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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 we will look at adding 3D rotation to our animation. If you are following along open up Adding_3D.fla from the Chapter 2 folder. You can also just use any movie clip to follow along. I am going to double click the monster on the Stage to enter its timeline and then we will apply the 3D to the left claw then left arm layers. The first thing I will do is extend the timeline a little bit. Going to go to frame 24 and I will click and drag from frame 24 in the Left Claw all the way down to frame 24 in the Left Arm layer and I will press F5 on my keyboard to extend the timeline. I will create a motion tween for the left claw by right-clicking in the timeline, which is in Create Motion Tween. I will do the same thing for the Left Arm. Right- click or Ctrl-click, Create Motion Tween.
Now I am getting this message here that says, the selected item cannot be tweened. So I am going to cancel that. Basically it just saying that I am not working with the symbol but rather I am working with a group or a shape. So I am going to select the object and sure enough it's a group. So I will convert it to a movie clip with F8 on my keyboard and I will call this LeftArm. Now that's a symbol. I can motion tween it by Right-clicking and choosing Create Motion Tween. Now what I will do is go to frame one and use the 3D Rotation tool to rotate the claw little bit forward. That looks good. Then I will move it down a little bit with the Selection tool and then I will select the arm and then do the same thing.
So using the 3D Rotation tool, I will rotate it a little bit and by the way I am clicking and dragging the orange circle which is kind of the omni rotation. So I can rotate on all axes at once. So I will rotate it a little bit and move it down, into the side a little bit and that looks good. Now I will go to frame 24 and I will finish the animation by moving the claw in front of the monster's face and I will rotate it a little bit more with the 3D Rotation tool. I will move it down a little bit and then I will select the arm and I will do the same thing.
So I am going to rotate it and just make sure that it's at the right angle and then I will move it so that it looks connected to the claw. Now if I test the movie, I can preview the animation. Command+Return on the Mac, Ctrl+Enter on the PC. (Snap, snap, snap, snap.) Now it looks a little bit like the arm is showing behind the claw, which I don't want to happen. So I am going to kind of fine tune that just a little bit and move the claw up on frame one, to the right a little bit and then I will test the movie again.
(Snap, snap, snap, snap, snap, snap, snap.) And that looks good. So I will close the Preview Window and now I am going to do is make the animation loop by using animation curves. I am going to create a bell curve that will make the animation go forward and then in reverse. To do that I will select the Left Claw animation. Go to the Motion Editor, then I will create a custom curve. I will click the plus button in the Eases section to add a Custom Ease. I will click and drag the viewable frame slider so I can see all the frames for my animation and expand my custom ease a little bit.
I will need to do a little bit more room in the Motion Editor. So I am going to pull it up just a little bit. I will select the last control point for my custom ease. So at first I will move the playhead to the last frame. Then I will click on that last control point and drag the slider all the way down to zero. Bring the handles in just a little bit and then I will add a new control point at the 12th frame. So I will hold Command on my keyboard, that's Ctrl on the PC and then click in the 12th frame to add a control point. I will drag the slider all the way up to 100 for this one. So the animation will start at 0%, go to a 100% and then go back to 0%. I will drag the handles in just a little bit to start out the animation a little bit more slowly and then I will apply the curve to my basic motion. I will click the Easing drop- down and then choose my Custom Ease.
Now all I have to do the same thing for the arm animation. So we go to the timeline, select the Arm, click on the animation, move over to the Motion Editor. In the Motion Editor, I will follow the same process. So I will create a new Custom Ease and then I will expand the ease area. Go to the last frame, click on the control point, drag it down to zero. Adjust the handles. Add a new control point at frame 12.
Remember, I am holding Command on my keyboard and Ctrl on the PC and clicking that frame 12 to add one there. Drag that up to the top. Click and drag the control points in and then apply the custom ease to basic motion using the Ease drop-down. Now I will test the movie and watch the animation play forward and then reverse. Command+Return on the Mac, Ctrl+Enter on the PC. (Snap, snap, snap, snap, snap.) Now I will close the Preview window and there is our animation with 3D Rotation. So by animating 3D rotation you can add more realistic effects to your animation. Now remember that you can apply curve to a 3D animation just like any other animation.
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