In Chapter 3, you created a simple animation entirely in the main timeline. But what happens when you need to create more complex animations, such as for a cartoon character? A cartoon character usually has several moving parts, such as its mouth, eyes, arms, and legs. If you had to animate the legs every time the character walked and animate the mouth every time the character spoke, it would be very time-consuming. Furthermore, adding variety would require you to create multiple permutations, such as walking while talking versus walking while not talking.
To simplify this process, animators use another type of Flash symbol, called a movie clip. In this chapter, you'll look at how movie clips allow you to create animations that play independently of one another. Next, you will revisit the dual "out of the box" themes of this book: thinking in ways that may be atypical or new to you as a Flash user, and accomplishing as much as possible with the tools you began with. Your project will be to create Box Guy, the unofficial mascot for this book, and to learn to control multiple movie clips to animate his eyes and legs.
Before you begin animating, you need to construct your cartoon character. To do this, you'll use a few simple tools, layers, and symbols. Once all the parts are built, you'll bring the character to life through animation.