Scaling and moving new motion tweens in Flash CS4

A “FAQ” about new motion tweens is how to scale the entire animation after you have created it. New motion tweens “auto-keyframe”. This can be very helpful when animating, because it saves you a step – you can just make your changes and everything tweens nicely. However, it also means that you need to think about things when you need to revise the entire animation. You don’t use “Edit multiple keyframes”, since you really only have one keyframe at the beginning of the animation. So I’ll go over a few of the things you may encounter.

1. Moving an entire animation with a motion path.
If you have a motion path, this is easy – you select the motion path (click it, or marquee-select over your instance), and then drag it to a new location on the stage or use the X-Y hot text for the path.

2. Moving an entire animation without a motion path.
If you do not have a motion path and do not want a motion path, you need to make sure your playhead is at frame 1 of the tween span, and then move the instance to a new location. Make sure you haven’t accidentily placed any position keyframes. If you do have a path, delete it or go to the Motion Editor and right-click the X and Y motion paths and choose “Reset Property” (or click the Reset button for Basic motion if you don’t have rotation applied).

3. Scaling an entire animation that doesn’t have Scale X or Scale Y animated.
You can scale the tween with the motion path. Just go to the first frame of the tween, and select the instance and path using the Free Transform Tool (hold Shift to multi-select), or use the Transform panel for each selection. Scale it as you do any path or instance, and because you’re at the first frame the changes will apply across the entire tween.

4. Scaling an entire animation that does have Scale X or Scale Y animated.
If you have previously scaled anything in the tween, doing this is applied to the first keyframe and the tween would animate to the earlier scaling (the auto-keyframing feature can be a detriment in this situation, especially when it comes to scaling due to the percentages being reset – for this reason Motion Presets also won’t help). In this situation, I recommend scaling using the Motion editor:
1. Go to the Scale X and Y properties in the Motion Editor.
2. Press the Alt key while dragging the curve in each graph up and down. This scales the entire scale animation at the same time (same as edit multiple keyframes).
3. If you need to proportionally scale the motion path for the tween as well, select the path on the Stage and use Free Transform or enter a new value in the Transform panel.

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Posted in animation, Flash CS4, Flash CS4: motion, Flash CS4: new features, Migration, Motion Editor, motion path, motion tween, new stuff, symbols, timeline, transform, tweens

Hold down Shift to play sound in individual frames in the timeline

Pretty much as the subject says! Hold down the Shift key when selecting frames with sound will play that frame’s sound. We’ve had this request from users to be able to play a snippet of sound when you click a frame. It seems that was written into Flash with the Shift key modifier.

There are some limitations with reselecting the same frame, and because Shift selects contiguous frames you need to go in the same direction along the Timeline or re-start your selection to play the individual frames. However, it does add some functionality that you might be able to add to your workflow.

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Posted in General, sound, timeline

Flash Player 10 Update for Flash CS4 Professional

New browser and standalone Flash Player downloads to use with Flash CS4. This will update the player you use when you publish preview in HTML or debug.

From adobe.com:

The update replaces the Debug and Release versions of Flash Player 10 browser plugins and standalone players that are included in the initial release of Flash CS4 Professional (player version 10.0.2.54). All users are encouraged to apply this update. These new players are version 10.0.32.18.

More information, and download them here:
http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html

Posted in Flash Platform, Flash Player, General

Controlling the window target a button click opens using ActionScript 3.0 in Flash

One of my frequently asked questions in the comments is how to control what window a button click opens using ActionScript 3.0. For example, you might want your button to open in the same window, a particular part of your frames layout, or a new window. It’s similar to ActionScript 2.0, but there is a bit of a difference.

In ActionScript 2.0, you set a target for your button using code such as the following:

The following steps for ActionScript 3.0 will apply to either Flash CS3 or Flash CS4, just make sure that your document is an ActionScript 3.0 button and you’re adding the code to a frame.

  1. Create your button in your FLA, and give it an instance name in the Property inspector, such as my_btn.
  2. Select a frame on the timeline at the same frame number of your button.
  3. Open the Actions panel, and add the following code:
    my_btn.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_DOWN, myHandler);
    function myHandler(event:MouseEvent):void {
        navigateToURL(new URLRequest("http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/"), "_self");
    }
    
  4. Publish preview your work in HTML (File > Publish Preview > HTML). Note: When testing locally, you will need to set your security to allow access to the SWF. If you haven’t set this up, click Settings in the dialog that opens when you first test your FLA, select a directory on your hard drive, and save the FLA to that same directory and test again.
  5. By default, without adding this parameter, ActionScript assumes _blank which opens a new window. You can modify the _self in the code above to be _top or _parent (or _blank if you want). Here’s what each of them does:

    • _self opens the link in the current frame of the current browser window.
    • _blank opens the link in a new window (or tab if that’s what the user has their browser set to do).
    • _parent opens the link in the parent of the current frame.
    • _top opens the link in the top-level frame of the current browser window.
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Posted in ActionScript 2.0, ActionScript 3.0, buttons, Flash CS3, Flash CS4, Migration

Learning Resources team at Adobe seeking Flash user participants in study

The Learning Resources team at Adobe is seeking people to partake in a study of your Flash workflow. Those who participate get an Amazon gift card and thanked profusely, and of course will help make Flash better, so if you are a match it should be worth your time.

Please see Jay’s post here for more information:
http://blogs.adobe.com/jayarmstrong/2009/07/seeking_participants_for_a_bri.html

His post outlines:
a) The criteria to meet (many of you could be a match to at least one of them)
b) The contact information if you meet the criteria and want to participate.

Please check out the post if you’re interested in helping make Flash better (and getting something from Amazon)!

Posted in Flash CS4, General, get free stuff, input wanted

Great extensions that work with new motion tweens in Flash CS4

Justin Putney at Ajar Productions has created some amazing extensions that you can use with Flash CS4 and the new motion model to help with your tweens or create them. Justin’s extensions are not only useful, but well implemented and documented on his blog.

For some helpful detailed info about the extension creation, check out this post on the Ajar Productions site.

For information/download for the MotionSketch extension, which records/creates a tween based on you drawing in Flash (!), see this post.

For the Motion Blur extension, which analyzes the movement of your tween and then creates a motion blur. see this post.

Many thanks to Justin for your hard work, and excellent extensions.

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Posted in animation, downloads, Flash CS4, Flash CS4: motion, JSFL, motion tween, new stuff

Migrating from Classic Tweens to New Tweens? Check out this new article

We wrote an article to help you migrate your skills and tweens from old to new in Flash CS4. It accompanys a new Animation Learning Guide on the Developer Center (they go hand in hand, lots of cross links) – and since it is now out, so is the migration article.

Check them out here:

* Motion Migration Guide for Flash CS4

* Animation Learning Guide

Let us know what you think!

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Posted in animation, articles, FLA files, Flash CS4, Flash CS4: motion, Flash CS4: new features, Migration, Motion Editor, motion tween, new stuff, tweens

Animation Learning Guide released on Flash Dev Center

It took awhile to produce this due to its length (over 80 pages in word I think), but the Animation Learning Guide for new motion (introduced in Flash CS4 last fall) is finally out:

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/learning_guide/animation/

It is divided into a bunch of sections based on topic, so click from this page to the topic you want to learn about. Also note that there is a FLA download of samples to help you out.

For more information on whatever, let us know. If you’re upgrading from classic tweens to new tweens, check this other article out too.

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Posted in animation, articles, FLA files, Flash CS4, Flash CS4: motion, Flash CS4: motion runtime, Flash CS4: new features, masking, masks, Migration, Motion Editor, Motion Presets, Motion runtime, motion tween, Tween instance, tweens

New Flash Players for Flash CS4

Get the download here:

http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html

I quote:

Adobe Flash Player 10 Update for Flash CS4 Professional

2/24/09 This download contains fixes for critical vulnerabilities identified in Security Bulletin APSB09-01 Flash Player update available to address security vulnerabilities. The update replaces the Debug and Release versions of Flash Player 10 browser plugins and standalone players that are included in the initial release of Flash CS4 Professional (player version 10.0.2.54). All users are encouraged to apply this update. These new players are version 10.0.22.87.

Posted in Flash Platform, Flash Player, General

Galvan comments on Flash CS4 concerns

The Flash PM Richard Galvan has commented on concerns raised by Flash users on his blog, as follows:

http://blogs.adobe.com/rgalvan/2009/01/concerns_and_issues_with_flash.html

It outlines some of the main things we are currently looking into and working on. Please see the above post for more information, and we of course welcome your comments (if there are specific issues you have, files and very detailed steps to reproduce and system specs are very important).

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Posted in Flash CS4, input wanted