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Animation the Old-Fashioned Way with Flash MX

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This is the first chapter where you get your hands dirty animating. (The first six chapters concentrate on creating and assembling graphics that get animated.) Instead of jumping right into the tweening features, you start by using Flash to apply age-old techniques that make for effective animations. It's a good way to both explore the Flash timeline and quickly see results. The skills you acquire get applied over and over in the more advanced chapters that follow.

See all Sams Teach Yourself on InformIT Design & Creative Media Tutorials.

Learning Macromedia Flash MX can be a rewarding experience because you'll reach success almost immediately. Of course proficiency takes more work, but you really can get started quickly. However, Flash's ease-of-use is a double edged sword because you can also quickly develop bad habits that make your movies download and playback slowly.

My book "Sams Teach Yourself Macromedia Flash MX in 24 Hours" gives you a solid foundation on which to grow. It's not just a lightweight introduction though I was careful not to jump ahead and simply show gratuitous effects or tricks. You'll have plenty of time for that kind of thing later--I just want to make sure you're prepared.

While a lot of my knowledge comes from using Flash professionally, it was really the time I spent teaching that helped me the most when writing this book. That is, it's one thing to learn something well enough to use it, it's an entirely different thing to teach it. There's no shortage to the ways you can misunderstand a subject and I've seen a ton of ways that Flash can be misinterpreted. The upgrade to MX has made using Flash much easier and more efficient--but I still think I can offer some help to make that process even faster for you.

—Phillip Kerman

This chapter is from the book

Introduction: Frame-by-Frame Animation

It's finally time to animate! You've assembled the graphics that will be animated, and last hour you learned the basic components of an animation (frames, keyframes, framerate, and tweening). Now you're ready to create your own animation.

Instead of starting with the two ways Flash can tween for you (motion tween and shape tween), we're going to begin by animating each step in the animation frame by frame. We'll get to shape and motion tweening in the next two hours (Hours 8, "Using Motion Tween to Animate," and 9, "Using Shape Tween to Morph"), but for now, we're going to animate the old-fashioned way, frame-by-frame.

This hour you will

  • Learn how to make a frame-by-frame animation

  • Learn to use the Onion Skin tools for assistance

  • See some tricks that can make you more efficient with this otherwise cumbersome technique

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