Flash Professional CS5: Animation Projects
Illustration by John Hersey

Getting familiar with the workspace


From:

Flash Professional CS5: Animation Projects

with Paul Trani

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Video: Getting familiar with the workspace

Let's start out by creating our very first Flash file from the Start menu. So, here's the Start menu, and notice I can create a file from a template or even create a new file. And that's what I want to do. I want to create a new file that's an ActionScript 3.0 file. So, I'll just select ActionScript 3.0. Let's not worry about the fact that it says ActionScript 3.0 right now. This is basically a blank document. It's a Flash file, where all my graphics and animation will live. I could start drawing in here right away if I want to, but I want to adjust the workspace.
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Watch the Online Video Course Flash Professional CS5: Animation Projects
2h 31m Intermediate Sep 15, 2010

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In Flash Professional CS5: Animation Projects, Paul Trani shows how to create dynamic and visually rich animations in Flash Professional CS5. This course demonstrates how to create and import assets, and then take those assets and bring them to life with dynamic motion. It also shows how to create more unique and natural movement by adding special effects, 3D, masks, and even bones to animate characters. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Creating graphics and reusable assets
  • Importing graphics
  • Making an object move
  • Animating a mask
  • Using and customizing motion presets
  • Morphing shapes
  • Animating in 3D
  • Adding bones to a character
  • Controlling the Timeline with ActionScript
  • Randomizing content
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Flash Professional Illustrator
Author:
Paul Trani

Getting familiar with the workspace

Let's start out by creating our very first Flash file from the Start menu. So, here's the Start menu, and notice I can create a file from a template or even create a new file. And that's what I want to do. I want to create a new file that's an ActionScript 3.0 file. So, I'll just select ActionScript 3.0. Let's not worry about the fact that it says ActionScript 3.0 right now. This is basically a blank document. It's a Flash file, where all my graphics and animation will live. I could start drawing in here right away if I want to, but I want to adjust the workspace.

I'm going to do that by going to Window, down to Workspace, and currently it's set on Essentials, but I want to change this to Classic. If I change it to Classic, it puts the Tools panel on the left side, just like other Adobe programs. Then it gives me my Properties panel on the right-hand side. Now, if I want to move any panels, I can always click on that tab and click and drag out that appropriate panel that you might want to isolate.

I've dragged out this Library panel because I actually want to nest this Library panel right down here underneath the Properties panel, because I know I'm going to be using this panel a lot, as well as the Properties, and also the Timeline. All right, so that's set up pretty well. In fact, if I want to minimize any panel, I can just double-click in the gray bar there, and it'll minimize, because I want to focus on this Properties panel. From here, I'm actually able to resize the document. So, I'm going to click Edit, under Size, and I can go ahead and change the Dimensions.

Now, this is going to be for a web page I have created. Currently, there is just a static graphic there, and I'm going to replace it with Flash. But on this web page, I need my dimensions to be about 1,000 pixels wide by about 400 pixels tall. So, those are my dimensions. I'm also going to change the background color. So I'm going to click this white square here, and I'll just pick a green color for the background. I'll click OK. That's more appropriate. Now, if I want to resize, or navigate around inside of this document, what I can do is hold down the Spacebar and move around, just like that.

I can also resize this area by maybe selecting Fit in Window. Now I can see all of the content that will be drawn in here. So, everything looks good. This document is set up, so I'm just going to go ahead and save it. I'll just call this home, because this is for my homepage. Now, keep in mind, this is an FLA file, it's a Flash file. This is my source file for the animation I'm going to create. So I just want to hold on to this file. It's equivalent to say a PSD, if you're used to working in Photoshop. I'll click Save.

So, now my file is set up, and I can start to draw, or import any graphics, and do some animation, but I also want to point out that you can go to File > New, and if you click on the Templates tab, notice that there are templates in here as well. So, if you are doing any sort of animation for a banner, well then it's just a matter of selecting that size that you need to use and then click OK. All that really does is set up your stage.

Again, this is your document stage. It'll set up the stage size for that particular use. But again, I'm not making a banner, so I'll just go ahead and close that file, and come back to my home.fla. Now I'm ready to start to create some drawings in here.

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