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In Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training, author Todd Perkins explains the fundamentals of Flash Professional CS5, the industry standard for creating animations and interactive applications for the web, desktop, and mobile devices. This course starts with the basics, such as using the drawing tools to create simple animations, and progresses to automating animation with tweens and adding interactivity with ActionScript. This course also covers how to add sound and video to projects, enhance realism with effects like easing, and publish a project to a variety of platforms. Exercise files are included.
One of the most useful tools you have when creating a frame-by-frame animation in Flash is Onion Skinning. Onion Skinning allows you to preview frames before and/or after the current frame you are working on. So let's take a look at this animation of the pedals here. If I scrub the playhead, you can see that the pedals start to rotate around counterclockwise. If I go to frame 11, I can create some keyframes. I'll create them in all of the pedals layers, and I want to make this halfway between here and where it is in frame 13.
So what I am going to do to do that is turn on Onion Skinning so I can look at a preview of frame 13 while I am editing frame 11. To do that, click the Onion Skin button at the bottom of the timeline. It's immediately to the right of the Center Frame button. That's the red one. So click the Onion Skin button and then you can see a faded-back preview of the next fame. Now, you may not be able to see it because of your Onion Skin markers. The markers for Onion Skin allow you to control the range of the frames that you see when you are editing a frame.
So I can click-and-drag on the circle for the markers to preview more or less frames. So if I drag one marker all the way up to my current frame, I can preview only backwards or only forwards. So now I'll make the change. I'll select the middle part of the pedals, and then I'll rotate it halfway, and I'll move the front pedal to the right side and the back pedal to the left side. So now I can complete the animation at frame 15.
So I'll create some keyframes, and then I am going to preview all of my frames. In this preview, it's a little bit hard to tell exactly where the pedal is supposed to go. But if you look at all the pedals, you can see that there are two copies of each line that sort of overlap horizontally, then here's one diagonally and then where the current pedal position is, they kind of overlap. But this one here, the vertical line, there's only one copy. So I want to basically overlap that to complete the animation.
So I select the center part of the pedals, rotate, and move the pedals in place and that completes my animation. So if I turn off Onion Skinning, go to frame 1, press Return on the keyboard, I can preview the animation and see that the pedals move in a full circle. So using Onion Skin, you can preview frames before and after the frame that you are working on by simply clicking the Onion Skin button at the bottom of the timeline and modifying the Onion Skin markers.
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