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The animation tools have been greatly enhanced in Flash CS4, and Todd Perkins teaches their advanced capabilities in Flash CS4 Professional Tools for Character Animation. He shows how to master the new Motion Tween model and the Motion Editor to control easing and effects such as Squash and Stretch. He demonstrates how to use the new 3D tools to add rotation, perspective shadows, and layered animations. Complex interactive animations and walk cycles are created without a line of code using bone systems. Todd also demonstrates the power of advanced masking, sound effect syncing, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this chapter we are going to look at motion tweens at a more advanced level than what we did in the Essential Training title. We will start off by simply reviewing how motion tweens work. If you are following along you can open up Review_Motion_Tween.fla from the Chapter 01 folder. You can also just create a movie clip on the Stage. You can create a motion tween using a symbol by right-clicking or Ctrl-clicking the frame where the symbol is in the Timeline. So I am going to right-click in the animation layer, I am going to choose Create Motion Tween, and by the way you may have noticed Create Classic Tween as an option here.
Classic tweens represent the older versions of motion tweens, so that the motion tween of Flash CS3 and previous versions of Flash are now called classic tweens. So they are still there in case you ever want to use them. Notice that Flash automatically extends the Timeline for one second of animation. So I now have 18 frames. So now if I want to animate properties, I can go to frame one and adjust any properties I want to animate. So let's say I am going to make the monster move from where it is now, down to the bottom of the Stage. So I am going to go to the frame one and then I am going to push Down on my keyboard and then I am going to push Up on my keyboard.
So what that did is it moved the monster down one pixel and back up one pixel which doesn't really do anything visually but what it does is by adjusting the property on a particular frame in a motion tween we are telling Flash to memorize that property value. So by adjusting the Y position of the monster we had the Flash memorize that position and make what's called a Property Keyframe. So remember a keyframe is a place where you tell Flash exactly how you want something to look in a particular frame and now what I will do is I will scroll to the last frame and then I will move the monster straight down by holding Shift on my keyboard and using the Down arrow. The reason why I am using my keyboard instead of clicking and dragging is so I don't accidentally move the monster a little bit to the right or to the left; if I go to the playhead we can preview the animation.
So Flash has created a motion tween and then if you look at the purple line that I have here, Flash created a motion path. Remember that if you click and drag that line or you move around anchor points in it, the Flash will modify the motion path. I am going to undo the change that I just made by pressing Command+Z on the Mac or Ctrl+Z on the PC. So there is a symbol motion tween. So what I have to do to create a motion tween is right-click or Ctrl-click where your symbol is that you want to animate and then choose Create Motion Tween. From there all you need to do is modify the properties that you want to animate at the beginning and ending frames of your animation.
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