Frequently asked questions

AnFX Studio

Questions and techniques associated with creating AnFX designs in the studio.

How do I create a link from an Actor to a web page?

In the sequencer near the top of the application change the current event to "Mouse Clicked".

Select the actor that you want to make a link from in the stage window.

Click on the New Action button (left most in the second row of tool bar buttons) and Choose Go to URL...

You can then fill out the details of the link that you want to go to.

I like the sound of AnFX but do I have to set up a large, nasty array of parameters to build my designs?

Part of the AnFX toolkit is a Windows point and click design studio tool called the AnFX Designer. This is one of the things that makes AnFX different from standard applets and is one of the reasons why AnFX is so popular with non programmers - apart from the fact that it so powerful yet compact. It's interface is simple and intuitive - if you know how to use a mouse you can be creating amazing interactive content in minutes!

I have found what may be a bug or a feature that is lacking - how can I tell if a bug is fixed or a new feature added?

You should regularly check the release history page. It contains a list of all releases and the bugs that were fixed and the features that were added to each release. If you downloaded AnFX from somewhere else on the web then there is a good chance that you may not have the latest version.

If you have looked up the release history page and believe that you have found a bug or something that does not work as you expect it to then submit a product support request here.

Does AnFX come with any setup Wizards?

Yes, there are a number of useful Wizards which enable you to build significant designs in seconds!

On your site you have actors that appear to move along a curved path. How do you do that?

Moving in a curved path is simple. By default all motion is linear (math jargon for straight line!). To make movement non linear (math jargon for curved!) edit the properties of your path and click on the "Advanced" button. Change the x or y motion to one of the curved profiles and your actor will move in a natual looking curved path.

When working with a long-playing applet, in AnFX, I can jump to the beginning or end, but to maneuver Actors in the middle of the applet, I have to play the applet to that point, shifting actors one frame at a time. Is there a faster way?

Yes! You can click the shaded bar at the top of the sequencer to move the animation straight to that point in time.

I can't seem to select my waypoints or actors. It keeps selecting a different object to the one I want to select.

If no object is selected and you click in the stage window then AnFX will select the "top most" (see below*) object that it finds at that location. If an object is selected and you click anywhere within that object, even on another object then that original object remains selected unless you hold down the ALT key.

When the ALT key is held down then each time you click the selection will change to the object below the currently selected one until it reaches the bottom most object and then it starts at the top most object again. Keep clicking until the requested object is selected. You can then drag it, size it or right click on it.

Another way to select an object that is obscured by other objects it to choose Edit|Select Actor. You will be presented with a list of actors to choose from. Note that this will select the entire actor (ie., a grey rectangular frame is drawn around the actor). In order to move the entire actor drag it by pressing the left mouse button on the gray frame and moving the mouse. To size individual waypoints or the start point you will need to click inside the frame on a waypoint or start point to select them in preference to the entire actor being selected.

*top most means that object that is above all others. Imagine that each actor in the AnFX stage window is actually painted onto a sheet of clear plastic and that all of these sheets are laid on top of each other to form the scene. Viewers of your AnFX designs just see the total effect with objects on the top sheets obscuring the view of objects on lower sheets. You can change the ordering of the sheets by selecting an actor and choosing Arrange|Bring to front or Arrange|Send to back.

How do I copy all actors from one scene to another?

Click on empty space to deselect any selected actors. Now hold down the SHIFT key and drag a rectangle completely around all of the actors that you wish to copy. Choose Edit|Copy and go to the scene that you want to paste them to and the choose Edit|Paste.

I changed my animation size in the designer, but when I go to test it, it only displays the old size, and clips the rest off. How do I fix this?

If you already have a HTML file generated from a certain sized applet, AnFX will not replace the size attributes if you change the animation size. You will need to manually edit the HTML code, and locate the area that looks like this:

<applet code="anFXApplet.class" width=400 height=200 align=middle>
<!-- AnFX (c) 1996,2002 Step Ahead Software -->
<!-- -->
<param name=afxfile value="test.afx">

Where it says "width=400" and "height=200", replace the values 400 and 200 with the desired width and height of your animation.

How can I do outlined boxes like on the Step Ahead Software web site?

Right click on a rectangle acor and choose Outline. Set up the thickness of the line in the dialog box that appears.

Can I make images fade in and out with AnFX?

Yes! AnFX 4 has introduced the ability to phase images as well as text, rectangles etc., Simply set up an intensity action on an image and the image will phase accordingly. See the online help under "fading" for more details.

In the tutorials, the background changes colour from black to white gradually, and back again at the end. How do you phase the background like that?

This is easy. Make a box the size of the applet, and set its colour to black. Change the applets background colour to white. Then, when the applet starts, make the box phase from 100 to 0. It will look like the whole animation is phasing colour.

How do you do XYZ like in the animations on the Step Ahead Software website?

If you want to know how do so something or have a question then enter a support request here.