The Flash CS5 Motion Editor Panel - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

The Motion Editor panel in Adobe Flash Creative Suite 5 gives you precise control over each aspect of a motion tween. The Flash CS5 Motion Editor displays the various properties of a motion tween (such as position, scale, and transparency) in a graph-style format that you can use to edit or add to animations.

You can use the Motion Editor only on motion tween spans, not to modify shape tweens or classic tweens (motion tweens created in Flash CS3 or earlier).

The Motion Editor can be found behind the Timeline panel at the bottom of the default workspace.

Follow these steps to modify a motion tween with the Motion Editor:

  1. Click the Motion Editor tab (you can find it behind the Timeline panel) to bring forward the Motion Editor panel.

  2. Select a tweened object on the stage; you can click either the object or the motion path to select the tween.

    The Motion Editor displays each property as a row with a graph line running through it. The graph line represents the changes in a property value (such as scaling percentage) throughout the course of a tween span.


  3. Locate a property that your tween is using, such as Alpha, X, or Y, and click the row’s title to expand it.

    Along each line, you find points, or keyframes, that mark changes in the value of that property at different times.

  4. Select a keyframe and drag it up or down to change the value of the current property.

  5. Move the pointer over a different portion of the line. While holding down the Ctrl key (Windows) or the @@cmd key (Mac), click directly on the line to create a new point (or keyframe).

    Drag this point up or down to change the property’s value at this position.

  6. Press the Enter or Return key to play back the Timeline and see how your modifications have affected the current tween.