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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 manipulating a motion tween using the Property inspector. If you are following along, go ahead and open up Property_inspector.fla from the Chapter 01 folder. You would also just create a simple motion tween on the main Timeline. So here what I am going to do is modify the motion tween that I have using a Property inspector by first selecting the motion tween in the Timeline. With the motion tween selected, you can go to the Property inspector and you will see some properties that yon can modify with your animation. First of all we can change the easing. So let's say we wanted to make it look like the monster was speeding up as he was following down. So I can click and drag to the right and that will ease out. So I will make the animation go slower as the monster moves down. I will test the movie right now and that's not the effect we want, we actually want easing and we want it to start out slow and speed up. So I will click and drag this slider to the left to ease in.
So I will test the movie and there is the monster flying, a little bit faster as he moves down. If that easing isn't sufficient for you, don't worry we will look at easing in a lot more detail in a later movie. You can also adjust the Rotation. I am going to first set easing back to 0 using my keyboard and then for the Rotation, I am going to click and drag the time(s) slider to make the monster rotate one time. Now when I click and drag the playhead, you see that he rotates down one time along the path. There is also the plus button that allows you to add additional rotation. If I click and drag the slider, the monster rotates a little bit more to notice that the additional rotation is applied at the end there. So I can select the frames and I can add as much as additional rotation as I want and that applies to the monster at the end of the animation.
You can also control where the Direction is, clockwise or counterclockwise, that's CW or CCW respectively. And you can choose whether you want the animation to orient to a path. To do that I am going to turn off the Rotation, so I will set the Rotation to the 0 and then for the plus value, for additional rotation, I will set the value to 0 and then what I am going to do is modify the Motion Path. So I am going to hover over the Motion Path until I see my cursor update then I will click and drag the Path. Preview the animation to make sure that it's working correctly and then I will click the Orient to path checkbox. Notice that property keyframes are created in every frame of the animation, watch when I test the movie. The monster rotates along the path.
Now lets say I wanted to rotate along the path but have his feet kind of aligned with the path more. So let's say, I select the monster and I still have that Orient to path option checked because I didn't uncheck it. I will rotate the monster so its body is following the path and as I preview the animation, you can watch him rotate. So obviously you can go through each of these frames and adjust any of the Rotation values as you want to. Now I will uncheck Orient to path and I will straighten out the Motion Path a little bit. I will do that with the Selection tool and I will click and drag the Motion Path to straighten it out. Preview the animation, it looks good and it's just that the monster is not straight. So I am going to straighten him out using the Free Transform tool and that looks good.
Now with the tween is still selected I will modify the Motion Path. I can click and drag the Path to move it on the X axis, the Y axis. I can also adjust its height. Notice that I can't adjust its width, that's because this is a vertical path and it doesn't have any thickness to it. So if I were adjusting a horizontal path then I could adjust its width and not its height. So using the Property inspector, you can fine-tune your motion tweens by controlling easing, rotation and the Motion Path.
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