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Figure 9-24. Swinging the door inward toward 90 degrees
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7. To improve the illusion, darken the doors while they re swinging in. Still at frame 30, use the
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Selection tool to select each door in turn. In the Properties panel, choose Brightness from the Style drop-down list of the Color Effect area, and set its value to -34%.
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8. To add some polish, add a new layer, and name it Audio. 9. Select Window Common Libraries Sounds to open a panel of audio files that are
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installed when you install Flash. Drag the file named Household Door Wood Door Squeak 01.mp3 to frame 1 of the Audio layer.
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10. Using the Selection tool, click into frame 80 of each layer, and press the F5 key to pad out the
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frame span of each layer. This allows the audio to fully play out, without looping too early, when you test your movie.
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11. Select Control Test Movie to see the SWF. Close the SWF, and compare your work with
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the finished version of swingDoors.fla in this chapter s Complete folder.
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Be aware of depth limitations
As cool as the 3D tools are, they do have a limitation in terms of how three-dimensional depth (generally the z-axis) corresponds to the stacking order of your layers, and even the stacking order of numerous symbols inside a single layer. In short, stacking order overrides 3D depth. If you drag the layer of one 3D movie clip above the layer of another 3D movie clip, the movie clip on the higher layer will always appear on top, no matter how you adjust its z index. There are pros and cons to everything, and the pro here is that layers and in-layer symbol stacking continue to operate the way they always have. For longtime Flash users, this will feel familiar and comfortable. If you re new to Flash, this behavior may throw you for a loop, but you can work around it. The challenge arises when you want to perform a 3D tween that moves one object in front of another, when its original position was behind (and therefore obscured). Let s look at a hands-on example:
1. Open the AirheadMail.fla file from the Exercise folder for this chapter. You ll see an
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envelope with a couple postage stamps above it, one stacked behind the other, as shown in Figure 9-25. There s another stamp in a hidden layer behind the envelope, but we ll get into that in a moment. Just be aware that both of the visible stamps are located in the same timeline layer.
Figure 9-25. Depth is determined more by layer and stacking order than z index (envelope photo by Cris DeRaud).
FLASH HAS A THIRD DIMENSION
2. Select the 3D Translation tool, and click the unobscured stamp (the one on top) to select it.
Adjust its z index to scale the stamp smaller and larger. In terms of 3D space, a higher z-index value seems to push the stamp away, making it smaller. No matter how far you push, you ll find that you cannot move the upper stamp behind the lower one. To do that, you ll have to use the old-fashioned approach.
3. Right-click (Windows) or Control+click (Mac) the upper stamp, and select Arrange Send
Backward (or Send to Back). You ll see the upper stamp pop behind its partner.
4. Unhide the bottom timeline layer (named stamp, just like the top timeline layer). This reveals a
third stamp partially obscured by the envelope.
5. Using the 3D Translation tool again, adjust the z index of either stamp in the upper stamp
layer. As in step 2, nothing you do moves either stamp behind the envelope or the stamp in the bottom stamp layer.
6. To bring the lowest stamp above the other two, you ll need to move its layer. Click the lower
stamp layer, and drag it above the other stamp layer, as shown in Figure 9-26.
Figure 9-26. Drag layers to move lower content above higher content. This is all well and good for still compositions, but how does it work for animation You can t very well drag layers around in the middle of a tween. The trick is to split your animation over two layers, as shown in
Figure 9-27. Check out AirheadMailAnimated.fla in this chapter s Complete folder to see the animation in action.
Figure 9-27. Splitting an animation between separate layers In what appears to be one smooth motion, the stamp emerges from behind the envelope, flies in front of it, and settles into place for mailing. In actuality, the magic happens at frame 14, where the movie clip abruptly ends in the lower stamp layer and reappears in the upper stamp layer to continue its above-theenvelope movement.
Your turn: simulate a photo cube
We began the theory part of this chapter with a cube and thought it fitting to come to a close with the same shape. (We wanted so badly to describe that as coming full circle, but it felt like we were mixing metaphors!) For this final exercise, we re going to show you how to build a box out of a series of square movie clips. What you do with the box is up to you. We certainly hope it will spark some inspiration. In any case, we re pretty confident you ll find it motivating that you can sort of rotate the thing after it s built. To really stay with the theme, we are going to use a series of images featuring the work of Toronto-based architect Will Alsop. If you ever visit Toronto and you visit the Art Gallery of Ontario, you will see what looks like a box supported on a series of colored pencils. This building is the work of Alsop and was designed as an addition to the Ontario College of Art. Ready to be there or be square Let s jump in:
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