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Flash 101 (part 3): Bouncing Around
Use Flash's powerful tweening tools to create slick animation clips with minimal time and effort.

| For The Cool In You |

Most people - novices included - consider tweening to be the coolest thing about Flash. It's not hard to understand why - Flash's tweening capabilities, combined with some easy-to-learn techniques, allow novices and experts alike to quickly and easily create good-looking animation sequences with minimal effort.

Find that hard to believe? I'll do my best to make you a believer by the end of this article - but first, a little theory.

A tweened animation differs from the frame-by-frame animation you learnt about before in that it doesn't require the animator to animate each and every frame of the animation clip; instead, the animator need only specify the starting and ending frame of the clip, with Flash creating all the intermediate frames.

Consider a simple example: a stone rolling downhill. In traditional frame-by-frame animation, it would be necessary to animate the stone every step of the way on its downhill journey; with tweening, it's only necessary to create two frames - the initial frame, with the stone at the top of the hill, and the final frame, with the stone at the bottom - and Flash will do the rest.

Flash offers two types of tweening: "shape tweening", used primarily to morph one shape into another; and "motion tweening", used to create the illusion of motion (although, as you'll see, you can do a lot more with it too). Shape tweening cannot be applied to symbol instances or text blocks, while motion tweening works on symbol instances, grouped elements and text blocks.

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