a Basic Flash MX Animation
         written by kirupa chinnathambi

Before we get to animating, we need to create the objects. An object in Flash can be anything ranging from a line to text to a polka dot. You can convert objects into buttons, graphics, and movie clips, but I will discuss that later in another tutorial.

For now, the following instructions will tell you how to add the box outline and text as seen in the example in the previous page:

  1. Press the Text Tool icon in the Tools panel on your left side of the Flash MX program:

[ the text tool icon ]

  1. After pressing the Text Tool icon, click near the center of your movie area, and drag a rectangular shape. You will see a text field appear in the spot where you clicked. Enter the words "Flash MX". Press the Arrow Tool on the Tools panel after you entered the words.
  2. With the Arrow Tool selected, you are no longer in the Text mode. Select the Flash MX text you entered. You will see the Properties panel displayed below.
  3. From the Properties panel for the words "Flash MX", make the following changes:
    1. Set the font to Verdana.
    2. Make the font size 25.
    3. Press the 'B' icon to make the text bold.
    4. Change the color on the text to a pale green.

    Your Properties panel should look like the following image:

[ the properties panel from which the text was modified ]

  1. While the changes were being made, you may have noticed that the text changes in real-time to each change you make. Your text should look like the following image:

[ the modified text ]

  1. You have just completed creating the text. I think it is time we animated the text don't you?

With the text created and formatted, let's animate the text. The following instructions will explain how to animate the 'Flash MX' text you entered:

  1. Select the text and drag it to your left where it is not visible on the main working area. In other words, ensure that the text is moved left so that no portion of the text is visible on the beige background:

[ move the text to your left ]

  1. Go to your timeline. The timeline is the series of vertical, rectangular boxes with numbers set in intervals of 5. Right click on the vertical box below the 25 and select 'Insert Keyframe':

[ the insert keyframe command ]

  1. Once you select the Insert Keyframe command, you will see a small black dot displayed in the box under 25. The box under 25 is called a frame. From hereafter, when I refer to Frame 25, I am referring to the box under Frame 25:

[ you should see two keyframes: one on frame 1 and one on frame 25 ]

  1. Select the keyframe on Frame 25. Note that the text on your work area is also selected. Select the text with your mouse cursor, and press the right arrow to move the text to your right. I recommend you press Shift + Right Arrow to make the text move to your right even faster. Stop once the text has gone of the movie area on the right:

[ the text is now on the right side of the movie ]

  1. Now, we are ready to animate the text between frame 1 and frame 25. Select the keyframe on Frame 25. Notice that the Flash MX text is on the left of the window. Flash's job is to seamlessly make the text transition from the left side of the drawing area to the right side of the drawing area.
  2. Select all the frames in your timeline by clicking on Frame 1 and dragging all the way to Frame 25. Make sure that you are not dragging the actual keyframe toward Frame 25. Once you have selected all the frames, your timeline will be blackened as seen in the following image:

[ the frames in the timeline are now selected ]

  1. The frames should be selected. Right click on any selected frame and choose 'Create Motion Tween':

[ create motion tween command ]

  1. Your timeline will now be shaded a purple color. Click anywhere on the timeline, and you will notice that your text is moving from the left to the right.

You have just animated the text in Flash MX. Save the file now. Go to File | Publish Preview | HTML. You will see the animation scrolling from left to right inside your browser. Wohoo!!

We are still not done with this tutorial. We still have to add a background and use some layers. Click the Next page link to progress through the tutorial.

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