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Tween types: Shape vs. motion

From: Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation

Video: Tween types: Shape vs. motion

So as you may know, there are two ways of creating animation in Flash: shape tweening and motion tweening. And in this chapter, we are going to cover and compare both of these systems and see some of the strengths and the weaknesses of each of those. So, if you've opened from a previous Flash file, you may be in this layout with a tall timeline, but right now, we are going to try some animation. So let's switch our workspace back to the more animation friendly timeline that I have set up, and here we go. So let's create one layer for our tween animation and we will make one for the shape.

Tween types: Shape vs. motion

So as you may know, there are two ways of creating animation in Flash: shape tweening and motion tweening. And in this chapter, we are going to cover and compare both of these systems and see some of the strengths and the weaknesses of each of those. So, if you've opened from a previous Flash file, you may be in this layout with a tall timeline, but right now, we are going to try some animation. So let's switch our workspace back to the more animation friendly timeline that I have set up, and here we go. So let's create one layer for our tween animation and we will make one for the shape.

So we will call the top one motion tween, and the bottom one shape for shape tween. So let's make an object that we can motion tween. Now to do that, if you create, for example, a box or a column on the stage, this won't motion tween. There has to be a symbol first. So let's select all that. Hit F8 and let's call it box. It's pivoted around the middle. If this was like an upper arm or an upper leg, we'd pivot it here. So let's just make a simple motion tween.

So we can hit F5 to extend our timeline and maybe hit F6 here. That will make a second keyframe, and now we want this to motion tween. So we'll go Insert > Classic Tween. We are not going to use the new Motion Tween. We are staying away from that. This course will work entirely with classic tweening because we have a finer level of control over this process. Now, we take the second keyframe, and just move it around. This is, obviously, the most simple kind. Just translating or moving the object from left to right.

We can rotate the object and that will also be created very easily. We can squash the object. Let's make it closer so we can see the squashing a little more easily. So as you can see, there is a lot we can do with this, but the big disadvantage is it's still parallel lines. We can't take this and distort it wildly. We can't turn the square into a sphere.

So let's do a comparison with shape tweening. I am going to create a similar object, just a box shape, and let's make a second keyframe. I am hitting F5 out here but this time I am not going to make a box. I am going to make a completely different symbol. Let's do the Oval tool and just make a sphere. Then select our timeline. Insert > Shape Tween. Now we can transform something as radical as a square into a sphere and indeed we can do far more complex objects than this. This is something that you really have to play with yourself, but I have shape tweens, astonishingly complicated objects.

Now, the problem that you'll see immediately is that the corner, this point if you follow it, it's moving in this direction, not really the way you would want. Even if you were to center at the sphere, there's a pretty good chance of it, and it really won't do exactly what we need. So even, for example, this point here is moving to a nine o'clock position. So let's see if we can play with that. So you go into Modify > Shape > Add Shape Hint.

This gives us the letter, A, and the more of these hints you make, the more they are lettered sequentially. A, B, C, D. So let's drag the A to the corner that we want to correct. Then we move to our second keyframe and drag the A to the point that we want that point to move to. We have a little bit of unusual behavior. So this is what drives people crazy about shape tweening. Things can happen that are unpredictable and erratic. This is the point where most people simply give up and go, "Oh, this is no good." So let's stick with it.

I am going to move the A to different point, and now you see the problem is solved. So this is why you should stick with shape tweening and not give up on it and you have to have a little bit of patience, but it's worth it. So let's make a second point. Modify > Shape > Add shape Hint and this time we will try this corner. As you can see, with just those two, we can already morph and tween a square into a sphere. So, a quick recap of the pros and cons of both of these systems with motion tweening.

This is one of the issues you see with shape tweening. The redraw of the A, Bs and Cs is a little peculiar sometimes. If that happens, you just right-click on the A or the B and go Hide Hints. So the pros and cons of motion tweening, it's stable. You can throw this symbol around. It's not going to turn. It's not going to go nuts. It's always going to do what you more or less tell it to do. The disadvantage is you can rescale it, you can squash it, or you can skew it, but you cannot turn a square into a sphere or a donut.

With shape tweening, you have the advantage of flexibility. You can take a square, turn it into a circle or any number of objects, depending on how aggressive you are with your hands in your tweening. The disadvantage of shape tweening, you have already seen, it can be erratic. It can require a little bit of tender loving care to make it do what you want it to do. Sometimes I have on rare occasions thought, okay, this is not going to work. This shape is something too complex. But for the kind of things we are going to do in this course, shape tweening is ideal. So that said, we are going to show you a system where you can take the strengths of shape tweening, combine them with the strengths of motion tweening, and nest your shape tweening inside a motion tween symbol.

This will help us to offset some of the disadvantages of motion tweening and the disadvantages of shape tweening to create some really cool effects.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation
Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation

83 video lessons · 21249 viewers

Dermot O' Connor
Author

 
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  1. 3m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
    3. Prerequisites
      1m 37s
  2. 34m 58s
    1. Creating Flash-friendly character design
      4m 57s
    2. Animation rendering: SWF or AVI
      2m 24s
    3. Understanding line tool drawbacks when animating
      7m 7s
    4. Using uniform project scales in Flash
      3m 40s
    5. Finding helpful extensions for Flash
      2m 46s
    6. Using commands and keyboard shortcuts
      9m 53s
    7. Setting up your workspaces
      4m 11s
  3. 1h 35m
    1. Understanding character rigging
      2m 0s
    2. Exploring underlying structure in character rigging
      4m 27s
    3. Vectorizing the character body
      6m 22s
    4. Outlining colors in an animated character
      6m 15s
    5. Vectorizing the hands
      6m 43s
    6. Vectorizing the head
      4m 47s
    7. Outlining the head
      8m 20s
    8. Adding finishing touches with hair
      2m 11s
    9. Colorizing the character head
      7m 28s
    10. Colorizing the body
      5m 33s
    11. Applying gradients
      6m 18s
    12. Symbolizing and pivoting the body parts
      10m 47s
    13. Pivoting the head
      4m 42s
    14. Rigging the mouth
      10m 49s
    15. Rigging the eye
      8m 33s
  4. 52m 22s
    1. Tween types: Shape vs. motion
      5m 41s
    2. Combining motion and shape tweening
      4m 31s
    3. Animating an eye blink using shape tweening
      10m 2s
    4. Rigging a mouth in Flash for dialogue and expressions
      5m 30s
    5. Creating a D mouth
      12m 29s
    6. Creating an F mouth
      6m 58s
    7. Getting the polished look
      7m 11s
  5. 1h 2m
    1. Overview of the head turn
      2m 13s
    2. Preparing the rig
      8m 15s
    3. Posing the rig
      7m 17s
    4. Animating the head movement
      11m 5s
    5. Animating the body movement
      12m 9s
    6. Animating the head turn
      11m 28s
    7. Adding finesse to the head turn
      9m 34s
  6. 2h 44m
    1. Introducing the walk
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a profile view
      8m 30s
    3. Creating the head in profile
      10m 10s
    4. Creating the hand
      6m 57s
    5. Creating hand symbols
      8m 32s
    6. Reviewing the walk
      3m 6s
    7. Prepping the walk
      8m 33s
    8. Setting up the contact poses
      6m 45s
    9. Creating secondary contact poses
      9m 38s
    10. Finishing up the contact poses
      6m 48s
    11. Creating the passing poses
      9m 39s
    12. Finishing the passing pose
      5m 56s
    13. Animating the recoil position
      10m 9s
    14. Animating the high point of the walk
      9m 24s
    15. Adding in-betweens
      8m 31s
    16. Rigging the shoes
      8m 27s
    17. Animating the shoes
      11m 58s
    18. Animating the character's head movements
      8m 29s
    19. Fine-tuning the animation
      9m 0s
    20. Nesting the hand symbols
      8m 39s
    21. Repositioning the walk
      4m 11s
  7. 1h 32m
    1. Introducing the walk in place
      1m 30s
    2. Setting up contact poses
      10m 4s
    3. Creating the passing poses
      7m 14s
    4. Creating the recoil positions
      8m 11s
    5. Animating the head's high point
      4m 9s
    6. Tweening the legs
      5m 11s
    7. Tweening the arms
      10m 27s
    8. Setting the placement of the foot
      9m 9s
    9. Animating the shoes
      7m 52s
    10. Animating the hair
      6m 9s
    11. Creating secondary hand actions
      8m 48s
    12. Animating the torso
      6m 27s
    13. Repositioning the walk
      7m 17s
  8. 54m 9s
    1. Understanding dialogue
      49s
    2. Using the A-F system of six set mouth shapes
      4m 23s
    3. Animating dialogue using the mouth rig
      14m 30s
    4. Integrating the dialogue with the head turn
      5m 35s
    5. Animating the jaw
      6m 59s
    6. Creating an angry dialogue mouth
      7m 43s
    7. Finishing the angry dialogue mouth
      6m 38s
    8. Integrating acting techniques
      1m 51s
    9. Tips on facial expressions
      5m 41s
  9. 36s
    1. Goodbye
      36s

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