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Customize the Preloader

The Preloader has a several elements that can be customized so that this pragmatic and functional segment will be aesthetically pleasing and consistent with the Introduction and Home Page that follow it.

Background

The Temporary Background graphic symbol in the Temp Background layer is a filled, gray box with a light blue outline. This symbol was added so that you can change the background appearance of one scene of a movie without affecting the entire movie. If instead you choose to change the background of the movie itself by the using the Modify Movie option, you would affect the entire movie, not just one section. Keep in mind that the Temporary Background symbol will appear to be the background as long as an instance of that symbol appears in the Timeline. So be aware of where you are placing the symbol and over how much of the Timeline it stretches. You can edit the Temporary Background graphic symbol with the fill and stroke options in the Tool palette.

Figure 3.15 Temporary Background graphic symbol in the edit mode on the Stage.

Text Fields

There are two text fields in the Loader Main Movie Clip. The Percent Loaded text is a static text field. This means that it will be embedded upon export and you can choose any font you want to use. The other text field (the one that contains the numeral 0) is a dynamic text field, associated with the variable named percentage, which is fed the percent loaded numbers for the Preloader script. You can change the font for this dynamic text field, but the font must be chosen from among the device fonts. If you don't use a device font in the dynamic text field and the font you choose isn't installed on the viewer's hard drive, the type won't render correctly or at all. If you absolutely must use a non-device font in a dynamic or editable text field, you can create the outlines and include the outline information with the file. This adds considerable size to the file for little benefit, in my opinion. Be aware that the Preloader script refers to the specific variable that is attached to the dynamic text field in the Movie Clip. Don't delete or replace this field or you will prevent the script from performing correctly. You can safely change to color of the fonts in either the dynamic or static text field using the fill option.

Figure 3.16 Static and dynamic Text fields on the Stage.

Green Load Bar

The green load bar is slightly more complicated than it appears at first glance. The black outline for the bar is on the same layer as the dynamic text field. Its been created in Flash, so you can use the stroke option in the Tool palette to alter the color. The inside section of the load bar (the white and green gradient) is the Movie Clip Slider Max and it is located in the Loader Bar layer. The instance of this Movie Clip is named Bar, and it is referred to by instance name in the Preloader script. If you delete this instance, the script will be prevented from performing its duties correctly. You can alter the color of the bar using the fill option in the Tool palette, you could change the fill to a radial gradient, the color of the gradient or to a solid fill. Changing the size or shape of the bar is fine as well, but make sure that the outline is changed to accommodate the new dimensions.

Figure 3.17 Green load bar on the Stage.

Figure 3.18 The Customized Preloader -Here's the customized Preloader for my fictitious robot company.

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