Motion Presets
       by kirupa  |  3 December 2008

In the past, the animations you created on the timeline were tied to the object or objects you are animating. There was no way to separate the actual animation from the objects that were being animated. Your only solution was to re-create the animation or do some clever keyframe copy/paste magic if you wanted to make your animation reusable.

In Flash CS4, you no longer have the tight coupling between the animation and the animated objects. A new feature known as motion presets gives you the ability to take just your animation, save it as something that you can reuse, and apply this saved animation to a different object fairly easily!

If you are looking to learn more about motion presets, you have come to the right place. This tutorial will briefly walk you through creating and using motion presets. To save you some time by not having to create a new animation just for this tutorial, download an animation that I have already created for you:

Download Simple Animation

Don't worry - the above animation does not contain anything outside of a simple motion tween. You will still have to do all of the interesting stuff yourself.

Once you have downloaded, extracted, and opened the source file in Flash CS4, you will see a simple animation that involves an image of a box sliding in from the left, slowing down, and speeding out of view as it moves to the right. The implementation of the animation is nothing more than a simple tween with a custom ease that is responsible for the slowdown.

Creating (Saving) a Motion Preset
What we want to do is save this animation (tween) as a motion preset so that we can apply the animation to other things besides our image of the Flash CS4 box. Select your animation by clicking on it in the timeline:

[ click anywhere in the highlighted blue area to select your tween ]

With your animation now selected, go to Window | Motion Presets to bring up the Motion Presets panel:

[ your Motion Presets panel contains....motion presets! ]

It is this panel where you can see all of the motion presets that have been provided for you as well as any presets that you have created. Towards the bottom left of that panel, you will see a small button with an image of what looks like sticky notes being peeled back. This button will allow you to save your animation as a preset, so go ahead and click on it:

[ click on the Save button to save your tween as a preset ]

Once you have clicked on the save preset button, a dialog will appear asking you what you want to name your preset as:

Give your preset the name Ease and Slide and click OK. Your Save Preset As dialog will disappear, and you will see your Ease and Slide motion preset appear in the Motion Presets panel in the Custom Presets folder:

[ your newly saved preset will now appear in the Custom Presets folder ]

Great. You now have a custom motion preset saved. In the next page, let's look at how to apply this motion preset to a new object in an entirely new project.

Onwards to the next page!

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