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Animation Tips and Tricks with Flash Professional
Illustration by John Hersey

Animating a simple stagger


From:

Animation Tips and Tricks with Flash Professional

with Dermot O' Connor

Video: Animating a simple stagger

So the first of the staggers that we will cover is the really simple one. This is the one that might be used for a scream or a yell. Here's what it looks like. I've made this very simple face so that you can see how basic a design can be used for it. So I have clicked all the way into the internal scene of this ball, and it consists off 10 frames. They are easing out, or slowing into, this end frame. So there's less of a motion as the action ends. So big movement between here and here, less so between here and here.
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  1. 6m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      51s
    3. Common keystrokes and shortcuts used in this course
      4m 40s
  2. 1h 24m
    1. Understanding video versus SWF
      2m 30s
    2. Overview of shortcuts, extensions, and setup
      6m 27s
    3. Understanding linear and radial gradients
      2m 39s
    4. Overlapping and animating the colors
      3m 53s
    5. Lighting a scene
      10m 24s
    6. Creating lens flares
      10m 40s
    7. Animating ripples
      7m 2s
    8. Creating a gradient globe
      11m 41s
    9. Creating a gradient bottle
      10m 26s
    10. Applying gradients to a character's eye
      10m 2s
    11. Applying gradients to a character's skull
      8m 49s
  3. 56m 53s
    1. Tweening a circle to a square
      10m 9s
    2. Using thumbnails
      4m 39s
    3. Animating a magic carpet jump
      10m 12s
    4. Setting up a magic carpet walk cycle
      7m 41s
    5. Animating a magic carpet walk cycle
      9m 33s
    6. Shape tweening hair
      3m 50s
    7. Intro to overlapping hair
      1m 57s
    8. Animating overlapping hair
      8m 52s
  4. 1h 8m
    1. Animating waves
      8m 7s
    2. Animating clouds
      7m 48s
    3. Animating a flame
      11m 38s
    4. Animating an explosion
      9m 1s
    5. Adding in-betweens to the explosion
      4m 36s
    6. Adding explosion clusters
      6m 43s
    7. Optimizing the explosion
      7m 30s
    8. Animating smoke with particles
      12m 45s
  5. 32m 18s
    1. Introduction to staggers
      1m 5s
    2. Animating a simple stagger
      5m 8s
    3. Animating a diving board
      6m 15s
    4. Animating a tremor
      5m 56s
    5. Animating a scream
      7m 12s
    6. Refining the scream
      6m 42s
  6. 47m 49s
    1. Introduction to Virtual Camera
      5m 4s
    2. Animating parallax
      6m 9s
    3. Animating a crane shot
      6m 26s
    4. Animating a zoom and rotate shot
      9m 30s
    5. Animating a track shot
      11m 0s
    6. Lighting a 3D shot
      9m 40s
  7. 19m 48s
    1. Animating a cross dissolve
      6m 10s
    2. Animating a wipe
      3m 34s
    3. Animating a fadeout
      10m 4s
  8. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

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Animation Tips and Tricks with Flash Professional
5h 16m Intermediate Aug 09, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Overlapping and animating colors
  • Creating lens flares
  • Animating hair with shape tweens
  • Animating an explosion
  • Animating smoke with particles
  • Animating a scream
  • Using Virtual Cam
  • Lighting a 3D shot
  • Animating cross dissolves
Subjects:
3D + Animation Animation
Software:
Flash Professional
Author:
Dermot O' Connor

Animating a simple stagger

So the first of the staggers that we will cover is the really simple one. This is the one that might be used for a scream or a yell. Here's what it looks like. I've made this very simple face so that you can see how basic a design can be used for it. So I have clicked all the way into the internal scene of this ball, and it consists off 10 frames. They are easing out, or slowing into, this end frame. So there's less of a motion as the action ends. So big movement between here and here, less so between here and here.

Because we're using motion tweening and shape tweening, we are kind of sadly restricted to the tweening options of the shape tweening world, which is ease in and ease out, from 1 to 100. So we have to follow along, or things will slide out of position. I've put down a numbers layer here. It'll make it easier for us to follow along. I use this as a temporary device. So actually what I'm going to do, I'll use this later, I am going to copy those frames, save us some time. So this is like a single simple action. And then on the outer layer what I've done is made a series of keyframes that are calling on the internal Timeline.

So the first one is looking for, and you can see down here in the looping options, Frame 1. If I click on the second one, Frame 2. I'm using the Comma key and the Period key to go through frame by frame. The third is Frame 3, and next is Frame 2 -- actually what I'll do, this will be quicker. I'm going to guide out the number layer. So we're going 1, 2, 3; 2, 3, 4; 3, 4, 5; 4, 5, 6; 5, 6, 7; 6, 7, 8; 7, 8, 9; 8, 9, 10; 9, 10, and that creates the stagger. We have basically staggered the timing.

So now that that's done, we can go back into our figure. I'm just housekeeping, guide out that number again, and now you can see it without the number distracting you. So what I'm going to do is a simple demonstration of how easy this is from scratch. So let's create our symbol, and I'm going to select the Oval tool, and just create a simple shape. It's got a red outline, I'm going to give it a black one. And let's see some of them can color for the face, so let's push that here, and I'm going to select F8, and I'll call it stagger. And inside this make a second keyframe on Frame 10, and that will be the stretch position.

So bring that up; I'm going to use Shift+Arrow key to stretch it up, and you can make any transformation we think we can justify on this. And we are shape tweening, so we don't have to just squash and stretch. We can mutate the shape a little bit, so I'm going to click between these two keys, and go Create Shape Tween. And if you have, like, an unpleasant tweening, just maybe put some shape hints on, or just start from scratch until you get some pleasing shape transition that you want. And I'll make sure that this is easing out 100, so that were slowing in to this end state here.

Okay, that's that. So on the outer Timeline let's make another symbol. I'll click on this. This is the stagger symbol, and I want to keep it nested inside yet another symbol. So I'll call this one stagger action. I want to do a quick cheat; earlier I copied the number frames on the previous one, so you might want to just make your own by using the Text tool, and just laying down whatever numbers you think you'll need to see. You don't need to watch me typing in numbers, so here we go.

Switch off the guide, so that we can actually see it, and now I'm going to make a series of keyframes and this stagger was going to go, let's see how many we need, probably a few. It's going to go, 1, 2, 3; 2, 3, 4; 3, 4, 5; 4, 5, 6; 5, 6, 7; 6, 7, 8; 7, 8, 9; 8, 9, 10; 9, 10. It's the kind of thing you need to do undisturbed. If someone is talking to you, you'll probably get it wrong. So let me remove these surplus frames, set to loop. Well, we can make it play once. And I'm just going to hit F6 for all of these, and then the fun part, make sure that we have the numbers. So it's 1, 2, 3; this should be 2. Here is the beauty of having our number -- this is very hard to do if you don't have a little temporary number guide to help you along the way.

So I'll stop talking now; 1, 2, 3; 2, 3, 4; 3, okay, nice. So let's go into the screaming head, and guide out the numbers, and have a look. That's it, and let's say Control>Test Movie; if I test the movie, I'll be seeing more than that, so let me guide out the ball there.

I think you'd find that handy, like I said for screams. I'm sure there's other applications. I think people have used some stuff like this for laugh effects, mechanical recoiling effects, so keep it in mind. Don't overuse these staggers. Overuse can get old really quick, so I tend to keep them for things that really demand them.

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