December 11, 2010

Using Effects inside ‘Advanced Actions’

In this article, I would like to add usage of ‘Effects’ in ‘Advance Actions’ to make captivate movie look more effective and jazzy. If you are not familiar with ‘Effects’ feature you might want to refer to this blog post.

http://blogs.adobe.com/captivate/2010/07/a_picture_is_worth_a.html

Before getting into ‘Advanced Actions’, I would like to explain ‘Effect’ nomenclature briefly. To apply an effect, we need a target object on which the effect is applied. Also you might want to configure the effect to possible extent. However there are certain effects that do not have any configuration parameters. So an ‘Apply Effect’ action boils down to three tuple with ‘Configuration Parameters’ being optional:

[Target Object, Effect Name, [Configuration Parameters]]

For example say you have a highlight box (hbox1) and you want to rotate it. Usually one complete rotation is 360 degrees. You can choose ‘Emphasis->Clockwise Rotate’ to do one complete rotation.The above mentioned effect does not have any configuration parameters(It assumes 360 degree rotation). But you might also want to rotate the object to an arbitrary angle. To do that, choose ‘Basic->RotateTo’ effect and choose the ‘Rotation’ value to 180. The object rotates to 180 degrees.

Now let us get into some action. I would demonstrate an effect that is recently posted in of the captivate blogs.You can refer to the following link to know ‘How To Create Custom Effects’.

http://blogs.adobe.com/captivate/2010/12/effects-creating-custom-effects-in-flash-and-using-in-captivate.html

Note:
Since we are going to use a custom effect that is added to poject,I would like to add a small note that, user defined effects would be under ‘Effects->Custom’ category in ‘Advanced Actions’. I had imported the vibration effect xml into the project manually. You need to do the same(It is not a default effect that come with captivate)

Now, Using the effect, I would want to create a login page in which a password required to enter the course. If the password is incorrect, the textbox vibrates/shakes (mimics the MAC behavior). Let us see how it works.

. You need to create a new conditional action say ‘Password_Check_Action‘. 

. Check the ‘Text_Entry_Box_1‘ variable against the correct password. You can see the screen-shots below.

. Attach the ‘Password_Check_Action‘ to submit button of the Login form.

Below swf checks against password. You can try it out on your own and see the effect. Right password is ‘password‘.

So far we have seen how to add an effect that does not have any configuration parameter. Now let us see an effect with configuration parameters. The following steps sho how to configure parameters for scale effect.

. Add a Hilightbox and a Button on to the stage

. Create a ‘Standard Action

. Choose -> ‘Apply Effect‘ action

. Choose ‘Hilight_Box_1‘ as target object.

. Choose -> ‘Select Effect‘ -> ‘Basic‘ -> ‘ScaleTo

. Now click on the Button next to Effect to invoke effect parameter dialog.

. Change the values of scaleX and scaleY values and press ‘OK’

. Save the advanced action and attach it to Button.

. Preview the porject

I hope this gives a starting point to use ‘Effects’ in ‘Advanced Actions’ dialog.’

Posted by kowndiny1:30 AM
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  • http://lilybiri.posterous.com Lieve Weymeis

    Is it possible to check this blog post in IE: the SWF is not loading, nor playing. Thanks.

  • kowndinya

    Thanks Lieve for pointing that out. There is some problem with IE when swf is scaled to larger size. I republished it with different dimensions and now it should be fine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amy-Blankenship/743874381 Amy Blankenship

    How do you set things like the destination of a motion path?

    • Kowndinya

      I will briefly explain the steps involved in applying motion path on a highlight box.

      . Create a new project
      . Insert one highlight box
      . Open ‘Project’->’Advanced Action’ menu
      . Double click on first row
      . Select ‘Apply Effects’
      . In the next column, click on ‘Select Item’. This would show the list of targets that are
      relevant for Effects. Select the highlight box for this example.
      . Next, select ‘Select Effect’ combobox and choose the appropriate motion path(May be
      ‘Triangle’).
      . Save the Advanced Action.
      . Attach this ‘Advanced Action’ to the ‘SlidEnter’ action.
      . Preview ( F4)

      You will be able to see the motion path applied on the highlight box.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amy-Blankenship/743874381 Amy Blankenship

        I mean, when you do this through the effects panel, a little “1″ appears at the lower right corner of the highlight box. When you click that, there is a line with a square on one end and an arrow on the other that you use to set where the origin and destination of the motion path is. How do you change the origin and destination of a motion path that you’re applying through an Advanced Action (not just choose one and be stuck with the defaults)? Hope that’s more clear.

        • Kowndiny

          Ok. So my understanding is you are looking for custom motion path inside Advanced Actions. This can not be done via Advanced Actions. However there is a work-around.

          . Create a custom motion path on the stage using effects panel.
          . Save the motionpath as an xml(you can see a save button in the left corner of the
          effect timeline).
          . Now select the highlight box again and click in fx button.
          . Browse for the xml and select it and save the project.
          . Now the new custom motion path is available for Advanced Actions in the ‘Custom’
          menu item of the action list. This can be applied on different objects.

          I hope this what you are looking for :)

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