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Mordy Golding demonstrates how to be more productive, efficient, and creative by taking advantage of Adobe Illustrator to create pixel-perfect web graphics and interactive Flash content. Illustrator CS4 for the Web investigates the pros and cons of pixel- and vector-based web graphics, demonstrates efficient workflows, and explores the creative options available in Illustrator. Mordy also covers design techniques, such as creating typography that works well on screen, adding reflections, and making Flash animations. He discusses new Illustrator CS4 features, including using multiple artboards, bringing art into Dreamweaver, and utilizing Flash Catalyst. Exercise files accompany the course.
In the Adobe Flash Professional application, when you define a symbol, you can choose between three different types of symbols. There is a graphic symbol, a movie clip symbol, and a button symbol. Now in Illustrator, you can create a graphic or a movie clip symbol but not a button symbol, and that's simply because Illustrator itself has no way to define the states that exist within a button. However, let's explore the other two types of symbols that you can create here inside of Illustrator, graphic symbols and movie clips. So I will click on the Groundswell symbol right over here, and then from the Symbols panel, I will click on this button here, which allows me to choose the Options for that symbol. This may look familiar; it's the exact same dialog that appears when you first define a symbol. Now there's another over here where it says Type. You can choose between Graphic and Movie Clip.
A graphic symbol is simply a symbol that exists as a flat static graphic. The main benefit that you derive from defining a graphic symbol is that you can repeat that symbol many, many times throughout your artwork, and your file size is reduced. However, if you want to add any kind of interactivity, you need to define a movie clip symbol. In fact, most of the symbols that Flash Developers use are going to be movie clips. The main difference between a graphic symbol and a movie clip symbol is that a graphic symbol basically exists as a single graphic on the overall timeline, but a movie clip symbol has its own timeline embedded inside of it.
What does that mean? Well, let me give an illustration. Say you wanted to create this animation of a bird flying to the sky. Well, if you had a graphic symbol, you could make the bird fly from the left to the right side of your screen. But if you define a movie clip symbol, you can define a bird that flaps its wings, and that particular animation of the bird flapping its wings is all embedded inside of the movie clip itself. So in that regard, when you make the same bird fly from the left to the right side of your screen, the bird will be flapping its wings as it does show. Graphic symbols can do that, but movie clip symbols can't. But there is one point overall that's even more important than all of this.
No matter what type of symbol that you choose here inside of Illustrator, the difference is only what happens inside a Flash. However, with regards to using Illustrator itself, there is no difference to a graphic or a movie clip symbol. In fact, the symbol type alone means nothing at all when you are inside of Illustrator. It only takes effect once you bring this artwork into the Flash application.
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