Exercise 6: Symbol inside a Symbol – Sun animation

the Flash Symbol 101 series

As your animation become more complicated, you will find a need to place symbols inside other symbols.
This is called “Nesting”.
A classic example for this is a symbol of a character, with the symbols of all its body parts nested inside it.

Navigate in and out of Flash symbols with a Double Click.

Symbol inside a Symbol: Sun Animation

  1. Draw an orange circle

  2. Convert it to a symbol – press F8, name it “sun01”, select Graphic from the Type menu.

  3. Select the Line tool, and draw one ray coming out of the sun.

  4. Convert the ray to a symbol, call it “ray”.

  5. Select the ray with the FTT (Free Transform Tool), move its pivot to the center of the sun.

  6. Open the Transform window, in the Rotate field enter 15 degrees.

  7. At the bottom of the transform window, click the “Duplicate selection and transform” button. Click it as many times as needed to make rays all around the sun.

  8. Select all the objects on the screen.
    (Left click mouse and drag across the screen with the black arrow, or select the frame on the timeline, or hit CTRL+A).

  9. Convert to Symbol (F8). Name it “sunAll”
sun center symbol - just an orange circle
ray symbol - a line
convert to graphic symbol
duplicate - smartly!

Animating the rays

1. Now comes the Double Clicking:
Make your way into the ray symbol:
Double Click "sunAll"
Double Click "ray".

select all the rays

2. Let’s make a short animation for the ray:

  • Create a new keyframe at frame 10 - go to frame 10 on the timeline and hit F6.
  • Select frame 5, hit F6 again to create a key frame there
  • In frame 5, make the ray shorter.
shape tween plays inside graphic symbol

3. Select all frames on the timeline, right click on them, and select "shape tween" from the context menu.

create shape tween

4. Now Double click your way one step out – Double click anywhere, ONCE, on the background, to get up to the sunAll symbol.
Make sure you are inside sunAll by checking the Breadcrumbs.

up to sun symbol

5. Because these are Graphic symbols, we need to extend and match the timelines in all the nested symbols to the same length.
Go to frame 10 and hit F5 to extend the playing time for ray .

extend timeline

6. Double Click again anywhere on the background to return to the Stage.

7. Go to frame 10 here as well, hit F5 to extend the playing time for the sunAll symbol.

extend this timeline too

8. Hit Enter to play the movie inside the Flash authoring environment, or hit CTRL+ENTER to export an SWF and test the movie.

Navigating in and out of nested Flash symbols is a basic skill you must master if you want to work with Flash.
Practice navigating through flash symbols until you can do it without thinking.

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Go to Exercise 7: Duplicate + Swap Symbols

Flash 101 Series main page


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