Chapter 3. Animate Your Art

In the olden days of animation, artists had to create a drawing for each frame of a movie by hand. Sure, they had their shortcuts, but since most movie frames click by at 24 frames per second, that’s a labor-intensive endeavor. To keep costs down, animation production companies had their best, highest-paid artists draw the most important images, where major changes took place, and then had lesser talents and beginners draw the in-between images. Those most important images are known as keyframes. The in-betweeners are called tweens.

This chapter is your introduction to keyframes and tweens from Flash’s point of view. In this case, you’re the high-paid artist who gets to create the keyframes, while your computer does the grunt work of drawing all the tweens. You’ll learn about two types of tweens—the motion tween and the shape tween. But first, you need to understand the various types of frames you see in Flash’s timeline.


“Tween” is one of those words that makes you smile—it just sounds funny. It’s even funnier when you realize that it’s used as both a noun and a verb. Not only can you create a tween, but you can also tween a drawn object, such as a car. (“I tweened the car to make it drive down the road.”)

Frame-by-Frame Animation

An animation is nothing more than a series of framed images displayed one after the other to create the illusion of motion. If you want to, you can use Flash to make your animation the old-fashioned way, by drawing each frame ...

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