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Animation Tips and Tricks with Flash Professional
Illustration by John Hersey

Adding in-betweens to the explosion


From:

Animation Tips and Tricks with Flash Professional

with Dermot O' Connor

Video: Adding in-betweens to the explosion

Now we are taking the original little smoke cloud that we did from the previous section and adding some extra frames to slow down the animation a little bit. This gives the cloud a little more mass. I find when I do these that number one alteration I have to make is I need to add some in-betweens. So it was easy enough to make the change on this level, of course. All I had to do is go in here and hit F5 to make that longer. I am going to copy this layer by Alt+ dragging, and I'll show you what the first pass of this process looked like. So, I want to remove the in-between frames that I've created for this to take us back pretty much to where we were in the previous section.
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  1. 6m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      51s
    3. Common keystrokes and shortcuts used in this course
      4m 40s
  2. 1h 24m
    1. Understanding video versus SWF
      2m 30s
    2. Overview of shortcuts, extensions, and setup
      6m 27s
    3. Understanding linear and radial gradients
      2m 39s
    4. Overlapping and animating the colors
      3m 53s
    5. Lighting a scene
      10m 24s
    6. Creating lens flares
      10m 40s
    7. Animating ripples
      7m 2s
    8. Creating a gradient globe
      11m 41s
    9. Creating a gradient bottle
      10m 26s
    10. Applying gradients to a character's eye
      10m 2s
    11. Applying gradients to a character's skull
      8m 49s
  3. 56m 53s
    1. Tweening a circle to a square
      10m 9s
    2. Using thumbnails
      4m 39s
    3. Animating a magic carpet jump
      10m 12s
    4. Setting up a magic carpet walk cycle
      7m 41s
    5. Animating a magic carpet walk cycle
      9m 33s
    6. Shape tweening hair
      3m 50s
    7. Intro to overlapping hair
      1m 57s
    8. Animating overlapping hair
      8m 52s
  4. 1h 8m
    1. Animating waves
      8m 7s
    2. Animating clouds
      7m 48s
    3. Animating a flame
      11m 38s
    4. Animating an explosion
      9m 1s
    5. Adding in-betweens to the explosion
      4m 36s
    6. Adding explosion clusters
      6m 43s
    7. Optimizing the explosion
      7m 30s
    8. Animating smoke with particles
      12m 45s
  5. 32m 18s
    1. Introduction to staggers
      1m 5s
    2. Animating a simple stagger
      5m 8s
    3. Animating a diving board
      6m 15s
    4. Animating a tremor
      5m 56s
    5. Animating a scream
      7m 12s
    6. Refining the scream
      6m 42s
  6. 47m 49s
    1. Introduction to Virtual Camera
      5m 4s
    2. Animating parallax
      6m 9s
    3. Animating a crane shot
      6m 26s
    4. Animating a zoom and rotate shot
      9m 30s
    5. Animating a track shot
      11m 0s
    6. Lighting a 3D shot
      9m 40s
  7. 19m 48s
    1. Animating a cross dissolve
      6m 10s
    2. Animating a wipe
      3m 34s
    3. Animating a fadeout
      10m 4s
  8. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

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Animation Tips and Tricks with Flash Professional
5h 16m Intermediate Aug 09, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author Dermot O' Connor introduces a variety of real-world issues that animators commonly encounter and offers practical solutions to them in Flash. The course covers how to apply gradients to create subtle texture and light characters, reducing the flat look of most cartoons; how to simulate natural phenomenon such as wind, fire, and clouds; how to mimic 3D space; and how to add fades and transitions to create custom cuts between scenes. The course also includes a look at staggers, which can be used to create camera shake, tremor effects, and extreme character reactions.

Topics include:
  • Overlapping and animating colors
  • Creating lens flares
  • Animating hair with shape tweens
  • Animating an explosion
  • Animating smoke with particles
  • Animating a scream
  • Using Virtual Cam
  • Lighting a 3D shot
  • Animating cross dissolves
Subjects:
3D + Animation Animation
Software:
Flash Professional
Author:
Dermot O' Connor

Adding in-betweens to the explosion

Now we are taking the original little smoke cloud that we did from the previous section and adding some extra frames to slow down the animation a little bit. This gives the cloud a little more mass. I find when I do these that number one alteration I have to make is I need to add some in-betweens. So it was easy enough to make the change on this level, of course. All I had to do is go in here and hit F5 to make that longer. I am going to copy this layer by Alt+ dragging, and I'll show you what the first pass of this process looked like. So, I want to remove the in-between frames that I've created for this to take us back pretty much to where we were in the previous section.

So the first thing that I would have done was simply to take each of the frames, and hit F5 to add an empty placeholder. This is now moving at half the speed that it was. Now bear in mind that the frame rate of this project is 30 frames a second, so when we take these frames and expand them, what we are doing is making it effectively play at 15 frames a second, because each image is being held for two frames rather than one. So it's slows down the speed, and gives us some more mass, but it also makes it chuck.

And the solution is to draw these in-between frames. So this is one of the in-betweens, this is another, this is another, and another, so on. And that's the action smoothed out by doing these in-between frames. So what I am going to do is show you the process of creating an in-between frame. If you have your access to these files, you can follow along. If not, any shape will do, actually. You can quickly rough in any two cloud shapes, and then see what the process is. At least this is the process that I use; there is different ways of doing it. I find that if I want to get from this frame to here, I need to add an in-between frame that's going to go in this slot. I need to place these things on layers, so that I can see where I'm going from, and where I am going to.

So I am going to click on the second frame, hold on the Alt or Option key, and drag it up, and then over. And I am going to hit F7, here and here, here and here. And so the only layers that I have active are the lower frame in outline red, the upper frame in outline green, and the in-between frame which I am going to draw here. So let's select the black color, and effectively it amounts to this: drawing lines between lines. And this is how animators did effects in the good old days, or the bad old days if you prefer, when everything was done by hand. And you might say, "Well, why am I doing this by hand?" Well, there are times when it's handy to be able to do particular effects on a frame by frame case, and you simply can't get results that are very hard to achieve if you are working entirely digitally. And of course I will stress again, I am doing these somewhat clunky little drawings with a cramped little mouse, but again just to show the fact that it can be done without any fancy equipment.

So the next thing to do is just to fill this with the right color. So I am going to select the Eyedropper, and that's the inner gray there. Let's hide everything except the layer we want to paint, and let's paint those. That's our in-between frame. Next step is take the in-between and drop it into place. And then just do some housekeeping and drag all these empty frames away. You might want to keep these two layers here as placeholders. So let's have a look at how that plays.

So that is the process. I didn't say it was going to be quick or fun, but you repeat this process for all of these transitions. And I find, with a really nice effect smoke cloud, the reason why this is worth doing is I use them a lot. If I have a little library of four or five smoke explosions, I can get enormous mileage out of this. I'll polish it, I'll clean it up, I'll add more details to it. You'll see this in the next section: how we can take this existing smoke ring, which we have now doubled in duration, and how we're going to improve it, and really make it look like a lot more than you're seeing right now.

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