Home / Articles / Top Techniques for Creating Animation in Adobe Flash CS3 Professional

Top Techniques for Creating Animation in Adobe Flash CS3 Professional

#39 Troubleshooting Broken Tweens

Every so often when you create a tween, the Timeline fails to display the confirming arrow on a green or blue background; it displays a dashed line instead (Figure 39a). The dashed line indicates that there's something wrong with the tween. Although Flash notifies you that the tween is broken, it won't tell you why. Diagnosing and fixing the problem is left to you.

Figure 39a

Figure 39a This dashed line indicates that a tween is broken.

Here are some common causes of broken tweens:

  • You've tried to shape-tween groups or symbols, or you've tried to motion-tween editable paths.
  • The beginning or ending keyframe of the tween is empty.
  • In a motion tween, the object in the first keyframe and the object in the last keyframe are different.
  • You've tried to motion-tween more than one object on a single layer.

The last of these causes is often the most frustrating, because it's not always obvious. At some point, without realizing it, you may have made a stray mark with the Pencil tool or failed to erase a path fully, leaving a tiny, unnoticeable object on the Stage. If such an object is hiding out in the first or last keyframe of a motion tween, the tween will fail, and you may never figure out why.

If you suspect that a barely visible object is what's breaking your tween, here's an easy way to solve the problem:

  1. Move the playhead to the first keyframe of the tween.
  2. On the Stage, select the object that's being tweened.
  3. Choose Edit > Cut. The tweened object disappears.
  4. In the Timeline, look at the color of the circle in the keyframe. If it's white, then the object you just cut was the only object in the keyframe. You can skip to step 7. But if the circle is black, it means that the keyframe isn't empty, and that there must be something else occupying the keyframe.
  5. Click the keyframe in the Timeline to select all the objects in the keyframe.
  6. Press Delete to clear the unwanted objects out of the keyframe. The circle in the keyframe turns white, indicating that the keyframe is empty.
  7. Choose Edit > Paste in Place to return the original tweened object to the Stage.
  8. Look at the tween in the Timeline. If the dashed line has been replaced by an arrow, you've solved the problem. If not, go to the last keyframe of the tween and follow steps 2 through 7 again.
11. #40 Using Motion Guides | Next Section Previous Section

There are currently no related articles. Please check back later.