Some time ago, I asked a question here to know what would be the best way to create animations when making an Android game and I got great answers.

I did what people told me there by exporting each frame from a Flash animation manually and creating the spritesheet also manually and it was very tedious.

Now, I changed project and this one is going to contain a lot more animations and I feel like there has to be a better way to to export each frame individually and possibly create my spritesheets in an automated manner.

My designer is using Flash CS5.5 and I was wondering if all of this was possible, as I can't find an option or code examples on how to save each frame individually.

If this is not possible using Flash, please recommend me another program that can be used to create animations without having to create each frame on its own. I'd rather keep Flash as my designer knows how to use it and it's giving great results.


First of all, let me say that there's absolutely no need to build your sprite-sheets manually. There are some very good tools for this purpose. Also exporting animations from Flash should be easy and straight-forward. Here's how you do it:

You can export your animations by selecting File > Export > Export Movie.... Then you select PNG Sequence as format and it will export to a series of PNG files.

Then you can head over to this question where you'll find lots of good answers on how to create sprite-sheets from these PNGs.

Flash CS6 will have a feature to directly export animations to sprite-sheets. Older versions will have to use the procedure outlined above.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll try this when I get home. It will save me a lot of time. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Smith May 30 '12 at 14:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Exporting to a PNG sequence doesn't work, it exports to a single PNG image. The reason for that is that the scene only has one frame, but the internal "symbols" inside the layers are what is animated. If I take another animation that has multiple layers on the scene, it works, so I know that is the problem. I don't really know flash, though, since it has been a while, so if you could help me solve this, I'd really appreciate it \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Smith May 30 '12 at 19:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ To clarify, one of my animations is a cartoon Otter that walks. The main scene has three layers: "clothing", "otter" and "dynamite". Those layers take up one frame on the timeline. If I double-click on the otter, the timeline changes to all the symbols used to make it (leftArm, rightArm, etc.). I can then double-click on an individual part (such as leftArm) and then I can see on the timeline that it takes up 20 frames. Would there be a way to make all the individual symbols go on the main timeline so I can export everything or is there a way to export as a sequence without changing everything? \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Smith May 30 '12 at 20:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AdamSmith Yeah, that's kind of a suboptimal structure for animations in flash. Usually you export the timeline of one MovieClip. I would probably just copy the individual timelines of the parts into a new timeline (on separate layers) and export that. Also there's an option to export to Quicktime where you can record a given amount of seconds... but then you'll have to convert that movie to a PNG sequence again. Which might turn out to be quite cumbersome, depending on how many assets you'll have to convert this way. \$\endgroup\$ – bummzack May 30 '12 at 20:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah that's what I figured after trying to export to a PNG sequence... I'll copy the individual timelines separately for the animations I have now and ask my designer to change her animation structure in the future. Thanks a ton for your help! \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Smith May 30 '12 at 21:26

There's a tool called SWFSheet specifically intended for that purpose, but personally I prefer the approach bummzack explained, of exporting the frames to a PNG sequence and then using a tool like TexturePacker to generate a spritesheet from the folder of images. The workflow is much more flexible that way, and the sprite packing abilities of a dedicated tool are better.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the reply, I'll give SWFSheet a shot if I still can't get the PNG Sequence exportation to work after bummzack replies. \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Smith May 30 '12 at 20:06

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