Flash CS3 Tutorial – Library Symbols
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Flash CS3 Tutorial – Library Symbols in
This Flash CS3 Tutorial gives the beginner a detailed insight in to using Library Symbols.
When you work with Flash CS3, your movies will naturally contain a variety of resources; graphic images, movieclips, sound effects etc. The library is the main tool for managing these resources.
Open Flash and create a new document; if the library panel is not visible, choose Window > Library or press CTRL+L. To add some items to the library, we’ll create a couple of symbols. Draw a shape on the stage, select it and press F8 or choose Modify > Convert to Symbol. Enter ‘myshape’ as the name for the symbol and choose Graphic as the type:
You can select a point on the Registration grid for flash to refer to when rotating or aligning the symbol, leave it at the default for now.
You should see right away that your Graphic symbol has been added to the library:
The preview area gives you a thumbnail impression of the symbol, for MovieClips this will be a preview of the first frame, and allows you to preview the clip in progress also. Let’s create a MovieClip to try it out, this time we’ll create the symbol in a different way: choose Insert > New Symbol or press CTRL+F8 and enter ‘myclip’ as the name, MovieClip as the type:
Press OK and Flash will take you inside the MovieClip. To create some simple animation and make use of the library, we’ll use the myshape Graphic symbol created earlier: click on it in the library and drag it onto the stage – what you have done here is place an ‘instance’ of the library symbol within your movie. Click on frame 10 and create a keyframe there (F6 or Insert > Timeline > Keyframe). On frame 10, move the myshape instance to a different position on the stage. Now create a Motion Tween by clicking on frame 1 and selecting Motion from the Tween drop-down list on the Properties panel, or selecting Insert > Timeline > Create Motion Tween. If you click on frame 1 and press enter you should see the animation.
Now go back to your main timeline by pressing the Back button:
Now if you select your MovieClip item in the library you should see that you have the option to preview the animation also, by pressing the play button:
Add an instance of the clip to your movie by dragging it onto the stage; it will appear much the same as your graphic symbol as that is all that appears on the first frame.
When you test the movie, you should see the clip playing in a loop. To make the clip play only once, you need to edit the symbol. To do this, right-click (or CTRL+click) on it in the library and select Edit, or double-click the instance of the clip on your stage. Once inside the clip, select frame 10 and open the Actions panel (F9 or Window > Actions). Enter the following:
Now when you test your movie, the clip should play only once.
As your Flash projects become bigger and more complex there will be a greater need to manage your library well. To delete an item, you can select it and press the delete key, select it and press the delete button at the bottom of the library panel (see below), or right-click (CTRL+click) on it and select Delete:
To group items together, you can use folders in the library; press the folder button:
Enter a name, then drag the two library items into the folder to try it out. Right-click (CTRL+click) and choose Expand Folder:
As your Flash skills expand, so will the range of different types of item in your libraries.