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Using Shape Hints

Sometimes it isn’t possible to predict how some, more complicated, shapes will tween. To exercise greater control over the tweening process you can set shape hints to guide how Flash draws the in-between frames. You simply specify a beginning shape hint and then a corresponding end shape hint. In this way, Flash will know which parts of the shape in the first keyframe will transform into which parts in the end keyframe. Even with shape hints enabled the results can be unpredictable but you will have a greater control over the process.

Set Shape Hints

1.
Create a shape tween of a simple shape into a complex shape.

2.
Click to place the playhead on the first frame of the shape tween.

3.
Click the Modify menu, point to Shape, and then click Add Shape Hint.

A small red, circle with a small letter on it appears in the center of the shape. The first letter is “a”. Shape hints appear in alphabetical order “a, b, c...”. You can use up to 26 hints in one tween.

TIMESAVER Press Shift+ +H (Mac) or Ctrl+Shift+H (Win) to insert a shape hint.

4.
Drag the shape hint to an area of the shape you want to control.

5.
Click to place the playhead on the last frame of the shape tween.

The corresponding shape hint appears as a small green circle with a corresponding letter that matches the beginning hint.

Did You Know?

You can remove shape hints. Drag shape hints off the Stage or click the Modify menu, point to Shape, and then click Remove All Hints.

6.
Drag the corresponding end shape hints to the part of the shape that corresponds to the placement of the beginning shape hint.

“a” should correspond with “a”, “b” should correspond with “b”, etc...

7.
Move the playhead back to the first frame.

8.
Repeat steps 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 until you have set and placed shape hints on all areas of the shape you want to control.

9.
Click the Control menu, and then click Test Movie to test the animation.

The shape hints help make complex shape tweens more predictable.


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