Movie Clip Symbols

Movie Clip symbols are generally indicated for animations, and in cases when you're not sure what type of Symbol to use.
Movie Clip symbols have their own Timeline, and can be added in a single frame in the main Timeline, so an instance of a Movie Clip symbol always takes up just one frame in the animation to which you add it, no matter how many frames the movie clip symbol actually contains.
- Unlike "Graphic symbols", you can add sounds to Movie Clip symbols and control them through ActionScript.
- Unlike Graphic symbols, you can only see the first frame of the movie clip in the main Timeline.

Creating a Movie Clip symbol

  1. Select on Stage the object you want to convert into a Movie Clip symbol (usually images or object that will be animated)
  2. Click Modify -> Convert to Symbol (or press F8)
  3. Flash will open a "Convert to Symbol" window. Type in a name for the symbol. Click the Type list arrow, then choose Movie Clip, and click OK.
- Flash will add that Symbol in the Library panel, and the selected object in the Stage become an Instance of that Symbol.

• Another way to create a Symbol is with the New Symbol option (this way is most often used with movie clip symbols than with the other types of symbols):
  1. Click the Insert -> New Symbol. Flash will open a Create New Symbol window, with the same Symbol Properties that you see when you use "Convert to Symbol".
    Create New Movie Clip Symbol
  2. Type in a name for the symbol. Click the Type list arrow, then choose Movie Clip, and click OK.
  3. Flash enters a symbol editing mode that contains a blank scene, with a '+' sign in the center. On the "Edit bar" will be displayed the name of the Symbol, next to Scene name.
    Symbol edit mode
    Anything you create in that blank page and its Timeline will represent the symbol.
  4. Create and add the content you want in that Movie Clip (images, frames in Timeline, drawings).
    To return to the main Stage, click on the Scene name, in the Edit bar (or double-click on an empty area).
  5. The Movie Clip symbol you have created is stored in the Library panel, from this panel you can drag on the Stage instances of that symbol.

To change movie clip properties, select the clip (instance) onto the Stage, and then change options in the "Properties panel" (displayed in the image below).

Movie Clip Properties

Movie Clip Properties
If you want to edit a Movie Clip symbol, to make changes to its content, right-click on the Movie Clip name in the Library (or right-click on one of its instances on the Stage), and chose Edit.
Any changes made in the Edit symbol mode is transfered to the master symbol and to all its instances.
The changes made to an instance directly on the Stage (like Rotation, Resizing or Color Effect) not affect the master symbol or the other instances, but if that Movie Clip contains an animation, the changes will be applied to all its frames. For example, if you rotate the instance and apply a color effect, the animation will be rotated and all its frames will have that color effect.
If you delete the master Movie Clip symbol from Library, all its instances will be deleted.

• The Movie Clip symbol is also useful when you want to apply effects to an image imported in the Flash document.
In the following example we add a Filter effect, 3D rotation and Color effect to an image imported in Flash:
  1. Open a new Flash document and click File -> Import -> Import to Stage, choose an image from your computer and press "Open" to import it in the Stage.
  2. Select the 3D Rodation Tool from the "Tools panel" and try to make something with it, to rotate the image. The result ... nothing.
  3. Select the image (with "Selection tool"), click Modify -> Convert to Symbol, chose the "Movie Clip" type, then click OK.
  4. Now, the image in the Stage is an instance of this Movie Clip symbol. Make sure it is selected, then open the "Properties panel".
  5. Now will apply some effects to that image. At the Filters sub-menu click Add filter (see the image below), then select an effect (for example Drop Shadow). To personalise it, change some of its properties, like: Color blue, Distance 12 px, and Quality Hight.
    Filters effects
  6. Select again the 3D Rodation Tool and click on the image. This time it selects it, and if you hold click and drag the cursor, the image will be rotated in 3D plans.
  7. A final effect. In the Properties panel, at the Color Effect sub-menu, click on the Style list and select one of its options, for example, Brightnes.
- You can watch this example in the presentation below:

Movie Clip - Image

movie_clip_image
- You can download the FLA file with this example from -> Movie Clip - Image.