Between External SWFs
        by Voetsjoeba  ::  21 February 2004

This tutorial continues from what you have understood from the previous page. If you stumbled here without having first completed the previous page, click here. If not....excellent!

How it’s Done
The following steps will help you to create the transition effect for externally loaded SWF files.

Main Movie
If you already have buttons and a holder movieclip, skip these two steps.

  1. Create your buttons. Each button stands for a section, for example: “Main”,”About”,”Work”, etc.
  2. Create a new movieclip and position it on the stage. This is the swf in which your swfs will be loaded. The top-left corner of your swf will correspond with the registration point of the movieclip – the dot you see on the stage.

  1. Select the movieclip you’ve just created and give it the instance name “container”. This is the movieclip in which we will load the different swfs.

  1. Select a button, open the ActionScript window and paste the following code in it.
on (release) {
if (_root.currMovie == undefined) {
_root.currMovie = "main";
} else if (_root.currMovie != "main") {
if (container._currentframe >= container.midframe) {
_root.currMovie = "main";;

This is the code for the button that will check if everything is ok for the outro to be played and the next swf being loaded. Notice that the value given to currMovie is the name of the swf without the “.swf”.


If your buttons are not located on the main timeline, you will have to change the path to the container movieclip. In this example the buttons are located on the main timeline, therefore 'container' targets the container movieclip correctly. Though, if they are not on the main timeline, you must change container to the appropriate path.

  1. Repeat the previous step for each button on the stage. Remember to change the value given to _root.currMovie and the name of the swf to load ! To give you an idea, here’s how the code would look for the button that loads the swf work.swf:
on (release) {
if (_root.currMovie == undefined) {
_root.currMovie = "work";
} else if (_root.currMovie != "work") {
if (container._currentframe >= container.midframe) {
_root.currMovie = "work";;

The explanation of this code was given when describing the three purposes of _root.currMovie above.

  1. If you want the first section to load automatically when entering the site, place this code at the frame of the main timeline at which you want the first section to show, and replace your_first_section_name by the name of the first section:
_root.currMovie = "your_first_section_name";


  1. Create your intro animation, content (if not created already) and your outro animation on the main timeline.


  1. Select the frame where your content is at, and remember it’s framenumber.


  1. With the frame still selected, open your ActionScript window and paste the following code in it:
  1. Select the first frame of your timeline, and open up the ActionScript window. Paste the following code in it, and replace yournumber by the number you remembered or wrote down in step 2.
midframe = yournumber;
  1. Now select the last frame of your timeline and open the ActionScript window again. Paste the following code in it. If you’ve used another instance name for the holder than container, then change “container” in _root.container by your custom name.

Adding Preloaders
A question people have been asking a lot as well is how to add a preloader to these SWFs, and how to make the transitions work after having added the preloader. Well, it’s quite simple actually. You can follow this tutorial to create a preloader for each swf. After having completed this tutorial, you will have two extra frames at the beginning of your swf, before your intro animation. All what’s left for you to do is to add the midframe definition to the preloader code you already have on the first frame by now.

Be careful though – now that you’ve added two extra frames, your midframe will no longer be the same. Be sure to update the midframe number.

The preloader code on the first frame will now look like this:

midframe = [yourupdatednumber];
bytes_loaded = Math.round(this.getBytesLoaded());
bytes_total = Math.round(this.getBytesTotal());
getPercent = bytes_loaded/bytes_total;
this.loadBar._width = getPercent*100;
this.loadText = Math.round(getPercent*100)+"%";
if (bytes_loaded == bytes_total) {

For your own convenience, I have provided the source files for both MX and MX2004:

Download Source for MX2004
Download Source for MX

That’s it! You are finished with this tutorial. I know from experience that these transitions aren’t exactly the easiest thing to understand. If you are left with any questions, please don’t hesitate to post them on the forums.






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