The Control Bar For Flash 6
In Three (or Four) Easy Steps
Set up the Control Bar File
1. Open the Flash file mainStory.fla (if you don’t have this file, download it now). This is your template to use as often as you like. Make a copy of it. (If it asks you to substitute fonts, do so.) Name that copy a version of the movie clip that you’ve finished editing. (If your movie clip is story.fla, you could name this storyend, for example.)
- Check the size and background color of the Stage in the template storyend. If this is not the size and background color that’s on your movie, change it to match yours. If you want to stick with the size that you see, skip to Step 8.
Change the Size of the Stage and Gray Bar
3. So, say we’re going to change the Stage size to 600 x 400 pixels to match the story.fla file, and change the background color to blue. Click on the Stage, and in the Property Inspector, change the pixels to 600 x 400, and the color to ice blue.
- If you change the size of the Stage, you’ll have to change the size of the graybar to match the size of the movie, and you will probably have to change its position on the Stage. (The graybar layer is in the Interface folder layer. As it is now, it moves from below the Stage to sit on the bottom of the Stage. (Hide the other layers and watch it by playing the movie.)
- So, click on the first keyframe in the “graybar” layer, and the graybar is highlighted in blue on the Stage. Make sure your arrow tool is selected, change the dimensions to 600 x 20 pixels in the Info window, and move the gray bar so that the top of it touches the bottom of the blue Stage.
- In the second keyframe on the graybar layer, make sure the arrow is selected in your toolbar and the gray bar is outlined in blue, and change the dimensions to 600 x 20 pixels in the Info box. Then move the gray bar so that its bottom edge rests on the blue Stage’s bottom edge. Voila! Play the movie to see that the gray bar now moves onto the blue Stage. Don’t worry about the big red window that pops up. We’re going to fix that next.
- Follow the same procedure to move the scrubber bar (the control buttons themselves) onto the graybar and the preloader onto the Stage. (Just move them – you won’t have to resize them.)
Turn Your Movie into a Symbol
8. Open the movie that you’ve finished editing. You’re going to turn it into a symbol – a movie clip symbol, and drop it in place of that big red window that popped up.
- First, make sure that the Library windows for both movie clips are open and sitting one above the other, so that you can see them both.
- In your movie, make sure that you can see ALL the layers (make the timeline pane larger if you need to). Then Shift-Click on Frame 1 in Layer 1. Move the blue scrubber bar to the end of the movie, and Shift-Click in the last layer of the last frame of the movie. (In essence, you’re grabbing all the frames, and all the layers of this movie in a big rectangle of frames.) All the frames and all the layers of the movie turn black, meaning they’re all selected.
- Choose Edit > Timeline > Copy Frames. NOTE: IF YOU HAVEN’T PUT A BLANK KEYFRAME AT THE END OF THE FILLED FRAMES IN EACH LAYER, FLASH WILL FILL IN THE EMPTY FRAMES IN THE BLOCK WITH CONTENT, WHICH CAN SLOW THE MOVIE.
- Choose Insert > New Symbol. Name it placeholder_mc (and not anything else – this is VERY important), and choose Movie Clip for the type of symbol. The name placeholder_mc appears in your Library window.
- Select the first frame of the only layer that you see, and choose Edit > Timeline > Paste Frames. All the layers and all the frames of your movie appear in the Timeline. You won’t need to do any more on this file, but leave it open, because you need its Library window. Right now.
- In the Library window, select placeholder_mc symbol that you just created, and drag it into the Library window of your new file.
Drop Your Movie into Control Bar Template
15. Bring the control bar template file (storyend) to the front so that you can work on it now. In the slideshow layer, click on Frame 20, where it says “place slideshow movie clip here”. Choose Mondify > Timeline > Clear keyframe. The big red Stage disappears.
- With this same Frame 20 still selected, choose Insert > Timeline > Blank keyframe. Then drag the placeholder_mc symbol onto the stage and center it.
- This next step is CRITICAL! In the Property Inspector for this movie clip symbol, placeholder_mc, under Movie Clip, you’ll see the words . (If you don’t see the movie clip symbol’s Property Inspector open, click on the stage where you put the symbol, and it’ll appear.) Type in placeholdermc.
- Test the movie by choosing Control > Enable Simple Buttons, and then Control > Test Movie. An export window will appear, and then the movie will open in a test window. If you have designed the movie to start right away, it will. If you’ve designed it to start at the play button, it will start playing when you hit the play button.
- SAVE YOUR MOVIE!
Note: This control bar setup works if you are using Flash Version 6; it is not compatible with Flash Version 7.
- Send an email to Russell Chun (firstname.lastname@example.org) to thank him for modifying this bit of Flash for us. If you have a credits window, credit Andrew DeVigal (email@example.com) for the “Visual Edge Template Slideshow with Scrubber”, and Russell Chun for modifications.