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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 controlling easing using the Motion Editor. If you are following along, just create a simple animation of something moving down or open up Easing_Motion_Editor. fla from the Chapter 01 folder. So here I have a really simple animation. We have the monster moving from near the top of the screen to the bottom of the screen, pretty straightforward. Now we will look at applying easing to this animation to have them speed up as he moves down. So what I am going to do is apply Simple (Slow) Easing. Easing is defined by animation curves. What I am going to do is click on Simple (Slow) in the Eases section and if it's not there you can click the plus icon and click Simple (Slow) then you should see it in there.
And then I am going to click and drag the slider all the way to the left, so it's at -100. Now we will take a look at this animation curve here, now this Easing curve represents a property's value over a period of time, 0 represents the starting point of the property's value or the first property's value on the first frame of the animation. And 100 represents the property's value on the last frame of the animation. So if this happened to be a straight line it would have an even amount of movement between each frame to get to the last frame.
But with easing you have a curved line so it gives a different amount of movement between each frame. Notice that the curve stays pretty low for the first few frames. This means that the outage is going to stay towards its initial value at the beginning in essence moves slower at the beginning and speed up toward the end of the animation. So what I am going to do is scroll up and make sure that Simple (Slow) Easing is applied to the Y property and sure enough it is and if I click on the Y property you can see the easing curve applied.
So notice there is a solid black line where the start and end Property Keyframes are and the actual animation is going to have the values on this animation curve that we see in blue. So instead of just being in equal increments, as the black line shows, the values go up slowly at the beginning and then quickly as the animation proceeds because of the Easing curve applied. So let's see that in action. I am going to test the movie using Command+Return on the Mac, Ctrl+Enter on the PC. So you see the monster gets faster as it falls down.
Let's look at a few other types of Easing. Scroll down in Motion Editor, and then add a new Easing type by clicking that plus icon in the Easing section and then click Bounce, and scroll down and then you can look at the curves in detail for the Bounce Easing, if you click in the empty space next to bounce. So you can see that the value goes all the way up to 100 at frame five, it goes back to on the 0 at about frame nine and then it does this Bounce effect. Now I am going to scroll up to the top and I am going to apply the bouncing animation to the Y property by clicking the drop down menu and choosing Bounce.
Notice the Easing curve applied, so that green dotted line is how the animation is going to work. And if I scrub the playhead, you can see that in action. Test the movie using Command+Return on the Mac, Ctrl+Enter on the PC. So it looks like that the monster is bouncing against near the top of the screen. So using the Motion Editor, you don't have to be stuck with robotic animation. You can adjust the Easing using several different built-in easing methods to make your animation a little more smooth or a little bit more realistic.
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