Lock the layer.

Add a new layer above the background.

Use a pencil tool to draw a leaf.

Use bucket tool to add a fill color to the leaf. Let's start with a yellow color.

Make sure it is in proportion to the background.

Now think: to make a lot of leaves falling down - you'll have to draw A LOT OF leaves. Each one of them will require some file space. What if you want to add a hundred leaves?

That would make your file size very big. And, for complex movies, you would be adding other animations on the top of it. Right?

There is a way to escape a huge file size.

You are going to convert your drawing into a symbol. Symbol is a master object. You can make as many copies (instances) of it as you want without increasing the file size.

All you have to do is to select the entire leaf you just drew (use selection tool) and go to Modify > Convert to Symbol

...or just press F8

In the pop-up window type the name for the symbol and choose "Graphic" for a type.

Now open your Library palette.

Your new symbol is in the Library.

 Let's animate it!!!!

Go to frame 50 of your leaf layer. Insert a keyframe (F6).

Reposition the leaf at fr.50 (move it to the "ground" level)


Let's animate it!!!!

Go to frame 50 of your leaf layer. Insert a keyframe (F6).

Reposition the leaf at fr.50 (move it to the "ground" level)

Now click anywhere between the two keyframes on the leaf layer.

Go to Properties Inspector.


Tween: Motion

It is really important to choose the Motion type. Shape tweening works only for shapes. For everything else - use Motion tweening.


If you did everything correct, the frames will turm light purple, and the two keyframes will be connected with a solid arrow

Something like this.






Time to preview your animation.

Control > Test Movie

Now let's add another leaf.

Create a new layer. We are going to add a red leaf animation to this layer.

Open the Library. Drag a leaf symbol to stage. See? We are using the same symbol!! That will not increase the file size!

Now it's time to change to color of this instance into red.

Click on the instanse. Well, it should be selected to be edited... Dah...



Go to Properties Inspector.

Click on Color.
Choose Tint

It will open the Swatches.

Choose a red color.




Let's make it real red...

Set Tint Amount to 100%

Look at the Properties Inspector below. Yours should look the same...



Repeat the steps to animate the red leaf:

Insert a keyframe at fr.50 (F6)

Reposition the red leaf at fr.50

Click between the keyframes and add Motion tweening.


Preview the movie: Control > Test Movie

Add another layer. Add a green leaf animation to it.


Follow all the steps above. Choose a green tint for this leaf instance.


To make your leafs fall at more random pattern - will have to do some ajustments in the Timeline. Let's have the red leaf start falling from frame 10.

Just select all frames on Red Leaf layer and drag them to the right until the first keyframe will be at fr.10. Compare the Timelines:

To make up the frames at the background layer, just click on the grey frames of the layer and hit F5 ten times (or until the last frame of the background matched the last frame of the Red leaf layer.

Test Movie.

Let's make our yellow leaf fall faster.

To do this - you will have to cut the time that the leaf goes drom fr.1 to the "ground".

Click on fr.50 of Yellow leaf layer. Drag it to about frame 35.

Now we have some static frames after fr.35. You can leave them there (the leaf will be seen on the ground) or we can delete these frames (the leaf will disappear as it hits the ground).

To remove frames: Select them (highlight).
Right click on them.
Choose Remove Frames


Add more layers with different color leaves falling down at a different speed.

Should be something like this: