Working with flash movie Timelines and advanced object timing
This is an Archived Article
This is an archived Blog Article referencing an earlier version of Toufee. These articles are maintained for the sake of posterierity. Information presented on these pages mat not apply to this new version of Toufee.
Timing is an advanced feature of Toufee flash movies and an important feature which could deliver amazing results if used effectively. Just to give a background, timing is the lifeline of a Toufee flash movie, i.e. every flash movie object has a timing value that has start and end points associated with it. All flash objects (i.e. your text, images, etc.) in a Toufee flash movie are relative to each other and any inconsistent timing value might affect other objects in your flash movie leading to deviation from your desired result. Before we go into the nitty-gritty of Toufee movie timing and timelines I would recommend that you please take a moment to go through my earlier article Working with Frame Timing which introduces the basic concepts of frame timing and how to use them. What's in a timing? Timing is everything in a Toufee flash movie - it determines the sequence and flow of your flash movie. To control the timing of an object, select the object and expand the Timing (Experts Only) option under the Advanced tab on the Left Panel. The three important timing settings associated with an object are as follows: Show It: The number of seconds after which the object should show After: Show the object after this event, for example, after Frame1 shows Then Hide It: Hide the object after this event, for example when Frame1 ends. The Hide It takes more values, i.e. you can also specify the number of seconds after which the object should be unloaded. To enter a custom value, one would have to select Custom from the from the Then Hide It dropdown list. Why would you want to select a custom value? Well, there might be instances where you would want to show the text (maybe a tagline) or your company logo throughout the flash movie. I have written a separate blog article on this which you might want to have a look at. Timelines - that extra push! Well, you had Timing options which are great when you want to adjust the timing of your flash movie. Isn't that all one would need? To answer the question, yes, you should be fine with the Timing options in most of the cases, however, there are some instances when you might need more than what the Timing options has to offer. For example, you might in the future run into a situation where you change the Then Hide It value of an object (say an image) to unload along with the frame in which case you would use "when Frame2 ends" (assuming Frame2 is the current frame). You go then ahead and press the Save button but only to find that the changes are not saved? Why wouldn't it save - the reason as I mentioned earlier is the relativity of the Toufee movie objects, i.e. the timing of every flash movie object is relative to one another. So if Toufee finds an inconsistency in timing, it will not save the changes and hence the problem. So how do you rectify this? Timeline is the answer! Where is the Timeline? When you select a Toufee object, you'll immediately notice a timing slider just beneath the Toufee MovieMaker stage. This is the timeline. When you select an object, you'll notice two arrows (triange-shaped) marking the Start and the End timing of the object relative to the frame in which it is present. For example, let's say you have a text control named TControl71. Click on the text control and you'll immediately notice the Timing bar (below the stage) and the Start and End arrows. Simply drag the End arrow to the end of the timing bar - this makes the object TControl71 to unload along with the frame). Please note that the timing bar of TControl71 is relative to the Frame and not to the Movie. If you want to delay showing (say by 2 seconds) of the TControl71, then you would simply move the Start arrow in the slider as in the image below. When you run into instances where you could not set an object to unload witht the frame (i.e. when you cannot select When Frame ends option as the value for Then Hide It field), then simply use the Timeline and set the End arrow to the end of the timing bar. Hope this helps. Until the next time, God bless!