Fireworks animation - Illustrator Tutorial

An often overlooked feature of Illustrator is the ability to create Flash animations (without needing Flash). We are going to make a fireworks display to celebrate the 4th of July.

Basic Illustrator knowledge is assumed for this tutorial.

  1. Draw a small dot using the ellipse tool and fill it with a light blue color. Make a bigger dot above the first one.
  2. Go to 'Object > Blend > Blend Options' and use the following settings. Select both dots and go to 'Object > Blend > Make Blend'
  3. Draw a path with the pen tool to make a small arc next to your blend. The stroke and fill of your path do not matter.
  4. Select your path and your blend of dots and go to 'Object > Blend > Replace Spine'. This will make your blend follow the path.
  5. Copy your bigger dot ('ctrl+c' to copy, then 'ctrl+f' to paste in front), create a new layer, and move your new dot to the new layer. I will call this dot3 from now on. Hide layer 1 for now by clicking the eye next to the layer in the Layers window.
  6. Click the little arrow in the Symbols window (see below). Select the 'Nature' symbol collection.

    Grab and drag the 'Snowflake' symbol on to your canvas. Place the middle of the snowflake on top of dot3.
  7. With your snowflake symbol still selected, go to 'Flter > Distort > Pucker & Bloat' and use the following settings:
  8. Select dot3 and the snowflake and blend them: 'Object > Blend > Make Blend'. Now unhide layer 1 and you should see the result below. In the next step, you will duplicate everything.
  9. Select and copy everything and flip it horizontally (Go to 'Object > Transform > Reflect' and for 'Axis' select "Vertical'). Now select your new snowflake object (called 'Snowflake 2' by default) and the 'Symbol stainer' tool (circled in red below). Select a shade of red and click the snowflake symbol to change it's color to red. Now select your copied blend of dots and give each dot a red fill.
  10. Now you have another firework that is red and goes in the opposite direction. I hid all of the blue firework objects to make it easier to see the red.
  11. Here is the final result before animation. I made the dot blends a little smaller (optional). Arrange your objects in to 4 layers like so: layer 4 - red snowflake blend layer 3 - blend of red dots layer 2 - blue snowflake blend layer 1 - blend of blue dots The order of layers will determine the sequence of the animation.
  12. Go to 'File > Export', type in "animation" for the file name, then for 'Format' select "Macromedia Flash (*.SWF)"

    Use these settings. Things you need to change are circled in red. Basically, what you're doing is converting each blend into it's individual steps so we can display one step in each frame of the animation.
  13. Open up the HTML file that Illustrator created (in our case "animation.html") and enjoy.



i wanted to send my friends 4th of july fireworks (animated) through gmail. but when i saw this i was EXTREMELY confused. can u help me? i need the fireworks by today


If I want the 2 dots to explode at the same time what should I change?
Thank you for this.

jai shri ram

koee nahi

Hey thanks for the tut. I'm

Hey thanks for the tut. I'm having trouble animating it nor painting it in CS3. Is there a missing step? also, I tried to export it but no animation, am I missing something?

me again

answered my own question. i didn't see the export layers to frames. ty great tut


i really need this...^___^


super job dude its look very nice antimations keetup rocking work

thx... just what i needed:

thx... just what i needed: simple fireworks for my x-mas cards!!! thanks

merry x-mas

Very nice tutorial but i'm

Very nice tutorial but i'm having trouble distorting the snowflake. When the snowflake is selected and i go to distort the pucker and bloat is not clickable.

Effect Menu

Use Effect > Distort & Transform > Pucker & Bloat instead, nice tut! :)


hey dats cool i do not know dat we can use animation in illustrator... thanks for giving such a good idea....

losssssser ass


a. Either way will work b)

a. Either way will work
b. You are an idiot

you dont have to reply to

you dont have to reply to those stupid bastards, with a lower existence, that dont aport anything to anyone and... pfff sorry i lost myself xD, i just hate him xD, your tutorial is cool bro!.

Good tutorial.....i like it.

Indeed a nice tutorial on swf exporting. If the Flash is not installed on our system then we can use this technique to create small animations. But usually the file sizes of such files are quite large than those created genuinely in Flash. Anyways a cool tutorial. Thanks.

Honestly, I don't know if

Honestly, I don't know if it's a very useful technique in the real world. But it was fun, no?

how do you get the animation

how do you get the animation to repeat?


check off the looping button when you export it.

in step 12, check the

in step 12, check the checkbox "looping"

Very Kewl!

Thats awesome.. thanks for the instructions! I'll have to try it!

Cool. I had no idea u could

Cool. I had no idea u could do animation in Illustrator

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