Teaching Talia

Make a little man that moves in Flash CS5

Posted on: August 13, 2010

This is how I did it:

1. Drew the man in Adobe Illustrator (could have been photoshop or something else I imagine), and put each body part on a new layer. Example: Left leg on one layer, right leg on one layer, each arm on a layer, and the head and body on a layer. Anything that you want to move has to be on a seperate layer. If I wanted the mouth to move I would have put that on a different layer.

2. Hide everything except for one layer, then click ‘save as’. Name it man1 or something like that. Do that for each layer so that each one is saved seperately.

3. Open flash. Click on “ActionScript 3.0” when it asks you what you want to create.

4. Click File-> Import ->Into Library

Select those files that you saved before (all saved as illustrator files).

They should appear in the Library section on the side.

5. Select the .ai files and drag them into the stage (the white space). You’ll need to rearrange them so that they make the picture up.

This is your base man. You could make this is final pose if you wanted to work backwards, or his first pose if you wanted to work forward.

6. Click on the ‘bone’ tool on  side menu bar. It’s a picture of a little bone.

7. Click on your body (you have to click on a line/coloured space. For mine, I had drawn a stick man with a round body, so I had to click on one of the lines. I chose the top- near the neck). Then drag it to one of the things you want to move (like an arm). Go back to the dot on the body where you started and drag out another ‘bone’ to the next arm, then the legs and so on.

8. Down below the stage is a bar with rectangles and numbers and your layers. You should be in the armature layer, and click on the rectangle below 40. Go to Insert -> Timeline -> Frame. You’ll get a coloured bar that goes through to the 40.

9. Click in the blue bar under the number “10” and then click on the arrow in the side menu bar. The original image you made is the first slide, and here we will make the second frame he’ll move to. This can be quite a ‘jump’ because Flash fills it in to make it smooth. If you only wanted one action (like a kick of his foot), then you could just change the last frame to where you want it to end and it will fill it all in for you.

If you want to preview what it looks like you have two options.

a) Drag the red thing on the timeline back to the beginning and hit enter.

b) Go to File-> Publish Preview-> Flash

10. Once it’s done click on File-> Publish. It will export it as a swf file to the same folder as where your .fla (flash) file is.

You can view my little man here.

I learnt this stuff from this and this youtube videos.


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Just finished my Graduate Certificate in Cross Disciplinary Art and Design with UNSW.




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