Intro to Adobe Animate

What is Animate CC?

Adobe Animate used to be called FLASH. Sometimes you will hear the program still referred to as Flash. They are essentially the same, with some additional upgrades in Animate.

To open Animate, you may need to search for the program. If so, use the search bar at the bottom left of your screen.

You may also need to right click on the icon and set it to “Pin to taskbar”

When the program opens, choose “HTML5 Canvas.”

I like to customize the layout of my screen. At the top right of your screen, there are links to different Workspaces.

I like Classic:

The one thing that I don’t like about Classic is that the Timeline is at the top. So I move it.

Grab the Timeline tab at the top:

And move it to the bottom of the window until you see a blue bar appear. It should stay there from now on.

I also like a double row of icons in the Tools pane at the left. Click and drag the edge of the Tools pane and expand it a bit:

As with any project, your first step should ALWAYS be to SAVE!

Before you start, I also recommend changing an important preference. To open the preferences box, you can click Control + U or go into the Edit menu to open Preferences.

The important one for me is the Auto-Recovery option. Right now, your work is saved every 10 minutes. I personally think that’s too long. I can do a fair bit in 10 minutes. I’m going to change mine to 3 minutes:  You can play around with the settings if you like. If you find that your computer is too slow, you may be saving too often, so you may have to bump that number up.

 Stage & Basic Setup

I like to customize the size of my stage. Let’s start with one that is 720 x 486.

I also like to set my fps to 25, because it helps me to keep track of how many seconds I’ve created:

You may also wish to change the colour of your stage, depending on what you are drawing:

Align with rulers, guides, and grids

I like to have my rulers turned on:

And a grid showing:

I don’t like the default grid, though, so I like to right click on it

and change the grid size to 20 x 20. I also like my elements to snap to the grid.


Let’s start with some basic drawing tools. They are grouped together in your tools pane:  

We’ll start with the basic tools in the middle: 


Here’s a good video about those tools. Click to stream or download. The videos will play bigger and probably better if you download them before watching.

Drawing Differences: Merge vs. Object

Polystar Tool

Primitive Tools

Pencil Line Tool

Brush Tool

Paint Bucket

Ink Bottle

Free Transform

Gradient Transform



You will need to draw a scene for me using these tools. Make your stage 720 x 486 and your fps 25. Use as many of these tools as you can and create an interesting and colourful scene. Don’t just draw random shapes, set a scene that you can animate later! You might just save yourself some work down the road…

Good (but fast) overview video:

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