How to: Be Efficient. Be Polite. Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
Animating takes a lot of time. After years of experience, you develop a greater knowledge of the program that allows you to animate much faster and much more efficiently, and you will produce more animations. But this tutorial will allow you to skip those years of grueling for hours in a single run loop, with 10 tips on how to be efficient in Flash:
1. Ctrl + Z.
One of the most obvious but most useful shortcuts, this will allow you to undo the past 50 or so edits to your Flash file. If you've been going to Edit > Undo, then you've already lost.
2. Use a tablet.
Although many animators use mice to animate, the efficiency and accuracy of a tablet will make you proud. If you're lacking motivation to animate because your mouse is pissing you off, you need to get a tablet.
3. Pump out the movie clips.
Movie clips make everything a lot easier for Flash animators. They can be edited later, and the changes will be applied to every frame of your animation that the movie clip is in. To create a movie clip, select the object you'd like to convert and press F8. This skill is especially useful for placing Heads, because movie clips cannot be drawn on (unless in editing mode) and does not remove underlying objects as a regular circle would.
4. Get a dual screen?
Dual screens are not very popular anywhere, but they can be of great help to anyone who wants a nice view of the document for a cheap price. It could be a better alternative to that 20" widescreen HD monitor, because you can simply buy a cheap $10 monitor from eBay and attach it to your computer (if your computer supports it). Still, it's not a necessary option and most people don't have it.
5. Use the Scenes toolbar.
Scenes can clean everything up for you. When making a new scene, it is like starting a new document but it still plays automatically after the previous scene. If you're using cinematic effects, scenes are perfect for you. You can even rearrange scenes, which cuts out the confusing work of rearranging frames if you decide to. However, if it is a simple side scrolling animation with no cutscreens, you probably don't want to utilize scenes.
6. Keep backgrounds simple, for now.
Focusing on the backgrounds in the beginning can delay your animation and even make it look lower quality than a simple black line. Start off with that black line, and if you finish and are proud of the animation, add that background. Keep in mind, gradients usually aren't the best idea for backgrounds.