Classic Tweens and Arcs

“My Smart Magnet Rig works well at Keyframes, but elements float during Tweens as if it is not rigged at all. Is this a bug?”

No, it is not a bug.
This is how Classic Tweens work in Flash / Animate. Elements tween from point A to point B in a straight line.
SMR tools assist posing at keyframes in unthinkable ways, but tweening is still handled by Flash / Animate.

So how do we deal with this and how to make the elements move along arcs?

Since the number of new users has exploded after the release of v.6, and many of them are super excited and impatient to start using SMR right away, we thought it would be appropriate to compile a couple of articles that will give quick answers to questions that seem to be common.

We understand the excitement and impatience, which discovering the wonderful world of Smart Magnet Rigs can cause, esp. to people who have wrestled for years with Adobe's less-than-ideal implementations.

Clean Up, LP Toggle, IK Clean Up

Historically, in the previous decades when Flash was used extensively for broadcast animation production, this process of fixing the arcs was done manually during a 'clean up' pass, when all posing and timing were complete to a satisfactory level. Keyframes were inserted in the middle of tween spans and the positions of the elements were adjusted manually.

This is why many years ago, when we created our 'arcs' command that deals with this issue automatically, we called it Clean Up.

In Flash Clean Up (SMR) is the only way to automatically move tweened elements along arcs.
In Animate 2019 and newer, users also have the alternative of toggling Layer Parenting on. Depending on the specific situation this may be more or less suitable than using Clean Up (SMR).

When using SMR Inverse Kinematics, and feet or hands are pinned, we also have IK Clean Up, which deals with these specific situations.

Below are some videos, which demonstrate various usage scenarios and applications of Clean Up, Layer Parenting Toggle and IK Clean Up.


Super depressing to find out the smr doesn't stay connected in the tweens, just the posing…

How I've done things from Flash 8 – CS6 without SMR or parenting layers:

1. Lets say I have a Leg (3 symbols: Thigh pivoting at hip, Calf pivoting at knee, Foot pivoting at ankle) we want to go from strait, to a pose that requires all 3 of those leg parts rotated on their own arc. And you have your two key frames and a classic motion tween in between them.

2. While on on the keyframe you want to be the next pose: shift+click each of the 3 layers to select all of them. With all selected, we see 1 new (temporary) white circle pivot point appear at the center of the selected symbols as if it was all one thing (at least while they're all selected).

3. Move that temporary white circle to the pivot point of the thigh/hip and it will snap into place, and rotate the whole leg around that pivot point.

4. Deselect all of it. Then shift+click the calf and foot, snap the temporary white circle to the knee, rotate. 

5. Deselect again. And rotate just the foot. Done

Now between the two keyframes throughout the entire tween (unless you have easing that doesn't match all the parts), you should have smooth arcs at unbroken pivot connections down the whole leg as it plays in the tween.

CC has Parent options to do this automatically, but only if you use AS3 (not HTML5 Canvas), and even then I have had arcs break for one reason or another.

I was really really hoping smart magnet basically automatically set up the parenting for this exact thing. That said, using a combination of parented layers with SMR does look to be like a viable thing if you're exporting non-interactive animations or don't mind still exporting interactive stuff in the defunct format.

I'm beginning to think that there's not a way to have the new features CC offers (parenting, asset warp animation), not exporting to an obsolete format, and easier rigging like with SMR. At best I can have 1/3 or 2/3 of those…

There is nothing to be depressed about, Fox!

These problems were solved years ago when we released the first iteration of SMR and Clean Up.

Cleaning up small tween spans in most cases is not necessary at all. For the long ones you have Clean Up (or LP Toggle in Animate).
(Watch the videos here and in the respective tools' help pages.)

What you describe, if I understood the steps correctly, will not produce arcs for the second and third element. They will rotate, but their pivots (knee, ankle) will translate along a straight line from key A to key B. It only does the posing right, as would KineFlex and all of the other SMR tools.
Just in case I misinterpreted something, while reading your description, if you can, please, record a short screen capture video of the process and post a link to it here.

Best regards!

I was mistaken, you're correct. I have clearly been away from my animation for far too long. I went back to my CS6, did an example animation as I normally would, and it broke just as you mentioned. In a way, my misremembering the break is good news, because it means that SMR is only going to make things better.

Thank you for following this up, Fox!

Clean Up is very easy to apply, and if you need to re-time, those auto-generated keys are as easy to delete and re-create.

There is a bit of a learning curve with SMR, but once you get comfortable with its concepts and shortcuts, it all becomes very easy, because it's consistent and logical.
Animators often tell us that they can't even imagine using Flash/Animate without EDAPT any more.

When I use "Layer Parenting Toggle", everything works fine for the interval animation. But when I close the document and reopen it, the screen becomes very bad. Does "Layer Parenting Toggle" have to be used together with clean up. Or am I doing something wrong?

You're not doing anything wrong.
There are lots of issues with Adobe's implementation of Layer Parenting. The Animate devs constantly fiddle with that and frequently introduce new bugs while attempting to solve existing ones. 

What you experience was supposedly fixed in Animate 22.0.7. You can see it described here (scroll down to 22.0.7):
You may try to update Animate to the latest version.

You can also read the description of another PL issue here.

Our advice is: Use Layer Parenting with caution and abandon it if it causes problems.

thank you for your reply.
i installed animate version 2023 and im glad to see that they fiexd this issus.

i haven't used flanimate for long,but i need to say,man,your guys did a great job.

Really glad to hear that an update of Animate has resolved the issue!

And thank you very much for the kind words about our work!

Good luck with your projects, @liangyunlong!

Since I installed the script, I can't activate keyframe with the F6 key. How can I return the program to its previous state or disable the script?

It's just the shortcuts set; nothing to do with 'the script'.
Use [X] instead. Or go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts… and either add [F6] or switch back to the default set.

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