Superman_logo.png

Symbols

A Symbol can be ANY graphic element that you've grouped together by
using [F8], or MODIFY - CONVERT TO SYMBOL
A symbol is a more efficient kind of element, because
  1. It can be TWEENED to create animation
  2. Multiple INSTANCES (clones) of the symbol can be used anywhere on your stage - they can be easily mutated
  3. All instances can be easily UPGRADED by altering the single master SYMBOL

Symbols are named, and stored in the LIBRARY [F11]
Saturn.png
YOUR TASK
Can you create an object that looks like something like Saturn?
Make a DUPLICATE of it so there are two

  • Select ONE of the objects and convert it into a symbol!
  • Drag at least three more INSTANCES of it onto the stage
  • Try changing the colour of the planet. What do you notice
  • Open up the LIBRARY using CTRL-L... this is where the symbol actually lives

THE VOCABULARY

Flash-Instances.png
A SYMBOL
  • Is stored in the LIBRARY. It's like a MASTER COPY of a prop
  • Can be one of three different TYPES:
    • Movie Clip - it has an internal timeline independant of the main timeline
    • Button
    • Graphic - it has an internal timeline DEPENDENT on the main timeline
  • You can create DUPLICATES of a symbol in the library to create variations. ie, "Gary" is a blue shirted version of "Marv"

An INSTANCE
  • Is what we call a symbol once it's been dragged onto the stage
  • You can have multiple instances of a symbol on your stage, and you can vary things like their sizes (as well as other properties)
  • Instances can be converted to one of the specific types:
    • Movie Clip
    • Button
    • Graphic

The CURRENT EDIT LEVEL
  • The default level is "SCENE 1"
  • If you double click an instance or a symbol in the library, check the status of the "Current Edit Level"
  • You can easily return to the "root level" by clicking "Scene 1"

The Difference between MOVIE CLIPS, BUTTONS and GRAPHICS

MOVIE CLIPS
  • Are the default "type" of symbol
  • Have an "independant" timeline that will run independently of any other timelines in your movie, although they all run at t








NEXT: Animating with TWEENS