Understand Frames, Keyframes, and Blank Keyframes
Understanding frames, keyframes, and blank keyframes
Before you create an animation, it's important to understand how frames work. In this movie, we will take a look at frames and how you can tell which frames you are looking at through the Timeline. So in the Timeline, you can see that I have an animation, and if I scrub the playhead by clicking and dragging it, you can preview the animation. You will notice that there are a bunch of different icons in the timeline. These are visual cues to show you what type of frames you are working with in Flash. So the black dots are called keyframes. These specify a change in artwork.
So every time you want to make a change in your animation, you can create a keyframe and you have control over what the artwork looks like in that frame. So you will see again for a keyframe a black dot with a gray background. A regular frame has a gray background with nothing else in it. So on the girl layer, you can see that there is a keyframe on the first frame, but through the rest of the layer you will only see regular frames, hence the gray background. Regular frames indicate no change in artwork from the last keyframe.
So I can go to any of these frames in the girl layer. Let's say I hide everything else except for the girl. I can scrub the playhead and you will notice that there is no change in artwork. On the last frame of the girl layer and throughout my timeline, you will see a gray background with a white rectangle. This indicates the last regular frame before a change. So whenever you reach the end of a set of frames or the last regular frame before a keyframe, you will see this gray background with a white square.
But just know that it's just a regular frame. The other types of frames are blank keyframes and blank frames. These are pretty similar to regular keyframes and regular frames. If you just watch my screen, I am going to add a blank keyframe to the Timeline in the background layer. You will notice that all the artwork disappeared at the point where I added the blank keyframe. So it's on the Stage all the way until Frame 7 and then the background simply disappears. That's because I created a blank keyframe. That means a keyframe with no artwork in it.
You can tell that a keyframe is a blank keyframe because it has a white background and the black outline of a circle. Blank frames indicate no change in artwork, just like regular frames, but they are white in the background, indicating that there is also no artwork on those frames. So I can scrub the playhead to preview that there is no artwork on any of these frames. And finally, when you see a white rectangle with a white background, that indicates the last blank frame before a change. So again, black dot means a keyframe, gray background means a regular frame, white box and a gray background is the last regular frame before a change, white background with the back outline of a circle is a blank keyframe, white background only is a blank frame, and white rectangle with a white background is the last blank frame before a change.
Understanding frames, keyframes, and blank keyframes provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by Todd Perkins as part of the Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training
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