Spring 2015 – 40 – Animating Within a Symbol


  • Produce a Flash animation using animation embedded within a Symbol object.

Student-Friendly Objective:

  • I can create an animation using embedded frames of animation within a Symbol object in Flash.
Video Link:


Topics Discussed:
  • Starting a new document in Flash CS5.5 using the Welcome screen.
  • Oval Primitive
  • Symbols
  • Isolation Mode
  • Embedded Animation
  • Motion Tweens
  • Keyframes
  • Layers


  1. Produce a new Flash ActionScript 3.0 file. Name it “Your Name – Flash Day 6″. Set the FPS to 30 and the Stage size to 800 x 600.
  2. Use the Oval Primitive Tool to draw a Pac Man shape. Convert this shape to a Symbol using any of the techniques we learned last week. Make the Symbol a Movie Clip, and name it “Pac Man”.
  3. Double-click on the Pac Man Symbol to enter Isolation Mode. Confirm that you are in Isolation Mode by looking at the grey bar across the top of the screen (it should read “Scene 1 – Pac Man”).
  4. Notice the timeline – it should currently have only one Keyframe. Click on Frame 3 and press F6 on your keyboard to create a copy of the first Keyframe.
  5. With Frame 3 still selected, close Pac-Man’s “mouth” by moving the opening and closing control points of the Oval Primitive to close the shape. This will establish a “closed mouth” pose on Frame 3 of your animation.
  6. Select Frame 5 on the Timeline. Press F6 on the keyboard to create a copy of the Keyframe from Frame 3.
  7. With Frame 5 still selected, open Pac-Man’s “mouth” by moving the opening and closing control points to their original positions.
  8. Slide the Timebar back and forth to test your animation. Pac-Man should now open and close his mouth rapidly.
  9. Double click on the Pasteboard (the gray area outside the stage) to get out of Isolation Mode and  return to Scene 1. Notice how the timeline changed. (Your animation didn’t disappear, it’s still embedded in the Symbol definition. You can see it again by double-clicking on the symbol.)
  10. Apply a Motion Tween to your Pac Man Symbol to move it across the stage. Scrub the timebar to test the animation. Notice how you do not see the mouth animation (Pac Man does not “wocka” when you scrub the timebar!).
  11. Press Command + Return (Ctrl + Enter on the PC) to test your movie. Pac-Man should now move across the stage and the embedded mouth animation should be visible.
  12. Your work is complete when you have Pac-Man “wockaing” across the stage.
  13. Save your work. Turn in the completed “Your Name – Flash Day 6.fla” file to folder “40 – Flash Day 6 – Animating Within a Symbol” in your period’s subfolder by the end of today.

Assigned: April 30th, 2015
Due Date: May 1st, 2015