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can I keyframe a folder full of symbols?

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Sara Iyer
can I keyframe a folder full of symbols?
on Mar 2, 2009 at 8:32:53 am

Hi all,

I'm a bit new to Flash so I apologize if this question has an obvious answer.. I was asked to help out with some character animation for a film. The director sent me jpegs of the characters and the backgrounds. My friend is more knowledgeable about Flash than I am, so I asked him to help me out, and we traced the characters in Flash so we could make separate symbols for the limbs, head, eyes, mouth, etc., everything we wanted to animate.

Long story short, my friend made a run cycle for the bunny (yes, these are woodland critters we are animating :) ) so the bunny runs in place on a loop, and of course this means the legs are moving, ears bouncing, well you've seen a bunny I'm sure so I won't go into too much detail.. anyway, I now want to take this run cycle and place it on a static background, and since all the animation of the bunny itself is finished and the legs are moving, I want to move the entire bunny across the background in a set amount of time. Basically, I want to be able to place a keyframe on frame 1, another on let's say frame 48, and have the whole bunny slide across while it's legs are still moving, making the bunny run across the frame.

The problem is, I can't just put two keyframes and tween. There are keyframes every 2 frames or so on at least one part of the bunny, so I would have to go to every instance where there is a keyframe and move the bunny over a little bit. The result: jumpy animation and grumpy animator :D

If it's possible, I want to be able to combine all my symbols into one (nest? is there an option for this in Flash?), then be able to keyframe that master symbol. I guess my title for this post was a bit misleading because I know I can't keyframe a folder full of symbols, I already tried it. I also tried selecting all the parts of the bunny and clicking "Make symbol", hitting the radio button for "movie" instead of graphic... but this doesn't work either, as I somehow get just a still instead of a movie.

So that's what I'm wondering... if all the keyframes for the movements of the limbs and ears have already been set, is there any way to keyframe their position on the canvas so they move smoothly across, without having to go to every keyframe and move it?

I apologize if my question is a little poorly worded, it's late and I'm sleepy! :) But feel free to ask me any questions and I will gladly clarify things in the light of day.



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Graham Quince
Re: can I keyframe a folder full of symbols?
on Mar 5, 2009 at 12:52:30 pm

On your timeline, copy all the frames of your bunny animation.
Add a new layer,
draw a box,
right-click this box and choose Convert to Symbol
then choose movieclip.
Double-click this box and you get a new timeline.
Paste all your animation frames into this timeline.
Then you can leave the bunny here, go back to your main timeline by the Scene 1 link just below the timeline and you can now keyframe that tween.
The bunny movie clip will keep animating at the end of tween, so you'll have to either replace the movieclip with a still image after the tween or use actionscript to stop it, but if you've not used that before I don't want to confuse things.

Graham - Free FX for amateur films

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