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Author: JLampitt | Website: http://www.geocities.com/jlampitt

Moving Forward:

OK! Did you make it? I hope so. Now we'll proceed by creating the navigation menu in a Movie Clip. Remember, Movie Clips are independent timelines (say it again to get the full effect... in-de-pen-dent time-lines). They are not constrained by other timelines within your Flash movie. I feel this is a major stumbling block and sometimes hard for people to grasp but it's an important concept to understand. We'll build this layer by layer. Let's get into it!

Frame Actions & Labels Layer:

  1. Create a new Movie Clip symbol and name it "Navigation".
  2. With the symbol open for editing rename the first layer to "Frame Actions & Labels".You'll be using this layer for actions and labels relevant to the entire timeline. (I like to make my work as easy to interpret as possible. Six months from now if I have to revisit the project or I want to use a portion of a project for something else, I want to be able to identify key areas of my work and be able to put myself right back into that same mode of thought that I was in before. I don't want to waste valuable time searching layers and keyframes for key items that made my creations work. This is especially valuable in a environment where someone else could be picking up your work at a later date or using it in their projects!)
  3. Insert blank Keyframes in Frames 1 (already exists), 3, 16, 17 and 25. Use the F7 key.
  4. In Frame 1 assign the following Frame Action.
    Stop();
    
  5. In this same frame we'll also create our custom function to use later in this same timeline. This is where things can begin to get sticky. There are two ways to do this... one is by what I like to call "fill-in-the-blank" the other is just straight typing the syntax (which I think is faster). Sorry newbies we're just going to type in the syntax in expert mode. You should try and type in your syntax rather than using "fill-in-the-blank" It will help you get your syntax down and allows you to do alot of things easier. Read my comments and notes within the provided *.fla file for more information.
  6. You've probably still got the ActionScript window open from putting in the "Stop()" command. Click the arrow on the upper right hand side of the window and switch to "Expert Mode" or just press 'Ctrl+E'
  7. Below the "Stop();" command type in the following. (You can always switch back to "Normal Mode" if you like **provided your syntax is correct**) (**Secret Shortcut Alert** Check out "About methods versus actions" in the "Working with Movie Clips" section of the online ActionScript Reference found in the Flash 5 Help menu.)
    function playClip(whichClip) {whichClip.play();};
    
  8. Label Frame 3 as "Activate Nav"
  9. In Frame 16 attach the following Frame Action (Switch back to "Normal Mode" if you prefer)
    Stop();
    
  10. Label Frame 17 as "Deactivate Nav"
  11. In Frame 25 attach the following Frame Action
    gotoAndPlay (1);
    
» Level Intermediate

Added: 2001-01-16
Rating: 8 Votes: 129
(10 being the highest)
» Author
Jason Lampitt is an Interactive Developer for a major media development firm in Englewood, Colorado. He has a background in fine art as well as graphic design and has been developing multimedia titles for the past 6 years. Jason has a passion for bringing design to life through multimedia and helping others to understand the sometimes complex and confusing world of interactive development. In his spare time Jason is an active outdoorsman, mountain biker and family man.
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