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Learning to Animate in Macromedia Flash MX

Lesson two of this Flash Tutorial Series shows you how to create smooth and detailed Flash movies superior to almost any animated GIF file. Learn to create lightweight and dynamic animations using Flash MX.




Building the Right Environment to Support AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning

acromedia's Web site contains the prominent claim that 97.8 percent of all Web users already have Flash installed; in other words, those users can view Flash content without having to download and install a plug-in. This impressive statistic highlights the level of saturation that Flash media has achieved since its introduction more than six years ago. Flash animation is vector based, meaning that the images used in its creation are drawn with lines (vectors) and are resolution-independent, so their files are smaller than most animated GIFs, which use bitmapped images and are resolution-dependent. The first article in this series showed you the basic tasks involved in creating images using Flash MX's drawing tools. This article shows you how to bring your images to life through Flash's powerful animation features.

If you don't have Flash MX, you can download a free 30-day trial version that you can use to explore Flash's capabilities.

Setting Up the Flash MX Work Area and a New Document
Open Flash MX, click the Window menu and then click on the Panel Sets item. From the options available in Panel Sets, select Designer [1024 x 768]. As before, you will make extensive use of the Color Mixer, Tools, and the Timeline panels, but you will also be using the Properties panel at the bottom of the work area to alter your Flash movie properties as well as the objects you create.

The sample animation shows both Flash Shape Tweening and Motion Tweening.

After opening the Panel Set in Designer Mode, go to the Properties panel and click on the Size button. In the dialog box that appears, enter a Width value of 250 pixels and a Height value of 100 pixels. Now select a background color for the movie. Any color other than white is fine. (See the sidebar "Sample Animation Colors" for a list of colors used in the sample animation). Leave the Frame Rate option set to the default of 12 fps. The frame rate refers to the number of frames per second (fps) that your Flash movie will display. The frame rate for motion picture films is 24 fps, but Web browsers are capable of displaying only about 14 fps without difficulty. In most cases, to ensure smooth delivery over the greatest range of clients, it is best to create your Flash animations with the default frame rate of 12 fps. After setting the document size, background color and frame rate, click OK.

In this lesson, you'll create the animation shown, which demonstrates Flash MX's Shape Tweening and Motion Tweening features.

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