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Author: Fadi Aboualfa | Website: http://metamorphosis.4t.com


Vector curves

Vectors are the ideal medium for rapid, file-size-effective animation, because the code simply describes curves, rather than setting a colour for each and every individual pixel. It's also very simple to make curve shape, comer and position adjustments for every single frame. If you're animating a stick man, it's easier to move line-drawn limbs '2 times for every second than redraw the pixels.


Flash offers two types of tweening, which means you set the style of a line or object and one frame, then change it for another frame later on, and Flash will calculate what should go between. The user's player plug-in does the calculations, too -so the download file size only contains info for the two frames and the type of tween. Use this as much as you can.

Shape tweening

For animating drawings, the most powerful type of tweening is Shape tweening. Motion tweening is the other type, which you can use to simply move the position of an object, as well as change its colour, rotation, scaling, transparency and so on (hit F8 to turn the object into a symbol first). Use Shape tweening only if you need to change the curves of an illustration, like morphing.lt's a bit tricky to get great results initially, and sometimes the effect is truly diabolical- but with the right skills you can achieve almost limitless, professional animation.

Tweening in Flash 4& 5

In Flash 5 you set Shape tweening by selecting the frame in your time line and selecting Shape in the dropdown in your Frame palette. In Flash 4 you need to double-click the frame and set it in the Tween tab there. Use Easing to control how the speed of the tween.

Test your tweens

The trick with shape tweening is to set the tween to run across just a few frames, and to make just tiny adjustments at a time using your Bezier and Quadratic tools. Hit Play to test the tween works right, then make another adjustment, test it again, and so on. It's a time - consuming process, but that's the nature of animation - and the results are always worth it.

Shape hint

If you're having trouble getting the tween to look right, or your shape change is complex, you can use Shape Hints, which pick out corresponding points between the starting and finishing shapes. Select the shape, and then choose Modify> Transform>Add Shape Hint. Then move the yellow hint marker to the right place at the start and end frames, and check the tween is OK. You can add more shape hints to get things perfect.

» Level Intermediate

Added: 2001-01-12
Rating: 6 Votes: 85
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