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Follow
Mouse

Flash allows for various instances (movie clips) to be dragged or made to follow the mouse. Unlike Flash 4, Flash 5 also allows the entire mouse pointer to be hidden from the animation itself. That allows for "custom" mouse pointers in the animation that the effect is used in. See example below:

Now, to create the previous animation in Flash 5, first, download the partial source code that includes the main movie clips all drawn out. Click Here to download. Don't worry, the downloaded source code doesn't include all the best parts of the animation like the coding, etc. You'll do that on your own by following the instructions listed below.

Here's How:

  1. Once you have opened the source code in Flash, you should see two layers and the circular movie that you would like to follow in the drawing area. The first step is to name the circular movie. Click on the movie clip and go to the Instance Panel. Under name, type in the word "follow". See image the image below for more information. If you have forgotten or would like to know more about "Naming Movie Instances", please click here.

  1. Ok, now that the movie clip has been named, it's time to add the ActionScript code that will make it work. Right click on the blank keyframe on the Layer marked "Actions". That should be in your timeline window. You should see a window that pops up with the title "Frame Actions". For the coding, you may choose to use the left pane to specify commands or the Flash 4 style "+" symbol to the top right. Due to the physical space constraints that including all that information would do on a HTML page (this one), you will only see me use the "+" actions. You may choose either one.
     
  2. Now that you are on the Frame Actions page affiliated to the first blank keyframe on the Layer marked "Actions" (Whew!) we can proceed. Click on "Actions" and choose the command "Start Drag". See image below:

  1. Once you have done that, you should see the text: startDrag (""); On that same window, click on the input field marked "Target:". In that field, type in the word "follow". That is the name of the movie that was given at the beginning of the lesson. Then, to complete this portion of the example, click on "Lock mouse to center". After you have done all that, the code in your code window should be as follows: startDrag ("follow", true); Also, it should look like the image below:

  1. The final step is to hide the mouse pointer. If you preview it, the animation should look similar to that of the final movie with the exception of the mouse pointer being visible. Let's fix that. Click on the "+" symbol or the left pane's corresponding unit and follow this path: > Objects > Mouse > Hide. That should do that trick. See image below:

  1. Now, the final code inside your ActionScript Editor window should look as follows: 

startDrag ("follow", true);
Mouse.hide();
 

That completes this tutorial on making objects follow your mouse on the animation. You can customize the movie clip that is made to follow into anything you may wish. If this sounds eerily familiar to some you more advanced "flashers", that is because with the OnMouseEvent procedures you can create your own draggable movie clip. That will be covered in the near future. Before I forget, here's the final source code so you can double check to make sure your animation looks just like the one I created!

Did You Like This?

Getting Help

If you have questions, need some assistance on this topic, or just want to chat - post in the comments below or drop by our friendly forums (where you have a lot more formatting options) and post your question. There are a lot of knowledgeable and witty people who would be happy to help you out. Plus, we have a large collection of smileys you can use

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If you didn't like it, I always like to hear how I can do better next time. Please feel free to contact me directly at kirupa[at]kirupa.com.

Cheers!

Kirupa Chinnathambi

 

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