I don't wanna buy or learn Flash. Please help me avoid having to.
November 7, 2007 9:47 AM   Subscribe

Can you please help a Flash idiot (me) do what ought to be a fairly simple task?

I know nothing about Flash, and I've been perfectly happy that way. But now, I need to create what I think is a very simple graphic, and sure could use some help: Three images, identical dimensions. Shown one after another, X number of seconds delay between them, endless looping. Each image links to a different URL. Snazzy transitions a must.

Do I need to go out and buy a full version of Flash for this? God, I hope not. Is there some simple way to accomplish this?
posted by jbickers to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Try Swish

I think even javascript will get you there, but if you don't know flash/actionscripting (similar to javascript), then Swish will be easier to throw together.
posted by idiotfactory at 9:53 AM on November 7, 2007

Does it have to be Flash? I pointed this out the other day in another thread, but script.aculo.us has something that does what I think you want.

Working example:Walmart Watch. The banner rotates and each image links to a different story.

I believe you could define what the transition is, if the fade isn't snazzy enough.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 9:53 AM on November 7, 2007

Is flash a requirement or just a means to an end? You can get pretty far with just plain javascript - check out SmoothGallery (e.g. timed image switcher.)
posted by Rhomboid at 10:36 AM on November 7, 2007

If it must be Flash -- and if you can't find a 3rd-party tool -- this is something that a semi-competent Actionscript (Flash's programming language) could throw together for you in an hour (in a way that was easy for you to customize without knowing anything about Flash or Actionscript).

So find a freelancer on Craigslist or whatever and note his hourly rate. Are you willing to pay $50 - $75 dollars for this? If so, problem solved.

If ANYONE tells you they can build this for you, but it will take four hours, they're incompetent or lying.
posted by grumblebee at 10:45 AM on November 7, 2007

Create keyframes on the timeline, one for each image. Leave, say, 10 frames in between each keyframe for now. (You can adjust this later to make the images change faster or slower.) Click on each keyframe and drag an image to the stage.

That should get you a slideshow that loops through the images.

To make an image a link, select its keyframe, then right-click the image and convert to symbol. Select the "button" type. Once you've converted it to a button, the button's properties should include a URL property of some sort for you to fill in, IIRC.

As for snazzy transitions, you're going to have to look that up yourself. Fades are pretty simple, but I don't know if that's snazzy enough. Look up alpha tweens if you're interested. If you want something involving the images moving, google motion tweens.
posted by ignignokt at 10:45 AM on November 7, 2007

Oh, crap. I misread the question. Mods, you can delete my post. Sorry, I just got up.
posted by ignignokt at 10:46 AM on November 7, 2007

Response by poster: It doesn't need to be Flash - Javascript will do just fine. I'm investigating script.aculo.us, although the documentation is atro.cio.us. Really was hoping for something much simpler.
posted by jbickers at 10:54 AM on November 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

Yeah -- the documentation sucks.

I just did "view source" on the walwartwatch.com page to figure out how to get that functionality to work on my site.

The only tricky things that I recall was making sure the doctype for the page is correct, and that the scripts have to be in order:

prototype.js [and then]

and then the script calling for the rotation in the body of the page itself. In that script, you can tell it what sort of effect you want, and for how long.

Good luck!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:08 AM on November 7, 2007

Response by poster: I just did "view source" on the walwartwatch.com page to figure out how to get that functionality to work on my site.

OK, I give up ... can you show me how to call that effect? I've got the js files installed, and I can see where the calls are to the images/URLs ... but where is the call to the JS?
posted by jbickers at 11:17 AM on November 7, 2007

I'm late in this thread, but .js files are always pointed to in the head of the html..

script type="text/javascript" src="http://walmartwatch.com/js/sifr.js
script type="text/javascript" src="http://walmartwatch.com/js/domover.js">
followed by inline javascript.
posted by phaedon at 11:28 AM on November 7, 2007

I guess I'm showing my old fogeyness here -- I would use an animated GIF.

See here and here for instructions.
posted by Arthur Dent at 12:37 PM on November 7, 2007

Oops. Ignore my comment - completely missed the link to a different url portion of the requirement...
posted by Arthur Dent at 12:38 PM on November 7, 2007

Response by poster: In case folks are interested, this site turned out to have an extremely simple solution. Only thing it doesn't do is the slick transitions. Life goes on.
posted by jbickers at 12:45 PM on November 7, 2007

Best answer: If you don't want to go with jquery or scriptaculous, I've seen people achieve nice results with fadeshow - it has the transitions you're looking for, and all you have to do is add the image URLs, links, and ALT text.

It's kind of hacky code, but if you're looking for something cross-browser that looks good and involves almost no install/setup time... I wouldn't ordinarily recommend something off Dynamic Drive, but this seems like it's perfectly tailored for your type of situation.
posted by myrrh at 4:08 PM on November 7, 2007

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