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Tweening in a straight line is effortless, and we ve shown how easing can make such movement more realistic. But what if you want to tween along a curve Wouldn t it be great if we could tell you that it s only marginally more difficult Well, we can, and we ll even show you. The trick is to use something called a motion guide, which requires its own layer. You were first introduced to this feature at the end 1, but now is the time to really look at it. When you get to 8, you ll see an even easier way to do this for motion tweens, but for classic tweens, motion guides are the way to go.
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1. Open the MotionGuide.fla file in this chapter s Exercise folder. You ll see a butterfly graphic
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symbol in one layer and a curvy squiggle in another. If you scrub the timeline at this point, you ll see the butterfly tween in a straight line with a slight rotation between frames 240 and 275. Butterflies don t really fly like that, so let s fix the flight pattern.
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2. Right-click (Windows) or Control+click (Mac) the flutter by layer, and choose Guide from the
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context menu, as shown in Figure 7-48. Its icon turns from a folded page to a T-square.
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Figure 7-48. Changing a normal layer into a guide layer
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ANIMATION, PART 1
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You ve changed the flutter by layer into a guide layer, which means anything you put into it can be used as a visual reference to help position objects in other layers. Depending on your snap settings (View Snapping), you can even snap objects to drawings in a guide layer. Artwork in guide layers is not included in the published SWF and does not add to the SWF s file size. In this exercise, the squiggle is your guide but setting its layer as a guide layer isn t enough. It must become a motion guide. Let s make that happen.
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3. Gently drag the butterfly layer slightly up and then to the right, as shown in Figure 7-49. Drag
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too high, and you simply swap layer positions. Do it right, and the T-square icon changes into a shooting comet.
Figure 7-49. Changing a guide layer into a motion guide layer by dragging a layer slightly up and to the right. To undo this association, simply drag the butterfly layer slightly down and to the left again. Practice this a few times, and when you re finished, make sure the butterfly layer is reassociated (the T-square has turned into the comet).
Motion guides must have a clear beginning and end point, as does the squiggle shown. Guides that cross over each other may cause unexpected results, so take care not to confuse Flash. Also, make sure your motion guide line extends the full length between two keyframes, including the keyframe at either end.
4. Thanks to the Snap setting in the tweened frames (see the Properties panel while clicking
anywhere inside the tween), the butterfly should already be snapped to the closer end point at the last keyframe. Scrub to make sure. The butterfly should follow the squiggle along its tween (as shown in Figure 7-50). If it doesn t, make sure to snap the butterfly symbol to the squiggle s left end in frame 1 and snap it again to the right end in frame 240.
5. Click anywhere inside the tween, and put a check mark in the Orient to Path check box in
the Tweening area of the Properties panel. Scrub the timeline to see how this affects the butterfly s movement. The butterfly now points in the direction described by the squiggle.
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Figure 7-50. A motion guide affects the tweened path of a symbol. For more realism, let s add some complexity, as described earlier in the Combining timelines section.
6. Double-click the Butterfly asset in the Library to enter its timeline. Add a keyframe to the
LeftWing and RightWing layers in frames 10 and 20.
7. In the Body layer, click in frame 20, and extend the frames to that point (Insert Timeline
Frame).
8. Select both wings symbols at frame 10, and use the Free Transform tool to reduce their
width by about two-thirds. Use the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) key to keep the transformation centered.
9. Add classic tweens to the LeftWing and RightWing layers, as shown in Figure 7-51. Make
sure to add your tweens between keyframes 1 and 10 and also between keyframes 10 and 20.
ANIMATION, PART 1
Figure 7-51. Tweening a timeline inside the butterfly graphic symbol
10. Test your movie to see the combined effect.
Did you notice an alternate way to create a motion guide in Figure 7-51 The context menu features a selection called Add Classic Motion Guide just beneath the Guide selection discussed in step 2. If you choose that instead, Flash handles the gentle dragging described in step 3 for you.
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