Creating a Simple Flash 8 Animation
       by kirupa  |  29 September 2005

Like I have been doing for the past few versions of Flash, I have decided that my first tutorial for Flash 8 would be the "Creating a Simple Animation" tutorial. If you are new to Flash or Flash 8, this tutorial will serve as a good introduction to simple animation effects and the tools you will use to create those effects.

The following animation is an example of what you will have created by the end of this tutorial:

[ a simple animation created quickly in Flash 8 ]

Let's get started:

  1. First, launch Studio 8. Once you have launched the program, you will see your stage. The stage is the area in the middle that takes up most of your screen. Right click anywhere on your stage and select Document Properties:

[ the document properties menu item ]

  1. The Document Properties window should appear. Under Dimensions, enter 300 for the width and 200 for the height. In the text field labeled Frame Rate, enter 25. Press OK to apply those values.
  2. Let's add some text to our stage. Click on your Text Tool icon from the toolbox:

[ click on the Text Tool from your toolbox ]

  1. Once you have clicked the Text Tool icon, place your mouse cursor in your stage, click your mouse and drag to the right. Releasing your mouse after clicking and dragging should create a rectangular area where you can enter your text.
  2. Type the word #kirupa. You should see the text you type display in the text field that you have created. After you have entered you word, click outside the text field to finalize the word you entered.
  3. Select your "#kirupa" text by clicking on it with your mouse. Look down towards the bottom of your screen where the Properties panel resides. You should see a lot of Properties used for editing text.
  4. From your Properties panel, you can adjust the font size, style, and more! Select any font that you like, but set the font size to something large like 36. You can make other text modifications from here also:

[ my Properties panel for the selected text ]

  1. We are currently working on our main timeline. It will be easier if we convert the text to a movie clip and work from the movie clip's timeline. Make sure your text is selected and press F8 or go to Modify | Convert to Symbol.

    The Convert to Symbol window will appear. Select the option for Movie Clip and press the OK button:

[ from the Convert to Symbol window, select the option for Movie Clip ]

  1. Once you have converted your text into a movie clip, right click on your text and select the option for Edit in Place. You won't really see anything drastically different, but your timeline is now localized to this movie clip.
  2. So, as of now, you have created some text, modified it the way you want, and converted it into a movie clip. We want to animate each letter, so let's break our text apart into individual letters. Right click on your text and select "Break Apart".

    Your text is now divided by letter:

[ our text is now broken apart ]

  1. Each of your letter now has its own little box when you select it. Make sure that all of your letters are selected. You can simply select all of the letters by clicking and using the Shift key or just lassoing them by clicking and dragging over all of your letters.
  2. Once all of your letters are selected, right click on any of the letters and select "Distribute to Layers." Your timeline should now have one layer dedicated to each letter of your text:

[ how your timeline looks after each letter has been distributed to layers ]

In this page we have created and setup our text so that each letter of text is on its own layer. In the next page I will explain how to animate our letters in our text.

Onwards to the next page!

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