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How to Easily Make a Figure Walk on Macromedia Flash

Updated on January 4, 2013

What is Macromedia Flash?

Macromedia Flash is an application for web designers. With Macromedia Flash, web designers can create applications that can add interactivity to web pages. The library panel, property inspector, the drawing tools and the timeline are some of the resources within Macromedia that allow a designer to create fascinating applications.

Animation is one of the applications that can be created with Macromedia Flash. There are many techniques, such as frame by frame animation or tweened animation, to create movement in figures. Throughout this hub, I´m going to show you how to create animation of a single figure using frame by frame animation.

How to Draw Figures in Macromedia Flash?

The first thing you´ll need to make in Macromedia Flash is to create a figure. I drew the figure of a man on the stage of Macromedia Flash using the drawing tools. I separated the figure into its body parts. I tried other techniques to make a figure walk, but this resulted in the best and easier technique that I found. For every body part that you draw, you create a new layer and convert every body part into a symbol by clicking on insert > convert to symbol in the main menu. A symbol can be reused if you need to later in your project.

Body Parts
Body Parts | Source

How to Make a Figure Walk Using Frame by Frame Animation?

To make a figure walk on Macromedia Flash, you create new layers and give them the names of each body part. Each body part must be converted into a symbol. Once you have all the body parts of your figure on the library of macromedia Flash, you create a new layer, and name it ¨walking man.¨ On this frame is where you are going to add successive keyframes to make your figure walk.

Frame by Frame Animation
Frame by Frame Animation | Source

To start with the frame by frame animation, you select and copy the figure of the man and then select the ¨walking man¨ layer and paste the figure there. The frame is converted automatically into a keyframe and the figure of another man will appear on the stage. Delete the other figure on the stage so that there is only one figure now.

Adding Keyframes
Adding Keyframes | Source

How to Add Keyframes on Macromedia Flash?

You add keyframes by selecting an empty frame next to the ¨walking man¨ layer and then clicking on insert > keyframe on the main menu. Insert a keyframe on the ¨walking man¨ figure layer. A copy of your figure will appear on every keyframe that you insert from now on. Arrange the body parts of your figure so that you start creating movement on it and enable the onion skin function.

The onion skin function will create dimmed surrounding frames that will help you see the sequence of the movement you are creating. Continue adding keyframes and changing the position of the body parts of your figure. You can move the playhead on the timeline to view how the figure moves on the stage and from here make the necessary corrections.

Transform Tool
Transform Tool | Source

Another useful tool that you can use for this project is the free transform tool. With the free transform tool, you can move your figure either forward or backward, rotate it, skew it, scale it or distort it. I used this tool to change the position of the upper body of my figure by tilting it forward a little, making the animation appear more natural.

From here on, all you have to do is to keep adding more keyframes and making the necessary modifications to the positions of your figure´s body parts to create a walking figure.


To make a figure walk on Macromedia Flash, first, you create your figure´s body parts using the drawing tools of Macromedia. Next, you create a layer named, ¨walking figure,¨ then, you insert a keyframe next to that layer. And last you keep adding successive keyframes and arrange each figure in new positions on each keyframe so as to confer movement to the figure.


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