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

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

In contrast to the 3D Rotation tool in Adobe Flash Creative Suite 5, which rotates Flash CS5 movie clips around an axis, the 3D Translation tool slides a movie clip along a specific axis to change its perceived distance and depth relative to other objects on the stage.

Think of this concept as having three train tracks moving left and right, up and down, or forward and backward that your movie clip can ride along.

To use the 3D Translation tool to move a movie clip in three dimensions, follow these steps:

  1. Using the Selection tool, place a movie clip by dragging it from the Library panel or click to select an existing movie clip instance on the stage.

  2. Choose the 3D Translation tool from the Tools panel, which you can find under the 3D Rotation tool.

    Three guides appear and correspond to the x, y, and z axes. You can slide your movie clip along any of these three guides by clicking and dragging the appropriate guide:

  • To slide a movie clip from left to right along the x axis, click and drag the arrow connected to the red horizontal guide line.

  • To slide a movie clip up or down along the y axis, click and drag the arrow con-nected to the green vertical guide line.

  • To change the perceived distance of a movie clip on the stage, click and drag the blue center point to slide it along the z axis.


3D Translation and 3D Rotation transformations can be combined on the same movie clip for interesting perspective effects.