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How to Use Flash MX 2004 to Make a Simple Animation

Updated on December 19, 2012

What is Flash MX 2004?

Macromedia Flash MX 2004 is an application for web designers that allows them to create interactive animations through the use of graphic design tools. Flash allows the manipulation of vector graphics to create animated text, images and drawings.

How to Make a Simple Animation in Flash MX 2004?

To create an animation with Flash MX 2004, you start at the workspace. The workspace contains the tools necessary for the design of your work, such as the stage, the tool box, panels and the timeline. The first thing you´ll need to do to start working is to choose your working space. You do this by clicking on windows > panel sets and then designer or developer workspace. For this project, I used the designer workspace.

I started this animation by selecting the rectangle tool on the toolbox and then choosing the blue color for the sky from the fill color box, then clicking and dragging a rectangle, covering three quarters of the stage. To make the ocean, I created a new layer by clicking on the insert layer button and used the same technique as with the sky, only choosing a darker blue color. For the ocean waves, I selected the brush tool and a mid size brush, then zoomed in the stage to draw the waves.

How to Create Layers in Flash MX 2004?

Sky and Ocean
Sky and Ocean | Source

To create the clouds, I first created a new layer by clicking on the insert layer button, then, I selected the oval tool and a white color on the fill box. I drew three circles evenly spaced. With the arrow tool, I clicked and dragged on the edges of the three clouds to change their form. For these three first layers, I inserted a keyframe at the 500 frame in the timeline, which is how long I wanted this animation to be.

How to Use the Oval Tool in Flash MX 2004?

Clouds | Source

To create the boat, I created a new layer and named it boat, then , I selected the rectangle tool from the toolbox and drew four rectangles. I used the arrow tool and the free transform tool to give the cruiser shape to the boat. I used the paint bucket and the white and black colors from the fill color box. To make it move along the ocean, I created a motion tween by clicking on insert > create motion tween and the move the boat to the 500 frame and created a keyframe there.

How to Use the Rectangle Tool in Flash Mx 2004?

Boat | Source

How to Create a Motion Guide Layer in Flash MX 2004?

To make the whale, I chose frame 25 and inserted a keyframe. I selected the oval tool and a dark green color. I drew a circle on the stage, which I transformed with the arrow tool into the shape of a whale. To make the whale move under and on top of the ocean, I inserted several keyframes on the timeline, evenly spaced, then I created a motion guide layer. With the pencil tool a drew several lines to guide the motion of the whale in and out of the water.

Whale | Source

How to Make the Special Effects on an Animation in Flash MX 2004?

To make the splashing effects when the whale is diving into the ocean, I created new layers and made new symbols of them. Then, I chose the same color of the ocean water by selecting the color with the eyedropper tool. After this, I zoomed in the stage and used the brush tool with a mid-sized brush. I created two keyframes in the time the whale is diving in the water and on those keyframes, I created the splash symbols.

Splash | Source


This is all the work I performed for this simple animation. Flash MX 2004 lets you add more interactivity to your animations. It all depends on how interactive you want your projects to be and how much time you are willing to spend on your project. For this simple project, I spent approximately five hours working on flash MX 2004.

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