Well, after thinking long and hard, I have decided to dump Director for creating my interactive content. I just dived into my first project in Flash and here are a few questions:
1. I have a couple of pop-up menu options and I have a video playing in the background. When the user clicks on the menu buttons, it takes them to a different frame in the flash file and the video essentially stops. Is there any way of clicking a button without the menu being interrupted?
2. I am not sure how many are familiar with DVD authoring, but in DVD apps I can create various chapters for a single movie. Clicking on a chapter takes you to a specific point of the movie. Is there anything similar I can do in Flash?
3. Are there any books on Flash specifically made for authoring interactive content like CDs and DVDs?
Aanarav Sareen, ACE Adobe Certified Expert, Premiere Pro
I've made both Flash CDs and Adobe Encore DVDs, although I've never tried to emulate the DVD feel in a Flash movie. I did once create a Flash CD with an instruction manual playing out. It included chapters, so maybe I can help.
To your questions:
1) A way that may allow you to avoid the video stopping when you jump is to put the video background in its own movie clip on its own layer without any additional keyframes. That way when you jump to a different menu, Flash should leave the movie clip to play through. One thing I have noticed however is that Flash animations tend to pause during interactions, I think it's down to Flash not coping with more than one thing at a time.
2) Chapters are fairly easy to create on your timeline. Simply create a new layer and where you want the chapter points to go, add a blank keyframe then look at the Properties box. There's a space to enter a name - eg chapterone, (stay away from digits). Then on your chapter buttons, simply use:
You can also do it on frame numbers, but if you move your timeline around, you'd have to go back and redo all the numbers.
Depending how you've attached your sound, you may also need to put in a stopAllSounds instruction before the gotoAndPlay. In fact, you might have to split your sound file into chapter chunks, to keep it synchronised.