How to Use the Flash CS5 3D Rotation Tool - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

The extensive drawing and animation capabilities of Adobe Flash Creative Suite 5 can be greatly enhanced by Flash’s 3D Rotation tool. The 3D Rotation tool can be used on any movie clip instance to rotate and transform the symbol around x, y, and z axes.

To render a movie clip instance in 3D, follow these steps:

  1. Place a movie clip instance on a new layer on the timeline by dragging the clip from the Library panel.

  2. Select the 3D Rotation tool from the Tools panel and click the new movie clip instance to select it.

    Color-coded circular handles appear, each one corresponding to an axis along which the movie clip can be rotated.

  3. Rotate your movie clip:

  • Click and drag the green line that crosses your movie clip horizontally directly on the line to spin the clip around the y (vertical) axis.

  • Click and drag the red line that crosses your movie clip vertically to rotate the clip around the x (horizontal) axis.

  • Click and drag the blue circle that surrounds your movie clip to rotate it around the z axis (depth).

  • Click and drag the outermost red circle in any direction to rotate multiple axes at one time.


To reset all transformations performed with the 3D Rotation tool, select the movie clip and hold down Ctrl+Shift+Z (Windows) or Command+Shift+Z (Mac).