A movieclip is a symbol which (generally speaking) resides in the library, with one or more instances of it on stage.
The content in a movieclip can be anything from a single shape in a single frame to multiple layers containing content (often including other movieclips) changing over many frames.
Additional important things to remember about movieclips:
Here is a list of properties of movieclips that you can alter with actionscript. You can see samples of how to set these properties with actions on a button in the chart here.
|_alpha||transparency (100=opaque, 50 = 50% translucent, 0=invisible)|
|_x||horizontal pixel position of the movieclip's registration point, within the movieclip's containing timeline (0=left edge, 5 = 5 pixels to the right of the container's left edge, -10 = 10 pixels to the left of the container's left edge)|
|_y||vertical pixel position of the movieclip's registration point, within the movieclip's containing timeline (0=top, 5 = 5 pixels down from the top of the container)|
|_xscale||movieclip's width, as a percentage of its actual width (eg, set to 25 to make movieclip one quarter the width it was when first placed on stage). Scaling is done relative to clip's registration point|
|_yscale||movieclip's height, as a percentage of its actual height (eg, set to 50 to make movieclip half as tall as it was when first placed on stage). Scaling is done relative to clip's registration point|
|_visible||movieclip's visibility (true = showing, false = hidden)|
|_rotation||movieclip's rotation around its registration point, in degrees clockwise, relative to its original orientation.|
|(color)||there is no property for changing the color, but you can set the color by creating a color object for the movieclip and using setRGB to set the clip's color|
|The next property in the table is not settable, but is useful for finding out what frame of the movieclip the playhead is currently in|
|_currentframe||not settable, but can be read to see what frame the movieclip's playhead is in|
Discussed on this page:
movieclip properties, _root and _parent, absolute vs relative addresses, instance names, default behavior of movieclips