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In Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training, author Todd Perkins explains the fundamentals of Flash Professional CS5, the industry standard for creating animations and interactive applications for the web, desktop, and mobile devices. This course starts with the basics, such as using the drawing tools to create simple animations, and progresses to automating animation with tweens and adding interactivity with ActionScript. This course also covers how to add sound and video to projects, enhance realism with effects like easing, and publish a project to a variety of platforms. Exercise files are included.
Once you start to build complex applications in Flash, you are going to be working a lot with multiple timelines. When you put an object inside of a symbol it get its own timeline, different from the main timeline or the main Stage. In this movie, we'll look at how to navigate through multiple timelines so that you can always know where you are and what you are editing. So, on the Stage here, I have a group. So, if I select what's on the Stage, you'll see group in the Properties panel. Note that I am in Scene 1 or the main timeline as you see at the top-left of the screen.
It says Scene 1. This top-left area is something you want to be checking often to know what you are editing. So, it says Scene 1 now. But if I double-click the group on the Stage, then it will say Group to the right of Scene 1. So, Flash is telling me I am editing a group that's inside of Scene 1. Now, if I select one of the flowers, you will see that I have different symbol instances on the Stage. You can tell that they are graphic symbols once you select them and look in the Properties panel.
So, it says Graphic and it says instance of Flower2. I am going to explain the difference between symbols and instances in another movie. But for now just know we have three distinct instances on the Stage and they are inside of that group. Now, if I double-click any one of these flowers, you'll see that it says the name of the flower to the right of the group. Flash is telling me I am editing Flower2, which is inside of a group, which is inside of Scene 1 or the main timeline.
I can return to the group or Scene 1 by clicking their name at the top of the screen. So, I can click Group to go back editing the group, or I can click Scene 1 to return to the main timeline. I am going to double-click the flowers to go back into the group. Then I am going to double-click another symbol to enter its timeline. So, now it's saying I am editing Flower5. Note that you are always editing the object furthest to the right. So, Flash is displaying its hierarchy as it goes to the right. If you want to step backwards through the hierarchy, you can press the Back button all the way at the left of Scene 1.
So I can step back into the group and then to the main timeline. Understanding multiple timelines is essential to working in Flash. So I recommend practicing double- clicking on objects and getting yourself lost in multiple timelines and trying to navigate back to the main timeline. As you do that, you will get a better understanding of how Flash works and you'll feel more comfortable navigating through the files that you create.
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