One final tip that I didn't cover during the creation of the animation: You can use the Export command at any time during this process to view how things are working to that point. This feature is especially helpful when animating blends and layers, as it allows you to try different frame rates and layer stacking in order to get the look you want. Just select File > Export, make all your settings, and then click the Browser Preview button at the bottom of the dialog (see Figure 26).
Figure 26 You can use the Browser Preview button at any time to view the progress of your animation in your favorite web browser.
The SWF will open in your preferred browser and run automatically. You can always go back to Illustrator and click Cancel to adjust settings and then export again. Once you have things where you like them, just save the file.
Creating animations with Adobe Illustrator can be an effective way to test interactions while you're working—all without leaving the app. It's a great way to visualize your ideas to see whether they work, before you invest too much time into them. I hope that you find this tutorial useful and even discover new ways to make the process better.