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In this chapter, we're going to be working with something called shape tweens. Tween is one of the keywords that you need to know when you're working in Flash. The word tween is short for "in between." In a tween, Flash creates frames of animation for you, so you don't have to create every single frame like you do in a frame-by-frame animation. This is useful because it takes less time and it's easier to edit than a frame-by-frame animation. So we'll start learning about tweens by talking about tweening shapes. Before you learn how to do shape tweens, I just want to show you the new types of frames that you'll see when you're working with shape tweens.
If you look in the timeline in my file here, you'll see green backgrounds. Green backgrounds indicate shape tweens. A shape tween is basically a morph animation using a shape. Basically, you specify a start and an end keyframe and Flash creates the frames in between, hence the name tween. So if I scrub the playhead, you can see the girl's hair morphs. If I select the hair on the first frame, you'll see that it's a simple shape.
So I specify the first and last keyframe and Flash does everything in the middle. When you see green in the background, the arrow is indicating a successful shape tween. That means you followed all of the rules of creating a tween. I'll explain the rules in more detail later on. An unsuccessful shape tween is represented by a dashed line with a green background. So you can see here, there is something wrong, so the tween is not working properly. If I show that layer and scrub the playhead, you can see the tween stops at frame 11 and does not change for the rest of the time.
Now let's talk about the rules of a shape tween. I mentioned earlier that you have to define the start and end keyframes. That's really all you have to do. You just have to make sure that on the start and end keyframes you only have one shape and no other content. So, if you look at my file here, if I click on the first keyframe of the ponytail bottom layer, you can see that all there is on that frame is one simple shape. If I go to the next keyframe in that layer, you'll see that there is also just one shape.
So by following the rule of having one shape on each keyframe, you can create shape tweens. So throughout this chapter, you'll get practice creating your own shape tweens and you'll learn how to customize them and use them in your applications.
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