New Features in Animate CC

animate arm or leg bone

When Adobe changed the name of Flash to Animate CC, many new features were added. You can read about them here but I’m just going to highlight two of my favorite new and not-so-new tools.

Paint Brush Tool

This new tool adds to the capability of the original Brush Tool. It includes Art and Pattern Brushes which create fun, stylized, and unique designs. Try it out:

  1. Click on the Paint Brush Tool.
  2. Choose a stroke color and size from the Properties panel.
  3. In the Style section, click Brush Library to open a panel with a selection of paint brush styles.
  1. Explore the categories. I really liked Artistic, Decorative, and Pattern Brushes.
  2. Double click on a paint brush to add it to the Properties panel.
  3. Pick a stroke color and size. TIP: Increase the stroke height to see the paint brush effect clearly.
animate paint brush tool
  1. Click and drag on the stage to draw with the paint brush.
  2. Click the Selection Tool.
  3. Rest the mouse pointer over the shape to move, bend, or reshape it.
  4. Use the Free Transform Tool to resize, rotate, or skew the shape.
animate cc paint brush tool
Have fun experimenting!

Bone Tool
The Bone Tool allows you to add bones and joints into shapes to make them move realistically. Then generate an animated sequence by creating a string of poses. This tool was in earlier versions of Flash, and we’re glad to see it’s back!

Draw a Simple Shape Man

  1. Use the Rectangle, Oval, or Brush Tools to draw a simple shape man. Turn Object Drawing Off. TIP: Do not use the Pencil Tool. Bones can only be added to objects that have a fill and no stroke.
animate bone tool

Add Bones to the Shape Man

  1. Click the Bone Tool. Position the mouse pointer at the base of the spine. The pointer changes to a bone.
  2. Click at the base of the spine to set the root bone. Click and drag upwards. Release the mouse button once the mouse pointer reaches the chest bone.
technoanimate bone tool
  1. Position the mouse pointer at the chest bone joint. Click and drag across. Release the mouse button, once the mouse pointer reaches the shoulder.
  2. Continue to draw bones to give the shape man a realistic skeleton.
bone tool

Move the Arms and Legs in the Shape Man

It’s fun to move the shape man. You can make each branch or limb move by clicking and dragging a bone. The joint pivots to create realistic movement as the bone is dragged.

  1. Click the Selection Tool.
  2. Click and drag the thigh bone or upper arm bone.
animate arm or leg bone

Animate the Shape Man to Dance
To create an animated sequence, you need to add poses to the Timeline. To start you will set the beginning pose of the shape man in Frame 1. In Frame 50 you will add a keyframe. This becomes the end pose of the shape man. You will then gradually move the bones of the shape man to change the poses. Each change in pose will be added to the Timeline to make it look like the shape man is dancing.

  1. Click and drag the bones until the shape man is in the desired start pose. Look at the Timeline. Notice that there is a layer above Shape Man. It is an Armature layer. The poses go on this layer.
  2. Right click inside Frame 50 of the Armature layer. Select Insert Pose.
timeline insert pose
  1. Select Frame 5 in the Armature layer. Click and drag the arms and legs to change the pose.
timeline frame 5
Move the playhead back and forth along the Timeline to see the shape man move.
  1. Select Frame 10 in the Armature layer. Click and drag the arms and legs slightly to change the pose again. Another keyframe is automatically added.
  2. Continue to select Frames in the Timeline and alter the poses of the shape man.
  3. Drag the playhead or press ENTER to watch the animation.

Learn about the Bone Tool, Paint Brush Tool, and more as you create an animated space story about a travelling alien in TechnoAnimate. Read all about this technology project, view an excerpt from the teacher guide, and see a skill summary here. TechnoKids has updated TechnoAnimate for the LATEST version of Animate CC (version 2018).


Hella Comat, Curriculum Writer - Hella Comat is a dedicated professional, who has taught in the education system for more than 30 years. As a pioneer of technology integration in Ontario public schools she was one of the first teachers to introduce the internet, video conferencing, web design, and multimedia learning activities to teachers and students in the Halton Board. To inspire teachers to use technology, she has led sessions for the Touch Technology program, ran workshops at education conferences, and sat on numerous advisory committees related to technology-issues. In recent years she taught the Computer in the Classroom course, at York University. Her lifelong commitment to teaching and learning was acknowledged when she was honored as the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Science, Technology, and Mathematics. Hella's contribution to the blog includes entries about the importance of technology integration. Drawing from her in-depth knowledge of technology in the classroom Hella writes about teaching strategies and useful resources that can benefit your practice. In addition, she provides innovative lesson ideas that you can implement into your own curriculum.

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