5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 16, 2009 12:33 PM by carl schooff

    cs4: add a pause between motion tweens

    carl schooff Level 3


      I have been using Flash since version 2 and find the switch to the new motion tweens very frustrating.



      I have scoured the web reading tutorials and lots of them discuss getting an object from point a to b.

      I simply want to move an object from left to right (no problem) pause for 20 frames, and then drop down.


      I can accomplish it a few ways but it seems to involve way too many cryptic steps. One solution is fairly easy to implement but the resulting timeline visualization is really poor.


      Here are my steps

      1: place symbol on stage

      2: right click symbol > add Motion Tween

      3: (flash creates tween for 30 frames and playhead moved to frame 30)

      4: I drag the symbol to the right

      5: I manually add a property keyframe at frame 30 via F6 (which sort of locks the instance where I want it)

      6: I manually add another property keyframe at frame 50 (the symbol is in the same place as it was in 30)

      7: I add a regular frame via F5 at frame 80 and drag the instance down


      First question is this the proper way? Or should I have split the animation?


      As I said this works but my gripe is that where the symbol is not moving (between frames 30 and 50) those frames are still blue. There is no way to look at the timeline and know exactly where the object is paused. Doing this the old way, that gap would contain grey regular frames and be very easily identifiable. I have been programmed to understand that grey regular frames contain an object that isn't moving, blue frames with arrows have motion... easy.


      I have attached a file that shows the animation I need with a classic tween and has a layer showing the motion tween I outlined above.

      If someone could add a layer to that file with a better method and offer some instructions that would be grand!


      Thanks for your time and assistance

        • 1. Re: cs4: add a pause between motion tweens
          jendehaan Level 4

          So the way you have below is one way of doing it for sure. You don't need to necessarily use F6, but that will indeed "lock" the instance (all properties) between those two points.


          Another way of doing this (although resulting in the same timeline appearance), would be to insert a position keyframe at frame 30 and frame 50. (Ctrl/Cmd-click, insert keyframe > position, or use Motion Editor). That will lock the position in those two points, and then you can continue the rest of the tween.


          And another way of doing this (same timeline appearance) would be to tween however you want, extend the tween, and then Copy Properties at frame 30, and Paste Properties at frame 50. This will insert whatever keyframes are at frame 30 and paste them at frame 50. This is the best way of doing it if you have more than a single property tweened. You don't get the extra keyframes inserted (F6), and you don't have to remember what kind of keyframe to insert (like in the previous way).


          So if you want the timeline appearance to change, you can do this. You have the tween from frame 1 - 30. At frame 31, F7 then copy the instance at frame 30, and Ctrl+Shift+V to paste it in place at frame 31. Then the rest is pretty much the same as with the classic -- insert the frames to frame 50, press F6 again at frame 51 and create the new motion tween.


          We did toy with the idea of changing the color in the middle of a tween span, but it got really complicated really fast with expectations (considering it's the same instance as opposed to multiple instances of an object and so forth) and what it should look like (multiple shorter areas, does it make sense to the user, what about eases, etc), so it was put on hold for the time being. It is something that we are still looking at though, and I'll add your notes to the existing enhancement request.

          • 2. Re: cs4: add a pause between motion tweens
            carl schooff Level 3



            Thanks so much for the detailed reply. It was incredibly helpful. Its funny, this has been troubling me since cs4 came out. I haven't personally embraced motion tweens because out of the box there seem to be quite a few hurdles (as someone migrating from 10 years of classic tweens). I recalled going to your site ages ago and reading motion tween articles. After much forum / blog searching failed me I decided to try to contact you directly via flashthusiast but you recommended posting here. I'm so glad you chimed in.


            When trying to figure this stuff out I attempted to do this via alt-dragging the original tween span to make a copy. It sort of worked but found the blank keyframe that was automically inserted after the first tween to be very troubling. I guess I still have to gain a better understanding of "object based" motion as opposed to "frame based".



            Thanks again for the great help. I'm sure I will be posting more questions and look forward to answering some!



            • 3. Re: cs4: add a pause between motion tweens
              jendehaan Level 4

              Hey Carl,


              I'm happy to help with motion questions here or on the blog - I might have been confusing things saying to come here instead (typically I'd only ask to post here for other non-motion issues where this may be a better source of info, more people see, etc). Anyway, either is great.


              "When trying to figure this stuff out I attempted to do this via alt-dragging the original tween span to make a copy. It sort of worked but found the blank keyframe that was automically inserted after the first tween to be very troubling."


              Do you mind listing the steps for this and the result you're seeing?  What I've tried so far is the same as moving the classic tweens moving spans around, but I might not be doing the same thing. We'd like to improve troubling usability issues whenever possible, so want to make sure I properly understand the problem.




              • 4. Re: cs4: add a pause between motion tweens

                Like Carl, I too have a hard time making the Motion tween do what I want in some situations. And more importantly than all the possible ways to accomplish a task, I'm mostly interested in the Best way to do something. Take Carl's simple motion, pause, motion animation and add easing into it. Ease Out of the first animation, pause, then Ease In to the ending animation.


                I can accomplish the goal, but I'm not happy about how much work it takes to get there. I can do it painstakingly with a custom ease. I've found that any time you want to variate from the premade easing equations, it gets complicated fast and messy to change in the future. Or I can do it by splitting the animation and easing the sections independently, basically mimicking the classic tween but with more steps involved.


                So what is the best solution to add some simple easing with a pause? Is the answer to use whichever Tweening method is best suited to the animation?


                I've attached the same file with simple easing done to the Classic tween.

                • 5. Re: cs4: add a pause between motion tweens
                  carl schooff Level 3



                  Trouble with copying a tween span and placing it forward on the timeline:


                  place symbol on frame 1

                  insert motion tween

                  flash creates tween span to frame 30

                  in frame 30 move symbol to the right to have animation

                  flash creates property keyframe at 30

                  click anywhere on tween span in timeline

                  frames 1-30 get highlighted

                  press and hold alt while dragging span to frame 50

                  tween span gets copied to frame 50

                  a blank keyframe automatically pops up at frame 31


                  see attached image


                  I am guessing that flash does this because technically on some level the first instance of that symbol needs to be removed from the timeline before adding the second copied instance. To get rid of this blank keyframe i've been able to go back to frame one, copy the symbol and paste in place into the blank keyframe. this sort of leaves a static version of the symbol in its own keyframe after the first tween ends. I then get my desired "grey" frames between the 2 tweens but it is way too much work to achieve the desired visual effect on the timeline. From your previous answers and some fiddling around I'm beginning to adapt to the way things work and trying to let go of equating everything to a classic tween.



                  an additional annoyance with blank keyframes automatically showing up (shifting a tween span back in time on the timeline):

                  Lets say I have one layer with 30 blank frames.

                  frame one is a blank keyframe.

                  on frame 10 I add a keyframe and place symbol on stage

                  I add a motion tween to the symbol.

                  the tween span goes all the way from frame10 to frame 30 (the last available frame) as intended.

                  the motion tween is of the perfect duration and does everything i want


                  now I decide that the object should have started animating at frame 5.

                  I select the entire tween span by clicking on it and drag it back to frame 5

                  My 20 frame tween shifts back all nice BUT a blank keyframe is added at frame 25!


                  even worse: if I just select  frame 10 by itself (ctrl-click) and then drag it back to 5, I get new keyframe on 5 and a  blank keyframe on 6!


                  With classic tweens it was so much easier to:

                  -select a single keyframe at the beginning or end of a tween and move it back and forth

                  -select an entire classic tween (first keyframe to ending keyframe) and shift it back and forth


                  Thanks again for your time and help!