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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.
So next is the diving board stagger, and this is somebody jumps off a diving board: boing! This has a lot of different applications. Imagine this is somebody's head, and got clobbered on the side. Like in the old cartoons from the 50's, Tom & Jerry or whatever. It's like, zoing! Like that. So it's not just something that you need to apply to a diving board. So let's have a look inside and see how it's done. So basically what I did was, I created two separate scenes:in one, the diving board is in an up position, and moves into a down position, and in the other the diving board is in a down position, and moves into an up position.
And I used an ease out of 100, so that it gets slower and slower and slower as we approach the loss of energy in the stagger. Then the next step was to create two layers: one layer for the upstate, and one layer for the downstate, and they play once right through, and then I simply deleted the alternate frames. So we go from Frame 1 of the upstate, to Frame 2 of the down, to Frame 3 of the up, to Frame 4 of the down; it plays right through. Now I've been noticing something about the CS5.55 playback, and there is definitely a slight glitch creeping in. I don't know if it's particular to this computer, or this latest version of Flash.
But when I play this, especially with these really fast staggers, I am seeing it, and it's kind of weird. Sometimes I am playing through here, and it's great. Other times it seems to stick. So if you ever see that, and you are a bit bothered by it, just go Control>Test Movie>Test. And it'll probably give you a much more reliable playback, and of course the most reliable playback would be to render your animation as an MOV file or an AVI file. So keep an eye out. It kind of threw me a bit earlier. So the way I have built these planks; I built them kind of to be a little more three-dimensional. So I had three different layers for the front, the side, and the top. So we don't have enough time, honestly, to go through and be that fine tuned with it.
So what I am going to do is rebuild this just using a single plain. It will show you the exact principles of what we are doing here. I just wanted to make it look three- dimensional so that you have a good idea that we're not limited here. You can have multiple layers work together to create these really cool effects. So let's go back to the outer layer. I want to just make the plank go away for a second, and let's just guide him up. And let's make a new layer, so use the Rectangle tool, I am going to make a little plank, and let's give it a little bit of a perspective.
So here is our plank, and it's in the standard, what we would call a zero pose, or a flat pose. Nothing has happened that's interesting, so that's good. Let's hit F8, and we'll call this plank, and let's make this the up state. So I'm going to put the pivot point to the far left, so the natural pivot will be somewhere over here, that makes sens. Even though Flash defaults to there, I wouldn't worry about that right now. Click on that; it's a plank up and let's make our label up. And let's see, before we do anything else let's just make this as clean as we can.
So I'm going to hit F5 just to extend our Timeline 30 frames. And now we will do the down pose. So I will make a new layer, click the keyframe, hold down Alt+Option, and Drag; little plus sign appears over your cursor, and I am going to call the lower layer the down layer. Click on that symbol, right-click, and go Duplicate Symbol, and this will be plank down. Now if I double-click on that, I can hit the final frame. Hit F6, down position will be the first frame. If we imagine that the diver is going to be standing here, and the board is attached to the wall here. So let's have the down position -- just clicking and dragging the points, let me put a slight little curve on it. And now we right-click on the Timeline, and go Create Shape Tween, and I am going to ease out 100.
So back to the main Stage, hide that, and now we are going to the up position. So I am going to hit Frame 30, and keyframe that. Frame 1 would be the maximum up position, with the end framing the settle, of course. Okay, right-click, and go Create Shape Tween, and no tweens were needed on this one. So if you see weird shapes spinning around or the thing doesn't work, then you would apply a shape hint: Control+Shift +H, or Modify>Shape>Add Shape Hint.
A quick word of warning to back up your file, and that's about the 50th time today I've said that. When you apply shape hints, the Flash engine can go strange, and crash on you. Really it's frustrating when you lose a lot of work, especially when you know that you should have backed up your file first. So please back up your file before anyone applies a hint. But that should fix any glitches in the shape tweening. So let's look at these two layers working together. That's kind of interesting. So let's make sure these only play once; right now they're set to loop, so let's click on each one in the Properties panel. Tell him to play once. Bottom one as well, and now when we play back, that's nice.
So now we select all the frames that we are going to animate, or that are closing in on that static pose, and hit F6, and now we simply delete alternate ones. So if somebody was diving off the board, for example, so the diver jumps up, and hits down, then I would expect this to be the first frame that we would see. So let's get rid of the top one first. And I am just going to make this little checkerboard deletion all the way through the Timeline. Click on the ones you don't want, Control+X, and there is the result.
Now I mentioned earlier that little glitch; I am seeing it again, so I'm going to Control>Test Movie>Test. That's nice. Okay, so as you see, that's a really nice simple way to deploy a stagger. And the other thing to bear in mind, and this is where I really love the way these stagger effects in Flash can be set up; if you want to make it longer, you'd simply extend the end state of each of these. And you would simply make more keyframes, and then repeat this little checkerboard pattern. It could have very long slow staggers. In the good old days, drawing by hand, that would have taken a very long time.
So it's super easy to play with these, and have fun with them. I hope you find ways to utilize this particular effect.
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