Unit 7. Working with Objects (II)


Aligning Objects. Align Panel

Now that we know how to select the objects or their parts, let's see how to align them to the Stage.

In order to align them precisely, Flash provides us with the Align Panel. We can find this Panel in the Menu Window → Design Panel → Align. It works this way:

 

The Align Panel allows us to align the objects just as we indicate. Before considering the possibilities, we must emphasize the option To Stage. This option allows us to indicate all the positions that must have each object at the stage

If this option is not selected, the objects will take the reference from the group of objects they are at, and they will align themselves taking into account those ones. The most usual selection is Stage , to align the objects in the center of frame depending on the movies limits...

Let's learn in details the Align Panel and its possibilities

Align: It aligns the objects in a determined frame position (if Stage is selected). The different options affect all the selected elements and they are frequently used to align selected objects to the certain places. For example, if we want to align an object to the left down corner, it is enough to press the 1 and the 6 button one after another.

Distribute: It aligns the objects on the stage taking into account the imaginary axis that passes through their centers, so that the distribution become uniform. For example, if we have 2 squares and we press the first left button. Each one of the 2 squares will be situated on one of the movie edges (one on the top and another on the bottom).

Match Size: It makes the object's sizes match. If the "To Stage" is active it will stretch the objects up to make them match the movies width and length. If it is not active, the rest of objects will be the reference. For example, if we have 2 different squares and the option "To Stage" is not active, when you click the first "Match Size" button, the most narrow square will have the width of the biggest square. If "To Stage" were active, both squares would have the frame width.

Space: It spaces the objects uniformly.

To see the examples of these commands use, you can see the animation placed on the top at the beginning of the chapter.

Info Panel

Apart from controlling the object position from the Align Panel, we can also do this, more precisely (more mathematically) from another panel, the Info Panel.

You can access to this Panel from the Menu Window → Design Panels → Information. The possibilities of this Panel are limited, but if we are searching for precision or we don't trust Flash distribution, we might use it.

Object Sizes: Here we will introduce a number that represents the size of our object in the dimensions selected in the Document Properties dialog box. W: is the width H: is the height.

Object location: From here we control the location of the object on the stage. The X and the Y represent the axis of coordinates (The X is the horizontal axis and the Y the vertical axis). The measures are also adapted to the movie size.

Current Color: Indicates the current color depending on the quantity of Red (R), Green (G), Blue (B) and Alpha effect (Alpha) that it has.

Its sign could be deceitful, because it indicates the color of the object when we touch it with the mouse. So far, we can have selected object (by clicking it) and see in the Information Panel its size and position, but when the mouse is moved the value of color will change and will not indicate the color of selected object, but the color of the object that the arrow is touching now. In order to save time don't forget about this.

Cursor Position: It indicates the Cursor's position. It's usefull if we want something to occur in the movie after crossing with the determinated cursor position or to align object parts in specified places.

Groups

A Group is nothing more than a set of objects. However, not each set of objects forms a group, because to create a group, we must to indicate it to Flash. For that, it is enough to select the enclosed objects that we want to be member of a group and then click the Menu. Modify -> Group.

After doing this we'll observe that the texture disappear indicating selected objects and that the group happens to be a "whole", since it is impossible to choose one of its members without selecting others as well. In addition, by default, the blue rectangle occurs that encloses the group, therefore, outlining it.

Creation of groups is very useful, since it allows us to treat the set of objects like a single object and, therefore, we can apply effects for the set as whole without working with each object.

For example, we suppose that we have a drawing that represents a set of cars. After drawing them all, we realize that we want to increase the size of the cars. We increase one by one the size of the cars, running the risk of increasing some of them more than others and losing the proportions among them, or we can form a group of the cars and increase the size of the group, so that they simultaneously increase all their size and in the same proportion. Equally, we can move the group position, rotate it...

When creating a group, we provide a set of objects with common properties, and we don't lose our object. At any time we can undo the group by the Menu Modify → Ungroup.

In addition, Flash allows us to modify the elements of a group without having to ungroup it. For this we select the Group of elements and click the Menu Edit → Edit Selected. We’ll be able to edit the objects that compose the group affecting only a certain element.

  Exercises from Unit 7

 Unit 7 Test .



   
   
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November-2005.