A new addition to the Library symbol types is the Smart Clip. A Smart Clip is a Movie Clip symbol that has been given a set of parameters that are easily accessed by the Clip Parameters Panel.
When would you want to use a Smart Clip? If you have any Movie Clip symbol that you use multiple times but would like to add unique settings (or properties) to, then a Smart Clip could be just what you need. For example, if you had a Button instance in a menu item Movie Clip and you want to reuse that same menu item symbol to point to different areas of your Flash movie, you have these options:
where frameLabel is defined by the Clip Parameters Panel for this specific instance. This method is by far the easiest for Flash designers who prefer not to get involved with complex ActionScripting. We demonstrate using a Smart Clip for a typical menu item symbol in the next section.
Usually, Smart Clips are most useful in a team production environment, in which the programmers on the staff design the ActionScripts, and Flash graphic artists create the movie elements and layout. The programmers would create the Clip Parameters for each symbol (and perhaps even a custom interface for the Clip Parameters Panel), and the designers would select and enter the values for each parameter in the Flash movie.
Adding parameters to a Movie Clip symbol
In this section, we create a Smart Clip symbol and then add a parameter to it. This symbol will be used for a menu system in a Flash movie.
In frame 1 of this layer, create a Dynamic Text field whose length matches the Button instance that you created in Step 3. With this field selected, type name in the Variable field of the Text Options Panel, as shown below.
The Main Timeline should demonstrate the layout of the Flash movie sections.
The name text field will be filled by a Clip Parameter.
In this code, we specify an expression for the label that the gotoAndStop action will use. The expression is a variable named frameLabel. This variable will be added to the menuItem symbol as a Smart Clip parameter.
Each parameter has three values: the name of the parameter (which is interpreted as an actual variable name in ActionScript), the value for that variable, and the type value which indicates how the value should be typed (string (default), array, object, or user-defined list).
The Define Clip Parameters dialog enables you to enter name/value pairs for the Smart Clip.
You can define a static list of values to choose from the Clip Parameters Panel for each instance of the menuItem.
You can continue to add more parameters to Smart Clip symbols, by going back to the Define Clip Parameters dialog and clicking the plug (“+”) button. Use caution, though if you place instances of a Smart Clip on the Stage and add more parameters later, then the old instances will not have those parameters available. You may need to delete the old instances and replace them with new instances to see the new parameters. In the next section, you’ll learn how to give unique parameter values to each Smart Clip instance in the Flash movie.
Assigning values to Smart Clip instances on the Stage
After you have created parameters for a Smart Clip symbol in the Library, you can start to use the Smart Clip in your Flash movie. The steps below will show you how to use the Smart Clip symbol we created in the last section.
The Clip Parameters Panel enables you to set unique values for the parameters that you defined for the Smart Clip.
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Understanding The Flash Framework
Exploring The Interface: Panels, Settings, And More
Using Tools For Navigation And Viewing
Working With Selections And The Pen Tool
Working With The Drawing And Painting Tools
Working With Text
Exploring The Timeline
Checking Out The Library: Symbols And Instances
Drawing In Flash
Animating In Flash
Using Bitmaps And Other Media With Flash
Designing Interfaces And Interface Elements
Understanding Sound For Flash
Importing And Editing Sounds In Flash
Optimizing Flash Sound For Export
Understanding Actions And Event Handlers
Navigating Flash Timelines
Controlling Movie Clips
Sharing And Loading Assets
Planning Code Structures
Creating Subroutines And Manipulating Data
Understanding Movie Clips As Complex Objects
Sending Data In And Out Of Flash
Understanding Html And Text Field Functions In Flash
What Is Generator?
Revving Up Generator
Working With Third-party, Server-side Applications
Working With Raster Graphics
Working With Vector Graphics
Working With Audio Applications
Working With 3d Graphics
Working With Quicktime
Working With Realplayer
Creating Full-motion Video With Flash
Creating Cartoon Animation With Flash
Planning Flash Production With Flowcharting Software
Working With Authoring Applications
Publishing Flash Movies
Integrating Flash Content With Html
Using Players, Projectors, And Screensaver Utilities
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