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In Flash Catalyst CS5 Essential Training, author Mordy Golding demonstrates how to create and publish fully interactive Flash (SWF) micro sites, widgets, portfolios, and applications from static Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks artwork—all without writing code. The course covers planning a project, importing and organizing assets, creating interactive components, defining repeating data lists, and publishing final projects. Exercise files are included with the course.
So we know that in our Flash Catalyst projects, we have something called Interactions. This allows us to define how we move or navigate from one page to another. We also know that the process of moving from one page to another is called the Transition, and that we control Transitions using the Timelines panel. Well, let's talk about getting professional results by creating something called Smooth Transitions. I'm starting off in this project here. It's called olive_tour_transitions and I haven't defined any interactions yet.
We have all of our pages here and I want to make it so that when I click on these buttons, it will actually load or move me to a different page. So I'll click on the first button here and let's go to the Interactions panel and add an interaction. On click, I want to Play Transition to State and I'm going to choose the Growing state. Now I'll click OK. So for this button On Click, I'm going to Play Transition to Growing. Now let's make the other buttons functional as well. I'll click on the second button.
Add Interaction, On Click, Play Transition to the Picking state and then click OK. The third button should take me to the Extracting state, so I'll specify that right here. I'll do the same for the Bottling button and also for the Tasting button as well. Finally, there is one more button that I also want to add, which is when I'm in any of the pages for example, right now the Growing page, there's a button over here that I want to take me back or return me to the MainView page.
So I'm going to click on that object right here. I'm going to choose to Add an Interaction and On Click, I want to return back to the MainView state. I'll click OK to apply that. So let's go back here to the MainView page and let's see how this looks now and how this works in my web browser. I'll press Ctrl+Enter or Command+ Return on a Mac to run this project in my browser, so I can see how it works. I can click on this button and notice now I'm taken to the Growing page. If I want to return back to the main page, I can click on this button down here, to return me back to the main MapView page.
Likewise, any of the other buttons here, for example this one, this one, this one, and this one, take me to their respective pages. The project that I've created is functional. It works but notice that when you click on different pages it just instantly snaps to the next page. There is no Smooth Transition. The elements don't slide or move gracefully as they move from one page to the next. In order to make that happen, we're going to use the Smooth Transitions feature inside of Flash Catalyst.
So let's go back now to Flash Catalyst, and we're going to take a look now at our Timelines panel. Remember the Timelines panel shows you one interaction at a time. So I'm going to select the first one here: MainView to Growing. This is what happens when I click on that first button and I move from the MainView page to the Growing page. Basically, the page itself says the same. The map and the buttons all appear in the background. However, on the Growing page two things appear. First of all, I have a layer called Screen which contains that black background.
And I have a layer called Growing which contains the image and the text for that page. However, if you look at the middle part of my timeline, you'll see that Flash Catalyst automatically fades in both of those elements. Since these elements do not appear at all on the MainView page, they fade in as the Growing page loads. However, the Fade In happens instantly. That's because there's no duration here. See how it says 0 seconds. This means it's almost like a light switch. It's off and then suddenly you flick it and it's on.
If I want those elements to fade in gracefully, I would want to add some kind of duration. I want it to take a certain amount of time to go from zero appearance to full appearance. So what I can do is simply come down to bottom of the Timelines panel and click on this button called Smooth Transition. By clicking on it, you can see now that Flash Catalyst automatically added a duration to that Fade In effect. Right now in the MainView page, I don't see the Growing or the Screen layers at all but as I go from the MainView page to the Growing page, these two elements will take a half of a second to Fade In.
I can preview this right here on my artboard by clicking on the Play button, and notice now that instead of simply appearing, the elements themselves slowly fade in. If I would like this Fade effect to happen a little bit more slowly, I can just come here to the Timelines panel, click on this one Fade In effect and click and drag on the end to extend the duration. Notice now I'm extending it so that now it takes a full second for that to appear. If I Play this now, you can see how it fades in that much more slowly. Now it's important to realize that I've specified this Smooth Transition only for this one transition from the MainView page to the Growing page.
If I want this same effect to happen now, when I go from the MainView page to the Picking page, in other words, when someone clicks on that second button, I would need to select that now in the timeline and add the Smooth Transition here as well. If I know I wanted to take one second, I don't have to manually drag those sliders. I can click on this little pop-up over here, next to the Smooth Transition button and change the Duration here to 1 second. Now when I click OK, I get the full one second transition. I'd now have to add those for the remaining buttons from MainView to Extracting.
Click on the Smooth Transition button. Come down to the MainView > Bottling and the MainView > Tasting transition as well. Unfortunately, there is no way to select multiple transitions and apply this one setting to them all. You have to actually go through each of the transitions individually. Now I may want to specify Smooth Transitions in the reverse as well, meaning what happens when I'm in one of these other pages, for example from Growing, and I want to go back now to the MainView page? Well, I'd want that to be smooth as well.
So once again, I'm going to select the Growing to MainView transition and turn on Smooth Transition for there as well. In fact, I'd probably want to do it for all these transitions here. So I'll start over here, I just simply click on them and choose to add the Smooth Transitions. Knowing that you might do this often, you can see that if I choose a Transition here in my Timelines, for example going from Growing to Bottling, I can go to the Timelines panel and choose Smooth Transition here as a menu item. The keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+Alt+ T or Command+Option+T on the Mac.
That means I can simply come down here and click on something and use the keyboard shortcut to apply that Smooth Transition. So I'll quickly add them here as well by using the keyboard shortcut command. So I've added them here just for the first few pages. Let's see how that actually works now inside of the web browser. So I'll choose File > Run Project. Notice that now when I click on this first button, the Growing page fades in. The same thing happens when I close this page.
It fades back to the Map page and if I click on the second button here, the Picking page fades in and when I switch to the Growing page, that transitions nicely as well. So all we've done here is we've used this feature called Smooth Transition in Flash Catalyst to make this happen. What's really happening is that instead of moving from one state to the next, I've simply added the concept of time, a duration and Flash Catalyst automatically figured out what to fade in and what to fade out. However, there are many other effects besides fading that you can apply in your projects.
We'll start to explore those in the next movie.
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