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Flash CS4 Animation

Animation is easier and more fun with CS4 Flash Professional
Adobe Creative Suite 4 presents some great new features in CS4 Flash Professional which makes Flash animation less time-consuming and more appealing.

One-click motion tweens

What you knew as “Motion Tween” in Flash CS3 is now called “Classic Tween”.  “Motion Tween” in the new Adobe Flash CS4 Professional is so much easier and more exciting!

You don’t have to hand-create keyframes as you did in Flash CS3. You don’t have to write a line of code.  Flash CS4 has auto-keyframing.  Just drag a symbol from the Library to the Stage (work area of your desktop).   This is your target object.  Drag the object to another part of the Stage and Flash creates the motion tween for you.  

Changing the motion path

You will see the motion path from the object to the part of the stage that you dragged it to, in the form of a dotted line.

This motion path can be easily manipulated by raising or lowering the dots on the line with your mouse, to change the movement of the object from a simple straightforward movement into a bouncing movement.

The motion path can be further modified using familiar Bezier handles – those shafts with handles with dots on them that allow you to change the shape of the path.

As you can see, in Flash CS4 animation is now object-based instead of timeline-based, cutting down hours of work and making you faster and more productive. 

The Motion Editor

The Motion Editor in Flash CS4 Professional allows you to control the animation of the object on the Stage, property by property. 

You can see the animation within seconds of applying different properties to the target object, e.g. X and Y axis properties, scaling the object up or down, skewing the object etc.

The intuitive Motion Editor in Flash CS4 can be customized to your individual style of working.  The different rows on the panel refer to different properties or attributes of the object on the Stage. Simply use the sliders to collapse and expand the rows as you work.

Modifying property values

All you have to do to control the property values is to scrub the hot text sliders to the left or right to increase or decrease the value of each property. 

This will be reflected in the graphs on the Motion Editor referring to that specific property.  Scrub the playhead in the Motion Editor to preview the new animation on the Stage.

To introduce other properties of the target object to your animation, scroll down the Motion Editor, and use the hot text sliders to apply or modify each property.

Linking properties
To link different properties to each other (e.g. bouncing right and scaling up at the same time,) click the Link icon.  Click the Link icon again to Unlink properties.

Duration
Use the Timeline editor in Flash CS4 to adjust the duration of your animation and so adjust the speed at which it plays.

Each tween is represented as an individual layer in the Timeline. The default frame rate is set at 24 frames per second in CS4 as against 12 frames per second in CS3.  If your animation is 24 frames, it will run for one second.

To change the duration of the animation, drag the right end of the tween on the Timeline layer to the right to lengthen the duration and to the left to shorten the duration. You could make it 48 frames a second and the keyframes will be adjusted according to the new timeline. No more manual frame insertion!

Save creative time! Apply prebuilt animations in CS4 Flash

You can add animation to a FLA file with a click - without any prior knowledge of animation and with very little effort. A choice of prebuilt animations or presets allows you get your project up and running double-quick!

Simply select a Preset in the Presets Panel, for example the Bounce-in 3D preset, and apply it to your target object on the stage for the desired result.  To create the same effect with a new object, just select a new object on the stage and apply the preset to it.  No re-creating animations! Save time and enjoy your work.

You can also learn how to use the Motion Editor by studying what happens when you apply a Preset to a target object.

Save complex custom animations and apply them to new objects

Save your complex animations under Custom Presets so you can use them again and again with different objects. You can change your target object without recreating the animation.
This saves you endless hours of work. 

Flash animation just got simpler and more fun!  Try it, you’ll like it with Flash CS4 Professional.

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