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Flash and ActionScript are ideal for creating flexible, easily updatable web sites that are both unique in design and small in file size. In Creating a Portfolio Web Site Using Flash CS4 Professional, Adobe Certified Instructor Paul Trani shows how to exploit Flash to create a web site that showcases work to clients and prospective employers. Find out how to add dynamic navigation, animation, and video to a page, and how to load, sort and display XML that enables portfolio content to be updated without opening Flash. This course is designed to take your existing tweening skills and gotoAndPlay code and walk away with a fully functional Flash site. Exercise files accompany the course.
So as you are developing but before you complete your site, you want to give your site a quick review just to see how everything is functioning, and currently, it seems to be functioning pretty well. I can click on the About section and what I do see is this content actually comes up before the transition finishes. Not only that, if I click on video, it does get stuck sometimes. And what's going on there is Flash is trying to do too much at once. It's trying to move this big background and then it's trying to load in this video.
So I really want to have an orderly process for these transitions. So really, when the transition completes or the tween completes, that's when I want the content to load in. All right. So I have the index.fla file open and I am going to select that first frame there in the AS layer. I am going to open up my Actions panel and I am going to move this up a touch, and pin my code down there at the bottom, just by pressing that Pushpin. Now I can go ahead and take a look at this, because what's going on in is I have three tweens that are making this move and rotate, and I want these tweens to happen and then even finish before it loads into that particular section.
So I need to go ahead and implement a complete of the tween. So that's what I need to listen for. It's all about creating a new EventListener. I have my rotate tween. I am just going to copy that, Command+C, Command+V, because I want to listen for this tween variable. And I am going to add an EventListener to it. And what I am going to listen for is a TweenEvent, and I am going to listen for the MOTION_FINISH, so you can see all these various things, I can listen for.
I want to listen for the MOTION_FINISH. Select that, comma, and I can go ahead and type in donePlaying. That's going to be the function name that I am about to create. Okay, so the first thing I do before I even get into that function is I am going to make reference to this. I have this TweenEvent. Now this is actually a class that I need, so there is code that I need in order to make this work. So if I scroll up to the top, notice that I have imported tween, I have imported some easing, some other things, but I haven't imported that particular TweenEvent.
So I am going to type in import fl. transitions and I am going to type in TweenEvent. So I am telling Flash to go get all this code to make this MOTION_FINISH work. Now that that's done, I can create this donePlaying function. So function donePlaying, TweenEvent, the basic structure of a function, just like that.
Now I need to just move this sectionLoader.source right into this function. So I should have two curly braces down here. In fact, I'll remove that line. And again, what you are going to want to do anytime you add a function or add these curly braces is select the Autoformat button and it will line everything up. All right. It's looking pretty good. So when the rotation finishes, it's going to go ahead and fire off this donePlaying function. Let's do a Test Movie.
So if I click About, not until this rest into place, do I see this content. But let's take a look at the issue it brings up, because if I click another section, such as Video, that About content stays up until that Video content loads. So I need to remove content for a short period of time during this transition. So right up here in the same moveContent function below these trace statements, I need to go ahead and have a sectionLoader.source and I am going to make this equal to absolutely nothing.
So I'll just type a null. So this, all this is doing is kicking out anything that's in the sectionLoader, until the transition is done and then it will load in the appropriate content. So I am going to go to Control>Test Movie, in the About section, just like that, content loads in, if I click Video, this content should disappear, and sure enough, it does. So everything is working out pretty well.
This content loads in when the transition has finished. Notice it will also happen for the portfolio section. So again, establishing an order of priority for these transitions is really going to help the performance of your Flash website. And what I want to do next is even add some other transitions that are really going to bring my site to life. For instance, if I just replay this from the start, I'll just do a Test Movie, let's take a look at the background.
It just kind of appears. In fact, I see this flash of blue and then all of a sudden I'm hit with this pretty striking image. So I definitely want a smoother transition, as opposed to feeling like the user is getting slapped in the face, I am going to give it a little fade in. Okay, so right up here at the top, at least near the top, this is where I am loading in the random background, from one to ten. And I am just going to remove some of those line breaks, kind of nest everything together, because what I want to do is I want to load in that random image and once that image is loaded in, I want to go ahead and do a tween, just kind of like I am doing down here.
Okay, so again, it's going to be adding another EventListener. So you can see I'm really using EventListeners a lot here. I am going to type in background image and I am going to add an EventListener to this background, and I am going to listen for the Event.COMPLETE. So once the image is loaded in, once it's completed, I am going to type in fadeIn, because that's what I want to happen.
So that's going to be my function name, fadeIn, capital E for Event, just like that. Typical structure for a function and that's looking pretty good. So I'll even type in a comment. That's what I want to happen right here. When it's loaded, go ahead and fadeIn the image. So now that I have this function in place, I can go ahead and use a tween.
So I am going to use a similar tween to this. In fact, just to help me out, I am going to select this tween and I am going to copy it and paste it up here. Okay, so instead of myxTween, it's really going to be changing the Alpha. Alpha is the transparency of an item. So var myAlphaTween. Well, don't change the content_mc. Change the background mc. So I'll copy and paste that right in there, and alpha is the property I want to change, right down here, I don't want to refer to the position at all.
In fact, I want to refer to a number. I am going to start at zero. Zero means it's not visible at all. So it's 100% transparent. I want to go from totally transparent to opaque, which is 1. Now I might want varying degrees of transparency. So if I want this at about 80% and I kind of do because the background is pretty bright, well, I'll put .8 in there and that's the equivalent of doing 80%.
So that's looking pretty good. It is going to happen over the course of one second. So I am going to just click that gray bar to remove my Actions panel, nested up at the top. Another thing I want to do is I really don't want the background to be blue. What I need to do is just go ahead and change my Document properties. So I am going to Modify up to Documents and I am going to change the Background color because I always want this page to start on black.
So black is selected. I am going to select OK. Now if I expand open the Actions panel, that image is going to fade in as soon as the image gets loaded. So let's try this out. Test Movie. It fades in nice and smooth. I really like that. In fact, let's do it one more time. I can see it fade in. Now not only do you want to review and prioritize how your content gets loaded, you can also, obviously, add some very nice transitions to other content you'd like, such as the images in the portfolio section or maybe fade in the About section.
Either way, it really does add a nice professional look to your website.
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