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

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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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Ultra modern new medical Website

February 4, 2011: We are pleased to announce the debut of the totally redesigned SpineCenter.com, home of Dr. Chiu and the California Spine Institute and Medical Center. SpineCenter.com was our first Website design project. We had limited skills and limited technology at our disposal. Still, we thought it was one most beautiful and most technologically advanced Websites of the day. But then the Web was so new then that everybody was awed and really didn’t notice how garish and fundamentally simple our Websites were. The new SpineCenter.com is about 80 percent Flash. It’s loaded with dynamic and entertaining special effects, has hours of digital videos describing and depicting the Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery procedure, photo galleries, presentations–you name it. And it’s all arranged so that everybody–visiting medical professionals, potential patients or students–can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. This new site is the culmination of all we’ve learned after over 20 years of design.

High quality streaming video, including surgery in action.

High quality streaming video, including surgery in action.

BThe new site is a completely scripted AS3 and XML modular Flash design, complementing CSI’s ultra-modern Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery (MISS)  and physical rehabilitation center, located in Thousand Oaks, California. Dr. Chiu is the primary developer of the Micro-Discectomy and Laser Thermodiskoplasty MISS procedures for eliminating pain from herniated spinal discs.

The new site is resplendent with content on spine surgery, MISS and Medical Laser technology–complete with videos, presentations, research and other information designed for medical professionals and the general public. It branches at the home page to accommodate professionals looking for technology solutions and providers and non-professionals looking for alternatives to conventional “open back” surgery.

“We have been tacking on new information almost weekly for many years,” says Dr. Chiu. “It has become a huge maze of mismatched designs [reflecting the styles of the several different designers employed to update it] and outdated material mixed in with the new, pertinent data.” It’s time to bring it all together in a format where users can find what they need without hunting and pecking.” Dr. Chiu added that he is excited about the work so far and eager to get it up and running.

The site is now in service. Feel free to go take a look: You can find it here: www.spinecenter.com

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Introduction to Flash Course at ed2go

The much anticipated launch of William Harrel’s Introduction to Flash CS5 was announced at over 2500 colleges and universities this last Monday, January 11th, 2011. The wait is finally over.  Hundreds of students have taken Harrel’s tremendously successful Introduction to Adobe Flash CS4 course and they continuously rave about how well -written the course is and how much about the program they learn in six short weeks. “The new CS5 course,” Harrel says, “is even better. While I have taught digital design in several traditional classroom settings, Flash CS4 was my first online course. The CS5 course incorporates what I learned the first time out and the valuable feedback from students.”

Typical Student Review

“I have enjoyed taking this class and learning how to use the Adobe Flash program. I plan to practice the skills I have learned in the Introduction Class, then sign up for the Intermediate Class. I also liked the online learning, so I could access and complete my work when I had time. The lessons were well written, not easy by any means, but thought provoking. I had to really think through the instructions and redo until I got it right. Thank you for the opportunity to learn Flash.”

Find a School Near You

Exciting new CS5 features, such as Code Snippets and TLF Text are covered in the CS5 course. Interested students should check with their school.  To find a school near you offering Introduction to Flash CS5, click here.  To find a school offering Introduction to Adobe Flash CS4, click here.

Intermediate Courses Offered Now

Look for Harrel’s Intermediate Flash CS5 and CS4 were released in Spring, 2011. Here is a short course description:

It’s time to take your Flash design skills to the next level! In this course you’ll learn how to use Movie Clip symbols to create movies inside movies, and how to use ActionScript to control Movie Clips and the objects inside them. Then, we’ll go over how to use external ActionScript class files to draw and animate graphics dynamically. Then, we’ll look into how to load and format external content, such as text and images, on the fly—techniques for keeping your lengthy SWFs lean, mean and responsive. This course is full of ActionScript examples for performing all kinds of animation and special effects. You’ll also learn how to use ActionScript to create Flash applications that make decisions based on user input. The course is not all programming, though; we’ll also get into sophisticated Motion Editor, Bone tool, Spray Brush tool and other animation and special effects techniques.

To find a school near you offering Intermediate Flash CS5, click here. To find a school near you offering Intermediate Flash CS4, click here.

Note: If either of the above links take you to a course catalog, rather than a course description and a school near you, the course has not been published yet. Please check back in a week or so. The CS5 course is slated for mid-Spring.

William Harrel – www.williamharrel.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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Best Viewed in HD Format

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

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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 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

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