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Layers

You’ve been placing all your movie clips on Layer 1. As with After Effects, each animated item must be on its own layer. In After Effects, you have no choice—adding footage to the Composition panel automatically creates a new layer. Flash is more like Photoshop: You have to tell it when you want a new layer. However, there’s a great shortcut that allows you to quickly generate multiple layers and place each selected item on one of them.

  1. Continue working in the same file or open setup_done.fla from the Chapter_02 Project Files folder. Hold down the Shift key and carefully select all the ships and planes. Don’t select the map or the water. If you accidentally select something, you can Shift-click to deselect it.
  2. Choose Modify > Timeline > Distribute to Layers. Flash makes a layer for each selected item.
  3. But where are all the planes and ships? They’re hidden behind the water. The water and map were not in the selection set, so Flash left those items on Layer 1, and it added the new layers below that layer.

  4. Drag the divider at the bottom of the Timeline panel to reveal all the layers.
  5. Drag Layer 1 to the bottom of the Layer stack. Ah, there are the vehicles!
  6. In the Timeline, double-click Layer 1 and rename it map.
  7. Create a layer manually by clicking the New Layer button. Double-click the new layer’s name and type ship. With the new layer selected, drag a ship movie clip from the Library and drop it on the Stage.
  8. Click the New Folder button and name the folder vehicles.
  9. Drag the plane and ship layers into the folder.
  10. You’ve left the water and map on Layer 1 (which you renamed map). That’s okay, because you won’t be animating those items.

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