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The Interactive Layout Space is new to QuarkXPress 8, although it was available as an optional extension for QuarkXPress 7. With it, you can create Flash animations of remarkable complexity and interest. The main ways you might use it are to create banner ads or websites or to create presentations that you can show clients or display on kiosks. One of the reasons this is so valuable in QuarkXPress is that you can take an existing layout and add animations to the page items. You can also share content between your print layouts and your interactive layouts so that when they update in one place, they also update in the other.
To do that, all you need is to have the layout space open as it is here and then choose Layout > Duplicate, give it a name and then choose not Print but the Interactive layout type. The defaults are just fine for what we are about to do here, so I'll click OK and now we'll see that the ad layout here is being duplicated over here. Let's say on this layout that what we want to do is take this frog picture here and have it appear at the bottom at first and then move up into its current location.
All the interactive controls are in the Interactive palette available here under the Window menu. Adding interactivity to an item on a QuarkXPress page requires three steps. You name the item, you give it something to do and then you tell it when to do it. In this case, I'm going to create a path for the frog to follow and to do that I'll just use the Line tool in the QuarkXPress. I'll click down at the bottom and drag up to where I want the picture to end up. I give that line a name, we'll call it FrogDogPath and it's a Basic type. That's fine.
But under Options, we'll say we want it Initially Hidden. That way, it won't show up when we export this as Flash. Next, we'll select the FrogDog picture and give it a name, say FrogDog. But its type is going to be an Animation and the animation is going to be an item on a path. Notice how the Interactive palette is smart enough to expand and contract depending on what it is we've just done and in fact, it predicts the most common things that you're about to do because in most cases, you will probably want to do an item on a path.
So let's select the path now. FrogDogPath. Under Options we'll tell it we'd like it to Loop. I'll go ahead and enable this Click to Play/Pause Checkbox. I'll give it a speed, how long I want it to take to get from one place to the other, say 5 seconds. I don't needed to play a sound but it could. I'll go to the Start, Point and Direction, and say I would like you to start at the bottom and go to the top. Say OK. Now that we have defined our path and we have defined our item to move along the path, now we need to tell it when we want that to happen.
I'll click on the Events tab. For an Event, we'll choose Double-click. That way when someone double-clicks on it, it moves. Then we choose an Action. We want an Animation to play and we want the Animation to be FrogDog. Now, let's watch the animation in the actual Flash file. At the bottom of the Project window, you see this little icon here and it's a button to preview your SWF file or your Flash file. That fast, it created our Flash document. We see our little picture at the bottom, and when we click on them, he moves up into place.
Because we set them to loop, he keeps moving. With a click, he pauses. Now that's an extremely simple animation. Now, I have prepared a more robust interactive layout and it's here under this tab. This Interactive layout has five different pages. Let me zoom out, so you can see the whole thing. Here's our first page. Another page that will pop-up as things happen in the animation and a page to store our video.
If we go back to our first page, we can then look at the Interactive palette and see as we click on things, how they are set up. I encourage you to look through and see what all these different things are. But right now, let's just preview this and see what it looks like. I'll click the button again down here and here we have our Flash animation. (Woof! Dog barks.) The detail of the hat pops up when I click on it. I can close it here.
The Navigation bar at the bottom as rollovers and on the left side, if we click this, we have a place we can watch a video. I'll click on the Home button to get back to our original layout. Notice how it fades in beautifully and we are back where we started. Let's switch back to QuarkXPress and look at our layout again. One of the beautiful things about being able to use QuarkXPress to make these Flash files is that you can use all the tools that you already know how to use to control all your typography, create drop shadows, transparent objects and even include Asian typography, if you need to.
You can use master pages to store the items that are going to be on several of your other document pages and every other feature in QuarkXPress. To me, that's a beautiful way to make a Flash animation.
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