Flash CS4: Using F6 with new motion tweens

If you’ve created motion tweens in versions of Flash Past, chances are you’ve pressed F6 a few times in order to insert new keyframes. Doing so has probably become very familiar to you as well – you want to change something for an animation, then you press F6. Automatically. It’s a habit.

You can still use F6 to insert static keyframes on the Timeline (that you might turn into a motion tween), and you can even use them to insert property keyframes within a tween span too. However, within a tween span pressing F6 will insert a property keyframe on every single property currently associated with the target instance. This is usually way more keyframes than you actually need at that frame, so using F6 on a tween span is usually not the best thing to do for your animation – especially if you intend to continue modifying it. You’ll likely end up with unexpected things happening in your animation. So in Flash CS4, you might want to work at breaking the F6 habit.

Instead of pressing F6, you can insert keyframes other ways:

  • Simply change the instance. Most of the time, this is all you need to do to insert a keyframe at the playhead’s position. If you need to tween to a new location, move the instance there. If you need it to scale or skew, use the Free Transform tool. If you need the instance to blur, change the value in the Property inspector or Motion Editor.
  • Right-click the tween span and choose Insert Keyframe > Type. This adds keyframe(s) for the category you select at the current playhead, which reduces the number of keyframes inserted. For example, if you choose Insert Keyframe > Filter it adds a keyframe on all filter properties. To further reduce the number of inappropriate keyframes, use the Motion Editor.
  • Use the Motion Editor. You can use the Add Keyframe button (yellow or gray diamond), graph context menu, or Ctrl/Cmd key over the graph to insert a keyframe on individual properties.
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