About classic tween animation

Note:

Like most things in Animate, animation does not require any ActionScript. However, you can create animation with ActionScript if you choose.

Classic tweens are an older way of creating animation in Animate. These tweens are similar to the newer motion tweens, but are somewhat more complicated to create and less flexible. However, classic tweens do provide some types of control over animation that motion tweens do not. Most users will choose to work with the newer motion tweens, but some users will still want to use classic tweens. For more information about the differences, see Differences between motion tweens and classic tweens.

Before you begin:

Before working with classic tweens, keep in mind the following points:

  • Classic tweens are the older way of creating tweened animation in Animate. The newer, easier way is to use motion tweens. See Motion tween animation.

  • You cannot tween 3D properties with classic tweens.

For samples of classic tween animation, see the Animate Samples page at www.adobe.com/go/learn_fl_samples. The following samples are available:

  • Animated Drop Shadow: Download and decompress the Samples ZIP file and navigate to the Graphics\AnimatedDropShadow folder to access the sample.

  • Animation and Gradients: Download and decompress the Samples ZIP file and navigate to the Graphics\AnimationAndGradients folder to access the sample.

Create and edit keyframes for classic tween animation

Note:

This topic is about creating keyframes for the older classic tweens. For help with property keyframes for the newer motion tweens, see Create tween animation.

Changes in a classic tween animation are defined in a keyframe. In tweened animation, you define keyframes at significant points in the animation and Animate creates the contents of frames between. The interpolated frames of a tweened animation appear as light blue or light green with an arrow drawn between keyframes. Because Animate documents save the shapes in each keyframe, create keyframes only at those points in the artwork where something changes.

Keyframes are indicated in the Timeline: a solid circle represents a keyframe with content on it, and an empty circle before the frame represents an empty keyframe. Subsequent frames added to the same layer have the same content as the keyframe.

Only keyframes are editable in a classic tween. You can view tweened frames, but you can’t edit them directly. To edit tweened frames, change one of the defining keyframes or insert a new keyframe between the beginning and ending keyframes. Drag items from the Library panel onto the Stage to add the items to the current keyframe.

To display and edit more than one frame at a time, see Use onion skinning.

Create keyframes

  • Do one of the following:
    • Select a frame in the Timeline, and select Insert > Timeline > Keyframe.

    • Right-click (Windows) or Control‑click (Macintosh) a frame in the Timeline and select Insert Keyframe.

Insert frames in the Timeline

  • To insert a new frame, select Insert > Timeline > Frame.

  • To create a new keyframe, select Insert > Timeline > Keyframe, or right-click (Windows) or Control‑click (Macintosh) the frame where you want to place a keyframe, and select Insert Keyframe.

  • To create a new blank keyframe, select Insert > Timeline > Blank Keyframe, or right-click (Windows) or Control‑click (Macintosh) the frame where you want to place the keyframe, and select Insert Blank Keyframe.

Delete or modify a frame or keyframe

  • To delete a frame, keyframe, or frame sequence, select it and right-click (Windows) or Control‑click (Macintosh) and select Remove Frames. Surrounding frames remain unchanged.

  • To move a keyframe or frame sequence and its contents, select it and drag to the desired location.

  • To extend the duration of a keyframe, Alt‑drag (Windows) or Option-drag (Macintosh) it to the final frame of the new sequence.

  • To copy and paste a frame or frame sequence, select it and select Edit > Timeline > Copy Frames. Select a frame or sequence to replace, and select Edit > Timeline > Paste Frames. To paste and replace the exact number of copied frames on the target timeline, use the Paste and Overwrite Frames option.

  • To convert a keyframe to a frame, select the keyframe and select Modify > Timeline > Clear Keyframe, or right-click (Windows) or Control‑click (Macintosh) it and select Clear Keyframe. The cleared keyframe and all frames up to the subsequent keyframe are replaced with the contents of the frame preceding the cleared keyframe.

  • To copy a keyframe or frame sequence by dragging, select it and Alt‑drag (Windows) or Option-drag (Macintosh) to the new location.

  • To change the length of a tweened sequence, drag the beginning or ending keyframe left or right.

  • To add a library item to the current keyframe, drag the item from the Library panel onto the Stage.

  • To reverse an animation sequence, select the appropriate frames in one or more layers and select Modify > Timeline > Reverse Frames. Keyframes must be at the beginning and end of the sequence.

Add classic tween animation to an instance, a group, or text

Note:

This topic is about creating older classic tweens. For help with creating the newer motion tweens, see Create tween animation.

To tween the changes in properties of instances, groups, and type, you can use a classic tween. Animate can tween position, size, rotation, and skew of instances, groups, and type. Additionally, Animate can tween the color of instances and type, creating gradual color shifts or making an instance fade in or out.

Before tweening the color of groups or type, make them into symbols. Before animating individual characters in a block of text separately, place each character in a separate text block.

If you apply a classic tween and then change the number of frames between the two keyframes, or move the group or symbol in either keyframe, Animate automatically tweens the frames again.

 

Create a classic tween animation

  1. Click a layer name to make it the active layer, and select an empty keyframe in the layer where you want the animation to start. This will be the first frame of the classic tween.
  2. To add content to the first frame of the classic tween, do one of the following:
    • Create a graphic object with the Pen, Oval, Rectangle, Pencil, or Brush tool, and then convert it to a symbol.

    • Create an instance, group, or text block on the Stage.

    • Drag an instance of a symbol from the Library panel.

    Note:

    To create a tween, you must have only one item on the layer.

  3. Create a second keyframe where you want the animation to end, and leave the new keyframe selected.
  4. To modify the item in the ending frame, do any of the following:
    • Move the item to a new position.

    • Modify the item’s size, rotation, or skew.

    • Modify the item’s color (instance or text block only). To tween the color of elements other than instances or text blocks, use shape tweening.

  5. To create the classic tween, do one of the following:
    • Click any frame in the tween’s frame span and select Insert > Classic Tween.

    • Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) any frame in the tween’s frame span and select Create Classic Tween from the context menu.

    If you created a graphic object in step 2, Animate automatically converts the object to a symbol and names it tween1.

  6. If you modified the size of the item in step 4, select Scale in the Tweening section of the Property inspector to tween the size of the selected item.
  7. To produce a more realistic sense of motion, apply easing to the classic tween. To apply easing to a classic tween, use the Ease field in the Tweening section of the Property inspector to specify an easing value for each classic tween you create. Use the Custom Ease In/Ease Out dialog box to more precisely control the speed of the classic tween.

    Drag the value in the Easing field or enter a value to adjust the rate of change between tweened frames:

    • To begin the classic tween slowly and accelerate the tween toward the end of the animation, enter a negative value between ‑1 and ‑100.

    • To begin the classic tween rapidly and decelerate the tween toward the end of the animation, enter a positive value between 1 and 100.

    • To produce a more complex change in speed within the tween’s frame span, click the Edit button next to the Ease field to open the Custom Ease In/Ease Out dialog box.

      By default, the rate of change between tweened frames is constant. Easing creates a more natural appearance of acceleration or deceleration by gradually adjusting the rate of change.

  8. To rotate the selected item during the tween, select an option from the Rotate menu in the Property inspector:
    • To prevent rotation, select None (the default setting).

    • To rotate the object once in the direction requiring the least motion, select Auto.

    • To rotate the object as indicated, and then enter a number to specify the number of rotations, select Clockwise (CW) or Counterclockwise (CCW).

    Note:

    The rotation in step 8 is in addition to any rotation you applied to the ending frame in step 4.

  9. If you’re using a motion path, select Orient To Path in the Property inspector to orient the baseline of the tweened element to the motion path.
  10. To synchronize the animation of graphic symbol instances with the main Timeline, select the Sync option in the Property inspector.

    Note:

    Modify > Timeline > Synchronize Symbols and the Sync option both recalculate the number of frames in a tween to match the number of frames allotted to it in the Timeline. Use the Sync option if the number of frames in the animation sequence inside the symbol is not an even multiple of the number of frames the graphic instance occupies in the document.

  11. If you’re using a motion path, select Snap to attach the tweened element to the motion path by its registration point.

Working with Classic tweens saved as XML files

Animate allows you to work with Classic Tweens as XML files. Natively, Animate allows you to apply the following commands on any Classic Tween:

  • Copy Motion as XML

  • Export Motion as XML

  • Import Motion as XML

 

Copy Motion as XML

Allows you to copy Motion properties applied to any object on the Stage at a said frame.

  1. Create a Classic Tween.

  2. Select any keyframe on the Timeline.

  3. Go to Commands > Copy Motion as XML.

The Motion properties is copied to the clipboard as XML data, you can then use any text editor to work on the XML file.

Export Motion as XML

Allows you to export Motion properties applied to any object on the stage to an XML file that can be saved.

  1. Create a Classic Tween.

  2. Go to Commands > Export Motion as XML.

  3. Browse to a suitable location where you want to save the file.

  4. Provide a name for the XML file, and click Save.

The Classic tween is exported as an XML file at the specified location.

Import Motion as XML

Allows you to import an existing XML file that has Motion properties defined.

  1. Select an Object any object on the Stage.

  2. Go to Commands > Import Motion as XML.

  3. Browse to the location, and select the XML file. Click Ok.

  4. On the Paste Motion Special dialog, select the properties that you want to apply on the selected object.

  5. Click Ok.

Create a motion guide layer

To control the movement of objects in a classic tween animation, create a motion guide layer.

You cannot drag a motion tween layer or inverse kinematics pose layer onto a guide layer.

  • Drag a normal layer onto a guide layer. This converts the guide layer to a motion guide layer and links the normal layer to the new motion guide layer.

    Note:

    To prevent accidentally converting a guide layer, place all guide layers at the bottom of the layer order.

Create classic tween animation along a path

Note:

This topic is about working with older classic tweens. For help with using the newer motion tweens with motion paths, see Edit the motion path of a tween animation.

Motion guide layers let you draw paths along which tweened instances, groups, or text blocks can be animated. You can link multiple layers to a motion guide layer to have multiple objects follow the same path. A normal layer that is linked to a motion guide layer becomes a guided layer.

Motion path
In this example, two objects on separate layers are attached to the same motion path.

Create a motion path for classic tweened animation

  1. Create a classic-tweened animation sequence.

    If you select Orient To Path in the Property inspector, the baseline of the tweened element orients to the motion path. If you select Snap, the registration point of the tweened element snaps to the motion path.

  2. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Macintosh) the layer name of the layer containing the classic tween and choose Add Classic Motion Guide.

    Animate adds a motion guide layer above the classic tween layer and indents the name of the classic tween layer to show that it is bound to the motion guide layer.

    Note:

    If you already have a guide layer in the Timeline, you can drag a layer containing the classic tween below the guide layer to convert the guide layer to a motion guide and bind the classic tween to it.

    Motion guide layer
    A motion guide layer above the layer containing the classic tween.

  3. To add a path to the motion guide layer to guide the classic tween, select the motion guide layer and use the Pen, Pencil, Line, Circle, Rectangle, or Brush tool to draw the desired path.

    You can also paste a stroke onto the motion guide layer.

  4. Drag the object you are tweening to snap it to the beginning of the line in the first frame, and to the end of the line in the last frame.
    A graphic snapped to the beginning of a guide stroke
    A graphic of a car snapped to the beginning of a guide stroke.

    Note:

    For best snapping results, drag the symbol by its transformation point.

  5. To hide the motion guide layer and the path so that only the object’s movement is visible while you work, click in the Eye column on the motion guide layer.

    The group or symbol follows the motion path when you play the animation.

To know more about animation guide based on variable width stroke and variable stroke color, see Animation Guide

  • Do one of the following:
    • Drag an existing layer below the motion guide layer. The layer is indented under the motion guide layer. All objects on this layer automatically snap to the motion path.

    • Create a new layer under the motion guide layer. Objects you tween on this layer are automatically tweened along the motion path.

    • Select a layer below a motion guide layer. Select Modify > Timeline > Layer Properties, and select Guide.

  • Select the layer to unlink and do one of the following:
    • Drag the layer above the motion guide layer.

    • Select Modify > Timeline > Layer Properties, and select Normal as the layer type.

Paste classic tween animation properties

Note:

This topic is about pasting properties of older classic tweens. For help with pasting properties of the newer motion tweens, see Copy and paste motion tween properties.

The Paste Motion command lets you copy a classic tween, and paste only specific properties to apply to another object.

  1. Select the frames in the Timeline that contain the classic tween to copy. The frames you select must be on the same layer, however, they do not have to span a single classic tween. The selection can span a tween, empty frames, or two or more tweens.
  2. Select Edit > Timeline > Copy Motion.
  3. Select the symbol instance to receive the copied classic tween.
  4. Select Edit > Timeline > Paste Motion Special. Select the specific classic tween properties to paste to the symbol instance. The classic tween properties are:

    X Position

    How far an object moves in the x direction.

    Y Position

    How far an object moves in the y direction.

    Horizontal Scale

    The ratio between the current size of the object and its natural size in the horizontal direction (X).

    Vertical Scale

    Specifies the ratio between the current size of the object and its natural size in the vertical direction (Y).

    Rotation And Skew

    The rotation and skew of the object. These properties must be jointly applied to an object. Skew is a measurement of rotation in degrees, and when you rotate and skew, each property affects the other.

    Color

    All color values such as Tint, Brightness, and Alpha are applied to the object.

    Filters

    All filter values and changes for the selected span. If filters are applied to an object, the filter is pasted with all values intact, and its state (enabled or disabled) applies to the new object as well.

    Blend Mode

    Applies the blend mode of the object.

    Override Target Scale Properties

    When unchecked, specifies that all properties be pasted relative to the target object. When checked, this option overrides the scale properties of the target.

    Override Target Rotation And Skew Properties

    When unchecked, specifies that all properties be pasted relative to the target object. When checked, the pasted properties override the existing rotation and scale properties of the object.

    The necessary frames, tween, and symbol information are inserted to match the original, copied tween.

    To copy a symbol’s classic tween to the Actions panel or use it in another project as ActionScript, use the Copy Motion as ActionScript 3.0 command.

Apply custom ease in/ease out to classic tween animation

Note:

This topic is about adding easing to older classic tweens. For help with adding easing to the newer motion tweens, see Easing tween animations.

The Custom Ease In/Ease Out dialog box displays a graph representing the degree of motion over time. The horizontal axis represents frames, and the vertical axis represents percentage of change. The first keyframe is represented as 0%, and the last keyframe is represented as 100%.

The slope of the graph’s curve represents the rate of change of the object. When the curve is horizontal (no slope), the velocity is zero; when the curve is vertical, an instantaneous rate of change occurs.

Custom Ease In/Ease Out graph
Custom Ease In/Ease Out graph showing constant velocity. Open this dialog by selecting a frame in a classic tween and clicking the Edit button in the Ease section of the Property inspector.

Additional controls for the Custom Ease In/Ease Out dialog box

Use One Setting For All Properties check box

The default is selected; the displayed curve is used for all properties, and the Properties pop-up menu is disabled. When the check box is not selected, the Properties pop-up menu is enabled, and each property has a separate curve defining the velocity of that property.

Property pop-up menu

Enabled only when the Use One Setting for All Properties check box is not selected. When enabled, a separate curve is maintained for each of the five properties appearing in the menu. Selecting a property in the menu displays the curve for that property. The properties are:

Position

Specifies custom ease settings for the position of an animated object on the Stage.

Rotation

Specifies custom ease settings for the rotation of an animated object. For example, you can fine-tune how quickly or slowly an animated character turns around to face the user on the Stage.

Scale

Specifies custom ease settings for the scale of an animated object. For example, you can more easily customize the scale of an object so it appears to be moving away from the viewer, then coming closer, and then moving away again.

Color

Specifies custom ease settings for color transitions applied to an animated object.

Filters

Specifies custom ease settings for filters applied to an animated object. For example, you can control the ease setting of a drop shadow that simulates a change in the direction of a light source.

Play and Stop buttons

Let you preview an animation on the Stage using all the current velocity curves defined in the Custom Ease In/Ease Out dialog box.

Reset button

Lets you reset the velocity curve to the default, linear state.

Position of the selected control point

In the lower-right corner of the dialog box, a numeric value displays the keyframe and position of the selected control point. If no control point is selected, no value appears.

To add a control point to the line, click the diagonal line once. To achieve a precise degree of control over the motion of an object, drag the positions of the control points.

Using frame indicators (represented by square handles), click where you want an object to slow down or speed up. Clicking the square handle of a control point selects that control point, and displays the tangent points on either side of it. Hollow circles represent tangent points. Drag the control point or its tangent points with the mouse or use the keyboard’s arrow keys to position them.

Tip: By default, the control points snap to a grid. You can turn off snapping by pressing the X key while dragging the control point.

Clicking an area of the curve away from any control points adds a new control point to the curve at that point, without changing the shape of the curve. Clicking away from the curve and control points deselects the currently selected control point.

Add a custom ease

  1. Select a layer in the Timeline that has a classic tween applied to it.

  2. Click the Edit button next to the Ease slider in the frame Property inspector.
  3. (Optional) To display the curve for a single tweened property, deselect Use One Setting For All Properties, and select a property in the menu.
  4. To add a control point, Control‑click (Windows) or Command-click (Macintosh) the diagonal line.
  5. To increase the speed of the object, drag the control point up; to slow down the speed of the object, drag it downwards.
  6. To further adjust the ease curve, and fine tune the ease value of the tween, drag the vertex handles.
  7. To view the animation on the Stage, click the play button in the lower-left corner.
  8. Adjust the controls until you achieve the desired effect.

Note:

If you use the Custom Ease In/Ease Out dialog box to apply a custom ease to a frame, the edit box that shows the ease value shows '--'. If you use the Edit box or the pop-up slider to apply an ease value to a frame, the Custom Ease graph is set to the equivalent curve, and the Use One Setting For All Properties check box is selected.

Copy and paste an ease curve

  • To copy the current ease curve, press Control+C (Windows) or Command+C (Macintosh).

  • To paste the copied curve into another ease curve, press Control+V (Windows) or Command+V (Macintosh).

    You can copy and paste the ease curve. The copied curve remains available until you exit the Animate application.

Unsupported easing curves

Certain types of easing curves are not supported. No part of the graph can represent a nonlinear curve (such as a circle).

The Custom Ease dialog box automatically prevents moving a control point or a tangent handle to a position that would render an invalid curve:

  • All points must exist on the graph. Control points cannot be moved beyond the bounds of the graph.

  • All segments of the curve must exist within the graph. The shape of the curve is flattened to prevent it from extending beyond the bounds of the graph.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License  Twitter™ and Facebook posts are not covered under the terms of Creative Commons.

Legal Notices   |   Online Privacy Policy