How to Animate a Pan Effect in Flash

Flash panning screenshot

A pan effect in film is when the camera moves from one side of a scene to the other. In Flash you don't really have a camera you can move; you have only the stage, which acts as your field of view. Which means when you can't move the camera, you have to move the contents of your stage to create the illusion of a moving camera.

To start off, you'll need to either create or import an image, then place it on the stage. If the image isn't already larger than the stage, use the Free Transform Tool. If you haven't already, turn the image/drawing into a symbol (F8).

Step 1

Flash panning screenshot

For this example, we'll do a right-to-left pan, so use the Align Tools to align the right edge of your image with the right edge of the stage. (For this step of our example, we've turned the opacity down on our image so you can see its size and position relative to the stage.)

Step 2

Flash panning screenshot

On your timeline, select the keyframe containing your image and right-click. Select Copy Frames to create a duplicate of this keyframe.

Step 3

Flash panning screenshot

Determine how long you want your pan effect to last, and click on the frame number on the timeline corresponding with that duration. We want a 5-second pan, so since we're working at 12fps, that means frame 60. Right-click and insert the duplicate frame using Paste Frames.

Step 4

Flash panning screenshot

On the new keyframe, select your image and again use the Align Tools, this time to align the left edge of the image with the left edge of the stage. (Again, we've lowered opacity so you can see the position of our image in relation to the position of the stage.)

Step 5

Flash panning screenshot create motion tween

Right-click on the timeline, anywhere between your first frame and last, and select Create Motion Tween. What this will do is use motion tweening to animate the image sliding from right to left. To you it looks like the image is moving on the work area, but when it's published and the constraints of the stage act as a camera's view area, it'll look like the camera is panning over the image.

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