Archive for December, 2006

How to Replace a Symbol in Several Keyframes at Once

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

Okay, let’s say you’ve chosen a graphic symbol from the Library.  You’ve painstakingly motion tweened it over a series of at least 20 keyframes, then decided — afterwards, of course — that you’d like to use a different symbol instead.  Show of hands, anyone?  Before I knew the right approach, I would grumble at a scenario like this, sometimes loudly.  I’d seriously consider just leaving it, or possibly re-doing the mass of keyframes from scratch — or I’d grin and bear it, clicking the symbol at each keyframe in turn and using the Swap button in the Property inspector as often as needed.  If you’ve done this even once, don’t despair:  there is a much easier way.  Keep reading »

A Few Notes on “Create Motion Tween”

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

There are two ways to apply a motion tween in Flash.  Once you select the span of frames between two keyframes, either a) choose “Motion” from the Tween listbox in the Property inspector or b) use the Create Motion Tween mechanism.  The latter is available under Insert > Timeline > Create Motion Tween or by right-clicking (Win) / Command+clicking (Mac) and choosing Create Motion Tween from the context menu.  At first glance, these approaches simply look like two ways to accomplish the same thing, but there’s actually a big difference between them.  Keep reading »

Seeing Both the Forest and the Trees

Monday, December 11th, 2006

Sometimes, in Flash, I’m working on a bit of artwork that is small, but fairly detailed.  Icons come to mind, or a cartoon character’s face.  In these cases, I often zoom in well over 1,000% to get a clear view of the minutiae.  In spite of that, I want a “big picture” view of the whole graphic, to keep tabs on how the minor tweaks affect the whole.  Keep reading »

Easy as “Pi” Conversion between Degrees and Radians

Saturday, December 9th, 2006
Quick Tips

When working through trig functions in articles such as “How to Constrain Dragging to a Circle,” I often find myself having to convert degrees into radians and vice versa.  The formulas are truly simple … but they’re so similar, I often confuse them.  For the record:

radians = degrees * (pi / 180)
degrees = radians * (180 / pi)

However, in a pinch, just use Google.  Type, for example, “90 degrees in radians” (without quotes) into the search field and bingo! instant conversion.

Easy Button States for Movie Clip Buttons

Monday, December 4th, 2006
ActionScript 2.0 Flash

You may have heard that movie clip symbols can be “turned into buttons,” or made to act like buttons, and they certainly can.  In the most basic sense, all it takes is a few lines of ActionScript to handle the mouse-related events supported by the MovieClip class; namely, onPress, onRelease, onRollOver, and the like — just like the Button class.  Keep reading »