Creating Movie Sections

You now have enough of the interface together to go forward and create different sections of the movie. As you know, the curtains will be opening to reveal various pieces of art from the portfolio we're using. Each different art piece will require its own section of Score so that it too can be animatedit will get larger when it's clicked. If you noticed project buttons 1 through 8 on the left of the interface, you will have guessed that there will be a total of eight sections to the movie. You are only building two of these sections in this book, but that's enough so that you can do more if you want. Which, by the way, I suggest you do.

Right now, the curtains open immediately when the movie is played, but that's not what they're supposed to do. We want them to stay closed until one of the project buttons is clicked. The curtains will then open, revealing the portfolio pieces. In the next section you'll create the buttons (and the Lingo) to jump to the sections you are making now.

You already know that each frame of your movie can be different, and that you can place sprites on any range of frames. That should give you an idea of how you'd create different movie sections. But Director makes it even easier, and better, using markers.

Markers have a quite simple role: they allow you to name a frame. At the very top of the Score is the marker channel, along with three buttons to help you navigate your markers.

To add a new marker to your movie, you need only single-click in the marker channel at the frame you want to place the marker, and then name it. Let's do that now.


Click in the marker channel at frame 15 to add a new marker, and then enter project1 as the marker's name.

This will serve as the starting frame for the first portfolio piece. When the project 1 button is clicked, the playhead will jump to that marker, play the "curtain open" animation, and display the artwork. Don't worry that the marker is currently in the middle of the curtain animation, which spans frames 1 through 20. You will copy and move the curtains next.


In the Score, choose both curtains: sprites 6 and 7.

You can choose multiple sprites using the Shift or Ctrl/Command keys. You choose one sprite by single-clicking it. You can choose a continuous range by holding down Shift and clicking another sprite; all sprites between the two will be selected. By holding Ctrl/Command instead, you can pick individual sprites and add them to your selection one by one.


On the top menu choose Edit > Copy Sprites or press Ctrl/Cmd+C to copy the sprites.

With the two sprites copied into memory you need to modify the curtain sprites currently on the Stage by modifying their span lengths to go from frame 1 to frame 10. You can then remove their keyframes as they will be part of the intro section, where the curtains remain closed until a button is clicked.


With the two sprites selected, click in the frame bar in the Score to move the playhead to frame 10. Both sprites should remain selected.


From the top menu choose Modify > Extend Sprite or press Ctrl/Cmd+B.

Both sprites instantly resize their spans to stop at frame 10.


In the Score, right-click the selected sprites. From the contextual menu choose Remove Keyframe.

Now the curtains close, and there's no longer any animation on the two curtain sprites. However, you still have the two original sprites, with their animation, copied into memory from Step 3.


Single-click in the Score at frame 15 of channel 6, and then either choose Edit > Paste Sprites from the top menu or press Ctrl/Cmd+V to paste in the original animated curtain sprites.

Your Score should now resemble this image:


Repeat Step 7, but click at frame 40 of channel 6, and paste another copy of the animated sprites.

Your Score now looks like so:

Because you'll be making two sections of the portfolio, you might as well place two copies of the curtains as long as you have them in memory, available to paste. You will need to change the span lengths of the other interface sprites so the curtains aren't hanging out in space.


Modify the span lengths of sprites 1, 2, and 8 so that they end at frame 59, the same frame the second set of curtains ends on.

You can either click and drag the end frame of the three sprites out to frame 59 one at a time, orusing the methods you just learneddo them all at once by selecting all three sprites, clicking at frame 59 in the frame bar, and pressing Ctrl/Cmd+B.


Click in the marker channel at frame 40 to add a new marker, and then enter project2 as the name of the new marker. Add another new marker named intro at frame 1.

With the extended interface sprites and markers in place, your Score should now look like this:

If you're wondering why I had you leave some frames empty between the sections, that's to make the Score easier to read. If there were no empty spaces between the sprite spans, it would be harder to identify the sections. As you'll learn later, leaving empty frames also makes it easier to modify the Score by adding or removing frames while leaving sprite animations untouched.


To move a marker in the marker channel, grab it and drag it to the frame you want it on. To delete a marker, drag it up or down, and it will disappear.

One other way to easily identify sprites or sections is to color your sprite spans differently. By default, Director colors each span a light purple, but there are six different colors available.


Single-click the first sprite in channel 6; it's the left curtain in the intro section. Then, while holding down the Shift key, single-click the last sprite in channel 7; it's the right curtain in the project2 section.

This will choose all six sprites in channels 6 and 7, all of the curtains in all three sections.


Click on the orange color chip at the bottom of the Score to change all six of the sprites to orange.

With all the curtain sprites colored orange, it's easy to quickly identify them in the Score.

If you play the movie in its current state you'll find it just plays through the three sections over and over until you stop it. What's needed now is to add pauses to the movie so that once it plays a section it will wait until it's told to go somewhere else.

But before moving on, this is probably a good time to save the movie, if for no other reason but that lightning is flashing outside as I type this. If you haven't already done so, you should create a general folder on your hard drive for all the book's lessons. Name it dmx2004_source. Within this folder you can create folders for each new project. Create a project_one folder now, within the dmx2004_source folder.


From the top menu, choose File > Save. Navigate to the project_one folder on your hard drive and save the movie as portfolio.

Don't worry about giving the movie the .dir file extension if you're in Windows; Director will do it for you. On the Mac you needn't worry about it at all, as it doesn't use file extensions.

Macromedia Director MX 2004. Training from the Source
Macromedia Director MX 2004: Training from the Source
ISBN: 0321223659
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 166
Authors: Dave Mennenoh

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