How to Create Your First Animation in Flash - dummies

By David Karlins, Doug Sahlin

To create your first Flash animation, you first need to know how to add a symbol to the Library. In this example, you will make an oval go from Point A to Point B. It’s not the coolest of animations, but it’s a start.

To create this animation, create a new Flash document and follow these steps:

1Create a Graphic symbol, using the Oval tool.

You create all your symbols on Stage.

2Use the Selection tool to move the symbol to the desired starting point.

To move an object with the Selection tool, click and drag the object to the desired location.

3Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac) and choose Create Motion Tween from the context menu.

Flash creates 25 frames on the Timeline and positions your cursor in the 25th frame.

If you don’t create a symbol as outlined in Step 1, Flash displays a dialog box telling you the object cannot be used in a motion tween animation, but Flash will convert the option if you click OK.

4Move the oval to the point where you want to end the animation.

Flash creates a motion path and converts the 25th frame to a keyframe.

5Press Ctrl+Enter (Windows) or Apple+Return (Mac).

Flash displays the animation in another window. You’re probably thinking that the animation is pretty ho-hum. You’re right. So kick it up a notch. After you get tired of looking at the animation, close the window.

6Click a frame between the beginning and ending keyframes. Using the Selection tool, move the object to another position.

Flash creates another keyframe when you move the object to another position.

7With the Selection tool, move your cursor toward the first half of the motion path.

When you see a curve appear under the arrow cursor, you can bend the motion path.

8Click and drag the motion path to curve it and repeat for the other half of the motion path.

Your motion path should resemble the one shown.

9Press Ctrl+Enter (Windows) or Apple+Enter (Mac).

Now you’re cooking. To give you an idea of what you should be seeing, this figure was created using the Onion Skin option, which displays multiple frames at a lower opacity. Close the window when you’re done patting yourself on the back.