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Working With Layers

The secret to having mulitple objects overlapping and not cutting into each other is the use of layers. The diagram below shows the various layer features available.

 

The lesson that follows will take you through how to create, name, hide, lock, delete and organize layers.

Note - Hiding and Locking layers is not restricted to doing it for all layers. You can hide or lock individual layers by clicking on the black dot in the respective layer.

Creating and Naming Layers

Start by creating a new Flash file and in the property inspector, leave the size as 550 x 400 and the canvas colour white. Save this file as layers.fla in your Assignment 6 folder.

 

1. Create a new layer by clicking on the Insert Layer button.

2. Double click on the layer name of layer 1 and change it to read "background".

3. Double click on the layer name of layer 2 and change it to read "mountains".

4. Create a third layer and name it "oval"



Notice that you have frames available on all three layers.

Drawing Objects on Different Layers

5. Select frame 1 on the background layer and draw a large blue (#0033FF) rectangle, with no stroke, that covers the whole stage.

6. Lock the background layer so that can't be modified further.

7. Select frame 1 on the mountains layer and draw a brown(#993300) rectangle that covers the entire stage.

8. Choose the Free Transform Tool and use it to select the brown rectangle.

Note - When you select a tool there is often more options available for that tool at the bottom of the tools panel.



9. Use the Envelope Option and the rectangle will show additional handles that you can use to modify the shape.

 

10. Click and drag down the top left circle.

11. Do the same for the top right circle.

12. Now click and drag the top left square down to half-way

13. Do the same to the top right square.

14. Drag the center square down until your drawing resembles the example below.

Note - The Envelope Option must be edited all in sequence. As soon as you deselect the shape it no longer gives you the same plot point options. If this happens, use undo to start over.

15. While you are still on the mountains layer, choose the Pencil tool.

16. From the available options (bottom of the tools panel) choose Smooth

17. Draw a line representing the bottom edge of a snow cap as seen below.

Note - The line must go completely from edge to edge of the mountain peak so that it creates a complete separation. This separates the mountain into 3 pieces. The base, the dividing line and the peak.

18. Use the Paint Bucket Tool to fill the peak piece with white and lock the mountain layer.

Your drawing should now appear as seen below:

 

19. Select frame 1 on the oval layer and draw a yellow oval (#FFFF00) with no stroke, that measures 80 x 80 (height and width).

20. Using the Arrow Tool, move the yellow oval to the right of the stage as seen below.

 

Animating the Sun

Now you have to create an animation where the sun moves across the sky.

21. Unlock the "mountains" layer, select frame 50 in the timeline and insert a frame (F5).

This will make the mountains appear during all 50 frames.

22. Do the same for the "background" layer.

23. Lock the "mountains" and "background" layers.

 

24. Now insert a new key frame (F6) on the "oval" layer and use SHIFT + Arrow Keys to Nudge the oval 1 space to the left and 1 up.

25. Repeat this step until you reach the halfway point (where the sun is directly over the mountains.

26. Once you reach the half-way point, coninue with the same process, but nudge the oval 1 space to the left and one down.


****Note*** It is very important that you nudge the oval the same amount on each key frame or the effect will seem jerky.

Scrub the playhead to watch the sun rise and set.

 

Reordering Layers

You will notice that the sun rises and sets, but it does so in front of the mountains. To change this we can simply reorder the layers.

27. Simply click and drag the oval layer below the mountains layer.

Now your animation should run as seen below:

 

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Your timeline will look something like this:

 

Note - Right now we are working with a few simple objects. When working with a higher number of objects or more complex objects it is often good to use layer folders to help keep things organized. To use them simply create a new layer folder and drag your existing layers into the new folder.

28. Go to Contol > Test Movie to create an .swf file (by default it is saved to the same folder as your .fla file).

29. Save your Flash file and go complete Assignment 6