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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 this movie we will look at animating bone systems. On the Stage here I have a spider and, by the way, if you are following along you can open up Animating_Bones.fla from the Chapter_ 03 folder. You can also just create a spider type movie clip on the Stage. So I am going to double click the movie clip, and here we have three layers: body, and legs, and shadow. So let's take a look at the legs. The legs are actually instances of the same movie clips and that movie clip is called "Leg Animation." So now we are going to do is animate the leg inside of that movie clip and that animation will apply to all the legs of the spider. So I am going to double click the leg in the front. Now I am going to use the Zoom tool, zoom-in and I am going to create an Armature animation. To do that, the first thing I am going to do is use the Bone tool and then define my bone system.
So I am going to start from the inside of the leg where its connected to the body, click and drag to where the leg bends and then I am going to click and drag again to basically the foot area. So now I have two layers. I am going to delete the empty layer and I have my Armature layer here. Now what I will do is animate the Armature. So you are going to go to Frame 5 and then I am going to use the Selection tool and then click and drag to move the bone. Notice here that the bone is kind of misaligned, what I am going to do is move the first bone up a little bit and then I am going to hold the Command key and then I can move the leg bone.
Also what I am going to do is hold the Command key and move the big leg bone out to the left a little bit. So, of course, to make up for that I'll need to move this smaller leg bones as well, okay. So there I have my animation and then I am going to make the animation of the leg coming back in. So I am going to go to Frame 8. I am going to bend the leg back up in a little. I am going to hold Command on my keyboard and that is Ctrl on the PC and then move the leg in. Then I will go to the last frame of the animation and move the leg up and then I hold Command on my keyboard to move the leg right where I want.
Now I am going to test the movie to preview the animation, Command+Enter on the Mac, Ctrl+Enter on the PC. So looks like the animation looks pretty good except for those parts where the back of the leg is sticking now. So I am going to find those parts. It looks like its sticking out on Frame 8. So I hold the Command on my keyboard and then move the short leg to cover that up and I will preview the other frames and that looks good. So I will test the movie again. It looks like all the legs are moving okay now.
So whenever you create an Armature you can animate it by just moving the play head to the appropriate keyframe and then moving the Armature however you would like, if you need to fine-tune your Armature animation you can hold Command or Ctrl on the keyboard and then click and drag to move the different parts of your armature.
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