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How Animation Works

At one time or another you've probably seen the physical film that makes up a movie. Basically, it looks like a bunch of pictures strung together on what appears to be a strip of plastic. A Flash animation is no different. Just like a motion picture, it comprises individual frames, each slightly different than the preceding one. Special frames known as keyframes define where changes in your animation occur—for example, when movie elements are moved, rotated, resized, added or removed, and so on. Each frame can contain any number of symbols or graphics placed on different layers.

Equivalent to the strip of plastic film that makes up a real movie, Flash's timeline includes all of your animation's layers and frames. When the playhead on the timeline is moved manually or your movie is played, the graphic content of each frame is reflected in what you see on stage. When played back at a fast enough speed, the illusion of movement occurs. And just as in a real movie, the timeline in Flash uses scenes to shift from one area of the story to another, allowing you to break your movie's overall timeline into main sections.


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