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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 are going to look at adding shadows to an animation. Here we have our ball monster and it's moving down, that created a shadow animation. You will notice that the easing is off and the shadow animation is on a separate layer. Now what to point out is that whenever you are creating animations using really customized easing, it may be easier like in this situation to turn off all easing first. So I just have the monster at the top and at the bottom. So here my shadow is a movie clip that's pretty simple. I have an Alpha property animating and then I have a Blur filter that's animating as well and I am also animating its scale.
So it scale out a little bit, the Alpha increases and the Blur lowers. I can easily define how we want the animation to be at the beginning or when the monsters is up, I can easily define how I want it to be when the monster is down. So I have my animation created and now all I have to do is apply my Custom easing. So in this file, I actually have the Custom easing created, so I'll select the animation frames, to the Motion Editor and then apply Custom easing for basic motion and that's 2-Custom and for transformation I am going to apply 3-Custom. Then I'll go back to the Timeline, select the animation on the shadow layer, go to the Motion Editor and I am going to apply some Custom easing that I created which is a really sharp bell curve to the Filters properties that's 2-Custom, Alpha property and the Transformation properties.
Now it has got the playhead and with the easing applied the monster moves down and jumps back up, and notice that the shadow looks correct when the monster is down. I'll test the movie to see everything in action. So now there is the shadow applied as the monster jumps. So if you ever want to add shadows or other effects to an animation, you might want to turn off any easing that's applied to the animation and then you can modify the animation based on the start and end properties.
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