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Adobe Animate: Trying to use symbols - need some help, I'm new to Animate

New Here ,
Jul 25, 2019

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Hello. I'll get right to my confusion.

I've been attempting to make a fairly simple short frame-by-frame animation, with a growing tree as the primary focus.

At the end of the tree's growth I wanted to create leaves that start as little buds then unfold into fully grown leaves.

So I made one leaf and converted it to a symbol. Within the symbol's timeline (I called this symbol "Growing Leaf") I did a frame by frame animation of the leaf starting as a bud and then unfolding into it's full size. Easy peasy.

Then I went back to my stage, where the tree was grown on it's own layer. I made a new layer called "Leaves", and here's where the problem happened.

I tried to click and drag my symbol over to where I wanted my first leaf to go, that worked. I hit play, then, nothing.

The instance's animation just doesn't follow through. It stays on the first frame (the leaf bud). I then tried to copy-paste the symbol's frame by frame animation into my "Leaves" timeline. That worked, and the animation now follows through, but when I tried to move the animation, it moves only the individual frames.

So in summary, I am frazzled because it seems that to re-use my animated Growing Leaf symbol, I need to make a new layer for each individual leaf, give each layer a timeline, copy-paste the symbol's frame-by-frame animation, and then move by hand each frame of that animation into place, because I can't click and drag the whole thing into place.

Doesn't this entirely defeat the purpose of using a symbol? I thought that I could create an animated symbol, and then just drag and drop it to wherever I want on my stage at whatever point I want on the timeline, and it would just work. Am I missing something here? Thank you all.

Hi mate,

Yeah, it can be confusing.

There are several types of symbols. What you have created is most likely a Movie Clip and you should be using Graphic.

Just select the instance on Stage and change its type from the Properties panel drop-down to Graphic.

Then you will get options to stop it and show only a specific frame, play once or loop.

In your case it should be set to 'play once' starting at 1.

How to organise the offset. Well... maybe at this stage it really is best to have each leaf on its own layer starting at a different frame. It will be very clear when you look at it and very easy to re-time. Put those many layers inside a timeline folder so that you can collapse them.

In animation we only use Graphic Symbols, unless there is a very good reason that you can name to use a Movie Clip.

Hope this helps!

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Adobe Animate: Trying to use symbols - need some help, I'm new to Animate

New Here ,
Jul 25, 2019

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Hello. I'll get right to my confusion.

I've been attempting to make a fairly simple short frame-by-frame animation, with a growing tree as the primary focus.

At the end of the tree's growth I wanted to create leaves that start as little buds then unfold into fully grown leaves.

So I made one leaf and converted it to a symbol. Within the symbol's timeline (I called this symbol "Growing Leaf") I did a frame by frame animation of the leaf starting as a bud and then unfolding into it's full size. Easy peasy.

Then I went back to my stage, where the tree was grown on it's own layer. I made a new layer called "Leaves", and here's where the problem happened.

I tried to click and drag my symbol over to where I wanted my first leaf to go, that worked. I hit play, then, nothing.

The instance's animation just doesn't follow through. It stays on the first frame (the leaf bud). I then tried to copy-paste the symbol's frame by frame animation into my "Leaves" timeline. That worked, and the animation now follows through, but when I tried to move the animation, it moves only the individual frames.

So in summary, I am frazzled because it seems that to re-use my animated Growing Leaf symbol, I need to make a new layer for each individual leaf, give each layer a timeline, copy-paste the symbol's frame-by-frame animation, and then move by hand each frame of that animation into place, because I can't click and drag the whole thing into place.

Doesn't this entirely defeat the purpose of using a symbol? I thought that I could create an animated symbol, and then just drag and drop it to wherever I want on my stage at whatever point I want on the timeline, and it would just work. Am I missing something here? Thank you all.

Hi mate,

Yeah, it can be confusing.

There are several types of symbols. What you have created is most likely a Movie Clip and you should be using Graphic.

Just select the instance on Stage and change its type from the Properties panel drop-down to Graphic.

Then you will get options to stop it and show only a specific frame, play once or loop.

In your case it should be set to 'play once' starting at 1.

How to organise the offset. Well... maybe at this stage it really is best to have each leaf on its own layer starting at a different frame. It will be very clear when you look at it and very easy to re-time. Put those many layers inside a timeline folder so that you can collapse them.

In animation we only use Graphic Symbols, unless there is a very good reason that you can name to use a Movie Clip.

Hope this helps!

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Jul 25, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 25, 2019

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You DO have your graphic symbol set to Play Once in its properties panel, yes?

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Jul 25, 2019 0
Guide ,
Jul 25, 2019

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Hi mate,

Yeah, it can be confusing.

There are several types of symbols. What you have created is most likely a Movie Clip and you should be using Graphic.

Just select the instance on Stage and change its type from the Properties panel drop-down to Graphic.

Then you will get options to stop it and show only a specific frame, play once or loop.

In your case it should be set to 'play once' starting at 1.

How to organise the offset. Well... maybe at this stage it really is best to have each leaf on its own layer starting at a different frame. It will be very clear when you look at it and very easy to re-time. Put those many layers inside a timeline folder so that you can collapse them.

In animation we only use Graphic Symbols, unless there is a very good reason that you can name to use a Movie Clip.

Hope this helps!

- Nick: Character designer and animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of Flanimate Power Tools team - extensions for character animation

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Jul 25, 2019 0
New Here ,
Jul 25, 2019

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Omg yes that was it thank's a million.

For anyone else struggling with this (if there is anyone), using the answer I was given above, I did the following:

My symbol (which I had improperly designated as a "Motion Graphic") can be found in the Libraries area. By right clicking the "file" I was able to click > Properties > and change it to Graphic in the drop down menu.

From there, I dragged my now Graphic back onto my stage, selected it using the selector tool, and in the Properties menu it finally showed me the drop down option to either "Loop" "Play Once" or "Single Frame"

Thanks y'all.

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Jul 25, 2019 0
ClayUUID LATEST
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 25, 2019

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TomasBeckett  wrote

My symbol (which I had improperly designated as a "Motion Graphic")

"Movie Clip". There's no such thing as a "Motion Graphic" in Animate.

Also, you didn't have to re-drag it onto the stage. All you had to do was change the existing symbol on the stage from Movie Clip to Graphic in its properties panel.

proppan.png

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Jul 25, 2019 0