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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.
In Flash, you can not only create bones with movie clips but you can also add bones to shapes. In this movie we will take a look at how to do that. If you are following along, go ahead and open up Bone_Shapes.fla from the Chapter 3 folder. If you don't have access to the Exercise files, don't worry. You can just use any shape you would like. On the Stage here I am going to double-click the spider to enter in its Timeline. Then I am going to double- click the spider's body. Now that I am in the Body movie clip, there are two layers, Body and Eyes. I have actually already prepared three of the bone shape animation. So I will show you now by testing the movie with Command+ Return on the Mac or Ctrl+Enter on the PC.
One thing you may notice in this animation, other than that it's unbelievably lovable, is that the shapes are very simple. So if I zoom in, I will use the Zoom tool here, you will notice that there aren't any shadows or anything on these shapes like there were in the previous movies. I had to remove those in order to pull off the bone shapes. Another thing you want to look out for when you are creating bone shapes is using a shape that's very complex. See the body here has many different colors and many different vector shapes as part of it. If I were to use bone shapes with that object, Flash would give me a warning message.
So I am not going to do that. I am going to double-click the Eye here on the right to enter its Timeline and add bone shapes to it. Inside of the far right eye, I will select the Bone tool and then click and drag to add bones to the shape, just like it added bones to any movie clip. With my bone system set up, I can move the system around by clicking and dragging just like any other bone system. I will put it back to its original place and now we'll create an animation. Before we create the animation, I am going to delete Layer 1, which is some leftover vector artwork that didn't make the bone system. So I am going to extend the Timeline to frame 10 by selecting frame 10 and then pressing F5 on my keyboard. Then I am going to insert a pose here. Remember that inserting a pose is like inserting a keyframe with a motion tween.
So I am going to right-click or Crtl- click frame 10 and then choose Insert Pose. Now I'll go to frame 5 and then I will move my bone system. So I will select it and then click and drag the top bone up a little bit and have it kind of bend in. I want this effect to be pretty subtle and that looks good. Now I will test the movie to preview the bone system in action. It's important to note that when you create bone shapes, that sometimes Flash doesn't give you the exact results that you need. That's when the Bind tool comes in handy. The Bind tool is hidden in a fly-out menu beneath the Bone tool. With the Bind tool, you can see control points for your shapes and what bones they're connected to. For example, if I use the Bind tool in the selected bone, the associated control points highlight in yellow. To change a control point associated with a shape, you can click and drag from that control point to the bone.
Now when I click the middle bone, the control point I just connected shows up in yellow. That's all there is to creating bone shapes in Flash. You use the Bone tool just like when you create any other bone system and you could refine the bone shapes using the Bind tool.
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