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Flash CS4 Object-based Animation

With the new upgrade of FlashR CS4, we have a new way to create motion tween animation. Although you probably worked very hard to learn how to create tween animations in Flash and changing things now does mean that you will need to learn some new procedures, I think that you will agree with me that the change is definitely worth the effort. It is so much easier to design an animation with the new object-based animation model.

In previous versions of Flash tween animation was keyframe-based, which meant that you controlled the animation by working with keyframes on the timeline. Although this keyframe-based model was easier for Flash designers than writing ActionScript code, you will find the new object-based animation model much more intuitive to the Flash designers' needs. Instead of manipulating keyframes on the timeline, the designers can now concentrate on the object or objects on the stage that they are animating. The Flash keyframes and timeline will take care of themselves by automatically updating as the object on the stage is moved, resized, scaled, transformed or changed in any way. Creating an object-based tween takes only a few easy, intuitive steps.

  1. Select the object or objects on the stage but don't forget to convert them to symbols.

  2. Right-click on the object and choose Create Motion Tween from the menu. Flash will give you a default 24 frames on the timeline for your animation.

  3. To adjust the number of frames for your animation, simply drag on the animation layer in the timeline. You no longer need to manually add or remove those frames. This is one of my favorite changes in CS4 because, if you change your mind, you just drag on the layer again.

  4. Still concentrating on the object on the stage and not those keyframes, you are now ready to start building your animation. Let's say we want to move the object from point A to point B on the stage, ending on frame 19.

  5. Our next step, is to move the timeline scrubber to frame 19 and move the object to the ending position. As you make this change in the object, Flash automatically inserts the keyframe for you and builds a motion path.

  6. Refining your animation further is as easy as changing the motion path.

Next, we will take a look at the new Motion Editor and motion presets. These presets will cut your workload in half.

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