About Motion Tween Animation

For example, if frames 1 and 20 are property keyframes, you can place a symbol left of the Stage in frame 1, and move it to the right of the Stage in frame 20. When you create a tween, Animate calculates all the positions of the movie clip in between. The result is an animation of the symbol moving from left to right, from frame 1 to frame 20. In each frame in between, Animate moves the movie clip one 20th of the distance across the Stage. 

Tween span: 

  • Is a group of frames in the Timeline in which an object has one or more properties changed over time.
  • Appears in the Timeline as a group of frames in a single layer with a blue background.
  • You can select the tween spans as a single object and drag them from one location in theTimeline to another, including to another layer.
  • You can animate only one object on the Stage in each tween span. This object is called the target object of the tween span.

Property keyframe:

  • Is a frame within a tween span where you explicitly define one or more property values for the tween target object.
  • These properties could include position, alpha (transparency), color tint, and so on.
  • Each defined property has its own property keyframes.
  • If you set more than one property in a single frame, then the property keyframes for each of those properties reside in that frame.
  • Use Motion Editor to view each property of a tween span and its property keyframes.
  • You can also choose which types of property keyframes to display in the Timeline from the tween span context menu.

Tweenable objects and properties

The types of objects that can be tweened include movie clip, graphic and button symbols, and text fields. The properties of these objects that can be tweened include the following:

  • 2D X and Y position

  • 3D Z position (movie clips only)

  • 2D rotation (around the z-axis)

  • 3D X, Y, and Z rotation (movie clips only): 3D motion requires that the FLA file target ActionScript 3.0 and Flash Player 10 or higher in the publish settings. Adobe AIR also supports 3D motion.

  • Skew X and Y

  • Scale X and Y

  • Color effects: includes alpha (transparency), brightness, tint, and advanced color settings. Color effects can be tweened only on symbols and TLF text. By tweening these properties, you can make objects appear to fade in or fade from one color to another. To tween a color effect on classic text, convert the text to a symbol.

  • Filter properties (filters cannot be applied to graphic symbols)

Differences between motion and classic tweens

Animate supports two different types of tweens for creating motion: Motion tweens and Classic tweens.

Motion tweens Classic tweens
Powerful and simple to create, allows the greatest control over tweened animation Complex to create and includes all tweens created in earlier versions of Animate. 
Offers better tween control Provides user specific capabilities
Uses key frames Uses property
Consists of one target object over the entire tween Allows tweening between two key frames with same or different symbols
consider text a tweenable type and do not convert text objects to movie clips convert text objects to graphic symbols.
No frame scripts are allowed on a motion tween span.  Classic tweens allow frame scripts.
Motion tween spans can be stretched and resized in the Timeline and are treated as a single object.  Classic tweens consist of groups of individually selectable frames in the Timeline.
To select individual frames in a motion tween span, Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Macintosh) the frames.  
eases apply across the entire length of a motion tween span. Easing only specific frames of a motion tween requires the creation of a custom ease curve.
  eases can be applied to the groups of frames between the keyframes within the tween. 
can apply one color effect per tween. animate between two different color effects, such as tint and alpha transparency.
used to animate 3D objects.  You cannot animate a 3D object using a classic tween.
Only motion tweens can be saved as Motion Presets. you can swap symbols or set the frame number of a graphic symbol to display in a property keyframe. Animations that include these techniques require classic tweens.

Similarities between motion and classic tweens

  • There can be more than one classic or motion tween on the same layer, but there can't be both types of tween on the same layer.
  • Both motion tweens and classic tweens allow only specific types of objects to be tweened.

Additional resources

  • Jen DeHaan provides a useful blog post about the motion model in Animate and the differences between motion tweens and classic tweens on her Flashthusiast.com site.

See also


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