Friday, January 12, 2007

Flash PnC tutorial - 2. Dealing with keyframes

When you add frames and keyframes, some mild care needs to be taken with how you go about it. Right-clicking a frame gives you the choice to insert, or convert.

It’s always safer to convert. If you already have several layers in the timeline and you insert a frame, that will shove all later frames in that layer down a space. This does not automatically insert frames in other layers for you, however, so mismatches can result.

Working with keyframes was not initially natural and obvious to me. Let’s say you start with a keyframe lasting 35 frames, and this keyframe contains an object. If you convert frame 10 to a keyframe, (splitting the timeline into 2 pieces) that object is still there in both keyframes. However, they are now essentially two different objects. If named before the split, both objects will have the same name. If you change the size of one, the other will stay the original size.

However, if you converted frame 36 (initially empty) to a keyframe, it is empty. Your object isn’t there. If you converted from 10 to a blank keyframe, it would be empty.

One last thing about keyframes: You stop an object’s existence by converting to a blank keyframe the first frame after the object is supposed to die. For example, your object lives for frames 10 through 12. Frame 13 must be made into a blank keyframe.

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