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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'll look at powerful way that you can recycle movie clips by converting them to graphics symbols. If you are following along you can open up Graphic_Symbols.fla from the Chapter_01 folder. You can also just create a few different movie clips on the Stage that contain animations. If I test the movie you'll see a bunch of monster jumping down at the exact same time. So let's say I wanted to mix up this starting frame of the animation of these monsters. One of the easiest ways to do that is by using graphics symbols instead of movie clips. But I have already used movie clip so that it can have animations on one frame, but one thing you can do in Flash is tell Flash to treat a symbol as another symbol type.
So what I am going to do is I am going to select one of the animations, I'll select the one on the right, I'll go to Properties inspector and there is a drop down that says Movie Clip and that's what type Flash is treating the symbol as. I am going to click the drop down and change it to Graphic. Now keep in mind that I am not changing the symbols type, I am just changing the instance type that Flash would treat this object as. The great thing about graphics symbols is that you can control the frame of the graphic symbol starts on. So what I am going to do is open up the Looping drop down in the Properties inspector and I am going to leave the option set to Loop. Instead of the first frame being Frame 1, you can have the first frame be Frame 6, so now the one on the right starts at the 6th frame. Then what I am going to do is select the monster on left, set it to Graphic have its first frame be Frame 12. I'll select the monster in the middle, change it to a graphic have its frame be Frame 1.
So now I have randomized to just a little bit and what you need to do with graphic symbols is extend the main timeline to accommodate the frames and the symbol. So I am going to do is select frame 18, because I know that there are 18 frames in my animation. Now I'll press F5 on my keyboard to extend the timeline to that point. Now I'll test the movie and preview the animation. Now the monsters are all jumping at different time. So by treating movie clips as graphics symbols, you can get a sense of randomness to your animations instead of having all the animations playing unison.
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