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Flash CS5.5: The Missing Manual by Chris Grover

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Chapter 15. Controlling the Timeline and Animation

Ordinarily, Flash assumes you want to play your animation in sequential order from the first frame in your timeline to the last. But sometimes “start at the beginning and quit at the end” isn’t exactly what you want. Fortunately, by using a combination of scenes, frame labels, and ActionScript (Chapter 12), you can control your animation virtually any way you like.

For example, say you’re putting together an instructional animation. You want to start with an introductory section, move on to the meat of your topic, and then wrap up with a question-and-answer section. If you organize these sections into separately named scenes, then you can play with the order of your animation quickly and easily. If you decide to reposition the question-and-answer scene directly after the introduction as a kind of pretest, for example, you can do that with a simple drag of your mouse. You can even add buttons that the trainee can click to replay the question-and-answer scene over and over, as many times as she likes.

In this chapter, you’ll see how to stop and start playback using ActionScript code. You’ll see how to use Flash labels, scenes, and ActionScript to make the most common types of nonsequential playback effects, including looping (replaying a section of your animation over and over again). To make these effects easy to test, you’ll also see how to add interactive buttons to your animations. To start it off, this chapter describes how to ...

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