I've found an excellent looking cloud animation that I'm trying my best to reproduce, and I think I could be on to something. If there are any more "Flash friendly" procedures out there than mine, I would be more than happy to be let in on the secret.
Upon being lowered into the main page, a user is given option to select different headings that bring them to different parts of the landscape. Within the landscape, I believe that the same compositional theory applies to how the artist created both the repeating 'pulsing cloud' animation, the waterfall and the glimmer on the water.
To reproduce this, my newest approach has me using Adobe After Effects to create the animation (SWF w/transparency) and import it into my FLA file. I select small portions of the overall picture that I desire to appear animated (A square of 150x250) cut it from the main picture and animate the cloud or water directly over the already placed background water or cloud (to avoid mismatching of backgrounds, or visible outline transparency issues.)
This approach has only half-worked mind you, and I'm still curious about whether there are better ways to:
A)Create a repeating animation by distorting a PNG image over time.
B)Effectively animating the image in Flash to avoid importing big and clumsy rasterized SWFs from AE
C)Find a proper workflow for this sort of page element.
Any speculation on how this can or has been done would be fantastic. I have been trying to solve this for a while myself, so if anybody has any questions, perhaps I can help too.