Unit 11.  Movie Clips (I)

What is a Movie Clip?


A Movie Clip is a movie, like any of which we can have created until now in this tutorial, but this one is included within another movie and at the same time it can contain movies inserted in itself.

    Like the other types of Flash symbols, movie clips have their own timeline. Nevertheless, and unlike the Graphics (as we will see later), this timeline is not bound to the timeline of the document that contains it, so that its execution is independent.

    This type of symbols can contain any other type of symbol: graphic, clip or button, as well as any object created in Flash, because  a clip is actually a movie.

    Another one of the Clip advantages we find when we make movies of great complexity and size, is that it can be made up of many frames, this will allow us to have better vision of how our animation is developed, and with a clearer and "cleaner" timeline. 

    The Clips are one of the tools that give greater power to Flash MX 2004, allowing us to create more complex movies and increasing the visual effects, since multiple and independent movements, and connections between different document Clips can be created.

  All those things that we couldn't do with a Graphic type symbol, we can do it with a clip. Because of this, usually the clips are used for any type of animation due to its great flexibility, leaving the graphics only for static images.     


Verifying the Clips properties


 As we've done with the graphics, let's see how the clip timeline isn't bound to the timeline of the document that includes it and at the same time we'll see the difference between the clips and the Graphic symbols that supposes to be one of the reasons for the main use of the formers referring to the animation creations.

 For it we'll open a new Flash movie ( File → New ). Later we'll import any image or create one. We convert it into Symbol (Insert → New Symbol...) and we select in Behavior "Movie Clip"

We drag it to the stage (if it's not already there) our movie clip.          

Now we have our Clip inserted in our new Flash document. In other words, we have two movies, each one with its timeline.

Now let's see that they are independent, following a similar process to the one we use with the Graphic type symbols.

 Observe the timeline of the main movie and verify that it has only one frame.



  Let's publish the Clip that we inserted in the document (double click the plain) and examine its timeline. Only one movie clip will appear. We can make something similar to what we made with the graphics, if we are going to create a Movement Animation (that will be seen in Unit 13). It'll look like this




  As we see, the duration of the clip that we have inserted is much greater than the new movie that contains it. If the fist were a graphic we already have seen that if we tried to play the movie nothing would happen. Let's see what happens if it is a Clip (this also is valid if the animation was created like the graphics). (Control + Enter).

In this case we see the animation because at the moment at which the reproducer has crossed the frame that contained the clip, this one has begun to play and, since its timeline is independent, it has continued in reproducing although the main timeline has finished, and it'll continue in doing it until its own timeline finishes.

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