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Animation Tips and Tricks with Flash Professional
Illustration by John Hersey

Understanding video versus SWF


From:

Animation Tips and Tricks with Flash Professional

with Dermot O' Connor

Video: Understanding video versus SWF

Before we begin the course there are some issues that have to be dealt with. One of the problems that you're going to hit; everyone's going to hit this problem, is at some point you're going to throw so many effects at Flash that it will slow down. What you're seeing right now is an animated smoke effect, and we will be doing this later on the course. But I want you to see what's going to happen when you throw a lot of these different particles at the Flash program; at the SWF, or the swiff, format. I am going to make it even worse than it is right now by hitting Full Screen.
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  1. 6m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      51s
    3. Common keystrokes and shortcuts used in this course
      4m 40s
  2. 1h 24m
    1. Understanding video versus SWF
      2m 30s
    2. Overview of shortcuts, extensions, and setup
      6m 27s
    3. Understanding linear and radial gradients
      2m 39s
    4. Overlapping and animating the colors
      3m 53s
    5. Lighting a scene
      10m 24s
    6. Creating lens flares
      10m 40s
    7. Animating ripples
      7m 2s
    8. Creating a gradient globe
      11m 41s
    9. Creating a gradient bottle
      10m 26s
    10. Applying gradients to a character's eye
      10m 2s
    11. Applying gradients to a character's skull
      8m 49s
  3. 56m 53s
    1. Tweening a circle to a square
      10m 9s
    2. Using thumbnails
      4m 39s
    3. Animating a magic carpet jump
      10m 12s
    4. Setting up a magic carpet walk cycle
      7m 41s
    5. Animating a magic carpet walk cycle
      9m 33s
    6. Shape tweening hair
      3m 50s
    7. Intro to overlapping hair
      1m 57s
    8. Animating overlapping hair
      8m 52s
  4. 1h 8m
    1. Animating waves
      8m 7s
    2. Animating clouds
      7m 48s
    3. Animating a flame
      11m 38s
    4. Animating an explosion
      9m 1s
    5. Adding in-betweens to the explosion
      4m 36s
    6. Adding explosion clusters
      6m 43s
    7. Optimizing the explosion
      7m 30s
    8. Animating smoke with particles
      12m 45s
  5. 32m 18s
    1. Introduction to staggers
      1m 5s
    2. Animating a simple stagger
      5m 8s
    3. Animating a diving board
      6m 15s
    4. Animating a tremor
      5m 56s
    5. Animating a scream
      7m 12s
    6. Refining the scream
      6m 42s
  6. 47m 49s
    1. Introduction to Virtual Camera
      5m 4s
    2. Animating parallax
      6m 9s
    3. Animating a crane shot
      6m 26s
    4. Animating a zoom and rotate shot
      9m 30s
    5. Animating a track shot
      11m 0s
    6. Lighting a 3D shot
      9m 40s
  7. 19m 48s
    1. Animating a cross dissolve
      6m 10s
    2. Animating a wipe
      3m 34s
    3. Animating a fadeout
      10m 4s
  8. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

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Animation Tips and Tricks with Flash Professional
5h 16m Intermediate Aug 09, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Overlapping and animating colors
  • Creating lens flares
  • Animating hair with shape tweens
  • Animating an explosion
  • Animating smoke with particles
  • Animating a scream
  • Using Virtual Cam
  • Lighting a 3D shot
  • Animating cross dissolves
Subjects:
3D + Animation Animation
Software:
Flash Professional
Author:
Dermot O' Connor

Understanding video versus SWF

Before we begin the course there are some issues that have to be dealt with. One of the problems that you're going to hit; everyone's going to hit this problem, is at some point you're going to throw so many effects at Flash that it will slow down. What you're seeing right now is an animated smoke effect, and we will be doing this later on the course. But I want you to see what's going to happen when you throw a lot of these different particles at the Flash program; at the SWF, or the swiff, format. I am going to make it even worse than it is right now by hitting Full Screen.

And this is a fairly fast computer, and what you're seeing -- it starts pretty fast, and then as the particles begin to really hit their maximum number, it slows down, and then it speeds up again as the particles have dissipated. And what's happening is a combination of stresses on the player. All these gradients, and the number of them, is simply too much for Flash, even on a fast computer, to keep up with. The solution to this; there are a couple of cheats that we will definitely cover, but the quickest one, and the one that I use most often is to simply render out the animation as a movie file.

Now here we have a QuickTime movie of the same animation, and we want this to loop. So I am going to select Loop. and I also want it to play full screen, so we can really compare it. And we let it loop a couple of times. So as you can see, we're getting a full 30 frame per second playback, and this is something that you're going to have to decide yourself case by case. You will have a different computer than me, a different video card, you have different animations. At some point you are going to hit this wall.

You will try to do everything that you can with different effects, and nested effects, and you'll see it happen. One minute Flash will be keeping up with your animation, and then you will hit that little hump. This is the most common way that I have to work around it, so that I can test my animation truly by rendering out a movie file. We will cover this in greater detail later. I really want you to know about this in advance, because you might hit this wall yourself in the next lesson, the one after that, or the one after that. So that will prepare you.

So don't get disappointed. If at any point in this course you feel like my computer is too slow, there are all kinds of tricks and workarounds that we will be deploying. This is one of them. So please keep up and we will guide you through it, and help you to really squeeze every last ounce of performance out of Flash and your computer.

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