| Introduction | Motion Tween | Shape Tween | Classic Tween |

How to create animations

Overview of tweening

A tween is an animation you create by specifying a value for an object property in one frame and another value for that same property in another frame. Adobe Flash Professional CS6 calculates the values for that property between those two frames. The term “tween” comes from the phrase “in between.” You can tween movie clip, graphic, and button symbols and text fields.

A tween span is a group of frames in the timeline in which an object on the Stage can have one or more properties changed over time. A tween span appears in the timeline as a group of frames in a single layer with a blue or green background. You can select a tween span as a single object and drag it from one location in the timeline to another, including to another layer. Only one object on the Stage can be animated in each tween span. This object is called the target object of the tween span.

A property keyframe is a frame within a tween span where you explicitly define one or more property values for the tween target object. Each property you define has its own property keyframes. If you set more than one property in a single frame, the property keyframes for each of those properties reside in that frame. You can view each property of a tween span and its property keyframes in the Motion Editor. You can also choose which types of property keyframes to display in the timeline from the tween span context menu.

Types of Flash Animation

  1. Motion tweens: Set properties for an object, such as position and alpha transparency in one frame and again in another frame, and Flash interpolates the property values of the frames in between. Motion tweens are useful for animation that consists of continuous motion or transformation of an object. Motion tweens appear in the timeline as a contiguous span of frames you can select as a single object by default. Motion tweens are powerful and simple to create.
  2. Shape tweens: Draw a shape at one frame in the timeline and change that shape or draw another shape at another frame. Flash then interpolates the intermediate shapes for the frames in between, creating the animation of one shape morphing into another.
  3. Classic tweens: Classic tweens are similar to motion and shape tweens, but you can create some specific animated effects not possible with span-based tweens. For example, you can apply eases to the groups of frames between the keyframes within the tween instead of across the entire length of a tween span. (To ease only specific frames of a motion tween, you must create a custom ease curve.) You can also use classic tweens to animate between two color effects, such as tint and alpha transparency, while motion tweens can apply only one color effect per tween.
  4. Inverse kinematic (IK) poses: You can stretch and bend shape objects and link groups of symbol instances to make them move together in naturalistic ways. If you position the shape object or linked instances in different ways in separate frames, Flash interpolates the positions in the frames in between. Inverse kinematics poses help make character animation quick and easy.