Adobe Flash Professional CC

How to create a character animation in Flash Professional

Learn how to create a character, fine-tune its movements and publish your final animation. (Try it, 38 min)

FromJoseph Labrecque

What do I need?

Get files Sample files to practice with (ZIP, 10 MB)

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Set the Stage for your animation.

In this first video, we get acquainted with the FLA document type and prepare our Stage surface for the lessons to follow by setting the project width, height, background color, and FPS.

The New Document Dialog (0:24); Show the Grid (2:15); Snap to the Grid (2:35)

Create the scene for our character.

Create the background and foreground for our animated project using the built-in drawing and image import tools. Import a photograph of the sky, create some grass, and draw a cloud using the Oval Primitive tool.

The Rectangle Primitive Tool (0:21); Import an image (2:30); Use Oval Primitive Tool (3:16)

Let’s draw Sad Potato.

In this lesson, we’ll use symbols and the project library as we create the character. We’ll see how to draw out the character’s body, legs, and face and work with these elements across Timeline layers.

Create a Symbol (1:31); Use the Lasso Tool (3:11); Use the Free Transform Tool (4:12)

Animate the character.

This lesson shows how to create a looping animated sequence that makes our character walk. In doing so, we’ll see how to modify our Graphic symbol and use Frames and Motion Tweens to create the animation.

Move the Transform Point (1:20); Create Motion Tweens (2:07); Use a Shape Tween (6:09)

Fine-tune the character’s movement.

This lesson ties it all together by animating elements of our scene across time and controlling our character’s movement from one side of the stage to the other while animating other properties such as size and position along a Motion Path.

Animate the Character (3:09); Modify the Motion Path (3:58); Duplicate a layer (4:40)

Export the project for the web, iPad, and more.

In this final lesson, we demonstrate how to publish our project for Flash Player, HTML Canvas, and as a self-contained video for distribution across virtually any device.

Publish Settings (0:30); Publish to HTML Canvas (1:55); Export a Video (4:32)

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Joseph Labrecque

Joseph is a senior interactive software engineer for the University of Denver specializing in the creation of expressive desktop, web, and mobile solutions. He is also the proprietor of Fractured Vision Media, LLC; a digital media production company, technical consultancy, and distribution vehicle for a variety of creative works. Visit his website, The Memoryspiral.