First of all: Using Flash CS 5.0 (going to upgrade soon...)
The big advantage of graphic symbols is that you can view it's animation from within it's parent timeline.
This is why I created a graphic animation, set the looping mode to "play once" so when authoring the file, I can see what's happeing inside when I move the playhead.
BUT, for some reason this preview doesn't show anymore! It almost behaves like a regular MovieClip, only showing the first frame of the animation, no matter what. Even when I set it to "single frame" and enter another frame number, it still only shows frame 1.
I'm really wondering: What breaks this behaviour? Why is my graphic symbol "broken" that it doesn't show it's animation on the parent timeline anymore? And is there something I can do to recover this?
Is it filters on objects inside the graphic clip? is it an actionscript inside an object inside the graphic? This all would render this feature quite useless.
That's difficult because there's classified materials in it... I would have to re-build a case like that.
I also noticed that there is a difference between the way AS2 FLAs and AS3 FLAs are displayed. Even though this shouldn't make so much difference to the authoring view.
In AS2 when I select the Outline display for some graphics, it just outlines the bounding box of the graphic or movie clip.
In AS3 when I select the Outline display, it correctly outlines all shapes inside the clip.
So there seems to be a difference between how AS2 and AS3 FLAs are rendered when authoring. In my case, it's AS2 (yes, marketers always ask for stone-aged banners and can't handle AS3)
Ah okay, I could actually replicate the mis-behaviour.
Inside the graphic, there is a movieclip. Inside this movieclip there is actionscript on some frames.
When I set this layer to "guide", it also gets animated on the main timeline.
I have no clue why... seems like you just shouldn't nest movieclips (with actionscript) into graphics or it won't animate on the authoring stage (it will animate in the resulting SWF anyway)
Or maybe it's not even the actionscript but one element with "slice 9 scaling" that breaks the whole thing. When I leave that out, it animates again.
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