Planning and Design of Flash Applications

  • The Properties panel/Property inspector enables a user to access various attributes of whatever is currently selected on the stage or in the Timeline.
  • The DynamicHeapSize capability specifies the amount of dynamic memory that is allocated to Flash Lite.
  • The Align panel controls the space between the objects and the size of the objects in respect of each other.
  • The Distribute area of the Align panel spaces the objects according to a common reference point of top, middle or bottom.
  • Motion guide layers are special layers that enable a user to draw paths along which the objects can be animated.
  • A mask layer is a special layer that is used to hide certain areas of underlying linked layers.
  • A guide layer helps to align objects.
  • To create a guide, take the cursor to the horizontal or vertical ruler and drag into the image.
  • Flash provides various ways to optimize a Flash document: using preloader, loadMovie action, and symbol.
  • The View > Quality submenu of the Flash player controls the visual appearance of graphics within the Flash movie.
  • Flash prints the frames labeled as #p and skips the frames that do not contain the label.
  • Raster graphics are resolution-dependent, so they lose details, when scaled.
  • The Color Swatches panel stores colors of a Flash file. It also enables a user to store custom colors.
  • The Color Swatches panel stores colors. It is used to import, export, and modify the color palette of a Flash file.
  • The Color Mixer panel is used to customize colors and gradients.
  • The Radial option of the Type drop-down menu in the Color Mixer panel produces a gradient that blends colors in a circular pattern from a central focal point to outward.
  • The Alpha option in the Color Mixer dialog box sets the opacity of a fill.
  • The Overflow menu in the Color Mixer panel has three different overflows modes: extend, reflect, and repeat.
  • Contrast determines the difference between the darkest and lightest areas of an object.
  • The Punch command (Modify > Combine Objects > Punch) enables a user to remove overlapped portions of the selected objects by the uppermost selected object.
  • The Object Drawing model allows a user to draw overlapping shapes without combining them into a single object.
  • The Merge Drawing model automatically merges shapes into a single object when overlaid.
  • Flash imports FreeHand files (version 7 or later) directly. It allows a user to import a file that contains a set of overlapping objects and preserve each object as a separate object.
  • When a FreeHand (or illustrator) file that contains a gradient fill with more than eight colors is imported, Flash adds clipping paths to simulate the gradient fill.
  • Flash enables a user to import FreeHand files that contain blends.
  • When a FreeHand file with placed grayscale images is imported into Flash, the grayscale images are converted into RGB images.
  • The resolution of the image is inversely proportional to the size of the image.
  • Device fonts are special fonts that can be used in Flash for both static and dynamic text. These fonts are not embedded in a Flash file.
  • Embedded fonts are fonts that can be used for both dynamic and input text fields. These fonts are stored in a SWF file.
  • The leading property specifies the amount of space between lines of text.
  • Kerning refers to the space between pairs of letters.
  • There are three primary types of text that can be added to a document: static Text, input text, and dynamic text.
  • Dynamic text is used to display text, which can be manipulated by ActionScript during runtime.
  • A symbol is an object that a user creates once and reuses it throughout a Flash file. Symbols can be of three types: graphic, button, or movie clip.
  • The Hit state of a button defines the area that responds to the mouse click.
  • The array access ([]) operator can be used to dynamically set and retrieve a property of an object.
  • ComboBox component is a standard HTML drop-down, scrollable list.

Creating Flash 8 Applications

  • The _alpha property is used to set or retrieve the transparency of buttons and movie clips while the movie plays.
  • The _visible property is used to set visibility of a button/movie clip. The property uses boolean values.
  • The _parent alias refers to the movie clip instance one level up in the path.
  • An identifier can be of two or more words that either concatenated or separated by an underscore.
  • The SharedObject class allows data to be read and stored on a user’s computer.
  • The concat function is used to create a new string by joining two or more strings.
  • The charAt function returns the character of a string in the position specified by the parameter index.
  • The incremental variable is used within a function block of a loop statement to increment the value of a variable by one. This ends the loop statement at the point where condition is fulfilled. Without this increment, the loop falls into an infinity loop and therefore, processor power of your computer can be affected.
  • The increment operator is a unary operator.
  • The pre-increment operator (expression) adds 1 to the expression and returns the resultant value to the expression.
  • All the arrays are zero-based that means the arrays start counting at 0.
  • The conditional expression is a decision-making statement that is used to execute a statement or a group of statements based on some conditions.
  • The while loop is used to run a statement or a series of statements as long as a condition remains true.
  • The for loop is used to execute a statement or a series of statements inside the loop as long as a particular condition remains true.
  • The if-else statement is a conditional statement that is used to execute a statement or group of statements based on some conditions.
  • The if-else statement returns a boolean value true or false. When the condition is true, the if block executes otherwise, the else (optional) block executes.
  • The switch statement compares an expression with cases, and if any case returns true, the associated statements run.
  • The break statement stops the execution of the switch statement after the execution of a case statement.
  • The continue statement forces to skip the rest of the statements and jumps to where the condition is tested.
  • The dot notation is used to associate a property or a method with an object.
  • The lastIndexOf method searches a string for a character or a group of characters from the last character of the string and returns its index.
  • The indexOf method searches a string for a character or a group of characters from the first character of the string.
  • The escape method is used to convert the ASCII value of a non-alphanumeric character to its equivalent hexadecimal value preceded by a percent sign.
  • The Math.pow method is used to evaluate and return a number to the power of another number.
  • The attachMovie method places an instance of a movie clip from the Library into the specified timeline.
  • The parseFloat() method is used to convert a number in string to a floating-point decimal equivalent.
  • The push method adds elements to the end of an array.
  • The join method is used to convert all the elements in an array to one string, and to place it in a variable.
  • Functions can be considered as sub-programs that are defined to perform different actions.
  • A function created by a user is known as user-defined function.
  • The function block starts with the function keyword followed by a function and parenthesis.
  • Arguments are passed within the parenthesis of a function. The function can return values to the calling function through the arguments.
  • Events are used to trigger a function or method invoked on an object.
  • The functions are invoked on an object by the event handlers associated with the object.
  • The isNaN function is used to test whether or not an expression is a number.
  • The setInterval function calls a function, method, or object at periodic intervals while a movie plays.
  • The parseInt() and parseFloat() functions are used to convert a number in string format to a numeric format.
  • A variable is a named space in the memory that is used to store different types of values, which may be a string, number, date, etc.
  • The gotoAndStop action sends the playhead directly to the specified frame of the specified scene and stops playing the movie.
  • In the getURL action, the window parameter can use “”_blank”” to create a new browser window and load the URL into it.
  • The stop action stops the currently playing movie.
  • The onRelease event handler is used outside a button’s ActionScript to execute a function when clicked the button.
  • Parameters can be used in a function so that the function can be adjusted for different situations.
  • The extends statement is used to define a class that inherits methods and properties from a superclass.
  • An operator is a symbol that combines items, which can be variables, target paths, strings, numbers, Booleans, etc.
  • Operators are responsible for assigning or comparing the values.
  • The increment (++) operator is used to increment the value of a variable by one.
  • The *= operator is used to multiply the value of left hand side variable with the right hand side variable and store the product in the left hand side variable.
  • The != operator is used to check the inequality for a given comparison.
  • The add by value operator(+=) is used to add the value of a left hand side variable with the right hand side variable. The sum is stored in the left hand side variable.
  • The comparison operators are used to compare the values of two or more variables or expressions.
  • The comparison operators return boolean values.
  • The || operator does not executes if the two given conditions are false.
  • The equal to (=) operator is used to assign a value to a variable.
  • The modulo operator is used to find out the remainder after a division has been completed.
  • The typeof operator is used to retrieve the type of data assigned to a variable.
  • The delete operator removes the elements from an array.
  • The delete operator sets the element as undefined.
  • The not equal to (!=) operator is a comparison operator. This operator is used to test the inequality of two operands and the result value is boolean.
  • The /*…*/ is used to give multiline comments in a script.
  • The Onion Skin option located at the bottom of the Timeline panel is used to see a number of frames on the Stage at a time.
  • Shape tweening enables a user to change one object to another.
  • Motion tweening enables a user to change the properties such as position, size, and rotation of an instance, group, or text block with respect of time.
  • Motion tweening works only on the graphics and symbols whereas shape tweening works only on editable shapes.
  • In frame-by-frame animation, every frame within the animation is a keyframe, each with a slightly different object.
  • The Ease field of the Frame Property Inspector is used to control the speed of an animation.

Integration, Testing and Deployment

  • Publishing is the way to export a Flash file in several formats in one step.
  • The drawback of saving a flash movie with the .fla extension is that the movie can be viewed only on Flash and it can be manipulated using Flash.
  • The SWF files can contain animations.
  • Sound formats are supported by Flash.
  • WAV format is used to save sound.
  • AVI format is a standard video format in which video is captured on Windows.
  • The external library of sounds can be created by loading the sounds into one Flash document (.fla) and saving the file in the Libraries folder within the Configuration folder for Flash 8.
  • The File > Import > Open External Library command enables a user to access elements stored in a Library of any other Flash document without opening the .fla file in the Document window.

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