Table of contents


15 August 2011


Prerequisite knowledge

A basic knowledge of the Flash Professional workspace.

User level


Adobe Flash Professional CS5 includes prebuilt motion presets that enable you to add animations with a minimal number of steps. You can also create a custom preset from any animation that you make and then reuse it throughout your documents. You can use motion presets as-is in your document or use them as a learning tool to see how animations are created or modified in the Motion Editor—or even as a jumping-off point for your own animations, since you can make any changes you want after applying a preset.

Applying motion presets

You can apply motion presets to tweenable instances (symbol instances and text), or non-tweenable instances, which will be wrapped in a movie clip. The animation in a Motion Preset can include a motion path, animated properties (2D or 3D), and eases; all of the properties and eases are saved in the preset, including the transform center (see Figure 58). The tweened object is not saved in the preset. Motion presets make it easy to animate a selection: you can simply make the selection, choose a Motion Preset, and click Apply. Motion presets let you add animation to a FLA file with pretty much no knowledge of animation, or very little effort. Everyone wins.

To apply a motion preset to an instance:

  1. Open motion-tween.fla from this learning guide's source files and then select the movie clip on the Stage.
  2. Open the Motion Presets panel (Window > Motion Presets).
  3. Select the bounce-in-3D preset, which is the first preset in the Default Presets category, and then click Apply (see Figure 59).

The preset is applied using the current position of the selected instance as the beginning of the tween. At this point, with the instance still selected, you can open the Motion Editor to view the animation that has been applied.

Tip: Applying presets and viewing the results in the Motion Editor can be helpful when learning the basics of how to tween and use the Motion Editor.

You will see that x, y, and z position has been tweened (which means the animation has 3D), and an ease is applied to the Y property. If you scroll down, you can also see a curve in the Scale properties, and if you keep scrolling you'll see the Bounce In ease that has been used to create the bounce motion.

To apply a motion preset using an instance's position as the end of the tween:

  1. Create a movie clip and drag an instance to the Stage.
  2. Select the movie clip on the Stage and open the Motion Presets panel.
  3. Select bounce-in-3D in the list of Default presets, hold the Shift key, and click Apply. The bounce animation ends at the current location of your movie clip. Remember, when you click Apply without holding the Shift key, the animation starts where the instance is on the Stage instead of ending there.

Tip: Instead of holding Shift when you click Apply, you can select the movie clip and then choose End at current position from the Motion Presets panel menu.

To create a motion preset from a motion tween:

  1. Create a motion tween in a FLA file.
  2. Right/Control-click the tween span in the Timeline or right/Control-click the tweened instance on the Stage.
  3. Choose Save As Motion Preset from the context menu.
  4. Type a name for your preset into the dialog box and click OK (see Figure 60).

After you create the motion preset, you can use it on any instance in any Flash document. The motion preset is saved on your hard disk in a file that you can share with other people. To find out how, keep reading.

To share or load custom motion presets:

  1. Create a custom motion preset (follow the previous example if necessary), noting the name that you give your preset.
  2. Select the preset you created in the Motion Presets panel, and then choose Export from the panel menu. Save the file somewhere easy to find on your hard drive.
  3. Import this file to the Motion Presets panel on another computer with Flash using Import from the Motion Presets panel menu. The preset will immediately be available in the Motion Editor, in the Custom Presets category. There is no need to restart Flash Professional.

Several other options are available in the Motion Presets panel menu and buttons as follows:

  • Rename opens a dialog box that enables you to rename the currently selected custom preset.
  • New folder creates a new folder for motion presets in the Custom Presets category. Available both in the panel menu and button located at the bottom of the panel.
  • Remove deletes the currently selected custom preset or folder. Available both in the panel menu and button located at the bottom of the panel.
  • Save sets the currently selected tween span as a motion preset. Available both in the panel menu and button located at the bottom of the panel.
  • Apply at current position applies the motion preset to the selected object. The animation starts at the current position of the selection.
  • Apply at end position applies the motion preset to the selected object. The animation ends at the current position of the selection.

Where to go from here

Read other sections of the Animation Learning Guide to learn more about working with motion tweens: