Character animation with the Bone tool in Flash (CS4)

Adobe Flash CS4 Professional includes a new Bone tool that enables you to link symbols together quickly and easily in a parent/child relationship commonly referred to as inverse kinematics. The entire bone structure is also referred to as an armature. You can apply a armature to a series of movie clip symbols or to a raw vector shape that can then be manipulated across time by dragging the armature to a new pose.

This article examines how to create a basic bone structure using symbols and shapes, and then apply these techniques to make a cartoon character walk across a scene.

Bone Tool basics

You can use the Bone tool to create an armature using movie clip symbols or an armature within a vector shape. Let's start by building a basic armature using Symbols:

1.Create a new Flash document and make sure to select ActionScript 3.0. The Bone tool will only work with AS 3.0 documents (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Selecting an ActionScript 3.0 file from the New Document panel

  1. Draw an object on the Stage. For this example, I kept it simple and used the Rectangle tool to create a basic shape.
  2. Once you are done creating your shape, convert it to a Movie Clip or a Graphic symbol.
  3. Since you'll need more than one object to create a chain of linked objects, duplicate the symbol by holding down the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) key and dragging the symbol to a new location. Flash will duplicate the instance every time you click and drag it. Repeat this procedure a few more times to create multiple instances of the same symbol (see Figure 2).

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Posted on 2012-07-06


  • shashanka
    thank you
  • Admin
    Welcome Shashanka

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