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Submitted on
January 5, 2013


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I've compiled a list of useful extensions and plugins for flash animators. You can also view this list on my tumblr, in case formatting got screwed up:…

To install these plugins, download them, open up your Extension Manager, click ‘install’, and select the .zxp or .mxp file. There should be a description in each file of where to enable the plugin in Flash.

Toon Monkey (David Wolfe)

These are a collection of tools to suit your fancy. Most of them do single functions, so read their descriptions and decide what would be useful. I've listed some of the ones I recommend.
  • For assets and puppet rigging, I would recommend libAppend and Search and Replace, which allow you to rapidly name and rename symbols.
  • FrameEDIT and FrameEXIT make editing nested symbols easier by taking you to their corresponding frame in the timeline, instead of their first frame.
  • New Anim Clip allows you to make a new symbol that is immediately centered in the stage. It is meant to speed up shot creation, such as when you want to have a shot moving as it takes place. Just copy all your frames of the shot, run the tool, and paste them into the symbol it creates.
  • Break into layers is predominately useful for un-nesting your symbols for more flexibility. It just combines the effects of 'break apart' and 'distribute to layers.'

jAnimation Tools (Jay Edry)

(See description of video.) This is a toolbox that adds some very useful hotkeys and tweening commands.
  • The Rig Tool allows you to essentially draw a 'bone' over a graphic to turn it into a symbol for a puppet set, setting its rotation and center.
  • Batch Select quickly selects all active symbols on screen (there's a way to 'block off' a batch as well, watch the video.
  • I don't use Quick Tween very much, as Custom Ease functions the same way but with more simplicity, and high utility. These quickly will tween your symbol, with easing going in, out, both, or none, the value you enter in being the strength of the ease.
  • Flip does what you think it would.
  • Scrub Layer and Scrub Keyframe allow you to jump from layer to layer or keyframe to keyframe (note, not like jumping frame to frame with , or . ).
  • Smart Key allows you to make a keyframe inside a tween without changing its course of motion. It can either set the frame as the start of the tween, the end of the tween, or whatever the current frame is.
  • Bump simply cycles your starting frame in a graphic symbol.

Keyframe Caddy (Cloudkid)

Keyframe Caddy allows you to rapidly lipsynch a character by requiring only a single click to choose what frame to enter on a symbol. It is practically MANDATORY for any lipsynched animation.

To use Keyframe Caddy, open its window, select your symbol and click 'load'. The frames of your graphic symbol will appear in the window.</p>
Clicking one of these graphic frames will create a keyframe on the timeline and change the loaded symbol's current frame to the one you clicked (setting it to play 'Single Frame' if not previously).</p>
Before, to lipsynch, you had to
  • click on the timeline where your symbol is, at the appropriate syllable
  • create a keyframe
  • click the symbol in the stage
  • click inside the 'Current Frame' dialogue box
  • enter in/cycle through to find the appropriate syllable
  • click outside/click enter

With keyframe caddy, you only need to
  • click the frame where the symbol is, at the appropriate syllable
  • click the corresponding graphic for the syllable (visual cues being much faster to recognize and requiring no 'cycling through')

Essentially, this replaces the required 5-6 actions that respond to textual entry to make a single lipsynched instance with just 2 actions that respond to visual cues. This is WAY more efficient.
NOTE: for CS6, you need to install this through the Adobe Exchange plugin.
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Lord-Kiyo Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2014
And when I read through this My thoughts are, why was the Flash not built with this stuff to begen with.
expceialy the keyframe caddy.  I used Anime Studio and it works that way, now I am trying flash and its such a hassle to do it.
Kjamesc Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2014  Student General Artist
I'm trying to download keyframe caddy for flash CS3, but every time I try to install it in the adobe extension manager 1.8, it says, "The extension requires Flash CS3 or greater. The extension will not be installed." even though I all ready have flash CS3, and it won't let me install anything else. HALP!
Lee-Chung Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

Oh wait never mid it works.

Lee-Chung Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Can this work for Abode Flash CC?
Farawaynearby Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Blazin thanks man. I actually just ran into this problem not 5 minutes ago.

blazinmeow Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
To anyone still viewing this, you can convert the mxps to zxps for cc using the cs6 extension manager. They work perfectly fine.
ToxicThunderCloud Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
You can't get Keyframe Caddy on the new Flash CC (CS7) since it's not supported by Adobe Exchange. Hopefully they're going to do something about it.
Zedrin Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013  Professional Filmographer
They likely will, eventually, though most animators I know are refusing to switch to the CC.
ToxicThunderCloud Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
CC is much faster and crashes less often. Though it is slightly harder to use. I still have the old one and use that until they allow adobe exchange.
Zedrin Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Ease has nothing to do with it, it's software rights that are keeping everyone away.
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