Using the Bone Tool in Adobe Flash CS4

If you’re a Flash animator like me, the inclusion of the Bone Tool is Flash CS4 is like a dream come true. While this tool can be used for a variety of things, it really comes in handy when doing character animations such as walking. But before I get too in depth with this, let’s talk about the basics of this tool.

First of all, what does this new feature do exactly? Simply put, its a tool that allows you to connect virtual joints to an object. Then when you grab one of these joints and move it, the object will move or animate in conjunction with the other joints you have placed down. So, let’s say you draw an arm. Then, using bones, you attach a joint at the top of the arm, then the elbow and finally the hand. By using the Selection Tool you can then grab the hand joint and move it. As you do this the elbow joint will bend naturally along with the hand. What used to take a considerable amount of time with frame by frame animation can now be done in minutes with The Bone Tool.

The example I cited above is a very basic use of this tool. Let’s talk about some more uses. Maybe you have a character using a rope. Apply some joints to the rope and now you can bend and animate it realistically. Perhaps you are animating a logo for your website and would like to apply some unique movements to it. Try using some bones! Or maybe you’re looking to do something subtle, like leaves moving on a tree. Again, the Bone Tool would be prefect for this. There are so many uses for it, the only limitation is your imagination.

Would you like to learn how to use the Bone Tool? Then you’ll want to check out this FREE video tutorial:

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