ok… since this doesn’t look like it’s going to be done by then… I’ll try to answer you here.
A) the balloons: Flash has three native objects which it understands. Movie Clips, Graphics, and Buttons. Graphics are not what you would think, as we are accustomed to calling just about anything a graphic. Instead a graphic in Flash, is something which has been designated as such. When you create any of these three items, they are stored in the library of your movie, and can then be used again and again, as many times as you like, without adding any file size to the movie. Flash really likes reusing things.
Creating the first balloon:
- create an oblong circle.
- in the same layer, but away from that circle, create a small triangle using the line tools. Fill in the triangle with the same fill that you used in the circle in step 1.
- select the whole triangle and drag it so that it sits on the bottem of the oval, where ever you think looks correct.
- select the line, which is now out of place on the top of the triangle, and delete it. The fill of the circle and the triangle should now be attached together. You can check it by clicking on the fill. If you see the entire thing selected, including the triangular section, then you know that no strokes are in the way. You can, using the black arrow tool, move the point of the triangle, and or bend the sides of the triangle, to make a more balloon like effect.
- using the black arrow tool make a selection which encompasses the entire circle and triangle.
- hit F8 (apple 8 on the Mac) a dialogue box will open which lets you select one of the three Flash native objects. Select “graphic” and name it “balloon1”.
If you open your library, you can now see the graphic object balloon1 sitting there. That is the origional. You can use the one on stage as is, or scale it to a different size, without effecting this origional. You can also drag multiple “instances” of this object onto the stage, and scale each independently without effecting the others, including reversing it so that the triangle is facing the opposite direction. “instances” of objects are a beutiful thing. You can use hundreds of instances of this balloon and it will add 0 k to the final swf file. Like I said, Flash likes to reuse stuff.
You will probebly have to make a couple different balloons still, as this one is not going to fit every space you need, but after making a few, you’ll probebly find that you have enough for most situations.
I actually have an FLA somewhere on my hard drive that just includes various word balloons that I’ve created. When I need one, I use the menu option “file/open as library” on this FLA, and then I drag and drop what ever balloon I need into what ever I happen to be working on. It’s good practice to start making libraries for yourself this way, either of scripts, or objects that you may use over and over again in various productions. Why do twice what you’ve already done… (flash likes to reuse objects, )
B) movie clips: If you were paying attention, you’d have noticed that when you hit F8, in the dialogue box, there was an option for movie clip. In fact, you could have made the balloon a movie clip and it would have had very little effect on the outcome, but graphics have less properties associated with them, so for processor speed… you want to use graphics instead of movie clips where ever possible.
Why use movie clip at all? Well, movie clips are the meat and potatoes of Flash. They are independent time lines encapsulated within an object.
better that I explain with an example.
Open a new movie for this. (it’ll just be easier this way.)
create a circle on the stage, and then using the line tool, make a line from left to right, and from top to bottem, disecting the circle.
you should have a circle with a cross in the middle.
select the whole thing and press F8. In the dialogue box that opens, select Movie Clip, and give it the name “ballRotating”.
You will see, as soon as you do that, that there is a blue bounding box around the object. If you open the “instance” panel, with this object selected, you will see that the instance panel reflects this, by showing the name of the object, and the Movie clip symbol.
Double click on the movie clip. If you’ve done so correctly, you can see, in the upper left hand corner of your timeline, that there are two tabs. The first says “Scene1” and the second says “ballRotating”. You are now editing this movie clip in relation to the stage… it is a very handy way of editing, as you can see how the object will relate to other things on the stage. The timeline that you see, is no longer the main timeline, but the timeline of the movie clip itself. It has one frame, and one layer, and you can see the first frame is filled in with grey, and a black dot.
4a) select this frame, and use menu option “Insert/Create motion tween”. Select frame 20, and use menu option “Insert/KeyFrame”. You’ll see the the second keyFrame apear, and the tweening blue with the arrow, pointing from frame one to frame twenty.
4b) select frame one again. Open up your “frame” panel and there will be some new options there. Select rotate clockwise, and enter “1” time into the feild there.
now if you grab the play head on the timeline and pull it back and forth you should see the ball rotate (this is why I had you place the lines in an “x” pattern on the circle so that you could see it rotate.)
4c) locate those tabs in the upper left of the timeline and click once on the tab called “Scene1”. You’re tweening frames disapear from the timeline and the tab called “ballRotating” disapears. You’re now back on the main timeline.
if you do a test movie at this time, you’ll see the ball rotate. Even though there is only one frame on the main timeline, because the ball’s timeline is separate from the main timeline, it plays independently of what ever is going on on the main timeline.
- Select the ballRotating movie clip, if it is not already selected and hit F8 again. In the dialogue box that opens, select Movie Clip, and give it a name of “ballUpNDown”.
5b) Double click on the ball to open it’s timeline again. Now the tabs in the upper left corner of the timeline should say from left to right, “Scene1” and “ballUpNDown” respectively. but there is no tween on the timeline.
5c) Click on frame 1 and use menu option “Insert/Create motion tween.” Select frame 20 and use menu option “Insert/Key frame”. Select frame 10, and use menu option “Insert/Key frame”. With frame 10 selected grab the ball and drag it up to the top of the stage.
if you grab the play head on the timeline now, and move it back and forth, you should see the ball move up and down.
do a test movie. What you should see is that the ball moves up and down, and rotates. That’s because you took the first movie clip called ballRotating and placed it inside another movie clip called ballUpNDown. Both timelines are working independent of each other.
I’ll wirte more in a minute