Flash Animation Tutorials: Step-by-Step Lessons
- ActionScripting Basics (28)
- ActionScripting Challenges (17)
- Do-It-Yourself (1)
- Flash Basics: Tweening (14)
- Flash MX Effects (5)
- Flash Program Tools (64)
- Flash Traditional Animation (11)
- Flash for Artwork (4)
- Flash for Games & Fun Stuff (17)
- Holiday Themes (22)
- Kids' Corner (3)
- Masking (4)
- Miscellaneous Tips & Tricks (36)
- Simple Applications (31)
- Symbols & Related (15)
- Web-Related Flash Lessons (26)
Flash CS5 Deco Tool: Vine Fill Options
The Deco Tool is a Flash feature that lets you auto-create multiple effects and fills without drawing them yourself, including animated and static Vine Fills.
Flash CS5 Deco Tool: Vine Fill Options
The Deco Tool is a Flash feature that lets you auto-create multiple effects and fills without drawing them yourself, including animated and static Vine Fills.
Introduction to Flash CS5 Workspace Profiles
Adobe Flash CS5 comes with multiple preset workspaces designed to optimize productivity for different types of users.
Flash Tip: Reducing Flash Movie Filesize
Flash movies are improving in quality, but with greater quality comes larger file sizes.
Changing ActionScript Versions in an Existing Flash Document
There are ways to switch between versions of ActionScript even after a document's been created.
Flash Troubleshooting Tip: Animated GIFs Exporting as Static
One of the easiest (and most easily rectified) mistake when publishing GIFs from Flash is accidentally publishing a static GIF when you want an animated one.
Flash Tip: Using the Info Tab to Scale and Move Objects
When you need to move or scale something to a precise size or location on the Flash stage, you can use the Info Tab
Animating a Zoom Effect in Flash
You can simulate a camera zoom effect in Flash using tweens.
Flash Tip: Removing a Tween
We always talk about how to insert and modify various types of tweens, but never how to remove one.
Flash Tip: Reverse Timeline Frames
It's possible to switch the order of Flash timeline frames without manually moving them
Animating a Pan Effect in Flash
You can use motion tweens to create the illusion of a panning camera on your Flash stage.
Flash Tip: Changing Frame Size in the Timeline
You can shrink or enlarge your Flash timeline frames.
Flash Tip; Disabling & Enabling Tinted Timeline Frames
You can turn off the default shading on Flash timeline frames.
Flash Tip: Add Swatch
You can save custom-defined colors from your Flash palette to the Swatches panel.
Flash Tip: Opening Additional Library Panels
Flash library getting a little cluttered? Need too many symbols from too many separate libraries? Just create a new library window.
Flash Tip: Smoothing and Straightening
Flash compensates for clumsy drawers with the Smooth and Straighten functions.
Flash Tip: Using Markers
Markers? If you're thinking sharpies, you're a bit off.
Flash Tip: Accessing Document Properties from the Timeline
FLash is chock full of nifty little shortcuts - including ones that aren't so obvious. Did you know that you could access the document properties window from the timeline?
Changing a Flash Symbol Type / Symbol Properties
Once you create a Flash symbol, its properties aren't set in stone.
Flash Toolbars: Main, Controller, and Editing Toolbars
Flash lets you add toolbars other than the defaults to simplify many basic menu functions with one-click buttons.
Flash Tip: Changing Default Font Mapping
What does it mean to change the default font mapping in Flash?
Flash Tip: Tabbed Timeline Browsing
A fun feature of Flash is tabbed timeline browsing.
Flash Tip: Duplicate Window
In Flash you can create one or more duplicates of the current window / open project, and keep the various duplicates focused on different work areas.
Flash Tip: Floating / Detaching the Timeline
The Flash timeline can be moved to various locations - docked to either side, or floated as a separate window over the general working area.
Flash Tip: Switching Color Modes Between RGB and HSB
Most don't even know the difference between RGB and HSB, let alone that you have an option to switch between the color palettes in Flash.
Flash Tutorials: Learning the Basics With Our Flash Step-by-Step Tutorials
With the number of Flash tutorials on this site, starting at basic beginnings can be a little difficult when it's hard to even find the basic beginnings and figure out what to do first. With that in mind, I've put together a handy list of categorized starter Flash tutorials and what they do to help you build your base foundation of Flash skills before moving on to more complicated projects.
Top 5 Uses for Flash
Flash has many useful applications; from character animation to programming, it offers a dynamic platform for a multitude of uses. What's your favorite use for Flash?
Flash Tip: Understanding the "Lock Fill" Option with Gradients
To some, the "Lock Fill" option is a real pain in Flash; it's an easily-overlooked little button that changes the way your gradients behave when you fill multiple separate areas.
Creating Beveled Text in Flash CS3
Beveled text is just another of the easy Flash filter effects available in version CS3 and higher.
Creating Drop Shadow Text in Flash CS3
One great thing about the newest versions of Flash is that many effects that previously had to be constructed manually are now automatic features - including text drop shadows.
Using Variables from an External Source with Flash's loadVariables()
Using loadVariables() to pull values from an external file lets you update data in Flash movies quickly and easily without having to edit or republish the movie.
Password-Protecting an SWF
Password-protect your Flash SWFs to prevent anyone stealing your work by converting it to an FLA using a decompiler.
WorkAround for the Flash/ ActiveX Activation Issue in IE6+
Flash Halloween Bobblehead
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Flash Tip: Sending Mail Attachments from Within Flash
Send your Flash documents quickly and easily right from inside the Flash program, without having to go through the extra steps required to create a new e-mail and add attachments.
Animated Flash-Only Thumbnail Gallery II
This continuation on the lesson on animated Flash thumbnail galleries shows how to use movie clips to animate your content appearing and disappearing.
Animated Flash-Only Thumbnail Gallery I
Upgrade your static thumbnail gallery with Flash animations to make your thumbnails interactive, and keep all of your content contained on a single page.
Dynamic Animation in Flash: Moving Dynamically Drawn Shapes
You can use random motion animation not only to manipulate objects created on the Flash stage, but also to manipulate dynamically drawn objects.
Quick and Dirty Transparent Flash Videos II: From Flash to the Web
Once your bluescreen/greenscreened images have been prepared in Premiere, it's time to move them into Flash and get them ready to go on the web.
Quick and Dirty Transparent Flash Videos I: Premiere Preparation
You can bring bluescreen/greenscreen video into Flash to create a transparent movie played on top of web page content using wmode, but before you do that you have to do a little work in Premiere to clean the video up and prepare it for work in Flash.
Flash Tip: Importing a Sequence of Images
You can import a series of numbered images to Flash and have the program automatically distribute them in sequential order across keyframes.
Dynamic Animation in Flash: Controlling the Drawing API with Equations
You can use the Flash drawing API to create dynamic animations controlled entirely by mathematical functions rather than user input.
Using setTransform to Change Color and Opacity
Use setTransform to dynamically change the hue/tint of Flash symbols, as well as adjusting their brightness and opacity.
Deconstructing the Paint Application XI: Gradient Tool Options
The gradient tool options are controlled by user-input values stored in variables and then passed to the transform matrices used by Flash to create a gradient fill.
Deconstructing the Paint Application X: Color Palettes
This lesson on the Flash Oekaki/Paint application finally explains the mystery behind the oft-used currentcolor variable, how it's defined, and how it affects the various tools of the application.
Deconstructing the Paint Application IX: Brush Size and Opacity Sliders
The paint app has two options for setting the brush size for the Flash Oekaki/Paint application's brush tool and the opacity for the selected color: a text input box with an assigned variable, or draggable sliders.
Deconstructing the Paint Application IIX: User Layers, Clear Layer
You can use layers and createEmptyMovieClip to create user layers that duplicate all the functionality that we've covered in past lessons on multiple layers so that users have the option to paint above and below existing work without erasing/painting over.
Deconstructing the Paint Application VII: The Text Tool
The last drawing tool on the paint application is the text tool, which turns the entire application canvas into an input text field.
Deconstructing the Paint Application VI: The Gradient Rectangle Tool
The gradient rectangle tool uses begingradientfill, matrices, and arrays to create a two-color gradient with user-specified colors and angle.
Deconstructing the Paint Application V: The RectangleTool
Use connecting lineTos to create closed rectangular shapes with solid fills defined by beginFill() and endFill().
Flash Fortune-Teller/Random Sentence Generator with User Input
Similar to the Magic 8-ball but building on the techniques used, you can create a random sentence generator that can take user-input words and string them together into funny sentences.
Deconstructing the Paint Application IV: The Oval Tool
Using curveTo, beginFill, and endFill, add the functionality to draw solid-fill circles to the Flash paint application.
Deconstructing the Paint Application III: The Line Tool
This lesson uses the previously explained functions of the Flash Drawing API along with another command called clear() to create a tool to draw straight lines with a custom crosshair cursor and line tracker.
Deconstructing the Paint Application II: The Brush Tool & the Flash Drawing API
The second tool that we're going to look at, the Brush Tool, will introduce you to the Flash Drawing API and a function called createEmptyMovieClip.
Five Basic ActionScripting Mistakes and How to Fix Them
All it takes is a little missing punctuation or a typo to send your Actionscript down the FUBAR creek--and even with the syntax checker, it can take hours to ferret the exact problem out of hundreds of lines of code. Here are the five mistakes that I make the most often, and that I try to remain vigilant for while coding so I can spend less time troubleshooting them later.
Applying Transformations to Dynamic Text with Embedded Fonts
If you're transforming dynamic text, you'll run up against the problem of the magically disappearing text. While there's nothing magical about the irritation that goes with it, there is, at least, an easy fix.
Ask the Magic 8-Ball: Using Flash to Create a Magic 8-Ball Application
Will you have a merry Christmas? Will 2007 be a good year? Will you get that promotion? Ask the magic 8-ball....or use Flash and Actionscripting to make your own.
Deconstructing the Paint Application I: Setup, Skins, Canvas Color, Help File
For the first installment in the series of lessons on deconstruction the oekaki/paint application, we're going to look at the basic setup, how to switch the skins out, how to change the canvas color, and how to create the help file.
ActionScripting Basics: What’s the difference between = and ==?
Read a quick tip on the differences between = and == operators in Flash ActionScripting.
Dynamic eCard with Flash and PHP
Combing Flash animation, ActionScripting, and PHP to create an eCard with user-defined messages taken from input fields, and then dynamically generate a URL that allows users to share their custom eCard message via e-mail, IM, or web pages.
Combining Flash Falling Snow with wMode for a Wintery Website
Take what you've learned in the lessons on wMode transparency and random functions for falling snow, and combine them to add a layer of Flash snow on top of the HTML content of your website without diminishing your content's accessibility.
Custom Christmas Tree Ornaments that Move with Drag & Drop or Arrow Keypresses
With Flash, you can enhance user interactivity by creating objects - such as the ornaments on this "Decorate Your Own Tree" game - that can be moved not only by dragging them with the mouse, but by directing them with keypresses to move them up, down, left, or right.
Flash Falling Snow with Random Functions and Movie Clips
With Flash ActionScripting and a little math, you can simulate flecks of falling snow moving in a natural, random drift - whether you want slow, lazy snowfall or a swift and rushing blizzard.
Creating Random Motion with Flash ActionScripts and Math.random
Use Math.random to actionscript random animation with an erratic motion path that still operates within set parameters.
Animated Flash Dropdown Menu II: Making Content Clickable
If you're having problem making your basic dropdown menu clickable, then a few minor adjustments and a couple of controller movie clips should do the trick.
An Introduction to Computer Animation
Just what is computer animation? This introduction provides a brief overview of the basic concepts and uses of 2D and 3D computer animation.
To Flash or Not to Flash: That is the Question
With Flash quickly becoming the standard for interactive web design, it's easy to fall under the assumptions that if you're going to create a website, you have to use Flash. But at times we can put a lot of extra time and effort into making Flash websites when it just isn't necessary.
Do You Flash Lite?
Here's a brief overview of the Flash Lite player for your mobile device.
10 Stupid Flash Tricks
Sometimes there are things that you can do in Flash that in truth, you really shouldn't--not unless you enjoy leaving your viewers in the throes of audiovisual agony.
Creating Your First Flash Animation
In this lesson we'll cover how to create a new blank movie file in Flash MX, and the tools and steps involved in making your first simple animation using motion tweening and basic shapes.
Flash Animation 2: Shape Tweening
With this lesson, we'll pick up at the end of where we left off in Lesson 1, with a lesson on shape tweening in Flash MX.
Flash Animation 3: Fireworks E-card
This tutorial offers you a chance to get more familiar with using Flash's drawing tools to set a scene for an animation, and a few little gradient and fill tricks. This part of the lesson will walk you through creating the scene for a Fourth of July exploding fireworks E-card; a future lesson will demonstrate how to animate it.
Flash Animation 4: Animating Your E-card
Now that we’ve set the stage for our E-card, let’s go ahead and animate it. For the first part of that, we’re going to use a new kind of symbol called a Movie Clip.
Flash Animation 5: Creating a Complex Character of Movable Parts
In this lesson, we're going to learn how to "cheat' on making detailed animated characters in Flash without actually drawing every frame.
Flash Animation 6: Using Text in Flash to Give Your Character a Voice
This will be a fairly simple lesson. Before we get into animating the limbs, we're going to add speech bubbles--we'll learn about adding actual audio tracks later--to learn about working with text in Flash, and to give our characters a "voice" to communicate with the viewer.
Flash Animation 7: Let's Move, Baby.
It's time to get our characters moving, using the movie clip symbols that we set up in previous lessons to control our limbs as a whole, and in sub-parts--and also to animate our facial features and give them expression and lip movements.
Flash Animation 8: Adding Simple Audio
This will be one of the easiest lessons yet; all we're going to do is add a looping audio background to our Flash character animation to complete it.
Flash Animation 9: Adding Interactivity with Buttons
Now we're going to learn how to create a simple button that doesn't really do anything other than demonstrate a mouse-over effect, just for the sake of learning the steps. We'll also touch on action-scripting for the first time.
Flash Animation 10: Creating a New Scene
Here we explore the concept of individual scenes in Flash, and how to create and manipulate them to make options to associate with our buttons.
Flash Animation 11: ActionScripting to Link Your Buttons And Scenes
It's time to combine the buttons and scenes created in Lessons 9 and 10, using ActionScripting to tell Flash how to behave when our buttons are clicked.
Flash Animation 12: Exporting Your Animation as a Movie File
This lesson touches upon a small but essential piece of knowledge for working in Flash: exporting as a movie instead of a Flash SWF file.
Easiest Flash PreLoader Ever
Well, it may not be the very easiest preloader on the face of the earth, but it's certainly easy enough that just about anyone could do it - requiring no hidden tricks, no special variables, no tricky little intricacies. Just three frames, two if statements, and one button, and you're on your way to a preloader that you can finish in ten minutes or less.
Flash Animation 13: Creating a Simple Preloader
A Flash preloader is a short, low-key animation that plays while the rest of your animation is loading, and can either loop or show a growing progress percentage.
Flash Animation 14: Gravity, Squash, and Stretch
It's time to learn how to use Flash with classic animation techniques to portray gravity, weight, and squash and stretch. Just in time for the winter holidays, too--with a snowy scene and a bouncing snowball to demonstrate the techniques.
Flash Animation 15: Starting and Stopping Sound Effects
Let's pick up on the last lesson to add a bouncing sound effect to our squash and stretch animation, using Flash audio to bring more life and depth to the animation.
Flash Animation 16: Adding Sound to Buttons
We've learned how to play sounds at a certain time in a Flash animation, but what about in response to certain events? This lesson is a basic start on playing sounds on mouseovers and mouseclicks, using buttons to trigger those sounds.
Flash Animation 17: Controlling Movie Clips With Buttons and ActionScripting
It's time to take a bit of a leap in your Flash education by learning how to control movie clip timelines from within the main timeline. To do this we're going to use buttons to tell Flash when to play individual movie clip animations.
Flash Animation 18: Controlling Movie Clips II
This lesson continues what we started in Flash Animation 17, by showing how to "rewind" the movie clips to the beginning to remove the elements we placed on the stage without entirely resetting the scene.
Flash Animation 19: Drag and Drop ActionScripting Commands
The startDrag and stopDrag commands help increase user interactivity with our Flash movies by letting them manipulate our movie clips with the click of a mouse.
Flash Animation 20: Flash for Web Design: Text Links
To start off simply, we're just going to create the foundation for a basic text menu with rollover links.
Flash Animation 21: Flash for Web Design: getURL Command
Flash's getURL command lets you make a hyperlink out of any graphic or symbol.
Flash Animation 22: Flash for Web Design: GUI Design
The first part of setting up a website in Flash is designing a GUI (graphical user interface) as a "container" for your content, and then making that GUI workable.
Flash Animation 23: Flash for Web Design: Creating Individual Content Pages
With a web page design set up, now we need to create the basis for our different content pages and tell our buttons how to point to them--which, in Flash, is a bit of a different process than it might be in HTML.
Flash Animation 24: Flash for Web Design: Creating a Thumbnail Gallery
Flash Animation 25: Flash for Web Design: Simple Video Imports
You can import video files into Flash's library just as you import other media files, but they're handled just a little bit differently. This lesson covers the simplest ways to work with video in Flash.
Flash Animation 26: Flash for Web Design: Video Playback
Since we've started using video in Flash, it stands to reason that we'd need video playback controls, as well. This lesson shows you how to add playback control buttons to turn your video display into your own simple media player.
Flash Animation 27: Flash for Web Design: Creating Scrollable Text
Just because your Flash movie is a fixed size doesn't mean that you have to pare down all of your text so that it will fit into a single tiny space; you can create scrollable areas inside Flash so that even when your content is too large for the movie area, you can still make sure that it's entirely visible.
Animated Flash Dropdown Menu
This is a simple, animated Flash menu that drops down/expands when your mouse rolls over the menu header.
Creating a Custom Mouse Cursor in Flash
Whether it bounces, jiggles, squiggles, wiggles, glitters, or just sits there looking pretty, you can turn it into your own custom Flash mouse cursor to replace the default.
Creating Easy Flash-Style Tooltips
Create your own customizable Flash rollover-style tooltip popups, using a simple two-frame movie clip and a little ActionScripting.
Adding Animation to a Flash Popup ToolTip
Your Flash popup tooltips don't have to just appear and disappear; you can also animate them entering the scene in any numbers of ways. This demonstration shows one expanding to full size.
Bookmarking from Flash in Internet Explorer
Retracing Detailed Artwork in Flash
Artwork drawn and shaded in Flash has its own unique, recognizable look, and it lends itself well to cartoon styles while allowing the freedom and flexibility to experiment--and the option to animate when you're finished.
Coloring Detailed Flash Artwork
You don't have to restrict your Flash artwork to solid colors and blocked shadows just because you're working in an animation program; digital animation has removed many of the limitations involved in hand-painted animation, and you'd be surprised at how easy it is to first color in detailed artwork...and then animate it afterwards.
Flash Halloween Costume Dress-Up Doll I: Artwork & Setup
Don't feel like getting dolled up for Halloween? Then create a virtual doll to do the trick-or-treating for you. This lesson starts off a two-part look at how to create a Flash version of a paper doll, by walking through creating the various layers of artwork required and arranging that artwork in Flash.
Flash Halloween Costume Dress-Up Doll II: Controls & Scripting
Take the next step to making the Halloween costume doll work by setting up the menu and learning how to hide and unhide the various parts when their menu elements are clicked.
Flash Halloween Costume Dress-Up Doll II: Controls & Scripting pt. 2
Complete your Halloween costume doll with the finishing touch: one of the most difficult "simple" tasks in Flash, making a movie clip play smoothly backwards so that your menu can be moved to both sides, rather than just one.
Flash Frame-By-Frame Animation: Keyframe and In-Between Basics
Rather than working with simple shapes and reusable objects, let's work with the techniques used in cinematic animation: hand-drawing each frame using keyframing and in-betweening techniques to describe progressive motion.
Flash Frame-By-Frame Animation: 8-Frame Basic Walk Cycle
The walk cycle is one of the most important animation techniques to master, but you can simplify it a bit in Flash even when drawing each individual frame, whether in whole or in part. This simple stick-figure walk-cycle demonstrates the basic ideas and discusses key concepts of figures in motion.
Flash Frame-By-Frame Animation: Detailed Animation Part I
Creating a detailed, full-color character animation using traditional frame-by-frame methods is a long and at times difficult process, even in Flash. For this lesson we're going to take the first step and rough-sketch our basic motion for a simple action, using block shapes representing a character we wish to animate.
Flash Frame-By-Frame Animation: Detailed Animation Part II
Now that we've used Flash to create a basic rough-sketched animation of our desired motion, it's time to start layering a little detail on top of it to flesh everything out.
Flash Frame-By-Frame Animation: Detailed Animation Part III
Detail is good--but it's even better when it's been retraced and smoothed out for clean line art. For that, we'll need to use the Pen Tool to retrace our animation.
Flash Frame-By-Frame Animation: Detailed Animation Part IV
Time to add a little color to our plain world of black and white, and start painting in shades in a process that would normally be done using cels in standard traditional animation. Flash shaves hours of work off of the process.
Flash Frame-By-Frame Animation: Detailed Animation Part V
This lesson is where we really start to see the advantage of using Flash for traditional frame-by-frame animation, because we're going to use symbols and various shortcuts and transforming tools to create one eye and then reuse it on each frame.
Flash Frame-By-Frame Animation: Detailed Animation Part VI
After animating and detailing a moving human body, let's do something a little different with something less solid: the body's clothing. Animating the clothing simply moving with the body would use the same techniques that we've covered in past lessons, but now we'll add a little twist by causing the clothing to also move with the momentum of the body's motion.
Flash Frame-By-Frame Animation: Detailed Animation Part VII
Instead of using plain solid color, for this Flash lesson let's start using gradients to add another layer of depth and fullness to our animation, before finishing the cycling motion that we started in the last lesson.
Breaking Down the Screaming Maze Trick
You've been pranked by it, most likely--now learn how it was done, and turn the tables on your friends.
Basic Flash Password Protection
While you don't want to count on this for definite site or application security, you can use this basic password script as part of a game or any other fun animation.
Flash Cursor Spotlight
Use simple layers, transparency, and a few basic ActionScripts to make a spotlight follow your mouse cursor to reveal a hidden scene.
Flash Cursor Spotlight Revisited
Just because everyone else's cursor spotlight is stark black-on-white doesn't mean that yours has to be. Let's take a look at how to make a simpler, softer spotlight effect that still follows the mouse just like the "revealing" cursor spotlight effect.
Flash Cursor Spotlight Revisited II: Masking
Learn layer masking to explore yet another way to create a spotlight that follows the mouse around the Flash stage to reveal your movie.
Shape Tweening a Mask
Apply shape tweens to your masks to make them change shape and reveal different areas of your Flash movie.
Motion Tweening a Mask
You can use motion tweens on the objects on a mask layer just as you would on any other Flash symbol.
Using Masks for an Iris Effect
Simulate the effect of a camera's iris diaphragm using Flash's mask layers and a shape tween.
Making Your Own Flash Slingshot Target Game: I
We’re going to create a game similar to those “punch the monkey” games that you’ve seen in ads—maybe even in ads on this site. However, this game will actually have a beginning and an end, instead of just opening an annoying popup window exhorting you to buy this or that. This lesson starts off by setting up the animations and some of the basic ActionScripting involved.
Making Your Own Flash Slingshot Target Game: II
With the animations set up as the basis for the game, let's start to make it a little more user-interactive by adding the scripts that make the slingshot move with the mouse, and fire when clicked.
Making Your Own Flash Slingshot Target Game: III
We've learned to fire, now let's learn how to make the squishies recognize the impact of our projectiles and react to them, using the hitTest function and an if statement.
Flash MX Keyboard Shortcuts
When working in Flash, one thing that can save a lot of time is knowledge of the various keyboard shortcuts.
Flash Tip: Customize Your Flash Preferences
Changing your preferences lets you customize Flash's program defaults to provide the most comfortable personalized animation experience.
Flash Tip: Save As Template
Saving your Flash files as templates for future use will place them at your fingertips for easy access later.
ActionScripting Basics: One-Click Adding and Removing Scripts
You can add to your Flash Actionscripts any number of ways, but one of the easiest ways is to use the buttons above the window that displays the code.
ActionScripting Basics: Moving/Rearranging Scripts
Move your lines of Actionscripting around without having to copy-paste them or re-insert them from scratch.
ActionScripting Basics: Expert Mode and Normal Mode
Switch between Expert Mode and Normal Mode when working with Flash's Actions pane, and find out the benefits to both.
ActionScripting Basics: Check Syntax
Use Check Syntax to check for errors in your ActionScript before they cause problems in your published movie.
ActionScripting Basics: Search/Find
Hate digging through code for a single command that needs to be edited or deleted? It may not seem like such a big deal when you've only got one or two scripts--but when you've got ten or twenty stacked together, using the Find function can be a real lifesaver.
ActionScripting Basics: Find and Replace
Search out and replace a single occurrence of a search string in your ActionScripts, every occurrence, or as many as you need to--without having to do any of the work of finding or edting yourself.
ActionScripting Basics: Breakpoints
Use breakpoints to help in debugging by isolating trouble spots as your Flash movie plays.
ActionScripting Basics: View Line Numbers
Viewing Line Numbers can make organizing and following your ActionScripts easier on both your mind and your eyes.
Flash Tip: Action Scripting Basics: Inserting a Simple Stop
The stop command is most likely the most basic of all of Flash's ActionScript commands, and the most essential. It's also a good place to get started with familiarizing yourself with the concepts of working with ActionScripting.
Flash Tip: ActionScripting Basics: "On" Command Options
Moving from the most basic to the most common, the "On" command is the foundation of mouse-action-based user interactivity in Flash.
ActionScripting Basics: Using setProperty
Use setProperty to change the properties of movie clips when certain conditions are met.
ActionScripting Basics: Changing Alpha by Degrees with setProperty
Using setProperty to change the value of a shape's properties can be done using variables to control those properties in progressive degrees, rather than by setting them as arbitrary values. This example uses the _alpha property to demonstrate.
ActionScripting Basics: Using getProperty
Use getProperty to return the values of various MovieClip properties for use in scripts.
ActionScripting Basics: Using getProperty and Dynamic Text to Display a Value
When you assign a variable to a value fetched by getProperty, you can then pass that value to another function to be used in an operation. In this case, the operation changes the text in a dynamic text field on the stage to display the value returned on the Flash stage.
Flash “Coloring Book” with setRGB
Use setRGB to create a coloring-book application that allows users to select colors from a preset palette and fill pre-defined areas with the hue of their choice, with just a single click.
Flash Halloween Trivia Quiz
Use if statements and variables to create a trivia quiz that calculates the score as you go based on right or wrong answers, and determines "pass" or "fail" based on meeting a minimum value.
Hiding and Unhiding Movie Clips on Command Using _visible and !
Learn how to hide and unhide Flash movie clips with the click of a button and a very easy three-line actionscript, using _visible and the logical NOT operator (!) to alter the visibility state.
ActionScripting Basics: duplicateMovieClip
Create duplicates of movie clips using Actionscripting, isntead of by dragging new instances onto the stage.
ActionScripting Basics: removeMovieClip
Use removeMovieClip to remove instances of clips created by the duplicateMovieClip ActionScript.
ActionScripting Basics: .textColor with Dynamic Text Fields
textColor is an ActionScript property that lets you define or change the text color inside of a dynamic text field on a movie clip event.
ActionScripting Basics: Revamping getURL with Animated Movie Clips
Another look at using getURL, this time more cleanly done and demonstrated on an animated movie clip.
ActionScripting Basics: Basic Date Functions
Flash can read your system date and return that information to display on-screen.
Flash Digital Clock
Create a digital clock--twenty-four-hour time or twelve-hour time--in Flash, using dynamic text properties and the hour, minute, and second parameters of the basic Date functions.
Creating Transparent Flash Movies with WMode and Div Layers
Ever wondered how they make those Flash ads that can be dynamically positioned anywhere on the screen, but that have a transparent background? In just four steps, I'll show you how.
ActionScripting Basics: Mouse.hide ( ) and Mouse.show ( )
You can conceal and reveal the default mouse cursor on the Flash stage, with an easy single-line Actionscript.
Creating Tabbed Content in Flash with swapDepths
Using swapDepths in Flash to change the depth of your tabbed content windows, you can create an intuitive and stylish content display with easy navigation.
Referencing ActionScripts from an External File
Cut down on excess code by referencing oft-used lines of ActionScripting from external files using includes.
Animating with ActionScripts
There's more than one way to skin a cat, more than one way to pluck a chicken, and more than one way to animate in Flash. Use ActionScripts to animate changes in size, color, position, and anything else that you can code.
ActionScripting Basics: Collision Test Using hitTest
The hitTest action lets you check to see if one shape overlaps another/enters its bounding box--in essence, testing for collision action.
Flash Tip: Alternate Website for Non-Flash Users
While designing a website in Flash, it's easy to assume that your viewers will not have some version of the Macromedia Flash player. However, you may find that a large percentage of your users either have an older version of the Flash player or none at all. For these users, it's helpful to have a non-Flash version of your website available.
Flash Tip: Flash vs. Flash Player - What's the Difference?
When referring to "Flash", sometimes it can be a little unclear what we're referring to--the Flash software, or the Flash player.
Flash Tip: Embedding Your SWF in a Web Page
If you're publishing for the web, you'll need to be able to insert your SWF file into your website's layout. Here's a quick guide that will help you figure out how.
Flash Tip: Motion Tweening Expanded: Rotation
In the first Flash lesson, we covered motion tweening as a basic "Point A to Point B" process but you can also use motion tweens to rotate your symbols.
Flash Tip: Motion Tweening Expanded: Easing
Another way to control your Flash motion tweens is through an option called Easing.
Flash Tip: Motion Tweening Expanded: Motion Guides
The shortest distance between two points may be a straight line, but that doesn't mean you have to tween that way. Learn how to assign your Flash Motion Tweens to paths called Motion Guides, so that you can animate along complex paths with only two keyframes.
Flash Tip: Shape Tweening Expanded: Controlling Alpha
Use shape tweens to create a fading opacity effect.
Flash Tip: Shape Tweening Expanded: Controlling Hue
Create a fading gradient effect using shape tweens.
Flash Tip: Shape Hints
Shape Hints make it easier for Flash to interpret how it's supposed to morph one complex shape into another in a shape tween.
Flash Tip: Creating the Illusion of Perspective
Flash proves that you don't need a 3D program or even a complex 2D program to create easy two-dimensional shapes with the appearance of three-dimensional depth.
Flash Tip: Creating the Illusion of Speed Distortion
Learn a quick, easy trick for adding life to your animations through use of exaggerated motion.
Flash Tip: Creating the Illusion of Distance by Adjusting Brightness
Just by scaling, layering, and adjusting brightness, you can make different instances of the same graphical Flash object appear to be spaced at distances from each other through foreground, background, and intermediate areas.
Creating a "Film Framing" Effect in Flash
Create the black-borded "widescreen viewing" film effect for your Flash animations.
Flash Tip: "Visible Rotation" Trick
Use this little trick to make rotation on round objects more visible so that they don't seem to be skidding across the screen without turning.
Flash Tip: Animating/Tweening Gradients
Colorful shape tweens aren't limited just to solid colors; you can also tween gradients to change colors, and fade in and out of each other.
Flash Tip: Gradient Text
Just a quick and easy way to get around the Text Tool's solid color fill restrictions.
Flash Tip: Color Options for Symbols
Working with symbols in Flash also gives you the option to make adjustments to the various color settings of those symbols, on a scale that affects all parts of the selected instance of a symbol without having to permanently edit the original symbol itself.
Flash Tip: Changing the Behavior of Symbols
The behavior of your symbols isn't locked in stone on creation; you can change the behaviors of instances of a symbol, or change the fundamental behavior of the symbol itself.
Flash Tip: Editing Symbols in a New Window
Editing symbols in a new window can take the irritation out of drilling through various levels of your working stage.
Flash Tip: Expand Your Flash Movie to Fit Any Browser
You can expand your Flash movies to fit any browser at any side just by changing the measurements in the HTML embedding to fit a percentage instead of a fixed pixel amount.
Flash Tip: Animated GIF vs. SWF Publishing for Small Content
When is it better to use an animated GIF, and when is it better to use an SWF?
Flash Tip: SWF vs. Video Publishing for Large Content
Can publishing Flash movies in video format save space and lower filesize?
The accessibility options in Flash help users using screen readers to navigate your Flash content more easily.
Use the Flash debugger to isolate and correct errors in your ActionScripting or object functions.
Flash Exchange is a community-driven database maintained by Adobe Macromedia, containing applications created by users and developers just like you.
Flash Tip: Tools of the Trade: Drawing in Flash With a Graphics Tablet
Save yourself some time and effort in your frame-by-frame vector animation with this high-tech--but inexpensive--plug and play tool.
Animation Tip: Tools of the Trade: Light Tables
Whether you're drawing 2D animation for cel painting or doing the preliminary pencil work to be scanned in for a computer animation, a light table is one of the most important tools for frame-by-frame animation that you'll ever own.
Lip-Synching For Animation: Basic Phonemes
If you want to add actual expression and realistic mouth-movements to your animation, it helps to study how the shape of the mouth changes with each sound. These ten basic phoneme shapes can match almost any sound of speech, in varying degrees of expression--and with the in-between frames moving from one to the other, are remarkably accurate.
Flash CS5 Deco Tool: Grid Fill Options
The Grid Fill option of the Deco Tool lets you auto-fill areas with evenly spaced shapes and symbols aligned against a grid of your choosing.
Getting to Know Flash CS5: The Default Properties Panel
The Flash CS5 Document Properties panel displays the file name and lets you change the default properties of the stage, timeline, etc.
All About Flash CS5
A list of all Adobe Flash CS5 content on the Animation@aboutguide.com site. Updates weekly as new tutorials and overviews are added.
Getting to Know Flash CS5: What Are ActionScript 3.0 Variables?
One of the most important building blocks in ActionScript 3.0 is the variable.
Getting to Know Flash CS5: What Are ActionScript 3.0 Keywords?
Keywords are pre-defined ActionScripting commands that execute certain common actions in Flash.
Getting to Know Flash CS5: What Are ActionScript 3.0 Arguments?
Arguments are values required for many keywords / commands to function.
Getting to Know Flash CS5: What are ActionScript 3.0 Objects?
The term object can refer to just about anything in Flash - but primarily, it refers to something with a name.
Getting to Know Flash CS5: What are ActionScript 3.0 Methods?
Methods are the means by which you tell Flash to perform certain actions on certain objects.
Flash CS5 Tip: Expanding Panels
Ever wonder what that extra bar of buttons next to Flash CS5's right-hand panel menu is for?
Flash CS5 Tip: Flash Help Search Shortcut
Search the Flash help file right from the main interface.
Flash CS5 Tip: Tabbed Files
Sneaky little Flash tabs hide between the timeline and the stage.
What's The Difference Between Shape, Motion, and Classic Tweens?
Before Flash CS4 there were motion tweens and shape tweens - but now CS4 and CS5 introduce classic tweens. What's the difference?
Flash Tip: Manual Software Updates
Flash Tip: Manual Software Updates