This tutorial shows you how to fade several objects onto the Flash stage at once. You can use this technique in all versions of Flash, except that in versions of Flash prior to CS3, Classic Tweens are called Motion Tweens. The following video was done in CS4, but, again, the only difference between Flash versions is the change of tween names.

The following steps fade several objects onto the Stage at the same time. These instructions assume that all the objects you are animating are currently on the same layer. If you already have your symbols on separate layers, skip the steps for distributing the symbols to layers. For this procedure to work, all objects you animate must be symbols.

  1. SHIFT + click all the objects you want to animate.
  2. Right-click one of the selected objects and choose Distribute to Layers.
  3. Clear the frames on the new layers. Flash will insert new keyframes in the frame directly behind the last cleared frame on each layer.
  4. In the top layer of the group of layers you want to animate, click the animation end-point frame to select it, and then, on the bottom layer of the group of layers, SHIFT + click the animation end-point frame. This selects all the frames in the animations’ end-point columns.
  5. Right-click the selection and choose Insert Keyframe from the pop-up menu.
  6. Click the animation start-point keyframe on the top layer of the group to select it, and then click the Pasteboard to deselect the  symbol. (Deselecting the symbol here is necessary because, while Flash does select the symbol when you click the frame, the selection is not in the correct state to apply an Alpha affect. The purpose for clicking the start-point frame was to get us back to that frame.)
  7. SHIFT + click each of the symbols you want to animate to select them.
  8. In the Symbol Properties panel, under Color Effect, click the Style drop-down and choose Alpha.
  9. Set the Alpha percentage to 0.
  10. Click the end-point keyframe on the bottom layer to select it, and then SHIFT + click start-point keyframe on the top layer to select all the frames on all the layers you want to animate.
  11. Right-click the selection and choose Create Classic Tween from the pop-up menu.

Intricate stuff, huh? Your objects should now fade onto the Stage. I probably don’t need to point out here the necessity for precision. But I’ll do so anyway. It’s important that you follow these steps exactly. I suggest you watch the above video.

You can learn this and many other Flash techniques in William Harrel’s introduction and intermediate Flash courses over at Ed2Go.

William Harrel – www.williamharrel.com

Click here to go to ed2go

The long-awaited Intermediate Flash CS5 and Intermediate Flash Cs4 courses at ed2go.com will be launched at over 2,500 colleges and universities on June 15, 2011. This is the sequel to William Harrel’s immensely popular Introduction to CS4 and Introduction to CS5 courses offered by ed2go for the past two years. These courses expand on the introductory topics taught in Harrel’s highly instructional introductory courses. Students will take what they’ve learned in the intro courses to the next level, with advanced instruction in ActionScript, Motion Editor, Bone Tool, Deco Tool, and other Flash features–allowing them to take their Flash skills to a marketable level.

“These two new courses will bring my students up to a skill level that will allows them to market themselves in a variety of Flash design markets,” Harrel says. “It’s personally gratifying to help them reach this level of design skills.”

Harrel’s ed2go courses have been very well received by his students, as demonstrated in the following student comments:

“I really learned so much in this course and the instruction was excellent. Hope to see an intermediate course to CS4.”

“I found the course to be highly beneficial and Bill Harrel does an excellent job of presenting complex information in an understandable fashion. Bill also gets top marks for responsiveness regarding questions.”

“Fantastic course! I went from knowing nearly nothing in Flash to feeling pretty confident that I can put together simple Flash movies. The subject matter was well illustrated and explained, and I felt the instructor was patient and thorough in responding to questions and problems.”

For more information on these new courses, please visit ed2go.com


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Communications Technology Watch is pleased to announce that William Harrel has contracted with Ed2Go to create and instruct two intermediate-level Flash courses, Intermediate Flash CS5 and Intermediate Flash CS4. The upcoming courses are extensions of Harrel’s popular Introduction to Flash CS4 and Introduction to CS5, which are currently distributed through Ed2Go.com to nearly 2,500 colleges and universities. Hundreds of students have taken the CS4 course to date, and it continually receives high ratings from students. The CS5 course in nearing completion and will be released soon.

The new course will help students improve their Flash animation, design, 3D graphics, and ActionScript skills.

“We’ll look closely at Flash’s high-end design and graphics tools,” Harrel told us. “Especially, the Bone Tool, Motion Editor, and 3D tools. Oh yeah, and ActionScript 3.0–lots of ActionScript 3.0.”

As the courses develop and get closer to a launch date, we’ll keep you posted.

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Learn how to create inner popups using the UILoader component in Flash CS4. (This procedure is nearly identical in CS5.) Load any external SWF as a popup. Create as many popups as you need. Part 1 and Part 2 walk you through the entire process, from configuring the component to creating a close button movie clip, to scripting the popup.

Part 2 covers writing the ActionScripts and creating a Close button.

Learn this and other techniques in William Harrel’s Introduction to Adobe Flash CS4 (and soon to be released Introduction to Adobe Flash CS5) Course at Ed2Go.

Click here to download popups.fla.

William Harrel – williamharrel.com



Learn how to create inner popups using the UILoader component in Flash CS4. (This procedure is nearly identical in CS5.) Load any external SWF as a popup. Create as many popups as you need. Part 1 and Part 2 walk you through the entire process, from configuring the component to creating a close button movie clip, to scripting the popup. Part 1 covers preparing and setting up the UILoader component.

Best Viewed in HD Format.

Learn this and other techniques in William Harrel’s Introduction to Adobe Flash CS4, (and soon to be released Introduction to Adobe Flash CS5) Course at Ed2Go.

Click here to download popups.fla.

William Harrel – williamharrel.com



Best in HD format.

In Part 3 we look scripting the portfolio and saving it to a movie clip symbol.

Learn this and other techniques in William Harrel’s Introduction to Flash CS4 Course at Ed2Go.

Click here to download portfolio.fla.



Best in HD format.

In Part 2 we look at extending the basic portfolio structure, animation, tweens and instance names.

Learn this and other techniques in William Harrel’s Introduction to Flash CS4 Course at Ed2Go.

Click here to download portfolio.fla.



Best in HD format.

In Part one we look at laying out the basic portfolio structure.

Learn this and other techniques in William Harrel’s Introduction to Flash CS4 Course at Ed2Go.

Click here to download portfolio.fla.

Finally, after several months of painstaking writing, editing and rewriting, my Introduction to Adobe Flash CS4 is ready to go over at Ed2Go. Begin your career as a Flash designer! In this course, you’ll learn how to create animated, interactive movies in Flash CS4. Nowadays, Flash movies appear everywhere—the Internet, the cinema, TV shows and commercials, computer games—everywhere. The skills you’ll learn will get you started on your way to a lucrative career designing animated graphics and special effects for one of these fun and exciting fields.

During this course, we’ll create a full-blown Flash application, complete with animated text and graphics, and interactive buttons. We’ll start by going over the Flash workspace, creating text and graphics, and animating objects on the Flash movie stage. Then, we’ll look in detail at the anatomy of a Flash movie—how to use the Flash timeline, layers and frames to control objects and timing on the stage.

While you can create an entire movie in Flash, most often you’ll need to import graphics, sounds, and digital videos from other applications. While creating your first Flash movie, you’ll learn how to format and embed external digital media and how to make them appear or play at specific times. We’ll also look at controlling digital media based on specific events, such as end user mouse clicks.

No course on Flash is complete without an introduction to ActionScript, Flash’s powerful programming language. We’ll get our hands dirty, creating interactive buttons with ActionScript 3.0. You’ll also learn to write scripts that control movie flow, and scripts that call to and load external videos, Web pages, and other Flash movie files.

As we create our movie, we’ll go over creating and animating 3-D objects, syncing sounds with animations, and publishing your Flash movies to the Internet. By the end of the course, you’ll know how to create and publish Flash movies and applications, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a Flash designer.

Here a few links to some movies showing you the kinds of things you’ll learn in this course:

Here’s an example of the kinds of techniques you’ll learn during the course:

Again, the course is available on the Ed2Go network of schools, about 2500 colleges and universities, and the course carries full college credit. Check to see if your school offers the course or go to Ed2Go’s school list to find a course provider.

Hope to see you there.

William Harrel – www.williamharrel.com