Loading Random Movies
by kirupa -
25 January 2004
Do your animations seem to get boring when viewed repeatedly? Do you want to
give the impression to your visitors that you update your site regularly but you
don't feel like doing all the work that goes along with updating regularly? You
may need to add some randomness to your design. A cool effect that you can see
when you visit various portions of this site and this tutorial is randomly
Randomly loading movies basically load a typical movie file, but instead of
playing the same content, they load a random movie file from somewhere on your
server and play them. The chances are, each time someone views your animation, a
random movie would load. That gives your visitor the notion that your site
changes - indirectly.
The following animation is an example. Keep reloading this page
to see various other movie effects. The best thing is that each movie effect is
actually an external SWF file located on the server. This tutorial will explain
how to load a random external SWF file into your animation:
[ reload this page to see a different movie ]
The following steps for Flash MX/2004 will help you to create your own animation
and load random movies into it:
First, create a new movie, and set its width and height to be
300 by 200 pixels. Also, set your frame rate to 25.
Once you have setup your movie, draw a small circle using the
Oval Tool. Once you have drawn a small circle, select the circle and press F8.
Don't worry about the circle's colors, etc. It won't matter as you will find out
The Convert to Symbol dialog box will appear. Select Movie Clip
and press OK.
Now, select your newly converted circle/movie-clip and look in
the Properties panel on your bottom left. In the text field marked <Instance
Name> enter the word movieTarget.
From the same Properties panel, in the boxes marked X: and Y:
enter a 0. This will place your movie clip in the top-left corner at the origin.
Your info panel should look like the following image:
[ how your Properties panel should look like ]
Select the first frame in your timeline and press F9 to display
the Actions-Frame window. Copy and paste the following code:
- filename =
- path =
- i =
- k =
[ add the following code to the Actions-Frame window ]
Preview the animation in your browser by going to File | Publish
Preview | HTML.
Now, let's find out more about the ActionScript that causes your
animation to load a random movie from an external location. Onwards to the next