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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.
Before we get started, I just want to give you a very quick run through of some of the tools that I am going to be using in the program, and the kind of things that I would really like you to know before you start. And I strongly recommend if you haven't ever used Flash before, that you watch one of the Essentials Courses on Flash, and that will get you up to speed on the basic tool set. I do assume an intermediate level of knowledge on this. But during the course of the course, what I am going to do is click on this little gray area here and very quickly show you -- we will go into greater detail in the course, but what you're going to see; the basic workspace layout that I set up during the course, will look a little bit like this. And I will be setting up the Tools panel of two vertical columns, because of course we don't have a lot of room on the screen. And the tools that I will be using during the course with greatest frequency will be the Selection tool, the Subselection tool, and there you can see the shortcuts.
We will be using Free Transform and Gradient Transform a lot. The other tools that we will be using commonly will be the Line tool, and the Rectangle tool, which also contains the Oval tool. I don't really mess with the Rectangle Primitive or the Oval Primitives very much at all. The Brush tool of course, very useful, although I don't use the Spray Brush tool beneath it. We also have the Paint Bucket tool, which we use a lot, as well as the Ink Bottle tool to color the lines. I don't use Bones in this tutorial, and I don't use the Deco tool, or any of the newer features or the newer tweening.
I like to stick with the classic shape tweening and the classic motion tweening, and a lot of animators don't like the newer tools, because they're not quite appropriate for the kind of things that we do for our workflow. The Eyedropper tool is used a lot as well. It's a very useful tool for selecting colors of course. And whenever you see me moving the Stage around -- and I am just going to make a quick temporary shape -- if you ever see this happening, that means I've touched the Hand tool. Obviously, I can't call that out every time I do it. It would just make the course another hour longer. So don't be bothered if you see this happen. And of course, if you see me zooming in, that is of course the Zoom tool.
By clicking or holding on the Alt or Option key, we zoom in and out, or we can draw a box around it. So whenever you see these operations happen, that's exactly what's going on. These functions really become automatic to you when you use the program. If you see me navigating through the Timeline, I am just going to make an empty keyframe down here, and again, we will cover this in a little more detail later on. Whenever you see me moving through the Timeline, this is because I'm clicking on the Comma key and the Period key on the keyboard. They are just to the upper right of your spacebar, and they go back and forth in the Timeline.
So if ever you see this operation happen, that's what's occurring. So it's something that, again, will become muscle memory to you with a little bit of time. The other thing I would like you to understand that from the start is the principle of how to create a symbol. So what I'm going to do is very quickly demonstrate, and again, this will be covered later on. I am going to make a temporary little symbol. When you click on the symbol in the Properties panel, we have different ways of controlling it. Sometimes it will appear as a movie clip, and sometimes it will be a graphic. At all times in this course, you want your symbols to be set to Graphic.
You need to understand the Looping section here. If your symbol is set to the Single Frame, you won't see any of the animation that will be contained in that symbol when you're playing on the Timeline. So be sure that you always set this to Play Once. I will mention the many times in the course, but always somebody forgets. So just a reminder upfront to set it to Loop or Play Once, and I like to have it set to Play Once. That will save you some frustration. I think we've covered most of it. The other thing that might happen from time to time; you will see something like this happen.
This means I've right- clicked on the object. That's all. Again, these won't be called out every single time, because obviously it's a bit of a mouthful. But this is what will be happening. If you see these little pop-up menus, and I think same for the Timeline here, same for symbol, same for symbols on the Stage. It doesn't happen too often, but it's often enough that you should be aware of that happening. One other thing, and that is how the interface operates. We'll begin the course I think pretty much looking like this, but do understand that the interface can be torn apart, and you can drag and drop the different components to different parts of the project.
It only happens, I think, at one point in the course, where I get tired off the color palette constantly popping on and off and I drag it over here. So do be aware, and again, this kind of behavior will be covered in greater detail in one of the Essentials Courses. But it's a very useful attribute to be able to click and drag. By clicking on these little tabs, you can basically drop the window wherever itt works best for your personal workflow. So with that I think we're ready to continue with the course.
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