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Flash CS4 Professional Tools for Character Animation
Illustration by John Hersey

Converting animations to ActionScript code


From:

Flash CS4 Professional Tools for Character Animation

with Todd Perkins

Video: Converting animations to ActionScript code

In Flash CS4 you can copy motion tween data as ActionScript 3.0 code. The reason why that is useful is because it allows you to apply animations to multiple objects while the Flash movie is playing. In this movie we'll take a look at how to do that and before we start I just want you to be aware that this is really going to be of most use to people who already know and work with ActionScript code. If you are following along go ahead and open up ActionScript_Animation.fla in the Chapter 01 folder. If you don't have the exercise files just create a motion tween on the Stage. So what I am going to do is right-click or Ctrl-click my motion tween and then I'll choose Copy Motion As ActionScript 3.0. Now the ActionScript 3.0 code is in the pasteboard so what I am going to do is create a new layer, I am going to name the new layer actions, I am going to select the first frame of the actions layer and open up the Actions panel by choosing Window > Actions.
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  1. 2m 44s
    1. Welcome
      42s
    2. Using the example files
      46s
    3. Getting into this course
      1m 16s
  2. 39m 5s
    1. Reviewing motion tweens
      2m 32s
    2. Adjusting motion tweens in the Property Inspector
      3m 55s
    3. Working property keyframes
      5m 18s
    4. Controlling easing in the Motion Editor
      3m 28s
    5. Creating custom easing in the Motion Editor
      4m 36s
    6. Squashing and stretching with custom easing
      5m 33s
    7. Adding shadows
      2m 6s
    8. Encapsulating animations
      2m 39s
    9. Randomizing animations with graphic symbols
      2m 16s
    10. Stretching animations
      1m 31s
    11. Saving for previous versions of Flash
      1m 50s
    12. Converting animations to ActionScript code
      3m 21s
  3. 19m 43s
    1. Adding a perspective shadow
      3m 40s
    2. Nesting animations
      4m 26s
    3. Syncing audio
      4m 8s
    4. Adding 3D rotation
      5m 38s
    5. Using 3D layers
      1m 51s
  4. 17m 9s
    1. Animating a bone system
      3m 22s
    2. Adding easing to an armature animation
      1m 39s
    3. Creating complex armature animations
      2m 25s
    4. Creating bounce
      2m 53s
    5. Adding bones to shapes
      3m 19s
    6. Adding 3D animation to a spider
      2m 19s
    7. Creating interactive bones
      1m 12s
  5. 19m 2s
    1. Animating masks
      4m 3s
    2. Animating masked content
      5m 7s
    3. Creating shadows with masks
      4m 29s
    4. Creating an iris effect using masks
      5m 23s
  6. 7m 30s
    1. Saving motion presets
      1m 43s
    2. Exporting and importing motion presets
      3m 19s
    3. Applying and adjusting motion presets
      2m 28s
  7. 11m 40s
    1. Understanding walk cycles
      2m 45s
    2. Creating a walk cycle
      5m 16s
    3. Adding body movement
      3m 39s
  8. 19s
    1. Goodbye
      19s

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Flash CS4 Professional Tools for Character Animation
1h 57m Intermediate Oct 28, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Encapsulating and nesting animations
  • Randomizing movement with graphic symbols
  • Converting animations to ActionScript or previous Flash versions
  • Creating an iris effect
  • Saving, adjusting, and applying motion presets
  • Adding body movement to walk cycles
Subjects:
3D + Animation Web Animation Character Animation
Software:
Flash Professional
Author:
Todd Perkins

Converting animations to ActionScript code

In Flash CS4 you can copy motion tween data as ActionScript 3.0 code. The reason why that is useful is because it allows you to apply animations to multiple objects while the Flash movie is playing. In this movie we'll take a look at how to do that and before we start I just want you to be aware that this is really going to be of most use to people who already know and work with ActionScript code. If you are following along go ahead and open up ActionScript_Animation.fla in the Chapter 01 folder. If you don't have the exercise files just create a motion tween on the Stage. So what I am going to do is right-click or Ctrl-click my motion tween and then I'll choose Copy Motion As ActionScript 3.0. Now the ActionScript 3.0 code is in the pasteboard so what I am going to do is create a new layer, I am going to name the new layer actions, I am going to select the first frame of the actions layer and open up the Actions panel by choosing Window > Actions.

In the Actions panel I am going to press Command+V on the Mac or Ctrl+V on the PC to paste the code that Flash copied for me. You'll notice that when you paste the code in Actions panel there is a lot of code. This code contains all the information about your animation. If you want to apply this animation to another object you need to uncomment the code, which in my code is on lines 38. It's the one that has the word addTarget in it. Now before we do that I am going to create another instance on the Stage so I am going to close the Actions panel, I'll delete the animation layer and I'll create a new layer and in the new layer I am going to drag an instance of the monster on to the Stage.

Now what I am going to need to do is giving instance name to the monster so this is going to be a movie clip. So I'll select the monster, go to Properties inspector and give it in an instance name by clicking on the Instance Name field and I'll called this, monster, all lower case. Now I'll go back to the Actions panel. I'll select the first keyframe of the actions layer and then press Options+F9 on the Mac or F9 on the PC to open the Actions panel. Now I am going to go to line 38 in my code. Remember it's the one which says addTarget and then I am going to delete the two forward slashes at the beginning of the code.

Forward slashes in ActionScript indicate a comment or it disables a line of code from being run in the Flash Player. So by deleting the forward slashes we are causing this block of code to run. The area that we're really concerned with is the brackets and instance name goes here so I am going to select all of that, I am going to delete it and I am going to replace that with the instance name of the monster on the Stage which is just monster. Then from there we have a number, which is 0 right now, which identifies how many times the animations will play. So I'm going to leave that at 0 for now and I am going to test the animation in the Flash Player. And there is the bouncing monster.

Now the great thing about this feature is that you can apply this to as many audits as you want when you create them using ActionScript. So all you have you do to copy an animation and apply with ActionScript is right-click or Ctrl-click the animation in the timeline, choose to copy the motion as ActionScript 3.0 and uncomment the addTarget line and put you instance name in the parenthesis.

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