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Using Adobe Flash CS4 Professional

Using Adobe Flash CS4 Professional

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Published by: leslewis65 on Nov 11, 2008
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About 9-slice scaling and movie clip symbols

9-slice scaling allows you to specify how scaling is applied to specific areas of a movie clip. With 9-slice scaling, you
can ensure that the movie clip looks correct when scaled. With normal scaling, Flash scales all parts of a movie clip
equally, and in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions. For many movie clips, this equal scaling can make the
clip’s graphics look strange, especially at the corners of rectangular movie clips. This is often true of movie clips used
as user interface elements, such as buttons.

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The movie clip is visually divided into nine sections with a grid-like overlay, and each of the nine areas is scaled
independently. To maintain the visual integrity of the movie clip, corners are not scaled, while the remaining areas of
the image are scaled (as opposed to being stretched) larger or smaller, as needed.

When a movie clip symbol has 9-slice scaling applied, it appears in the Library panel preview with the guides displayed.
If Enable Live Preview is turned on (Control> Enable Live Preview) when you scale instances of the movie clip on the
Stage, you see the 9-slice scaling applied on the Stage.

Note: 9-slice scaling cannot be applied to Graphic or Button symbols. Bitmaps inside 9-slice enabled movie clips are scaled
normally, without 9-slice distortion, while the other movie clip contents are scaled according to the 9-slice guides.

Note: 9-slice scaling is sometimes also referred to as “scale 9.”

A 9-slice-enabled movie clip can contain nested objects within it, but only certain types of objects inside the movie clip
properly scale in the 9-slice manner. To make a movie clip with internal objects that also adhere to 9-slice scaling when
the movie clip is scaled, those nested objects must be shapes, drawing objects, groups, or graphic symbols.

A 9-slice-enabled symbol in the Library panel and scaled on the Stage

For video tutorials about 9-slice scaling, see:

•www.adobe.com/go/vid0204

•www.adobe.com/go/vid0205

Edit movie clip symbols with 9-slice scaling

By default, slice guides are placed at 25% (or one-fourth) of the symbol’s width and height from the edge of the symbol.
In symbol-editing mode, the slice guides appear as dotted lines superimposed on the symbol. The slice guides don’t
snap when you drag them on the pasteboard. The guides do not appear when the symbol is on the Stage.

You cannot edit 9-slice-enabled symbols in place on the Stage. You must edit them in symbol-editing mode.

Note: Instances made from a 9-slice-enabled movie clip symbol can be transformed, but should not be edited. Editing
these instances can have unpredictable results.

For video tutorials about 9-slice scaling, see:

•www.adobe.com/go/vid0204

•www.adobe.com/go/vid0205

Enable 9-slice scaling for an existing movie clip symbol

1With the source document open, select Window> Library.

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2Select a movie clip, button, or graphic symbol in the Library panel.

3Select Properties from the Library Panel menu.

4Select Enable Guides for 9-slice Scaling.

Edit a 9-slice-enabled movie clip symbol

1Enter symbol-editing mode by doing one of the following:

•Select an instance of the symbol on the Stage and right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh), and select Edit.

•Select the symbol in the Library panel and right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh), and select Edit.

•Double-click the symbol in the Library panel.

2To move the horizontal or vertical guides, drag and release a guide. The new position of the guide is updated in the
Library preview for the symbol.

Using runtime bitmap caching with movie clip and button symbols

Runtime bitmap caching lets you optimize playback performance by specifying that a static movie clip (for example, a
background image) or button symbol be cached as a bitmap at runtime. Caching a movie clip as a bitmap prevents
Flash Player from having to continually redraw the image, which provides a significant improvement in playback
performance.

For example, when you create animations with a complex background, create a movie clip for the background. The
background is rendered as a bitmap stored at the current screen depth. It can be drawn quickly, letting the animation
play faster and more smoothly.

Without bitmap caching, the animation might play back too slowly.

Bitmap caching lets you use a movie clip and freeze it in place automatically. If a region changes, vector data updates
the bitmap cache. This process minimizes the number of redraws that Flash Player must perform, and provides
smoother, faster playback performance.

Only use runtime bitmap caching on static, complex movie clips in which the position, but not the content, of the
movie clip changes on each frame in an animation. The playback or runtime performance improvement from using
runtime bitmap caching is only noticeable on complex-content movie clips. Runtime bitmap caching with simple
movie clips does not enhance performance.

For more information, see When to enable caching in Learning ActionScript 2.0 in Adobe Flash.

Note: You can only use the Use Runtime Bitmap Caching option for movie clip and button symbols.

Under the following circumstances, a movie clip does not use a bitmap (even if Use Runtime Bitmap Caching is
selected) but instead renders the movie clip or button symbol by using vector data:

•The bitmap is too large (greater than 2880 pixels in either direction).

•The bitmap fails to allocate (producing an out-of-memory error).

Specify bitmap caching for a movie clip

1Select the movie clip or button symbol on the Stage.

2In the Property inspector, select Use Runtime Bitmap Caching.

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