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Hour 6. Understanding Animation > Elements of Animation

Elements of Animation

Now that you know a little bit about how animation works, we can discuss how it applies to Flash. As discussed in the following sections, several general animation terms have specific meanings in Flash. You need to understand both the general meanings and how the terms apply to Flash.

Frames and Frame Rate

As mentioned earlier in this hour, animation is a series of still images. Each image is called a frame. In movies, frames are the individual pictures on the film itself. In Flash, frames are the little rectangular cells in the Timeline. They're numbered at the top of the Timeline, and every fifth frame is gray; the rest of the frames are white with a gray outline. The Timeline displays all the frames, but normally you can look at the contents of one frame at a time. (Later you'll use the Onion Skin option to view multiple frames.) The red current-frame marker can be in only one place at a time—the frame you're currently viewing. You don't draw into a frame on the Timeline—you draw onto the Stage. The current-frame marker indicates the frame whose contents are currently onscreen. Figure 6.1 shows the Timeline in its initial state. Until this movie's duration is extended, you can't move the red current-frame marker past 1, and only Frame 1 is enclosed by a solid white box with a hollow circle.


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