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Aragoth
09-18-2006, 05:16 PM
All right, to be honest, I am so terrible at flash that a monkey with rabies could create a better movie. So that's where I hope you guys can come in... :)

I have created the ugliest movie of all time, using imported images. I figured out how to break them apart, etc. Of course, you can't do all the much with them, but that's fine. I have set up a fairly shoddy background on a second layer, as well as fade out transition. How do I set up the transition to fade in?

Secondly (and you better believe I have a lot of questions, so please bear with me), how do I create a button? I have looked up what has got to be a hundred tutorials, but each time it doesn't work, or it doesn't appear to have any effect. Any help?

shachi
09-18-2006, 06:00 PM
First thing, I don't believe that a monkey with rabies even knows what macromedia flash is. Second thing. You can make fade in transition by making the object a symbol and tweening it's alpha. Third thing. You can make a button by simply making something(like a circle) double clicking it, hitting F8 and choosing "Button" to make it customized double click in that symbol and edit the states. Fourth thing, I hope it helps.

BLiZZaRD
09-19-2006, 03:52 PM
Welcome, and don't worry we all start somewhere. No one was born knowing how to use Flash.

Some inportant things though, while myself, or shachi, or whomever answers your pleas, which version of Flash are you using? This will be important to know later when you start asking the other qustions I see you bound for.

If shachi's post didn't help enough let us know. In the mean time have a gander at these two sites:

first www.cartoonsmart.com it is a commercial site for Flash tutorials (video/ step-by-step) but he does have free tuts that will help to get you going. These will cover the most basic elements such as the Flash panels and layout to features and basic animation.

Download the free tuts and watch them a couple times, they are a great help to a Flash virgin.

Second site is www.gotoandlearn.com The extensive video tutorials here cover anything you want to ever do with Flash and then some. They are easy to follow and understand as well. Great resource!

Good Luck!

shachi
09-20-2006, 10:16 AM
Here's a helpful site too: http://learnflash.com/ signup for their newsletter and you'll learn a lot of new tricks.

Aragoth
09-20-2006, 04:28 PM
I have flash 7.0, if that helps. I can't really get 8.0 since I'm running off my school's computer... To elaborate, I'm actually only sixteen... Plus, the school's computers have no sound...

BLiZZaRD
09-21-2006, 01:08 AM
Age doesn't matter in Flash.. the program doesn't care how old you are, only that you can push keys and drag a mouse :D

MX04 is a great version, and one I use myself.

shachi
09-22-2006, 11:16 AM
Yea, flash doesn't care what age you are. I am just fourteen ya'know.

Aragoth
09-22-2006, 04:45 PM
I suppose I should have also added that I can't draw for sh*t... lol

Anyway, I have an image that I want set up as a background. I want the image to fade in, as stated before. I kinda know how to tween, but all of my attempts so far have failed miserably.

I have imported the image, and then increase the number of frames up to twenty or so. The image remains constant throughout all of those. How do I get the black background to tween from its original state to the image?

shachi
09-22-2006, 05:15 PM
Learning flash doesn't mean you must know how to draw. Flash is for creating dynamic things that simply programming can't do(not yet). Not for drawing(you can do that though).

P.S. Even I don't know how to draw in flash.

yubon
09-22-2006, 05:19 PM
If you have a mac with a program called iMovie HD, you can add effects and transitions in ease!

Aragoth
09-22-2006, 05:26 PM
Learning flash doesn't mean you must know how to draw.
But it must help. You can't do all that much with imported images... But then again, what do I know? As for the image, can you help at all?

shachi
09-22-2006, 05:30 PM
Did you even checked the website I mentioned?? There is something about making a character.

Aragoth
09-22-2006, 05:34 PM
Did you even read the post where I mentioned the computers have no sound? :P

The computers at my school not only suck, but they blow at the same time. So I'm stuck without being able to view videos...

Anyway, in your first response, you said it could be done by converting it into a symbol. Can I just work with it without converting it?

BLiZZaRD
09-23-2006, 05:09 AM
Fade in and out is quite simple. After you import your image make it an MC. Position it in Frame one. Right click on the actual frame (in the timeline) and choose "create motion tween" (This assumes you have the backGround MC on it's own layer, as you should)

Now move down 20 frames (or what ever you choose). Insert another keyframe.

Once this is done go back to frame 1. click once on the image MC and look at the properties panel. You will see an option for color. Select "Alpha" from the drop down menu and set it to 1 (NEVER set to 0 or 100 ) 1 is as invisible as 0 and you wont run into jumpy images or the like as you will if you used the extremes.

You should be done, and can test the movie. If it stays invisible, then go to frame 20 and check the alpha level. Set it to 99 there.

Drawing comes with practice, and with patience. Start by tracing. You will need to understand the ideas behind vector graphics, and lines/fills. They can make amazing effects that pixel grpahics only dream of, but you will need to learn what they can't do first. It is the hardest learning process in Flash by far.

My very first attempt at drawing was this game (http://games.cleverwasteoftime.com/CWoTSpaceAssault.html)

That was one year ago, and my first ever Flash game. After a couple books, a few tutorials and about 90,000+ lines of code I have gone to this (http://invasion.cleverwasteoftime.com/games/ds21.html)

Although my game mechanics aren't all they should be for this game, my graphics have improved quite a bit.

I have other private games that are way more detailed and use 7 - 15 AS pages for the game engines. These are truly my games, and the ones I have here and on that site are the "quick and dirty" games I build for the players.

That last link is a game I built for a contest winner in one of my forums. Took me about 6 hours. Nowadays I spend most of my time in Flash doing projects for clients where I am building program applications, not games. Although I still go back and build a good shoot em up or mystery game every now and then.

I am working on an RPG (who in Flash doesn't try that once?) and I am hoping to have it done by Christmas 2007!!

If you really want to learn to draw, and have the patience for it I can give you some links to follow and try out.

shachi
09-23-2006, 03:19 PM
MC = Movie Clip by the way.

I insist you start with basic vector program first( like inkscape or sodipodi). And when you know a little more about vectors and how to handle them, you can then move to character animation and design.

Only a suggestion though.

Aragoth
09-26-2006, 04:25 PM
Alright... the fade in works fantastic. Thanks a lot. More questions, though. I have created a button, and I want to be able to see it in action. How would I accomplish this? And perhaps, more importantly, I wnat an image to flash a couple of times on the screen, then to appear extremely small and create the illusion that it is moving closer by expanding it. I know that this (the motion part at the end) should be possible, but I can't seem to make it work... Any suggestions?

BLiZZaRD
09-26-2006, 07:13 PM
I don't know what you mean by you want to see your button in action?

For the image thing, there are many ways to accomplish this. The best way would probably be using action script, but I honestly don't think you are ready for that, and I don't want to confuse you by giving you code snippets to try, at least without seeing your file to kow exactly what would be needed.

The other way is a bit easier, and is all in frame by frame animation.

The flashing:

Start with 2 new layers. name them "flashing" and "expanding"

In the flashing layer place your image in a keyframe, on the stage where you want it to appear. Move down a couple of frames on the layer and insert another keyframe. Frame 5 should be good. On frame 6 insert a BLANK keyframe. Move down to about frame 10 and insert another blank keyframe. Go back to frame 1 and click and hold on frame one, drag to frame 5 (this will highlight all 5 frames) right click on any of them and select "copy frames", then right click on frame 10 and select "paste frames". Go back to frame 10 and click and hold on frame 10, drag to frame 15 (this will highlight all 5 frames) right click on any of them and select "copy frames", then right click on frame 16 and select "paste frames".

These 20 frames will constitute two blinks. Continue for as many blinks as you want. End with a copy of frame 1, pasted at the end of your blinking.

To "expand":

Find the last frame in the "flashing" layer in which the image is visible (you should end with the image visible, not invisible) So using the above I will assume 2 blinks, last visible on frame 21.

Insert a keyframe on frame 21 of the "expanding" layer. Place your image on stage EXACTLY over the image on frame 21 of the "flashing" layer. So in essence therewill be 2 images there, but it will appear as one. Select the Free Transform Tool and click once on the image (in the "expanding" layer) make it as small as you want it too (or leave it if it is already the small size you want to begin with.) Right click on the frame in the "expanding layer" and select "create motion tween"

move down how ever many frames you want to take up making the image larger. If you run at 30 FPS every 30 frames will be just about one second. Assuming you want this to take 1 second to "grow" insert a keyframe on the "expanding" layer at frame 51. Again using the Free Transform Tool, select the image and make it as large as you want it.

Test your movie.

:D

Aragoth
09-28-2006, 04:20 PM
What is the point of a button? From my crappy understanding, its to change on mouseover and when clicked...

BLiZZaRD
09-29-2006, 07:28 AM
Buttons are simply used for user-interface. Nothing more. There isn't anything a button can do that you can NOT do with AS. Except using actionscript *almost* takes interactivity away from the end-user.

A button is just something for the user to click on. :)

Aragoth
09-29-2006, 03:46 PM
Can the button be created as a link, or perhaps a psuedo link to initiate another animation or event in the Flash?

BLiZZaRD
09-30-2006, 04:10 AM
Absolutley.

to make it a link you use the getURL attribute in your AS panel:



on(release){
getURL("http://whatever.com", _blank);
}


Note the _blank could be _self or _parent or _top as well, what ever you need.

_self specifies the current frame in the current window.
_blank specifies a new window.
_parent specifies the parent of the current frame.
_top specifies the top-level frame in the current window.

to initiate another animation etc same type of thing. Lets say you have an MC with 40 frames. and there are 4 different animations, each 10 frames each. every 10 frames you would have a stop(); command.

On your button you would put something like:



on(release){
_root.MC-name.gotoAndPlay(10);
}


this would take MC (here named MC-name) to frame 10 and play until the stop(); command on frame 20.

Aragoth
10-02-2006, 04:22 PM
You're funny. I don't even know how to view the actionscript... How bad is that?

BLiZZaRD
10-03-2006, 09:31 AM
I am not sure how you have your stage and menus set up, and I am doing this from memory at the moment, as I haven't had to use my navigation bar in years (keyboard short cuts and all :p )

In your nav menu go to window >> design panels >> action panel

Click on that and your Action Scripts panel should pop open.

You can also look just below your stage and you should (thinking back to default here) see Actions, Properties, and Help bars there. Click on the Actions heading and it will pop up. :D

Aragoth
10-03-2006, 04:03 PM
Click on the Actions heading and it will pop up. :D

And by God does it pop up! Scared the hell out me... just kidding. Well, that's one thing taken care of... lol. Thanks a lot...

BLiZZaRD
10-04-2006, 05:28 AM
Very Welcome. :D

Aragoth
10-04-2006, 04:46 PM
All right, I'm going to try to do something a little less complicated. Cause I suck. I would like to create the original picture fade in (DONE!!! lol) and then create an extremely bright flash that "blinds" the viewer and for another picture to fade in. Any hints?

Edit: Better idea. When the image is fading in, I would like to have makeshift lightening bolts flashing from certain parts. I'll actually give you a link to the pic so you can see what I mean.

http://avengedsevenfold.com/enterpage_r2_c3.jpg

I would like the lightening bolts to be randomly generated (or not randomly, they just have to appear to be moving closer to the viewer) until finally one strikes towards the viewer and then I would like to fade in another pic... Of course, the original images alpha will have to be changed slightly for the further away lightening bolts, etc. Do I have to create individual motion tweens for changing the alpha like that?

BTW: The pic has been resized and so has the background canvas for flash. As well, the background color of the canvas has been changed to black to accomadate a better fade in.

Update: HA!!! I don't need you, you uneducated little mother... Just kidding. You guys are awesome. I'm just celebrating my overinflated ego. I just performed what is probably the most basic flash ever. I created a lightening bolt. Damn straight. And it makes the page flash. It also looks terrible, but goddammit, I did it... lol jk. I would like to be able to draw the lightening bolts better, but I can seem to get the brush to not suck. And it really, really sucks. lol

BLiZZaRD
10-04-2006, 10:31 PM
Never, ever, EVER use the brush tool. EVER!

use the square tool, choose your colors, draw a square.

then go to a side, any spot and press and HOLD the "alt" key then left click your mouse and drag in or out. Release both mouse and alt key. You have just created a new "point"

Continue down the side of the square until it resembles a lightening bolt. then go back and click and drag without the alt key to "finalize it.

Don't ever use the brush tool for anything!

I wish they would remove that worthless POS. People that are used to PSP or Paint love the brush tool, and in Flash all it does is make a mess.. LOL

Congrats on your achievement though!

Aragoth
10-05-2006, 04:01 PM
I have no idea wtf you are talking about. I try to hold the alt key, etc., but it just draws a second square. Do I have to change the tool that I am using?

BLiZZaRD
10-06-2006, 07:43 AM
LOL, my apologies, for not explaining well. Yes, you will draw your square with the square tool and the choose the select tool (black arrow)

When you being the arrow close to the edge you will see a little curvy line under it, this indicates you are on a side, or you will see a little right-angle line, which would indicate you are at a point.

Draw your square, then look for the curvy line, hold down alt and manipulate the hell out of your squre.

This is good drawing practice as well.

____________________________________________________________

Off Topic:

To practice drawing, use above technique. First import an image you want to draw, say a picture of your cat. Put this image on its own layer, and lock that layer.

Add new layer, over lay squares (minus the border line to start... shading and that comes much later) Manipulate your squares to match the picture below. Once complete you should have a flash rendering of the image you imported.

Of course it wont be near as pretty, as you haven't done depth/shading yet, but it is great practice. This technique is called tracing :)

djr33
10-06-2006, 08:54 AM
iMovie cannot import/work with/improve or do anything else with flash graphics. iMovie is apple proprietary and works only with quicktime file formats while flash is Adobe proprietary (used to be macromedia).

And, just for the record, I use iMovie myself, but for filmmaking....

BLiZZaRD
10-06-2006, 09:02 AM
Okay.... where did iMovie come in to drawing lightening bolts?? :confused:


BTW djr.. I finally got an agent for my screenplay, you had asked me to tell you about it. He is in conversations with Mtv about it now. :D

djr33
10-06-2006, 09:04 AM
Ah, congrats. That seems to have slipped my mind, since i've been working on php for the last 3 hours or so, but that's cool. Good luck with it :)

Lightning bolts are available in iMovie, but they would be of absolutely no help in flash unless you wanted to deal with iMovie, export, then import a QT movie into the flash and play that. ...which defeats the point of using flash.

BLiZZaRD
10-06-2006, 09:16 AM
Ohh, I gotcha. Yeah, like buying a cow to get free steak... bit out of the needed process :D

Aragoth
10-10-2006, 05:32 PM
Alright, it looks pretty terrible. Just what I was looking for. At least your help on making the lightning look less crappy worked. Sorry for the stupid question ("What??? Another one of them??? Damn, keep your mouth shut..."), but how do I set the movie so it doesn't repeat forever. I can't quite remember the code. I do know that if you put the value of -1 it runs forever, but I can't remember what the code actually is... Also, is there a code I can use to make to the page transition to another without having to manually change it? As in create a splash page that will activate as soon as the flash movie has completed?

BLiZZaRD
10-11-2006, 08:24 AM
Umm... not sure I understand...



stop();


works really well in making the movie halt. :D

For the transition, use Frame Labels and AS. say you have 4 layers in your time line that make up your movie, and these are 40 frames long.

You would put your splash screen on frame 41 while blanking out the other 4 layers.

You could also make a new scene, in which case you would want the first frame to be labled something, say "splash"

then in the OTHER scene, the one with the movie, on the last frame, put something like:



_root.gotoAndPlay ("scene2", "splash");


Unless I misunderstand your question, which is possible.

Also, don't be afraid to start a new thread for each new question, makes searching easier for other persons looking for answers to questions you already asked. :D

Aragoth
10-12-2006, 03:36 PM
This is for a completed (or close enough) movie...

You know how the published version of the Flash movie loops infinitely? I just want it to play back once. Sorry if I'm not clear...

I want the actual webpage to link to a seperate webpage once the flash movie has played through... For instance, if the final published movie's name was 'flash.swf', I would like it to link automatically to the next consecutive webpage. For example, 'page1.html'. I know this isn't a Flash question, but I figured that it was regarding aspects of Flash, so might as well kill two birds with one stone.

BLiZZaRD
10-13-2006, 07:49 AM
You know how the published version of the Flash movie loops infinitely?

uhh.. no :D

go to the very last frame of your movie and in your "scripts" or "actions" layer put:



stop();


this stops your movie.



I want the actual webpage to link to a seperate webpage once the flash movie has played through... For instance, if the final published movie's name was 'flash.swf', I would like it to link automatically to the next consecutive webpage. For example, 'page1.html'. I know this isn't a Flash question, but I figured that it was regarding aspects of Flash, so might as well kill two birds with one stone.


Now you say "actual webpage" do you want an html link below your movie or do you want the link IN your movie?

either way:

IN the movie:

on the last frame, make a button, anything you like, let's call it "continue" this way when the movie is played the visitor will get to the end of the movie and see "continue" and they will click the button, yay!

in the AS panel for that button put the following:



on(release){
getURL("http://www.yoursite.com/page1.html", _blank);
}


then you are done.

if you want the link BELOW your movie on the actual page:

1) publish your movie

2) find the HTML page that was created and open it with NOTEPAD

3) in the text scroll to the bottom until you see this:



</object>
</body>
</html>


Change it to:



</object><br><br>
<a href= "http://www.yoursite.com/page1.html" alt= "next page">Click Here For Next Page</a>
</body>
</html>


4) Close and save the HTML file and upload to your server.


Obviously in both examples change http://www.yoursite.com/page1.html with your information, also in the second example the alt text isn't needed, you can make it say alt = "" instead AND the Click Here For Next Page is what the link will actually say on the page, so you can change that to what ever you like.

Aragoth
10-18-2006, 04:36 PM
I created a button (just to see if I could get it to work). I figred making a text box and a background. I set it up so it would start with a grey background (or gray, depending on how you like to spell it) and black text. I inserted a key frame into the "Over" frame, then changed the background color and text color. I did the same for over. When I went back to "Scene 1" there was no sign of the button. What am I supposed to do with the damn thing.

BTW: I tried to publish it and still couldn't see.
BTW PT 2: I didn't use the stop(); function beforehand, so I know that's not the problem...
BTW PT 3: I was talking about an automatic url link (page refreshal used to link to a seperate URL) as in http://www.dynamicdrive.com/forums/showthread.php?p=57961#post57961. Thanks for the advice on creating links within the flash itself, though.

BLiZZaRD
10-21-2006, 09:40 AM
Did you put the button on the stage?

If you used the F keys to "insert new symbol" then it was put in your library and not on the stage. Also, check that the layer you put the button on isn't below a layer with something ontop of the button. Layers are just that, layers one on top of the next, the higher the layer on the list the higher up in the movie the items are visible. So if you have a large black square on the top layer, anything in that squares area on a layer below it wont show up.

Solution is to place the button on a higher or equal layer to that which is blocking it.

A work around for your refresh problem is quite simple, you can do a couple things:

lets say you set the getURL to go to "homepage.html"

Either make "homepage.html" and put the meta tag on there, ORR if your sever allows it, set up a permanent redirect from homepage.html to the page you want people to go to. Does that make sense?

pasaway
10-21-2006, 10:01 AM
I'm editing my friendster account but it seems that I keep on messing it. I'm having hard time making my own layouts beacuse I cannot produce one of my own,I mean I wanted to learn how to make my own layout. can somebody please help me out?! :(

Aragoth
10-24-2006, 03:03 PM
Is there any way to stop the link within the flash video (i.e. button) from creating a brand new window? I would prefer it if the page that I created the link for would link using the same page as the flash video originally was...

BLiZZaRD
10-25-2006, 08:34 AM
Absolutley.

to make it a link you use the getURL attribute in your AS panel:



on(release){
getURL("http://whatever.com", _blank);
}


Note the _blank could be _self or _parent or _top as well, what ever you need.

_self specifies the current frame in the current window.
_blank specifies a new window.
_parent specifies the parent of the current frame.
_top specifies the top-level frame in the current window.




Use the appropriate _tag at the end of your getURL and you will be fine ;)

Aragoth
10-25-2006, 03:51 PM
I had the code working (insofar that a new window would open with the html file inside) but when I reloaded flash, I always recieve 1 Error in the output.

This is my code:


on(release){
getURL("index.html", _self);
}


I also tried to use:


on(release){
getURL("http://dynamicdrive.com", _blank);
}

They both work, but each results in an error, which is odd since there is no other scripts on the page.

BLiZZaRD
10-26-2006, 09:12 AM
What is the error?

Aragoth
10-26-2006, 03:52 PM
Alright, I don't know wtf happened, but when I restarted my computer today and opened flash, it didn't tell me I had an error. That's one problem out of the way. Which _tag should I use to ensure that a new window does not pop up? I tried to replace _blank with _self but the result is always the same: a new window pops up (btw: this is on the published version, not the version in flash. I can see that the preview within the flash program itself would create a link in a new window.)...

BLiZZaRD
10-27-2006, 07:49 AM
I always use _self but you can leave that off and the default should be same window. You can try that out.

Aragoth
10-28-2006, 02:14 AM
I figured that might help to. Not so much. It still opened a new window. It might just be the crappy version of flash I am using. I can't import MP3's into it. Not even MP3's...

BLiZZaRD
10-28-2006, 07:36 AM
Pirated? LOL

try _parent for same window

are you importing directly into your library or trying to import to the stage?

Aragoth
10-30-2006, 02:51 PM
Of course its pirated. I'm purely a Limewire download man.

Nonetheless, the music still plays on every other media system available. I'm happier just thinking that I have the world's crappiest flash player.

I was trying to import it directly into the library, then directly into the stage, then once again into the library (I don't learn to quickly, lol). Didn't work.

I also tried the _parent but the window popped up anyway. This is the exact code:

on(release){
getURL("index.html ", _parent);
}

That's all I have. The code is only for a button labelled "Continue".

BTW: I tried this on the published version (HTML).

BLiZZaRD
10-30-2006, 07:53 PM
Import to library. then choose where you want the music to start playing, and add the AS to start and stop it there.

try using the complete url including http:// and use _self

Pirated versions make people mad, admitting to it is even worse. :(

Aragoth
10-31-2006, 02:46 PM
I honestly don't care, seeing as 90% of the world's population downloads songs illegally, and the fact that none of my work will ever be seen by any of the population (plus there is no url).
I'll keep that in mind. (BTW, most of the song files aren't actually downloaded. Just a few)

Edit: Rereading your post: Are you talking about the flash being pirated, or the music? The Flash is definitely not pirated, and in all honesty, that song isn't either. I have tried downloaded songs, and the funny thing is that they actually work better than the ones ripped from a cd. Ripped by Itunes.