Onion Skinning Flash

Onion skinning enables you to view multiple frames at once. When any of the three Onion Skin buttons is clicked, Onion Skin Markers appear on the timeline, centered over the current frame. These markers indicate the range of frames that will be displayed with onion skinning applied. To reposition either of these markers manually, click and drag it to another location on the timeline. Or, you can use the Modify Onion Markers pop-up to manage the manner in which onion skinning displays.

By default, the current frame is displayed in full color, while the remaining frames are dimmed out. They appear as if they were each drawn on a sheet of onion skin paper and then stacked in order. (Note how the frames are dimmed with increasing opacity as they move farther away from the current time marker. This is an important visual clue that works both in filled and outline modes.) Only the selected frame can be edited, but this feature is useful because it enables you to see how your edits will affect the flow of the entire selected animation. It’s also useful for Frame-by-Frame Animation, because you can see each part of the animation without having to switch back and forth.

With onion skinning turned on, the current frame is shown normally, while the surrounding frames are successively dimmed. The Onion Skin Markers are visible here on the Timeline Header, which surrounds the Playhead.

Onion Skinning

How you can view the Onion Skin as Outlines, which is useful for complex animations shows below. (If you have trouble seeing the outlines, remember that the color of the outlines can be changed with the Layer Properties dialog.)

You can view the Onion Skin as Outlines.

You can view the Onion Skin as Outlines.

To set up onion skinning, you first turn onion skinning on, and then adjust the features to suit you, following these steps:

  1. Click the Onion Skin button.
  2. Move the Start Onion Skin and End Onion Skin markers to contain the frames that you want to view simultaneously.
  3. If you’d like to view the Onion Skin as outlines, as shown in Figure below, click the Onion Skin Outlines button.
  4. To edit frames between Onion Skin markers, click the Edit Multiple Frames button.
  5. Change the display of the Onion Skin Markers by clicking the Modify Onion Markers button. Choose one of the following from the menu:
    • Always Show Markers: Check this option to always show the Onion Skin Markers, regardless of whether onion skinning is on or not.
    • Anchor Onion: Usually, the Onion Skin Markers follow the position of the current frame. Check this option to anchor the Onion Skin Markers at their current position on the timeline, thus preventing the Onion Skinning effect to move in relation to the position of the current frame pointer.
    • Onion 2, Onion 5, and Onion all: These options apply the onion skinning effect as follows: (2) to two frames on either side of the current frame, (5) to five frames on either side of the current frame, or (All) to All frames.

Below it shows, the Onion 5 option was clicked. you’ll note that the range of the Onion Markers has changed accordingly.

In addition to manual adjustments, the Modify Onion Markers pop-up offers several other options for managing Onion Markers.

manual adjustments, the Modify Onion Markers pop-up

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