Thumbnails - Page 3
        by kirupa  |  14 June 2005

Make sure you have your FLA opened and ready. Let's start the modifications:

  1. Select the first frame of your Actions layer and press F9 or go to Window | Development Panels | Actions.
  2. You should already see a lot of code from our original photo gallery. The following text area contains the code that I would like you to use.
    A lot of the code is the same, so you can either modify your existing code by adding in just the colored code, or you can simply overwrite all of your code with what I have in the following scroll area by copying and pasting everything contained in the text area below:
  3. Once you have copied and pasted the above code from Step 2 into your loadXML function, you can close your Actions window for now.

    Now, we need an empty movie clip that will load our thumbnail images. Go to Insert | New Symbol. From the Create New Symbol window, enter the name thumbnailMC, select the option for Movie Clip, and press OK.
  4. You should now be in the timeline for the thumbnailMC movie clip you created in the previous step. Click the Scene 1 tab to return back to your main timeline:

[ click the Scene 1 tab ]

  1. You should be back at your main timeline with the familiar photo gallery layout. Create a new layer and call it thumbnail. Select this layer in order to keep it in focus.
  2. Press Ctrl + L or go to Window | Library to access your Library. Find the symbol called 'thumbnailMC" (which you created earlier) and drag and drop it on the large empty portion of your stage above the previous and next buttons:

[ drag and drop the thumbnailMC symbol from the library to your stage ]

  1. Select your thumbnailMC symbol, which should simply be the default hollow circle symbolizing an empty object, and make sure its X position is on 22, and its Y position is on 289. The area near your thumbnailMC movie clip should look like the following image:

[ where your empty thumbnailMC movie clip will be - x: 22, y: 289 ]

  1. No, we still aren't finished with our thumbnailMC movie clip! Select that movie clip again, look towards the bottom left of your Properties panel, and give it the instance name: thumbnail_mc.
  2. If you press Ctrl + Enter now, you will see all of our thumbnails loading in the same spot. We don't want that, of course, but we also aren't done with the tutorial...yet!

    Let's specify the left and right boundaries of our thumbnail gallery. First, draw a vertical rectangle with width 15, height 90, and an x position of 10 and a y position of 280:

[ draw a vertical rectangle to help specify the boundaries of your movie ]

  1. Select the rectangle you drew, and convert that to a symbol by pressing F8 or by going to Modify | Convert to Symbol. Make sure to select the option for Movie Clip and call it boundary from the Convert to Symbol window that appears.
  2. Once you have converted your rectangle (boundary movie clip) into a symbol, create a copy of your boundary movie clip and paste it on the right side to make a right boundary.

    If you are unfamiliar with copying/pasting, select your boundary movie clip, right click on the movie clip, select copy, right click on an empty area of your stage, select paste, and then move your copied version of the boundary movie clip to the right side of your photo gallery as shown in the following picture:

[ the boundary clip and its copy on the right ]

  1. You now have two movie clips, the boundary movie clips, that make up the left and right boundary of our thumbnail animation. But, we haven't given them both instance names! Select the left boundary movie clip and give it the instance name: hit_left. Give the right boundary movie clip the name hit_right.
  2. Preview the tutorial now by pressing Ctrl + Enter. You should see a line of thumbnails, and you can also use your mouse to scroll the thumbnails around. But, notice that the images are seen beyond their boundaries:

[ notice how the images appear beyond the boundaries ]

  1. Go back to the Flash timeline, and insert a layer above your thumbnail layer. Give your new layer any name you want. Now, draw a rectangle that stretches from the left boundary to the right boundary:

[ insert a layer above your thumbnail layer and draw a large rectangle ]

  1. You may have guessed at what I'm trying to do. I'm creating a mask! Right click on the layer that you drew your rectangle on (the layer above your thumbnail layer) and select 'Mask'.
  2. Finally, select both your left and right boundary movie clips. From the Properties Panel, click the Color drop-down menu, select Alpha, and drag the slider down to 0%.

[ select both the boundary movie clips and set their alphas to 0 ]

  1. You are now done with the photo gallery! Preview the file in your window, and you should see a nice, thumbnail scroller for selecting your thumbnail images.

While you have gotten your thumbnails to display, we haven't reached the most important part of this tutorial - the part where I explain what part the 17 or so steps and the code have in order to create this cool and useful effect.

So, let's head on to the next page!

page 3 of 7


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