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Using common timeline navigation methods

From: ActionScript 3.0 in Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training

Video: Using common timeline navigation methods

There are many ways to navigate through a Timeline, but some are highly useful and incredibly common in ActionScript 3. On the Stage here, I have several elements. I have an animation contained in main_ mc, which if I double-click, you can preview that its Timeline is relatively simple. The bear stays stagnant for a few frames, and then he walks on the Stage, eats a fish, and walks off. How the animation is set up is irrelevant for this exercise.

Using common timeline navigation methods

There are many ways to navigate through a Timeline, but some are highly useful and incredibly common in ActionScript 3. On the Stage here, I have several elements. I have an animation contained in main_ mc, which if I double-click, you can preview that its Timeline is relatively simple. The bear stays stagnant for a few frames, and then he walks on the Stage, eats a fish, and walks off. How the animation is set up is irrelevant for this exercise.

We are just concerned about controlling the Timeline of that movie clip. Then I have back_btn, playPause_mc; capital P for pause, and then forward_btn. playPause_mc contains two buttons: one called play_btn and then one called pause_btn. I have already written some ActionScript code, so let's take a look at it, importing the MouseEvents and adding EventListeners to all of the buttons on the Stage.

We've already created the event handler functions, and I've also hidden the Pause button, since the movie clip is going to be stopped by default. So let's start by making the movie clip play. Inside of the playClicked function, I can type 'main_mc.play.' After play, type parenthesis and then a semicolon. So I will test the movie, and you won't see the animation taking place until I click the Play button.

After a few seconds, the bear will walk onto the Stage. So we can see that that's working. When I click the Play button, I also want to hide the Play button, and reveal the Pause button. So inside of this function, I'll type playPause, capital P, underscore mc. play_btn.visible = false. This will both hide the button and disable its interactivity.

Now I want the Pause button to show, so I'll copy this line, paste it on the next line, change play_btn to pause_btn, and change the false value to true. Now I'll test the movie, click the Play button, and you will see the Pause button shows, and of course, you will see the bear walking in. Now let's write the code for the Pause button.

Select all the code in playClicked, copy it with Command+C or Ctrl+C, click inside of the pauseClicked function, and paste the code with Command+V or Ctrl+V. In the pasted code, change play to stop, change the first false to true, and change true to false. So we want to stop the Timeline. We want to show the Play button. We want to hide the Pause button. Test the movie one more time.

Click the Play button to start the animation, and once the bear comes on, click the Pause button to watch the bear stop. So we can pause the movie, and we can click Play again to have it play; it almost got that fish. Now let's add the interactivity to skip forward and backward one frame at a time. Here what I am going to do is copy the code that shows the Play button and hides the Pause button.

This is because when I click to go to the next or the previous frame, the movie is actually going to pause anyway. So I want to treat it like I click the Pause button. So copy those two lines, paste them inside of backClicked and forwardClicked, and then inside of backClicked, above the two lines that you pasted, type main_mc.prevFrame, p-r-e-v, short for previous, Frame, capital F, some parenthesis and a semicolon.

So this will move back one frame, and we can just copy and paste this line of code into forwardClicked, above the rest of the code that's already in there, change prev to next, so it's nextFrame, capital F. Test the movie. You can click the Play button to start the animation. Once the bear comes on the Stage, you can press Forward button to advance in frames or the Back button to step back in frames. Then you can press the Play button to continue the animation.

So you've seen that you can navigate through the Timelines of various objects, including animations, by using several built-in methods, like nextFrame, prevFrame, Play, and Stop, and you can control the visibility and interactivity of objects using the visible property.

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This video is part of

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  1. 3m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 23s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 17s
    3. Using the function keys
      42s
  2. 23m 38s
    1. Adjusting preferences for ActionScript fonts, colors, and formatting
      3m 25s
    2. Changing Flash Player and ActionScript versions in the Publish settings
      1m 35s
    3. Reading and solving errors through the Compiler Errors window
      2m 49s
    4. Using the Actions panel buttons to add and remove comments
      2m 33s
    5. Using the Actions panel to format code
      1m 49s
    6. Using the Actions panel Toolbox
      2m 4s
    7. Seldom-used but helpful functions of the Actions panel
      3m 14s
    8. Understanding code hinting
      2m 3s
    9. Reviewing the Code Snippets panel
      3m 7s
    10. Using help
      59s
  3. 45m 50s
    1. Understanding how ActionScript 3.0 code is processed in the Flash Player
      3m 22s
    2. Understanding variables
      4m 56s
    3. Understanding functions
      9m 1s
    4. Understanding events and event listeners
      5m 47s
    5. Working with conditional statements
      9m 49s
    6. Creating arrays and vectors
      6m 50s
    7. Using the For command to create a loop
      6m 5s
  4. 49m 9s
    1. Reviewing the display list
      3m 0s
    2. Understanding instances referenced through ActionScript
      2m 27s
    3. Using dot syntax to modify properties in an instance
      3m 25s
    4. Placing objects at the center of the stage
      4m 2s
    5. Placing objects at the edges of the stage
      5m 53s
    6. Using the methods of an instance
      3m 44s
    7. Accessing the parents, children, and grandchildren of objects
      5m 50s
    8. Creating instances from Library movie clips using ActionScript
      4m 23s
    9. Adding objects to the stage and changing parents with the addChild method
      5m 45s
    10. Removing objects from the stage with the removeChild method
      4m 17s
    11. Using the numChildren property to loop through a container's child objects
      3m 17s
    12. Using the getChildByName method
      3m 6s
  5. 56m 20s
    1. Understanding timelines
      4m 15s
    2. Using common timeline navigation methods
      5m 34s
    3. Using the currentFrame and totalFrames properties
      8m 2s
    4. Controlling the timeline of an instance
      6m 41s
    5. Detecting and navigating frame labels with ActionScript
      7m 57s
    6. Solving problems when timelines and ActionScript animation collide
      4m 16s
    7. Condensing a multi-frame timeline into one frame
      8m 33s
    8. Creating a simple slide presentation app in the timeline
      7m 51s
    9. Using one event handler with multiple buttons
      3m 11s
  6. 36m 5s
    1. Creating a class using Flash templates
      4m 43s
    2. Setting a document class
      6m 51s
    3. Preparing a class to be connected to a symbol
      4m 31s
    4. Using the Symbol Properties menu to connect a symbol to a class
      4m 55s
    5. Resolving problems with instances in a linked class
      7m 53s
    6. Understanding packages
      3m 17s
    7. Working with ActionScript source paths
      3m 55s
  7. 44m 32s
    1. Viewing the finished game
      51s
    2. Viewing the FLA file
      2m 9s
    3. Creating the DragDrop and Map classes
      2m 51s
    4. Linking the draggable class to Library symbols
      2m 47s
    5. Adding drag-and-drop functionality
      3m 38s
    6. Saving and resetting an object's position
      3m 33s
    7. Giving a target drop object to the draggable objects
      13m 16s
    8. Showing a Win screen
      7m 3s
    9. Resetting the game
      8m 24s
  8. 29m 6s
    1. Loading bitmap images from the Library
      4m 6s
    2. Loading bitmap images from external files
      5m 22s
    3. Adding mouse functionality to bitmap images
      3m 31s
    4. Using a loop to load multiple images
      6m 14s
    5. Creating a simple slideshow
      8m 37s
    6. Using Flash Player 10 color management
      1m 16s
  9. 27m 13s
    1. Loading an external SWF
      4m 14s
    2. Running ActionScript code in an external SWF from its parent
      5m 30s
    3. Running parent code in a child SWF
      5m 7s
    4. Creating a timeline-based preloader to load an external SWF file
      5m 3s
    5. Displaying playback progress of a loaded SWF file
      7m 19s
  10. 40m 10s
    1. Creating plain text files
      2m 8s
    2. Loading text from an external text file
      6m 26s
    3. Loading multiple text files
      6m 43s
    4. Rendering simple HTML in a text field
      5m 51s
    5. Creating a scroll bar for a text field
      5m 29s
    6. Scrolling a text field
      4m 59s
    7. Scrolling movie clips and other objects using masks
      5m 42s
    8. Modifying TLF text properties through ActionScript
      2m 52s
  11. 23m 40s
    1. Reviewing XML and E4X syntax
      3m 29s
    2. Loading an XML file
      3m 26s
    3. Using dot syntax to access XML data
      4m 2s
    4. Using XML data to populate a DataGrid component
      7m 4s
    5. Using XML data to load image files
      5m 39s
  12. 23m 33s
    1. Loading audio from the Library
      1m 41s
    2. Loading audio from external files
      3m 41s
    3. Playing, pausing, and stopping sounds
      5m 39s
    4. Muting all audio with the SoundMixer.stopAll method
      1m 28s
    5. Tracking load progress
      2m 38s
    6. Displaying sound position
      5m 5s
    7. Adjusting volume
      3m 21s
  13. 19m 54s
    1. Touring the FLA file
      5m 57s
    2. Controlling video playing and pausing with ActionScript
      1m 56s
    3. Working with ActionScript cue points to add closed captioning
      3m 35s
    4. Displaying video playback position
      3m 44s
    5. Adjusting video volume
      4m 42s
  14. 5m 32s
    1. Using new code snippets for AIR and mobile
      1m 13s
    2. Viewing the new code snippets HUD
      1m 17s
    3. Loading assets with the new ProLoader class
      1m 8s
    4. Understanding Flash Player premium features
      1m 54s
  15. 16s
    1. Goodbye
      16s

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