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In this context there is no significant distinction between Graphics and Movieclips. Whichever one you use, you're still relying on an embedded secondary timeline. This is NOT selectively animating layers. If you tell people it is, they're going to form a flawed mental model of how Animate works.
Sorry ClayUUID but I respectfully disagree. What context are you referring to?
The poster said they were a beginner and was asking how to loop some layers and have others just play, and none of you actually gave them an answer on how to do this. You all chose to answer it as programmers, assuming they knew as much as you all which is sometimes too complicated for the average person.
In THIS exact distinction Graphic symbols and Movie clips are VERY different. You can't even clearly USE the Looping function in the Properties box with a Movie clip and if you can, a beginner is not going to know how to achieve that because none of you explained HOW to achieve that besides how to get animation into a Movieclip. You play a nested Movie clip on the timeline and nothing happens. At all. It does NOT loop. Do the same with a Graphic symbol and lo and behold... Looping! So, I'd say in THIS exact case, (remember "beginner") looping is EASIER with a Graphic symbol because it clearly shows how to achieve this just by clicking on the symbol. Why the Properties panel even has a sign right on it that in fact says "Looping"! Cuz ya know they asked how TO LOOP and all.
I don't see how offering another possible solution showing multiple ways to USE Animate is flawed in ANY way. Now this poster seems to have gotten something out of your responses so that's great but others will visit this forum as well who might be asking from a different perspective so adding to this with another possible answer can't be wrong can it? I'd appreciate you not publicly telling me I'm wrong without thinking about it from all possible and simpler sides.
You play a nested Movie clip on the timeline and nothing happens. At all. It does NOT loop.
False. Movieclips loop by default.
There is no "programmers" and "animators" point of view here, just two slight variations on the same approach, which is embedding the animation in another timeline.
Again I respectfully disagree. No it does NOT play by default. I tried it to make sure I wasn't mistaken at least mine doesn't but okay...
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Hi guys - dropping my hat in the ring here - not that I need to. I always explain the difference between MCs and Graphic symbols like this:
While they both support any number of nested frames and layers, MCs are dynamic by nature and controlled with ActionScript. Their timelines are not in sync with any other timelines because each MC's playhead is independent of all other playheads. CMS do not play inside of the Animate authoring tool. You have to export to video or render/test to the Flash player in SWF format. Makes for a clunky workflow if you are an animator.
Graphic symbols are in sync with all parent timelines and can be controlled not by ActionScript but by a more analog manual method; keyframes and the Properties Panel's Looping section,and the new Frame Picker panel. Animators prefer Graphic symbols because we often need our animations to be in sync with all other timelines and any audio (if used).
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Some of the way he said things is a little hard to understand (eg, CMS do not play...), but hopefully it helped.
From my point of view, as a programmer and not an animator, you use Graphic always, unless there's a reason it must be MovieClip. If you need to use code to move the item around the stage, it must be MovieClip. If you what to tell it to go to a certain frame with code, it must be MovieClip.
Basically, if any code ever has to do anything to that symbol, it would need to be a MovieClip.
The main drawback of MovieClip is that you can't easily scribe the timeline while authoring to see if the animation is going to work. But, something you can do is make a note of the MovieClip instance name, change it in Properties to be a Graphic, scrub away until you're happy, then change it back to a MovieClip and enter its instance name again.
Another trick I've used is to have a guide layer copy of the MovieClip, with that copy set to be a Graphic. Then I can scrub around to check timing, but in the final publish the Graphic version won't appear.
Actually yes, I completely did not understand this part, what was implied by that: "CMS do not play inside of the Animate authoring tool"?
I am pretty sure it was a typo, and should have been MCs, meaning the plural of MovieClips.
I love _keyframer, he's an animator that knows so many things I don't know. But the Graphic versus MovieClip argument goes across both programming and animating.