Adobe Certified Professional: What is on the Animate exam?

Adobe Certified Professional: What is on the Animate exam?

Adobe’s official exam guide for Animate lists the exam objectives, including key terms, concepts, tools, and settings that you need to know to pass the Adobe Certified Professional in Multiplatform Animation Using Adobe Animate exam. In this article, we provide definitions of the terms and explanations of the concepts, tools, and settings in an effort to help you prepare for and pass the Adobe Animate certification exam.

Whether or not your goal is certification, if you’re interested in a Animate class for yourself or for your team, check out our Adobe Animate Certification class.

And if you're interested in learning and possibly becoming certified in multiple Adobe products, check out these Adobe course bundles:

Read on to learn what you need to know to pass the Adobe Certified Professional in Multiplatform Animation Using Adobe Animate exam.

Working in the Animation Industry

This objective covers critical concepts related to working with colleagues and clients as well as legal, technical, and design related crucial knowledge.

  1. Identify the purpose, audience, and audience needs for preparing content.
    1. Determine whether content is relevant to the purpose, the audience, audience needs, user experience and has an appropriate design for target devices.
      1. Key Terms
        1. client goals – What are the goals of your client? Why are they having you create this animation?
        2. target audience – The group or groups of people that you hope to have see your animation.
        3. demographics – The target audience can be defined in demographic terms (e.g., by age, gender, religion, geographic location, political affiliation, etc.).
        4. accessibility – You should understand that you and your client may be legally obligated to make your content accessible to people with various disabilities.
    2. Identify requirements for projects/publications when creating animations and interactive content.
  2. Communicate with colleagues and clients about design plans.
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of techniques for communicating ideas about design plans with peers and clients.
      1. Key Terms
        1. Thumbnail Sketches: Initial, simplified drawings used to visualize the basic layout and composition of scenes or animations. They’re typically small and quick to produce, often just conveying the main elements and their positions.
        2. Storyboards: A series of sketches or images representing the sequence of animations or scenes. Storyboards provide a visual representation of the animation’s storyline, often accompanied by notes or scripts for each scene, guiding the production process.
        3. Specifications: Detailed descriptions or requirements about the animation project. Specifications could include design aspects, dimensions, color schemes, special effects, target audience, platform compatibility, and more. They serve as guidelines that the project needs to adhere to.
        4. Design Process: This refers to the step-by-step approach taken to create an animation. It typically involves ideation, research, thumbnail sketches, storyboarding, designing, animating, testing, and refining. Each step has a specific purpose in moving the project from concept to completion.
        5. Wireframes: In animation, wireframes often refer to the basic skeletal structure or 3D model of an object or character, devoid of any textures, colors, or detailed features. They help to establish the movement and proportions before moving into more detailed design stages.
        6. Mockups: These are detailed static designs that give an idea of what the final animation or scene will look like., mockups usually represent the layout, color schemes, typography, and other visual aspects, and are often used for presentations or reviews before moving into the animation stage.
        7. Prototypes: Prototypes are interactive versions of the animation or scene that demonstrate functionality but may not include full visual and interactive fidelity. They’re used for user testing or to validate design decisions before the final production.
        8. Iterations: These refer to repeated cycles in the design and development process, where the animation or design is progressively refined. Each iteration involves making improvements or adjustments based on feedback, testing, or new insights, with the goal of improving the final product.
        9. Drafts: These are preliminary versions of the animation or design. Drafts are often used for internal review, to identify any potential issues or areas for improvement before moving onto further stages of the design process.
        10. Feedback Loop: The ongoing process of receiving feedback, implementing changes, and reassessing the work. This iterative process ensures the end product meets the desired quality and standards. The feedback can come from various sources, including team members, clients, or test audiences.
    2. Demonstrate knowledge of basic project management concepts.
      1. Key Terms
        1. Project Scope: The defined set of deliverables, features, and tasks that make up the project. The project scope provides a clear idea of what the project will deliver and the work that needs to be done to deliver it.
        2. Scope Creep: The addition of new features, tasks, or requirements to a project that were not included in the initial plan. This can lead to projects exceeding their original timeline or budget if not properly managed.
        3. Cloud Utilization and File Management: The use of cloud-based services for storing, managing, and sharing project files. This can improve accessibility, collaboration, and backup security for a project’s digital assets.
  3. Determine the type of copyright, permissions, and licensing required to use specific content.
    1. Identify legal and ethical considerations for using third-party content such as copyright, permissions, and licensing.
      1. Key Terms
        1. Creative Commons: A non-profit organization that provides a set of copyright licenses, allowing creators to specify which rights they reserve and which rights they waive regarding their work. This enables more flexible copyright for creative works.
        2. Public Domain: Creative works that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. These works can be used by anyone without permission or the need to pay royalties.
        3. Intellectual Property: Creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, symbols, names, and images used in commerce. Intellectual property is protected by law, such as patents, copyright, and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create.
        4. Derivative Work: A work that is based on or derived from one or more already existing works. This can include adaptations, translations, and other forms of modification. Derivative works are subject to the copyright of the original work.
        5. Commercial Use: Refers to the use of a creative work for commercial purposes or to generate financial gain. This includes any situation where a creative work is used to sell, promote, or endorse a product or service.
        6. Attribution: The act of giving appropriate credit to the creators of a work or ideas. In intellectual property terms, it often means citing the source or creator of a work used or referenced.
        7. Work for Hire: Refers to a piece of creative work, which, from the outset, is agreed to become the property of the person who commissioned it rather than the person who created it. This concept is often used in employment contracts in creative industries.
        8. Fair Use/Fair Dealing: Legal doctrines that provide exceptions to copyright law in certain circumstances, allowing for the use of copyrighted works without permission. The terms and conditions for what constitutes fair use or fair dealing vary by jurisdiction.
        9. Stock Images: Pre-existing images that can be licensed for specific uses. These images are created by photographers and illustrators and can be used in various creative projects under the terms of the license agreement.
    2. Identify when and how to obtain permissions to use images of people and locations.
      1. Key Terms
        1. Model Release: A legal document signed by the subject of a photograph or video granting permission to use or publish the photograph or video in one form or another.
        2. Location Release: A legal agreement signed by the owner of a property used in a photographic or filmed production, giving permission for the production to take place on that property.
      2. Key Concepts
        1. Permission to use a photo is separate from permission to use a person’s face or restricted location.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of key terminology related to animation and interactive media.
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of animation terminology.
      1. Key Terms
        1. Frame Rate: The frequency at which frames in a television picture, film, video, or animation are displayed. Measured in frames per second (fps), it affects how smooth motion appears on screen.
        2. Image and Video Resolution: The detail an image holds, usually measured in pixels for digital imaging. For video, resolution signifies the number of distinct pixels that can be displayed in each dimension.
        3. Aspect Ratio: The proportional relationship between the width and the height of an image or screen.
        4. File Formats: The various types of files that can be created, opened, edited, or exported by the software. For Adobe Animate, these formats include .FLA (Animate project file), .swf (Shockwave Flash, for playable animations), .html (for web-based animations using the HTML Canvas), .gif (for simple, web-compatible animations), and many more. The file format used will depend on the intended use or platform for the animation.
        5. Audio Sampling Rates: The number of samples of audio carried per second, measured in Hertz (Hz). A higher sampling rate results in better audio quality but also larger file sizes.
        6. Image Size: Can refer to either the dimensions of a digital image, typically measured in pixels (width by height), or the file size, usually measured in bytes (KB, MB, GB etc.), which indicates the amount of storage space the image file takes up on a disk. The file size is influenced by factors such as the image’s dimensions, resolution, color depth, and the file format’s compression algorithms.
        7. File Types: The format of a file which tells the computer how to read its contents. Examples include image file types like .jpeg or .png, video file types like .mp4, etc.
        8. Vector Graphics: Images created using paths or strokes with definable start and end points, curves, angles, etc. They can be scaled without losing quality.
        9. Bitmap Images: Also known as raster images, they are composed of individual pixels. When scaled up, they can lose quality.
        10. Frames: Individual images that make up a sequence in animations or videos.
        11. Keyframes: In animation, these are frames that define the start and end points of a smooth transition or movement.
        12. Tweens: Short for “in-betweens.” In animation, it refers to the frames that are automatically generated to create smooth motion between keyframes.
        13. Frame-by-Frame Animation: A traditional animation technique where each frame is created individually to create a sequence of images that create the illusion of motion when played back.
        14. Easing: A technique in animation that allows for more natural and appealing motion by gradually accelerating or decelerating the animation speed.
        15. Guides: Non-printing lines or patterns used in the layout process to assist in positioning objects.
        16. Masks: In graphic design and animation, masks are used to hide or reveal portions of an image or shape.
        17. Symbols: Reusable objects in animation software, such as Adobe Animate, that can be easily replicated, manipulated, and animated independently of the rest of the scene.
    2. Demonstrate knowledge of interactive media.
      1. Key Terms
        1. Events: Actions or occurrences detected by a program. Examples include user interactions such as clicks or key presses, system-generated events like loading a file, or programmatic events like variables changing value.
        2. Listeners: Procedures or functions in a program that wait for an event to occur. These are used to trigger an action when a specified event is detected.
        3. Variables: Named units of data that are used to store values in a program. The value of a variable can change during the execution of the program.
        4. Dynamic Text: In the context of web design and development, dynamic text is text content that can change dynamically, often due to user interaction, changing variables, or data updates.
        5. JavaScript: A high-level, interpreted programming language that is primarily used for building interactive elements on web pages. It is one of the core technologies of the World Wide Web, alongside HTML and CSS.
        6. ActionScript: An object-oriented scripting language developed by Adobe. While it was historically used for website and software development targeting the Adobe Flash Player platform, after the discontinuation of Flash Player at the end of 2020, its use has become more specialized. In Adobe Animate, ActionScript can still be used for creating complex interactivity in certain types of projects.
        7. Methods: In object-oriented programming, methods are functions that are associated with a particular object. They define the behavior of an object and can access or manipulate an object’s data.
        8. Functions: In programming, functions are self-contained blocks of code that carry out a specific task. Functions can take in data, process it, and return a result.
        9. Classes: In object-oriented programming, classes are templates or blueprints for creating objects. They define the properties and methods that an object will have.
    3. Understand and use key terms related to multiplatform animation.
      1. Key Terms
        1. Apple iOS: An operating system used for mobile devices manufactured by Apple Inc., such as the iPhone and iPad. Animation for iOS applications often requires tools and languages compatible with the platform, such as Swift.
        2. Google Android: An open-source mobile operating system developed by Google, used by a variety of mobile devices. Animations for Android apps often use languages like Java or Kotlin, and tools within the Android Studio IDE.
        3. Microsoft Windows: A group of operating system families developed by Microsoft. Animations for Windows applications can be created with a variety of tools and languages, including C#, .NET, and more.
        4. Apple macOS: An operating system for Apple’s Mac computers. Like iOS, animations for macOS applications often use languages and tools compatible with the platform.
        5. HTML5 Canvas: A part of the HTML5 standard that allows for dynamic, scriptable rendering of 2D shapes and bitmap images. It is a popular tool for web-based animations, games, and interactive applications.
        6. Adobe AIR: A cross-platform runtime system developed by Adobe for building desktop and mobile applications. It supports the Adobe Animate platform, making it a useful tool for creating animations that work across different devices and operating systems.
        7. Virtual Reality (VR): A simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Animations for VR often require specialized tools and techniques to create a three-dimensional, immersive experience.
        8. WebGL: A JavaScript API for rendering 2D and 3D graphics within any compatible web browser without the use of plug-ins. It allows animations and graphic effects to be created and executed directly in the browser.
        9. Animated GIF: A file format that supports both static and animated images. It’s a widely supported format for simple, short, and typically low-resolution animations on the web.
        10. Video: A digital medium for the recording, copying, playback, broadcasting, and display of moving visual media. Video formats are used for full-motion animations, and can be played on almost all platforms and devices.
        11. Sprite Sheets: Bitmap images containing multiple smaller images, often frames of an animation. They are used to quickly switch between states or frames in games or animations, by displaying different portions of the sheet over time.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of basic design principles and best practices employed in industry.
    1. Communicate visually using the elements and principles of design, and common design techniques.
      1. Key Terms
        1. Space: In design, space refers to the area around, between, or within components of a design. Effective use of space can enhance readability and the overall aesthetic of a design.
        2. Line: A basic element of design that refers to the continuous mark made on a surface by a moving point. Lines can be used to separate or organize elements, direct the viewer’s eye, and create shapes or textures.
        3. Shape: A design element defined by its perimeter. Shapes are often used to create a sense of balance and proportion in a design.
        4. Form: In graphic design, form refers to the visual appearance of something, especially in terms of its shape and structure. It can also refer to the illusion of three dimensions on a 2D surface.
        5. Color: An element of design that can evoke emotion, set a mood, or attract attention. The understanding of color theory is crucial for creating effective designs.
        6. Texture: Refers to the perceived surface quality of a design. Texture can be visual (implied) or physical (tactile).
        7. Emphasis/Focal Point: The area of a design that attracts the viewer’s attention. Designers create emphasis by contrasting elements within the design.
        8. Unity/Harmony: The sense that all the elements in a design fit together to create a cohesive whole. This is achieved through consistency, repetition, and proximity of elements.
        9. Variety: The use of different elements to create interest and contrast in a design.
        10. Balance: A principle of design that refers to the arrangement of elements, creating a feeling of stability. Balance can be symmetrical (equal weight on both sides) or asymmetrical (different but balanced weight on both sides).
        11. Alignment: The placement of elements so that edges line up along common rows or columns. Alignment creates a clean, sophisticated, and organized look.
        12. Proximity: The principle of placing related items close together to indicate a relationship between them. It helps to create organization and reduce visual clutter.
        13. Repetition: The technique of using the same elements multiple times in a design. Repetition can create visual consistency, unity, and rhythm.
        14. Rhythm: The principle of design that indicates movement by the repetition of elements or objects.
        15. Scale: Refers to the relative size of different elements in a design. Varying scale can create visual interest and establish emphasis and hierarchy.
        16. Movement: The suggestion or illusion of motion in a design through the use of lines, shapes, sequences, and timing.
        17. Negative Space: Also known as “white space,” it’s the empty space around and between the elements of a design. Effective use of negative space can bring attention to the positive elements.
        18. Gestalt: A principle of design that maintains that the human eye sees the whole before the individual parts. It’s the idea that the sum is greater than its parts.
        19. Contrast: The juxtaposition of differing elements (e.g., colors, shapes, sizes) in a design. Contrast helps to highlight or emphasize key elements in the design.
    2. Identify and use common typographic adjustments to create contrast, hierarchy, and enhanced readability/legibility.
      1. Key Terms
        1. Font: Refers to the specific style and design of a set of characters, including letters, numbers, and punctuation. Changing fonts can significantly alter the look and feel of a text, providing a way to create contrast and establish mood or tone.
        2. Size: The height of characters. Changing the size of your text can create a clear hierarchy in your design, with larger text attracting more attention than smaller text.
        3. Style: Refers to the design variation within a typeface, like bold, italic, underline, etc. Using different styles can create contrast and emphasize specific portions of the text.
        4. Color: The hue of the characters. Adjusting color can enhance readability, create contrast, and evoke emotional responses from the audience.
        5. Alignment: The setting of text flow or position in a design, typically aligned to one edge (left, right, centered, or justified). Alignment can affect the readability and visual appeal of the design.
        6. Kerning: The adjustment of space between pairs of characters to achieve a more visually pleasing result. Proper kerning can enhance readability and aesthetic appeal.
        7. Tracking and Leading: Tracking refers to the consistent space between characters across a block of text, and leading refers to the vertical space between lines of text. Both adjustments can enhance the legibility of the text.
        8. Horizontal and Vertical Scale: Refers to the stretching or condensing of text either horizontally or vertically. It’s generally best to use this sparingly to avoid distorting text and reducing legibility.
        9. Line Length: The distance that text spans horizontally in a block. Line length can significantly impact a design’s readability and legibility. Optimal line length makes it easier for the reader’s eye to move from the end of one line to the beginning of the next.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of animation and interactive media principles.
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of the 12 basic principles of animation introduced by Disney animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas in their book “The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation.”
      1. Key Terms
        1. Squash and Stretch: Gives the illusion of weight and volume to drawn objects. It can be used to emphasize motion and add a more dynamic feel.
        2. Anticipation: The preparation for an action to help the audience anticipate what is about to happen. It can be seen as a minor action that precedes a major action.
        3. Staging: The presentation of any idea so that it is clear to the audience. This could be an action, a personality, an expression, or a mood.
        4. Straight Ahead Action and Pose-to-Pose: These are two different approaches to the drawing process. Straight Ahead Action involves drawing out a scene frame by frame from start to end, while Pose-to-Pose involves starting with drawing a few key frames, and then filling in the intervals later.
        5. Follow Through and Overlapping Action: Follow Through means that loosely tied parts of a body should continue moving after the character has stopped. Overlapping Action is the tendency for parts of the body to move at different rates.
        6. Slow In and Slow Out: The movement of the human body, and most other objects, needs time to accelerate and slow down. For this reason, an animation looks more realistic if it has more drawings near the beginning and end of an action, emphasizing the extreme poses.
        7. Arc: Most natural action tends to follow an arc or slightly circular path. This principle is applied to animation to give more natural-looking action.
        8. Secondary Action: An additional action that adds more dimension to the main action. A secondary action is a supplemental action that supports the main action to add more dimension and character to the animation.
        9. Timing: More drawings make an action slower while fewer drawings make it faster. Timing is critical for establishing a character’s mood, emotion, and reaction.
        10. Exaggeration: It provides an effect especially in terms of physical action. Less realism and more exaggeration make animations more effective and entertaining.
        11. Solid Drawing: It involves taking into account forms in three-dimensional space, or giving them volume and weight. The animator needs to be a skilled artist and has to understand the basics of three-dimensional shapes, anatomy, weight, balance, light and shadow, etc.
        12. Appeal: It’s a kind of charm or charisma in the design that the audience can find appealing or attractive. Appeal can be anything from a design feature to a personality trait.
    2. Demonstrate knowledge of interactive media principles.
      1. Key Terms
        1. User Experience (UX): The overall experience a user has while interacting with a product, system, or service. UX design focuses on optimizing a product for effective and enjoyable use.
        2. User Interface (UI): The point of human-computer interaction and communication in a device, system or software. It involves the layout of the product, the interface elements, and interactive features.
        3. User Interaction: The interaction between human users and computers. It is often seen in the context of a user interface, including software, devices, and applications.
        4. Aesthetics: The visual appeal of a UI, including layout, color scheme, typography, and overall visual style. Good aesthetics can enhance usability and user satisfaction.
        5. Functionality: The range of operations that can be run in a given system or interface, and how well these operations cover the user’s needs. Functionality is a key aspect of usability and user satisfaction.
        6. Hierarchy: The organization of information in a way that allows users to understand importance and relationships among items. In UI/UX design, visual hierarchy can guide the user’s attention to important elements first.
        7. Consistency: The use of similar or compatible elements to make a product’s look and feel more unified. Consistency can make a product easier to use because users can rely on previous experience when learning new parts of the UI.
        8. User Accessibility: The design of products to be usable by people with the widest possible range of abilities, operating within the widest possible range of situations. This includes making interfaces accessible to users with disabilities.
        9. Discoverability in UI: The ability for users to find or discover features and functions in a user interface. Good discoverability makes a product easier to learn and use.

Project Setup and Interface

This objective covers the interface setup and program settings that assist in an efficient and effective workflow, as well as knowledge about incorporating digital assets for a project.

  1. Create a document with the appropriate settings for multimedia projects.
    1. Create a new document with appropriate settings for a new project.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Document Type: Specifies the type of project you are working on. This could be HTML Canvas, ActionScript 3.0, etc. The document type will determine the set of tools and features available to you in Adobe Animate.
        2. Presets: These are predefined settings designed for specific types of projects. They help streamline the setup process by automatically configuring settings like width, height, frame rate, etc.
        3. Width: The horizontal dimension of your stage, usually measured in pixels. This setting will affect the aspect ratio of your final output.
        4. Height: The vertical dimension of your stage, usually measured in pixels. This, along with the width, will determine the aspect ratio of your final output.
        5. Frame Rate: The number of frames displayed per second in the animation. A higher frame rate results in smoother motion but requires more resources to produce and play back.
    2. Manage document settings for specific project needs.
      1. Key Properties
        1. Width and Height: These together define the aspect ratio and overall size of your stage. This should be chosen based on the final output requirements.
        2. Units: The measurement system used in the project, typically pixels for digital projects.
        3. Stage Color: The background color of your stage. This can impact the mood and overall aesthetic of your project.
        4. Accessibility (ActionScript 3.0 only): Settings that help ensure your content is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. This may include providing alternate descriptions for visual content.
      2. Key Concepts
        1. Understanding How Frame Rate Impacts Timing and Pacing: Frame rate is a crucial aspect of the rhythm and speed of animations. A higher frame rate can create smoother, more fluid animations, while a lower frame rate can create a choppier, more stylized aesthetic.
        2. Preparing Documents at the Proper Size for Intended Use: This involves setting up the document dimensions to match the output or display size, ensuring that your project will look its best on the intended platform or medium.
  2. Customize the application workspace and use visual aids for layout.
    1. Identify elements and customize the Animate workspace.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Menus and Tools: The sets of options and instruments in the Adobe Animate interface that enable the creation, editing, and animation of elements. These are generally accessible through toolbars, side panels, and menu bars.
        2. Stage and Pasteboard: The Stage is the area where the actual animation or interactive content is created and seen. The Pasteboard is the area surrounding the Stage, where you can store or prepare content before bringing it onto the Stage.
        3. Using/Switching Default Workspaces: Adobe Animate provides several pre-set workspaces designed for different tasks such as animation, classic animation, debugging, etc. You can switch between these workspaces depending on the task at hand.
        4. Showing, Hiding, Grouping, and Docking Panels: Panels contain the tools and settings you use to create and modify animations. You can customize the interface by showing or hiding panels, grouping related panels together, or docking panels to the sides of the application window.
        5. Using the Workspace Switcher and the Window Menu: The Workspace Switcher allows you to switch between different workspaces. The Window menu allows you to control which panels and windows are displayed in the current workspace.
        6. Customizing, Saving, and Resetting Workspaces: Adobe Animate allows you to adjust the interface to suit your needs by moving and resizing panels, showing or hiding tools, etc. You can save these changes as a new workspace, and you can also reset workspaces to their original layouts.
    2. Configure application preferences.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. General: This refers to the general preferences in Adobe Animate that control the application’s overall behavior. It includes options for undo levels, autosave interval, interface language, and more.
        2. Sync Settings: These preferences allow you to sync your workspace settings and preferences across multiple computers using your Adobe ID. This feature helps you maintain a consistent working environment when you switch between different machines.
        3. Drawing: The drawing preferences in Adobe Animate control the behavior of the drawing tools. It includes settings for how shapes are created, smoothing levels for drawn lines, and more. This allows you to customize the drawing tools to match your personal workflow and preferences.
    3. Navigate a document.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Pan: The action of moving the viewable area from side to side and up and down without changing the actual contents of the stage. It gives you the ability to view different areas of your work without zooming or resizing.
        2. Zoom: The action of enlarging or reducing the view of the Stage. It does not alter the actual size of objects but allows you to see details more clearly or to view a larger area of your project.
        3. Play: This is the command to start the playback of your animation from the current frame. It allows you to review your work as it would appear in its final output.
        4. Pause: This command stops the playback of your animation at the current frame. It allows you to closely examine specific frames of your animation.
        5. Keyboard/Mouse Shortcuts: These are combinations of keys or mouse actions that trigger specific commands in the program. Using shortcuts can greatly speed up your workflow and efficiency.
        6. Spacebar: Pressing the Spacebar often allows you to quickly access the Hand tool, which you can use to pan around the Stage.
        7. Rotation Tool: This tool allows you to rotate selected objects around a transformation point, which you can move to any location within the object.
        8. Time Scrub Tool: Allows you to drag through frames to quickly preview animation. Scrubbing back and forth can give a quick sense of the motion and pacing of your animation.
    4. Customize toolbar and timeline tools.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Drag and Drop Tools: This refers to the ability to rearrange tools in the toolbar by clicking on them and dragging them to a new location. This allows you to customize the toolbar to suit your personal workflow.
        2. Create Miniature Toolbars: Adobe Animate allows you to create smaller toolbars, often for specific tasks or workflows. You can pick and choose tools to include in these toolbars, making them customized to your needs.
        3. Customize Timeline: The Timeline in Adobe Animate is highly customizable. You can adjust the layout, reorder layers, change the view of frames, and more, all to best suit your animation process.
        4. Properties: The Properties panel displays the properties of the currently selected object or the current frame. You can use this panel to modify properties like position, size, color, and many others.
        5. Library: The Library in Adobe Animate is where you store and organize assets for your project. This includes symbols, bitmaps, audio, and video files. You can use the library to manage and reuse assets efficiently.
    5. Use rulers, guides, and grids.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Add, Remove, and Lock/Unlock Guides: Guides in Adobe Animate are visual aids that help with layout and positioning. You can add guides to your stage, remove them when they’re no longer needed, and lock them to prevent accidental movement.
        2. Set Color: Adobe Animate allows you to change the color of guides, making it easier to differentiate between them, particularly when several are in use.
        3. Show and Hide Guides, Grids, and Rulers: These tools can be toggled on or off based on your needs. This is particularly useful when you want an unobstructed view of your work.
        4. Use Snap or Align Options: Snap and align options are useful for precise positioning of objects. The snap feature allows objects to automatically align with guides, grids, or other objects when they are close, while the align options can help you line up objects relative to each other or the stage.
  3. Import into and manage assets in a project.
    1. Import media from various sources.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Importing Layers from .psd or .ai Files: Adobe Animate allows you to import Photoshop (.psd) or Illustrator (.ai) files as fully editable, multi-layered Animate documents. Each layer in the original file becomes a separate layer in the timeline.
        2. Image Files: You can import various image file types into Adobe Animate, including JPEG, PNG, GIF, and BMP. These can be used as assets in your animation or as part of the background, characters, and more.
        3. Audio Files: Adobe Animate supports the import of various audio file formats, such as MP3, WAV, and AAC. Once imported, these audio files can be used to provide background music, sound effects, and voiceover for your animations.
        4. Video Files: You can import video files into Adobe Animate for use in your projects.
        5. CC Libraries: Adobe’s Creative Cloud Libraries are a powerful resource for storing and managing design assets. You can access these libraries directly from Animate, importing any stored assets directly into your current project.
        6. Importing Using Menus or Drag and Drop: Adobe Animate supports importing assets either via the File > Import menu or by simply dragging and dropping the files directly into the stage or library.
    2. Manage assets in an Animate project.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Using the Library Panel: The Library panel is where you manage assets for your Adobe Animate project. You can rename, delete, move, duplicate, search, and preview assets directly in the Library panel.
        2. Updating and Importing Files: When you modify an external file that has been imported into Animate, you can update the version in Animate to match the modified version. Similarly, you can import new files into your project as needed.
        3. Selecting Unused Items: Adobe Animate allows you to select and view unused items in your library. This can help in cleaning up your project by identifying and removing unnecessary assets.
        4. Creating New Symbols and Folders: In the Library panel, you can create new symbols, which are reusable objects, and folders, which can help organize your assets.
        5. Working with Multiple Libraries: Adobe Animate allows you to have multiple libraries open at once, which is useful when you want to use assets from one project in another.
        6. Differentiating Between Library Assets: Adobe Animate has various types of library assets, including Graphic symbols, Button symbols, and Movie Clip symbols. Graphic symbols are used for static images or animations that are tied to the timeline. Button symbols define interactivity. Movie Clip symbols contain their own timeline, separate from the main timeline. Other assets that can be stored in the library include fonts, bitmaps, sounds, etc.
    3. Load external media.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. audio
        2. video
        3. images
  4. Manage colors, swatches, gradients, and brushes.
    1. Set the active fill and stroke color.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Color Picker: A tool that allows you to select a color by clicking on a visual range of colors. It’s typically used to select colors for strokes and fills in your animations.
        2. Color Panel: This panel provides controls for selecting and changing the colors of shapes, strokes, and text in your animations. It provides several ways to specify color, including color sliders, color spectrum squares, and numeric color value entry fields.
        3. Eyedropper: This tool allows you to pick up a color from anywhere on the stage or from any open window in Animate. It’s useful for matching colors exactly.
        4. Hexadecimal Value: This is a six-digit code that specifies a particular color in the RGB color space. It’s a common way of defining color in digital design, and can be used in Animate to specify exact colors.
        5. Alpha: This term refers to the level of a color’s opacity or transparency. In Animate, you can adjust the alpha value of a color to create see-through effects.
        6. Bitmap Fill: This refers to the use of a bitmap image as a fill color. Instead of a solid color, the fill area will be covered with the chosen bitmap image.
    2. Create and customize a gradient.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Color Panel: In the context of gradients, the Color panel allows you to create and modify gradients. You can choose the colors that make up the gradient and the transition points between them.
        2. Editing Color and Transparency Stops: Gradients in Adobe Animate are made up of color stops, which are points where a new color begins in the gradient, and transparency stops, which determine the opacity at various points in the gradient. You can add, remove, and adjust these stops to customize your gradients.
        3. Radial and Linear Gradients: Radial gradients radiate out from a central point, while linear gradients transition along a line. Both can be used to create a variety of effects in your animations.
        4. Gradient Transform Tool: This tool allows you to adjust the size, position, and rotation of a gradient fill. It gives you control over how the gradient is applied to a shape.
    3. Create, manage, and edit swatches.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Swatches Panel: The Swatches panel in Adobe Animate is a collection of colors, gradients, and bitmap fills that you can quickly apply to your artwork. You can add new swatches, delete swatches, and organize swatches into groups.
        2. Swatch Types: Adobe Animate offers several swatch types, including tagged (which retain their relationship to the original color, allowing for easy global changes), solid (which represent a specific color), bitmap (which are patterns made from a bitmap image), and gradient (which are smooth transitions between two or more colors).
          • Color Sets: These are collections of colors that you can save and load as needed. They can be useful when working on a project with a specific color palette.
    4. Create and edit brushes.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Brushes: Brushes in Adobe Animate are used to create strokes and fills. There are different types of brushes, such as the standard brush for creating solid lines and the blob brush for creating filled shapes. The width tool can be used to adjust the thickness of brush strokes.
        2. Existing and Custom Brushes and Presets: Adobe Animate comes with a set of preset brushes, but you can also create your own custom brushes. Both preset and custom brushes can be saved for future use, providing a quick and easy way to apply consistent styles to your artwork.

Organizing Documents

This objective covers document structure such as layers and managing document structure for efficient workflow.

  1. Use the Timeline panel to organize content in space and time.
    1. Manage and organize layers.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. creating, deleting, locking/unlocking, duplicating, selecting, naming/renaming layers
        2. visibility, outline mode, layer height, rearranging layer folders, Advanced Layers Mode, etc.
    2. Recognize the different types of layers in the Layers panel.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Normal Layer: The standard layer type in Adobe Animate, where most of your artwork and animations will be created. You can draw, import graphics, create symbols, animate, and apply effects to objects on normal layers.
        2. Mask Layer: A layer that hides part of the artwork in the layers below it, creating a “window” through which only a portion of the underlying layers can be seen. This is useful for creating complex visual effects.
        3. Masked Layer: This refers to the layers that are affected by the mask layer above them. The content of these layers will only be visible where it overlaps with the content of the mask layer.
        4. Folder Layer: Adobe Animate allows you to group layers into folders. This helps to keep your project organized, particularly when you have a large number of layers.
        5. Guide Layer: Guide layers are used to create artwork or animations that will help in the design process but won’t appear in the final output. This is useful for creating guidelines, sketching out ideas, or placing reference images.
        6. Camera Layer: Introduced in recent versions of Adobe Animate, the Camera layer allows you to simulate a camera moving around your scene. You can pan, zoom, and rotate the “camera” to create more dynamic and engaging animations.
    3. Manage content over time.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Frames: In Adobe Animate, animations are created by displaying a series of images, or frames, in rapid succession. Each frame represents a specific moment in time, and changing the content of the frames creates the illusion of motion.
        2. Frame Span: This term refers to a series of consecutive frames in the timeline. By adjusting the frame span, you can control the duration of a specific event or action in your animation.
        3. Keyframes: Keyframes in Adobe Animate are frames where a new symbol instance appears or where changes to a symbol instance appear. They define the start and end points of any smooth transition. The content in between keyframes is created by Animate and is called tweening.
  2. Modify layer visibility using transparency and masks.
    1. Adjust a layer’s visibility and transparency.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. hide/show individual layers or groups and adjust transparency
    2. Create, apply, and manipulate masks.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Mask layer
        2. nesting masked layers
        3. animate mask layer

Create and Modify Multimedia Elements

This objective covers core tools and functionality of the application, as well as tools that affect the presentation of document elements.

  1. Use core tools and features to create and modify vector elements.
    1. Create vector graphics using a variety of tools.
      1. Key Tools
        1. Pen Tool: This tool is used for drawing precise paths, using anchor points and direction handles. You can create straight lines and smooth flowing curves, making it ideal for creating complex shapes and outlines.
        2. Pencil Tool: This tool is used for freehand drawing, and it will automatically smooth your lines to create clean, clear shapes. It’s useful for sketching and drawing in a more natural, hand-drawn style.
        3. Paint Brush Tool: This tool is used for freehand painting. Unlike the Pencil tool, which creates paths, the Paint Brush tool creates filled shapes.
        4. Brush Tool: Similar to the Paint Brush tool, this tool is used for freehand drawing and painting. However, it offers more control and customization options, allowing you to adjust the brush size, shape, and texture.
        5. Fluid Brush: This is a newer tool in Adobe Animate that gives artists a more natural and fluid drawing experience, making it easier to create smooth, flowing lines.
        6. Primitive Tools: These tools allow you to quickly create simple geometric shapes, such as rectangles, ovals, and polygons. They’re ideal for creating basic shapes and forms.
        7. Shape Tools: These tools allow you to create and manipulate shapes directly on the stage. You can create rectangles, ovals, and polystars, and you can adjust the attributes of these shapes, such as their color and stroke.
      2. Key Concepts
        1. Fill and Stroke: The fill of a shape refers to the interior color or pattern of the shape, while the stroke refers to the outline of the shape. You can adjust the color, pattern, and thickness of both the fill and the stroke to create a variety of effects in your graphics.
        2. Object Drawing Mode: This is a mode in Adobe Animate that allows you to draw shapes as distinct objects with their own properties, rather than as a part of the overall scene. When Object Drawing Mode is enabled, each shape you draw is self-contained and doesn’t interact with other shapes, making it easier to move, resize, and otherwise manipulate individual shapes without affecting the rest of your graphics.
      Tool help can be found at
    2. Modify and edit vector graphics using a variety of vector tools.
      1. Key Tools
        1. Free Transform Tool: This tool allows you to scale, rotate, skew, or otherwise transform a selected object. You can apply transformations to entire objects or to individual points.
        2. Gradient Transform Tool: This tool allows you to adjust the size, direction, and center of gradients. It’s useful for creating and fine-tuning complex gradient effects.
        3. Width Tool: This tool allows you to adjust the width of strokes, either across the entire stroke or at specific points. It can be used to create variable-width strokes for a more natural, hand-drawn look.
        4. Anchor Point Tools: These tools allow you to add, remove, or modify the anchor points of a path. Anchor points define the shape of a path, and by manipulating them, you can create complex shapes and curves.
        5. Pen Tool: The Pen tool allows for the creation of precise paths using anchor points. Straight lines and smooth flowing curves can be drawn, making it ideal for creating complex shapes and outlines.
        6. Eraser Tool: This tool is used to erase parts of your artwork. You can adjust the size and shape of the eraser, and it can be used on both strokes and fills.
        7. Paint Bucket Tool: This tool is used to fill an enclosed area with a solid color or gradient. If the area is not enclosed, the paint bucket will fill all adjacent areas of the same color.
        8. Ink Bottle Tool: This tool is used to apply a stroke to a fill or to change the properties of an existing stroke, such as its color, thickness, or style.
        9. Selection Tools: These tools allow you to select and manipulate objects or parts of objects. There are several types of selection tools, including the standard Selection tool, the Lasso tool, and the Magic Wand tool, each with their own strengths and use cases.
  2. Add and manipulate text using appropriate settings.
    1. Use type tools to add typography to a project.
      1. Key Tools
        1. Text Tool
        2. point vs. area type
        3. Static Text vs. Dynamic Text vs. Input Text
      2. Key Concepts
        1. Difference between area type, point type, and static vs. dynamic vs. input text must be understood.
    2. Adjust character settings.
      1. Key Settings
        1. font
        2. size
        3. style
        4. alignment
        5. line spacing and indentation
        6. horizontal and vertical type
        7. anti-aliasing settings
    3. Adjust paragraph settings.
      1. Key Settings
        1. Indention
        2. alignment
        3. paragraph spacing
    4. Convert text to graphics.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Convert text to vector using break apart
        2. convert to bitmaps
        3. benefits/disadvantages
    5. Configure Dynamic Text and Input Text areas.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. instance name
        2. font selection
        3. embedding type characters
  3. Make, manage, and manipulate selections.
    1. Make selections using a variety of tools.
      1. Key Tools
        1. Selection tool
        2. Subselection tool
        3. Lasso tool
        4. Magic Wand tool
        5. Polygon tool
    2. Modify and refine selections using various methods.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. selecting multiple objects with selection tools or timeline
        2. moving and grouping objects
        3. Regular Selection tool vs. Subselection tool
    3. Group or ungroup selections.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. grouping/ungrouping selections
        2. modifying grouped objects
        3. entering a group
  4. Use basic techniques to manipulate digital graphics and media within an animation.
    1. Rotate, flip, and transform objects, selections, groups, symbols, or graphical elements.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. transform
        2. align
        3. distribute and spacing
        4. skew and rotate
        5. 3D Translation and 3D Rotation (ActionScript 3.0 only)
    2. Use the camera to modify the view of the document.
      1. Key concepts
        1. add/remove camera
        2. rotate
        3. pan
        4. zoom
        5. tint/color adjustments (ActionScript 3.0 only)
    3. Apply basic auto-correction methods and tools.
      1. Key Tools
        1. optimizing
        2. smoothing
        3. straightening
    4. Modify and edit vector graphics using a variety of techniques.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. converting lines to fill
        2. expanding fill
        3. combining objects with union
        4. intersect
        5. punch
        6. crop
    5. Adjust appearance of objects and selections using various tools.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Fill and Stroke properties
        2. variable width strokes
        3. opacity
        4. Eyedropper tool
        5. vector and pattern brushes
    6. Convert between bitmaps and vectors
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Tracing bitmaps
        2. converting vectors to bitmaps
        3. setting color threshold
        4. minimum area
        5. corner threshold
        6. curve fit
  5. Modify appearance of design elements using effects and graphic styles.
    1. Use Effects to modify symbol instances.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Apply/remove filters
        2. color effects
        3. blending modes
    2. Apply, edit, and manage filters.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Add, remove, apply, delete, and edit filters
  6. Create and modify animations.
    1. Apply and adjust transformations using keyframes.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. types of keyframes
        2. adjusting properties using keyframes such as position
        3. scale
        4. rotation
        5. skew
        6. color
        7. filter
    2. Animate objects using frame-by-frame and tween techniques.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. keyframes
        2. shape, motion, and classic
        3. inverse kinematic (IK) tweens
        4. onion-skinning
        5. morphing
        6. easing
        7. armature
        8. pose
        9. motion editor
        10. motion path
        11. nesting
    3. Modify and manipulate symbols for animation.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. movie clips
        2. graphic
        3. looping options
        4. Frame Picker
        5. when to use different symbol types
        6. understanding that different symbol types have different internal timelines
        7. understanding the relationship between symbol timeline and parent timeline, both dependently and independently
  7. Add interactive or dynamic content to a document.
    1. Add and modify interactive elements to your document.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. buttons, using movie clips for interactivity, and dynamic text
        2. instance naming rules and conventions, etc.
    2. Manipulate interactive text elements using code.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. input text
        2. dynamic text
        3. web fonts (HTML 5 Canvas only)
    3. Add and modify code
      1. Key Concepts
        1. using the Actions panel
        2. using ActionScript or JavaScript depending on document type
        3. button states
        4. Actions Wizard
        5. Code Snippets panel
        6. referencing external content
        7. timeline navigation
  8. Control and configure audio and video in a project.
    1. Incorporate audio into a project.
      1. Key concepts
        1. Audio Sync Options (Start, Event, Stream)
        2. mono
        3. stereo
        4. Left/Right Channel
        5. Fade In/Out
        6. Fade Left to Right/Right to Left
        7. Compression
        8. MP3
        9. Speech
        10. ADPCM
        11. RAW
    2. Incorporate video into a project.
      1. Key concepts
        1. MPEG-4
        2. Adobe Media Encoder
        3. encoding video
        4. bitrate
        5. FLVPlayback component (ActionScript 3.0)
        6. Video component (HTML 5)
        7. Video Import wizard

Publishing Digital Media

This objective covers saving and exporting documents or assets within individual layers or selections.

  1. Prepare content for export to web, screen, and other platforms.
    1. Check document for errors and project specifications.
      1. Key concepts
        1. testing movies
        2. publish settings
        3. accessibility options
        4. hidden layers
        5. animation timing
        6. testing multiple devices
        7. project size in bytes
        8. proofreading text
        9. project dimensions
  2. Export assets from an Animate document.
    1. Save in native file formats for Animate (.fla or .xfl).
      1. Key concepts
        1. Save vs. Save as…
        2. file name and location
        3. saving to CC library
        4. Animate template
    2. Export assets from an Animate document.
      1. Key concepts
        1. video
        2. animated GIF
        3. image sequence
        4. .svg
    3. Publish final documents.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. document publish settings appropriate for the platform
        2. including file location and other settings specific to the platform
        3. SWF
        4. APP
        5. EXE
        6. AIR
        7. HTML5
        8. JS
        9. APK
        10. WebGL
        11. publishing profiles

That’s it!

It’s a lot, of course, but it’s what you need to know to pass the Animate certification exam. Best of luck!

Written by Nat Dunn. Follow Nat on Twitter.