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Introduction to Flash MX Design

by: bs0d
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Ok, im going to attempt to write a tutorial on using 'Macromedia FLASH MX' for Windows. Im using Windows ME, And I also use Windows XP and I dont think the program differs between Windows OS'. However, MACINTOSH maybe different. Also, if you're using Linux/Unix - I dont even know if macromedia makes FLASH for that OS. But be sure to check and make sure.

Anyways- Flash MX is the most current version of Flash as of 03/01/03. And, I will make two seperate tutorials i recommend you read when this is all complete:

  1. This Flash design tutorial.
  2. Action Script tutorial. Action Script is the programming behind flash, which is what does all the complicated stuff aside from designing.

This tutorial will cover the Flash design and such. If you're looking for a tutorial on how to learn Action Scripting, then you will have to wait until that tutorial has been written!


Now, im going to assume that you have Macromedia Flash MX installed on your Windows OS. When you first open it, you will see a blank document, and on the right-

  • COLOR MIXER - Which you will use to select colors and adjust them to your specifications.
  • COLOR SWATCHES - Which are pre-set colors for you to choose from.
  • COMPONENTS - lets you choose from different components (combo box, check box, list box )to add to your flash document.
  • ANSWERS - This is where you can find whats new in Flash, and read the tutorials provided with the software.

Also, on the LEFT, are TOOLS that you will use to create your Flash document/animation.


The last tutorial I wrote, was 25 pages in MS Word; so I think I need to sort of Narrow things down a bit. Be more specific on how things work and such. The first thing we will discuss is FRAMES.

Movies, you watch on television are considered "FRAME BY FRAME" ; which means that each picture you see, is actually a 'STILL' frame and the next frame is slightly different than the first. If you plan on doing Animation in flash (such as cartoons) you will use the FRAME BY FRAME method.

You can adjust how many frames per second you want your movie to play. Default is 12fps. In the PROPERTIES you'll be able to adjust the frames per second. The higher the fps, the faster the movie will play. The lower the fps, the slower it will play. Also, in the movie PROPERTIES, you will be able to manipulate the canvas color, size and much more.


Lines Is a good place to begin. Go ahead and select that little PENCIL TOOL (Y) from the TOOL BOX and begin to (lets see...), SPELL YOUR NAME in LAYER 1 on the canvas. Does this remind you something? Remember "Paint?" -I tell ya, if it wasn't for "Paint" and Solitare during the 90's...I don't think anybody with a desk-job would have any hair.

Anyways, its just like that. Play around with it. But after you've spelled your name, you can select the ARROW TOOL (V) [BLACK] and double click your name. This will select it all.

Now, at the bottom of the tool box, you see OPTIONS. And then, two other boxes. One box will SMOOTH the line(s), the other will STRAIGHTEN them. Fool around a bit with that. That will help you in further animations so lines are not so jagged, ect.

TIP: Also, if you're wanting to select specific areas of certain objects- the LASSO TOOL (L) is just for you. Just select the tool from the tool box and draw around the area you wish to be selected.

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