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

Top Techniques for Creating Animation in Adobe Flash CS3 Professional

  • Sample Chapter is provided courtesy of Adobe Press.
  • Date: Nov 9, 2007.

#36 Creating Shape Tweens

Thanks to a process called tweening, not all animation has to be drawn frame by frame. If you give Flash two keyframes—one showing the way an object looks at the start of a sequence, and the other showing what it looks like at the end—Flash can compare the keyframes, analyze all the differences between them, and gradually change one to the other by generating a series of in-between frames.

There are two kinds of tweens: shape and motion. Here and in #37 we'll be concentrating on shape tweens, but much of how you handle shape tweens will also apply to motion tweens, which are covered in #38.

These are the basic steps for setting up a shape tween:

  1. Draw an object on the Stage in an empty keyframe. Don't group the object or convert it to a symbol. Shape tweens work only with editable paths, primitive shapes, or Drawing Objects.
  2. Decide on a duration for the shape tween and calculate in which cell of the Timeline the last keyframe should fall. (For example, if your frame rate is 15 fps, and you want the tween to take 3 seconds, the last keyframe should be 45 frames after the first keyframe.) Select that cell.
  3. Press F6. Flash fills the in-between cells with regular frames, creates a new keyframe in the selected cell, and copies the object from the preceding keyframe into it.
  4. With the second keyframe still selected, modify the object. You can reshape it, move it to a different place on the Stage, transform it with the Free Transform tool, change its color or opacity, or do any combination of those things.
  5. Select the first keyframe again. (This will also work if you select one of the intermediate frames, but selecting the first frame is recommended.)
  6. In the Property inspector, choose Shape from the Tween menu (Figure 36a). The frames between the two keyframes turn green, and an arrow points from the first keyframe to the last. The arrow is your confirmation that you have a working shape tween.
    Figure 36a

    Figure 36a Choosing Shape from the Tween menu causes the two keyframes to be connected by a rightward-pointing arrow on a green background.

  7. Scrub through or preview the movie. You'll see that in each tweened frame, the object in the first keyframe incrementally takes on the characteristics of the object in the second keyframe (Figure 36b).
    Figure 36b

    Figure 36b Shape, location, transformation, color, and opacity can all be tweened at once.

    Shape tweens can be wild or tame (Figure 36c). Wild shape tweens are fun to watch because of the interesting patterns they produce; tame shape tweens are better for more realistic types of movement.
    Figure 36c

    Figure 36c was an example of a tame shape tween; here is an example of a wild one.

If wild shape tweens are what you want, here are some things to try:

  • Make the object in the first keyframe and the object in the second keyframe as different as possible. In fact, instead of pressing F6 in step 3, you can press F7, draw an entirely new object in the second keyframe, and then watch how Flash tweens one into the other.
  • Have different numbers of objects in the two keyframes. This sort of tween is especially common with text—for example, morphing the word NO (two objects) into YES (three objects). Keep in mind, though, that if you want to shape-tween text, you first have to break it apart into editable paths (see #20).

    If you prefer tame shape tweens—as most serious animators do—consider the following suggestions:

  • Tween only one object per layer. Remember that Flash considers the stroke and the fill to be separate objects. If your path has both, move the stroke and the fill to different layers, and tween them separately but simultaneously (Figure 36d). Alternatively, you could use a Drawing Object, in which Flash considers the stroke and fill to be part of a single object.
    Figure 36d

    Figure 36d It's fine to have several shape tweens happening simultaneously on different layers.

  • Simplify each object as much as possible. The fewer anchor points there are, the smoother the tween will be.
  • Use shape hints, which are explained in #37.
8. #37 Using Shape Hints | Next Section Previous Section

Adobe Press Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Adobe Press and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview

Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Adobe Press products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security

Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children

This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing

Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out

Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.adobepress.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020