Let me now introduce you to Flash's Target Path Tool. This is one that you'll want to get very familiar with as it'll really help you with your early flash scripts. A target path is the address of the timeline that you want to target. Remember, we're going to be looking at targeting different timelines in this section of the tutorial. The display list of timelines in Flash is similar to the hierarchy of files and folder on a web server. Just as on a web server, each timeline in Flash can be addressed two ways; with an absolute path or a relative path. To demonstrate this, go ahead and open up Target underscore Clock underscore Hands Start File. You'll see a clock face right here. Double click on the clock face and that'll bring you to this movie clip, clock background movie clip. Inside of this is some graphics; the clock face, the numbers, but also a movie clip containing a minute hand. If we hide the background and the numbers and the cover, we can see these better. Double click on the minute movie clip and you can see that there is a timeline here. There's also a second hand inside of the minute hand. Notice right here, second hand, minute hand, clock background. There's also an hour hand here. Let's go ahead and hide the minute hand. There's the hour hand. If we double click on that we can see the timeline where the hour hand is moving. So this is the structure of this file. A little bit more complicated than it need be here in terms of visualizing where all these movie clips are so Flash has provided a very nice tool here in the Actions Panel. It's called the Target Path Tool. It's this target icon right here. Click on Insert a Target Path and you'll get this Insert Target Path Dialog that shows you in a more visual way the structure of the open file. Notice that I have my root timeline with that movie clip there and inside of that I have my clock timeline and I have a bunch of buttons; hour play, minute play, second play as well as the stop hour, stop minute and stop second. Notice there's a little plus sign right there. In the clock instance are three other movie clips here; hour, minute and then the numbers. Inside the minute movie clip is another one, the second movie clip. So that gives you a really good indication of the hierarchy and the organization of the various timelines in this file but what I want to point out is that notice that as you click on the various object, you get the target path right here. That target path is the path from wherever you are, in this case the main timeline, to that timeline embedded in the main timeline. Notice you also have two options; absolute or relative. But go ahead and open this up and play around with this and notice carefully these paths and how they're different. We're going to cover these paths in great detail in the next several movies. Notice that all of these paths up here at the top of the Insert Target Path Dialog change very subtly when I move back and forth between the relative option and the absolute option. Notice that all the absolute paths start with the word Root and then proceed through the hierarchy of movie clips. The relative paths start with the word This. In short, a relative path is dependent on the relationship between the controller timeline and the target timeline. An absolute path starts with the name of the level into which the movie is loaded and continues through the display until it reaches its target instance. I think these distinctions here are a little bit abstract still so let me now move on to the next movie and demonstrate the differences between these two pathing options with some very concrete, specific examples.
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