a Preloader in One Frame

Ask any user what one of the most difficult Flash technique to master is. Many will say the Preloader. In Flash 4, pre-loaders were difficult to coordinate. You had to specify the loaded frame, a loop frame, and more! In Flash 5, all it takes is one frame with a few lines of code to create a preloader.

Here is how:

  1. Create a new movie. Right click the first frame and select Actions from the menu that appears.
  2. The Frame Actions window will appear. Press Ctrl + E to access the Expert Mode. From the Expert mode, you will be able to copy, paste, and input code directly without having to use the drop-down menus.
  3. Copy the code from the menu box below. Once the code below has been copied, paste it in the Frame Actions window.

  1. You may add a loading movie or something to engage the visitor in Frame 1. Make sure you do not go beyond Frame 1 for the loading animation. Use a movie clip (Insert | New Symbol) to make a complex animation fit in one keyframe. The following image is an example of how the timeline for an animation would look:

[ Notice that the First frame is void of content except for the loading movie clip on the 'action' layer. ]

Why the Animation Worked
Because you copied and pasted the code, I will explain why the code worked so you can understand
the code and use it in your own animations with full understanding.

if (_framesloaded>=_totalframes) {

This is by far the most important line of code in the pre-loader. An if statement is being started with the condition that the number of frames currently loaded in Flash ( _framesloaded) equals the total number of frames in the animation ( _totalframes).

if (_framesloaded>=_totalframes) {
        gotoAndPlay (2);
} else {
        gotoAndPlay (1);


This section of code holds the statements for making the if statement produce results. If the frames are loaded from the previous section of code, you are telling Flash to play the 2nd frame (gotoAndPlay 2). If all of the frames have not yet loaded, the section of code under the 'else' executes. The gotoAndPlay (1) line is a loop that continuously loops itself until all the frames have loaded.

Instant Replay: Animation Walkthrough
When the movie first loads, the first frame contains the actions for the pre-loader. Flash checks to see if all the frames have been loaded. That is the line with the _framesloaded and _totalframes. If the frames have all been loaded, Flash begins to play the animation at Frame 2. If the frames have not loaded, Flash re-plays the first frame containing the pre-loader action.

Tutorials related to this topic are:


Just a final word before we wrap up. If you have a question and/or want to be part of a friendly, collaborative community of over 220k other developers like yourself, post on the forums for a quick response!

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