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UE3 Home > User Interfaces & HUDs > Scaleform GFx > Scaleform GFx Terminology

Scaleform GFx Terminology

Movie vs Scene vs Stage

A Flash movie is the generic term for content created in Flash. It is also the overall container for Flash content, e.g. the .fla file created in Adobe Flash Professional.

A scene is a "clip" of a movie. A Flash movie can have multiple scenes, each of which are self-contained units. Multiple scenes within a movie will play consecutively without any outside intervention, such as calling stop().

The stage is the area that will be visible in the published Flash movie. It defines the work area within Flash where elements are placed and manipulated.


SWF [pronounced: "swiff"] is the standard file format for published Flash movies. This is what is used by Scaleform (as well as Flash player for web content) and imported into Unreal. It contains all of the images, vector graphics, and ActionScript that makes up the movie created in Flash.


A symbol in flash is just a reusable object. These can be graphics, buttons, or movieclips. Symbols can be reused multiple times in the same document or in other documents. When a copy of a symbol is used, it is called an instance.

A movieclip symbol is a reusable piece of Flash animation. Essentially they are self-contained Flash movies that can be used within other Flash movies. These can contain graphics, shapes, ActionScript, etc.

A graphic symbol pretty much what it sounds like: a bitmap graphic

A button symbol is an object that responds to interactivity such as clicks, key presses, etc. and performs actions based on those interactions.

Instance Name

An instance of a symbol used in a movie has a property called the InstanceName. This is the identifier for the instance that allows it to be accessed and controlled through ActionScript or UnrealScript via the WidgetInitialized call.


ActionScript is the scripting language used by Flash to programmatically control Flash movies and the elements within them.


A tween is an animation that interpolates between (hence the name "tween") two values. These are smooth animations that can have certain aspects controlled, such as the 'easing' in or out.

CLIK Components

The CLIK (Common Language Interface Kit) components are a set of UI components that provide built-in behaviors useful for UI creation and can easily be customized.


Bagging refers to the nesting of one clip inside of another in order to provide a layer of abstraction. This is useful because certain actions such as changing specific properties through code of a clip that is being animated on the timeline can break the timeline for that clip completely. Providing an extra layer to animate while the code can still modify the nested clip solves this problem.