How to Make Flash Animations on Mac


Adobe Flash is used to create most of the rich media you see on the internet. Animations, highly interactive websites, even full video games can be made with Flash. Like other programs in the Adobe Creative Suite, Flash can be used for highly advanced purposes, but it can also perform simple tasks with little prior training.

Things You'll Need

  • Macintosh computer
  • Adobe Flash
  • Open a new Flash file. You will be asked to specify the size. If you don't have a specific size in mind, 800 X 600 is a good compromise between screen size and file size.

  • Draw your primary element on the drawing area or “stage”. This is the first frame in your timeline.

  • Create a new layer in your timeline and draw your second element on the stage. Repeat this step for each individual element you wish to animate.

  • Draw all background elements that won’t be animated in a single, separate layer. You should name your layers to keep track of them.

  • Select a layer you wish to animate. Go to the frame in your timeline where you want to show your first animation. If your animation lasts 1 second, and your framerate is 24 frames per second, then you should go to the 24th frame. On the timeline in that layer, right-click on that frame and click on “Insert keyframe”. This replicates your first frame.

  • Edit this keyframe into the second state of your animation. Since you are in your early stages of using Flash, stick to simple state changes like moving an element across the screen, or transforming a shape from a circle into a square.

  • Right-click on the space between the two keyframes. If your state change was moving an element from one place to another, click on “Create classic tween.” If you are not using Flash CS4, the command will be “Create motion tween.” If your state change was transforming one shape to another, then you should click on “Create shape tween” instead.

  • Repeat these steps for each element that you wish to animate. The layers keep these elements separate, but the timeline will play them all together, like a movie.

  • Test your animation by going to the “Control” menu and clicking on “Test movie”.

  • Go to the “File” menu and click on “Export Movie”. Save your movie as a .swf file. This is your flash animation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Flash is a program with many possibilities, so start simply so as not to get overwhelmed.

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  • Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images
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