When you position a tween instance across the Stage, you see a motion path for that animation to appear on the Stage. Motion path is a line that represents the spatial movement of the tweened instance. Its dots (sometimes called "tween dots" or "frame dots") represent the position of the target object along the path on the timeline. The position of the target object is represented as a single frame, or groups of frames.
Change the position of the object in any frame of the tween span.
Move the entire motion path to a different location on the Stage.
Change the shape or size of the path with the Selection, Subselection, or Free Transform tools.
Change the shape or size of the path with the Transform panel or Property inspector.
Use the commands in the Modify > Transform menu.
Apply a custom stroke as a motion path.
Use the Motion Editor.
You can use the Always Show Motion Paths option to show all motion paths on all layers on the Stage simultaneously. This display is helpful when designing multiple animations on different motion paths that intersect each other. When a motion path or tween span is selected, you can choose this option from the Property inspector options menu.
With the Selection and Subselection tools, you can reshape a motion path. With the Selection tool, you can reshape a segment by dragging. Property keyframes in the tween appear on the path as control points. With the Subselection tool, you can expose the control points and Bezier handles on the path that correspond to each position property keyframe. You can use these handles to reshape the path around the property keyframe points.
When you create a non-linear motion path such as a circle, you can have the tweened object rotate as it moves along the path. To maintain a constant orientation relative to the path, select the Orient to Path option in the Property inspector.
- To delete an Anchor point, select the Delete Anchor Point tool. Most anchor points generated with Selection tool are smooth points. To convert an anchor point, select the Convert Anchor Point tool. The anchor changes to an angle point.
- You can also pull out new Bezier handles from a point and position them, just as you would for a regular anchor point.
You can't add anchor points to the path with Add Anchor point tool.
To edit a motion path, move the target instance of the tween on the Stage in any frame of the tween span. If the current frame does not already contain a property keyframe, Animate adds one to it.
- Place the playhead in the frame where you want to move the target instance.
- With the Selection tool, drag the target instance to a new location on the Stage.
The motion path updates to include the new location. All other property keyframes in the motion path remain in their original locations.
- Click the tween span in the Timeline and then click the motion path on the Stage.
- Click the tweened object on the Stage and then click the motion path.
- Drag a marquee around the motion path and the target instance to select them both.
- (CS5.5 only) Select multiple motion paths by Shift-clicking the motion path of each tween you want to edit. You can also drag a marquee around all the motion paths.
- Click the Free Transform tool in the Tools panel.
- With the Free Transform tool, click the motion path. Do not click the tween target instance.
- Scale, skew, or rotate the path with the Free Transform tool.
You can then paste the path into another layer as a stroke or as a motion path for another motion tween.
- Select a stroke on a layer separate from the tween layer and copy it to the clipboard.
The stroke must not be closed. Only uninterrupted strokes can be used.
- Select a tween span in Timeline and paste the stroke. Animate applies the stroke as the new motion path for the selected tween span. The target instance of the tween now moves along the new stroke.
- To reverse the start and end points of the tween, Right-click (Windows) or Ctrl-click (Macintosh) the tween span. Select Motion Path > Reverse Path in the tween span context menu.