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Lesson 4. Creating Animation > Extending Still Images

Extending Still Images

Once you've added some content to your movie, you might want the content to appear on the stage for more than just a split second. You can add content to a keyframe, and extend the time that it's displayed on the stage, by adding frames after it. Inserting a frame does not change the animation in a layer; it only extends the animation for a longer period. The contents of the frame that you just added are identical to those of the preceding frame in the same layer.

Drag the playhead over frame 1. Click the playhead to make sure you don't have any frames selected, and then add ten frames to every layer after frame 1 by pressing the F5 key ten times.

Remember, the playhead is the red rectangle at the top of the timeline. A red line extends through each layer beneath the playhead, so you'll always know where it is. When you drag the playhead to frame 1 and then click the playhead, you won't actually have any frame selected. You're going to add some motion to the movie, so you need a few extra frames over which to perform that motion. When you added ten frames after frame 1, the contents of frame 2 moved to frame 12. The contents of frames 2 through 11 are identical to the contents of frame 1, because all you did was add some frames. Remember that frames only increase the time in your movie; they don't change the animation (except for expanding the time).


You can tell exactly which frame the playhead is located on by checking the current frame number at the bottom of the timeline.

Drag the playhead to frame 1, and choose Control > Play.

You can get an idea of what the movie will look like by using the Control > Play command. Instead of using the Control > Test Movie command to export the file, the Control > Play command plays the animation. You can watch the playhead move across the timeline as the movie plays.

Notice when you play the movie that the Panda symbol instance appears for the first 11 frames, and then all the content you added in Lesson 3 appears in the final frame.

The movie plays at whatever frame rate is set in the Document Properties dialog box (Modify > Document). Right now the frame rate is 12 frames per second (fps). That means that 12 frames are displayed every second, so each frame is displayed for approximately 0.08 seconds.

Save the movie as zoo15.fla

You still have a lot to do with this movie, so save the file and get ready to add more animation.

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