Moving Objects Along a Path

By Blue_Chi | Flash | Basics

This tutorial teaches you the basic effect of moving along a motion guide, this awesome effect is one of the easiest effects featured by the Flash authoring tool. What we mean by a motion guide is a layer that contains a path that the animated object follows during its movement. For example, if we want to animate a racing car that moves a long a track we use a simple 'motion guide' to do the trick.

For an object to move along a path we need a 'motion guide' layer that our animation layer has to link to be linked to for it to become a 'guided layer'.

Drawing the Guide

We can start by simply drawing our path in a separate layer. Use the 'pencil tool' to draw your path. You are recommended to configure the pencil tool to draw smooth lines to make the motion along the path smoother. Draw a similar path to the one you see below to use as a guide for your coming animation.

Pencil Tool
Pencil Options
Our motion guide path

Linking the Motion Guide Layer to the Guided Layer

We will now convert our layer to a "Guide" layer. Right-click the layer that contains the path and select "Guide". The icon next to the layer name should change from the paper pad icon to a hammer-like icon. Now that we have our motion guide layer ready, we have to create the layer that will contain our animated object and then link it to our guide. Start off by creating a new layer by clicking on the 'add new layer' button below the layer names section of the timeline. You then have to link this layer to the guide layer by dragging the new layer below the guide layer. The icon next to the guide layer should change once more to show that it is linked to another layer, the icon of the guided layer shifts to the right a bit to indicate the linkage.

Convert your layer to a "Guide" layer
Hammer icon
Hold down the mouse click
while you drag the layer
The two layers are now linked