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Using Actions in Flash to
control your Flash Movies


1Basic elements of a Flash Banner Ad

2. Flash Banner Ads websites

  1. Tips for Making Flash Banner Ads

  2. Flash Banner Ads Example

  3. Additional Flash Banner Ads

  4. Flash Banner Ads -- a Portfolio

  5. Google: Flash Ad Banners

3. See moetad.fla for example of basic
flash banner ad. See moetad.html

-- Making a Flash Banner Ad using the basic advertising elements at . Use moet4.fla for
the basic elements.

4. Adding "actions" to Flash Movies

  1. In complex Flash Movies, you can create a layer
    just to put your actions on, such as a "stop" action.

  2. But you can add a "stop" action to any layer and it
    will stop the entire Flash movie when it reaches that
    layer and that specific frame.

  3. Be careful when you copy frames in Flash Movies, when you copy a frame it will usually copy the actions associated with that frame.  So make sure your  actions are located on the right frames to make your movie work.

  4. When you create buttons, make sure you save them as "button" in the "Symbol Properties" box.

  5. In order to add an action to that button, first select
    the button and then select "actions."  In the
    "actions" panel, select "Get URL" and this will
    write the code to make this button clickable:

    on (release) {
    getURL ("");

  6. You can also make buttons that on mouse release,
    it will cause the Flash movie to "play" that part of
    the movie:

    on (release) {
    play ();

5..Demonstrating actions, buttons, and sound with a small Flash movie (See stickman.html and

  1. Moet Flash ad

  2. Moet Flash ad 2

  3. Moet Flash ad with 3 scenes

3 .Students' Favorite Flash websites


  2. Drive the Mars Rover








  10. Hennessy


2.Using the Scenes panels to control your Flash

  1. Create a Flash movie with 3 scenes
  2. Example of Flash Movie with 3 scenes
  3. See Flash Movie with 4 scenes
  4. Using the Scenes panels to create scenes,
    rearrange their order, and create copies
    of different scenes.
  5. You can label both frames, layers, and scenes.
  6. When using action script and referring to scenes
    and layers, put their names in quotations, for example:

    on (release) {
    gotoAndPlay("women", 1);


2. Use these Flash movies to demonstrate
these special effects:

moet4.fla and sewflash2.fla

3. Using nested symbols and nested movie clips:
graphic symbols and movie clips within symbols.

  1. See Cars movie with moving wheels
  2. See movieclip1.fla and movieclip2.fla
  3. I first made the tires move using a motion tween,
    then I saved this as a 'movie clip."
  4. I then added the tires as a movie clip onto the
    stage and drew a car around these tires.
  5. I then saved this entire car, including the
    tires, as a symbol.
  6. I then dragged the symbol of the car with
    the moving wheels onto the stage and
    motion tweened the car to get it to
    move across the screen.
  7. I caused the car to move the other way by
    flipping it horizontally and then motion
    tweening the symbol so that it will appear
    to move across the screen.
  8. See the example of the Cars movie with

  9. See Cars movie with sound using the movie
    itself as a symbol in this movie.

4.Adding and deleting actions in a Flash movie

  1. You add an action to a Flash movie by going
    to the frame in which you want to add the action
    and opening the "Actions Panel".
  2. The Actions panel will then write the actionscript
    code you need to make the action work.
  3. You know that you have an action in a Flash
    movie when you can see an "a" in the frame
    where you placed the action.
  4. You delete the action by going to that same
    frame where the aciton is opening the
    "Actions panel" again.
  5. You delete the action by simply erasing the
    specific action in the Actions panel.

5. Adding labels to frames to make using Actions

  1. Select the frame you want to label with the mouse.
  2. In the Properties box, under frame label,
    type in a name for this frame.
  3. Notice that after you type in the frame label
    it appears in the Flash layer timeline.
  4. Adding frame names makes it easier to use
    actions to have Flash go to that specific


6. Using the "Go to" actions to have the Flash
movie return to a specific frame

  1. First, name the frames you want to associate
    with actions.
  2. Now go to the frame you want to put the action.
  3. Now open the "Actions panel" and select
  4. In the Frames box, write the name of the
    frame you want the Flash movie to go back to.

6. Using stop and play action buttons to
stop and start a movie

  1. You can use the stop action to stop a
    movie from playing and then create a
    button to play this movie when pressed.

  2. See ease1.html and ease1.fla
    and buttontst.html and buttontst.fla

  3. To get the movie to start playing after you
    press the button, first select "on" and
    then choose "release." Now choose play.
  4. This on release command will play the movie
    once the button is pushed.
  5. You can use "stop' actions to stop instances
    of movie clips that you are running in your
    flash movie. This forces the movie clip to
    just run once. Unless they are stopped,
    movie clips will keep looping throughout
    your flash movie

  6. Some Flash designers like to create a
    layer just for simple actions and put it
    as the first layer of their movie.
  7. See Example of stop and play flash movie.

3. Creating a drop-down button in a Flash movie

  1. See example of simple drop-down menu button

  2. In order to create this drop down button, the first
    thing you need to do is create a button, make it
    a symbol, and create the four buttons states for
    this button. Put this button on its own layer.

  3. On a new layer, now create buttons for each of 
    the boxes in your drop-down menu that will pop 
    out of the button when you click on it. Make sure
    you make each of these buttons no bigger than 
    your original button. 

  4. Now make each of these buttons go to a specific 
     URL on a mouse click (on release).

  5. Now group these buttons so that you can select
    on them and move them as a group

  6. Now create a new layer and create a shape that is
    just a little bigger than your "drop-down menu" 
    of buttons

  7. Make sure this shape is the same color as the background. Remember, make sure that the stroke on this shape is the same color as the background as well. You want this shape to conceal your "drop-down" menu behind the button until you want to see it.

  8. Now put the layer with the button on the 3rd layer from the bottom.

  9. Make sure the layer with the "drop-down menu"
    buttons  is the first layer in your movie.

  10. Now make the layer that conceals the "drop-down menu" buttons the second layer in your movie.

  11. Now add two additional keyframes to each of your
    layer so that your movie now consists of three
    keyframes on each layer.

  12. On the first layer--the layer with the "drop-down menu"-- move the drop-down menu buttons  in the second keyframe  so that it is just below the button.  In the first and third keyframes of this layer, the drop-down menu will be above the button, concealed by the invisible background layer which is on layer two.

  13. On the third layer--the layer with the button on it, put a "stop" action on each of the first two keyframes of this layer.

  14. Now select the button that will activate the "drop-down menu" buttons and create an action so that "on release"--on mouseclick--the button will "play", which causes the "drop-down menu" buttons to move down below the button.

  15. This drop-down button will only work if you save the button in the Flash  movie as looping. Don't worry about this because the stop actions in this movie keep this button from moving unless the button is clicked.

  16. When you click the button, it will cause your Flash
    movie to play one frame at a time. The two frames that you play to get this button to work both have
    "stop" actions on them.

2. You don't need to use too many keyframes and too many frames to make a Flash movie

  1. Try not to use too many keyframes and use "stop"
    actions and other action script in your Flash movies.

  2. The more keyframes and blank frames you use the
    more likely you are to lose control of the actions
    in your movie.

  3. By using few keyframes and action scripting to start and stop actions, you gain more control of your Flash movie.

3. Adding Sound to Flash movies

  1. When you add sound to Flash movies, use MP3s because they are compressed enough to not take up too much file space in your Flash movie.

  2. When you are working with sound in your Flash movie, always put your sound effects on separate layers.

  3. You insert and place sound into a Flash movie by
    adding a keyframe and inserting the sound into
    just that keyframe.

  4. Be careful not to let your sound play over many frames unless you really want it to.  You do this by starting and stoping the sound with a keyframe, so that it will only play the sound in that keyframe.

  5. You import sound into a Flash movie by going to
    "File" and selecting "import."

  6. Flash will now add that sound file to the library of
    symbols in your Flash movie.

  7. To insert the sound, go to the "Sound" panel
    window and select the sound you want to insert.

  8. Remember, make sure that you are on the correct
    layer and have added a keyframe before you try
    to insert a sound.

  9. By using keyframes, you can play a song in just
    one keyframes, because the sound will bounce from one performance to the next by continuously
    repeating the single keyframe.

  10. By putting an MP3 sound file on just one keyframe
    in a Flash movie, you make make this sound file
    play continuously as background music as you
    Flash movie plays.

  11. You can add little sounds and noises by going to
    "Windows" in Flash and selecting "Common Libraries" and choosing "Sound."

  12. By dragging each sound you want to use from the
    Sound library onto the stage, Flash will place this
    sound into the Library for this movie.

  13. You can use the Flash sound library to add little
    sound effects like when you click on a button or
    cause some other small action in your Flash movie.

4.  Using Tutorials to learn various Flash

  1. Go to  This website contains some
    of the best Flash tutorials on the web.

  2. Now go to the "Tutorials" section of

  3. Choose the category of Flash movie trick that you
    want to take a tutorial from.

  4. Each of these tutorials will take you step-by-step
    through a specific Flash trick.

  5. Sometimes when following these tutorials, you
    will have to backtrack and do them again because
    some of the wording of the instructions isn't
    as clear as it should be.

  6. Using the tutorials in is a great way
    to advance your Flash skills from a beginner to
    and intermediate Flash user.

5. Reminder about Shape tweening

  1. Remember if you want to shape tween "images"
    and words you must first select them and
    select "break apart."

  2. You "break apart" and image or text by first
    selecting it and then going to going to "Modify"
    and then selecting "break apart."

  3. Unless you "break apart" images and text, shape
    tweening will not work.

6. Using advanced Action scripting in Flash movies

  1. Go to

  2. This Flash movie uses complex action-scripting
    to make the image slider slowly move and
    rebound across the stage.

  3. This effect can be performed through complex
    action scripting to make the button constantly
    move but at such slow speeds you can't really
    tell that it is moving.

  4. If you wanted to speed up this effect, the moving
    button would slowly move back and forth across
    the stage, playing a set of images on a sliding
    image bar.

  5. You can use this effect to make your image slide-show play like a slow-motion movie.

  6. If you use this effect, be careful how slow or fast
    you make the button move back and forth.  Too
    slow could be annoying and too fast could be a
    little disorienting.

  2. Macromedia Flash Support Center
  3. Flash
  4. Flash Tools and Software
  5. Flash Jester: Flash Tools
  6. Action Flash Tools
  7. A Photo Tour of Sewall

















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26931      by Chris H. Lewis, Ph.D.

© 2000 by Chris H.  Lewis, Ph.D.
Sewall Academic Program; University of Colorado at Boulder
Created 1 June 2000:  Last Modified: 19 April, 2006

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