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Author: spiderlama
Motion Guides 101

This tutorial is to show you how to make a motion guide work properly in a flash document. It assumes that you know how to open flash, create symbols and successfully use the timeline. Feel free to download the 11k motionguide.zip (.fla, .swf) file if you are too lazy to read through this tutorial - otherwise lets begin.

1 Create a motion guide

A motion guide is a line which an object in the guided layer will follow. The guided layer is underneith the motion guide layer, and usually looks like this:

To turn a normal layer into a motion guide: Right-click » Guide.

Now you need to draw a path for the object to follow. You can do this with either the line tool or the pencil. If you want acuracy you can also draw with the oval and rectangle tools making sure that the fill color is transperent. In this example, there is two lines, connecting each side to a circle in the center.

In this tutorial, it is assumed that you already have an object you want to follow the motion guide. This tutorial is not on how to draw using flash. If you dont have a graphic, then just draw a simple shape which shows direction, and then press F8 and turn it into a graphic symbol. Here is an example:

2 Create guided motion

Put the graphic in the guided layer and then make the frame tweening: motion. If your motion guide is made up of straight lines or is reasonably straight, then you will only need to make a simple motion tween. However, if (like this example) the motion guide goes around corners and through itself, then you will need to make a advanced motion tween.

Simple motion tween

There are two common mistakes that most people make. First of all, in order for this to work, you have to have a motion guide frame in every frame you want to have a guided motion. Secondly, you have to snap the graphic to the motion guide or the motion will just be a normal one - in a straight line.

All you need to do is move your graphic symbol to the starting position in the first frame, create a keyframe in the last frame of the animation, and then making sure you are on the last frame, move your graphic to the finishing position.

Advanced motion tween

To make an advanced motion tween, move your graphic symbol to the starting position in the first frame, then move about 20 frames along (depending on your frame-rate), and make another keyframe. Now move your graphic about a quater of the total animation length. Continue this step, until the graphic has reached the end of the motion guide - making sure that each time you create a new keyframe, you move the graphic a bit more.

All content including pictures on this site are copyright 3D-Blasphemy 2002. All rights reserved.

» Level Basic

Added: 2002-07-31
Rating: 5 Votes: 76
(10 being the highest)
» Author
I experiment with flash in my spare time and i write tutorials for fun.
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Download the files used in this tutorial.
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