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The animation tools have been greatly enhanced in Flash CS4, and Todd Perkins teaches their advanced capabilities in Flash CS4 Professional Tools for Character Animation. He shows how to master the new Motion Tween model and the Motion Editor to control easing and effects such as Squash and Stretch. He demonstrates how to use the new 3D tools to add rotation, perspective shadows, and layered animations. Complex interactive animations and walk cycles are created without a line of code using bone systems. Todd also demonstrates the power of advanced masking, sound effect syncing, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now what we are going to do is add some simple 3D animation to make the spider walk forward. If you are following along, go ahead and open up Adding_3D.fla from the Chapter 3 folder. If you don't have the Exercise Files, you can just use any movie clip. What I am going to do is extend the Timeline to frame 100. Then I am going to create a motion tween in the layer on the main Timeline. On frame 1, I am going to move the spider down a little bit and then I am going to zoom it out using its Z-positioning. So I am going to click and drag that Z slider in the Property inspector to the right and zoom out the spider a whole bunch and about 1000 should do.
I will move it over to the right just a little bit and then what I am going to do is go to the end of the animation and zoom this spider in using its same Z property until the spider is off the Stage. That looks pretty good! So let's test the movie, Command+Return on the Mac, Ctrl+Enter on the PC. And there is the spider walking forward. Notice because of the 3D effect, it's walking forward a little bit faster when it's closer and slower when it's further away. So what I am going to do is give the spider an even pace by using easing. So I am going to select the animation, go to the Motion Editor, apply the Simple (Slow) easing to our Basic Motion.
Then I am going to define the Simple (Slow) easing to ease out. That way the spider will slow down as it gets closer to us or closer to the screen and the animation will appear more smooth throughout. So I will test the movie, again with Command+Return or Ctrl+Enter. There is the animation of the spider walking. Now remember if you feel like the spider is moving too fast, you can always click and drag the last frame to extend the animation. I will test the movie again; spider is moving a little bit more slowly now.
So with the 3D tools in Flash, you can combine 3D effects with your bone animation effects to add some more life and depth to your animations.
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