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- View Offline
- 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
Skill Level Intermediate
In the previous section we did a really nice simple crane shot where we moved the camera up to look down at the character from a bird's eye view, and we are going to combine that this time with two more moves. And let's take a look at what this is going to look like. So I'll go Control>Test Movie>Test; that's really nice. So we're starting in close at a slight angle, the camera is zooming out and rotating out at the same time, and there is no end to how extreme you could make these moves, of course.
So what I'm going to do is demonstrate how to create this nested sequence of symbols, to give us this illusion. So let's have a look; on the outer Timeline is the rotation action. Hard to see it separately, of course, because it's got the other movements nested inside of it. If we double-click on that to go inside, this is a symbol that contains the zooming action, and actually, if we double- click on that, this is the symbol that contains the crane shot, which we did in the previous section. So what I am going to do is -- it will be easier if I just make a new layer, and just get rid of the old one.
Before I do that, I want to flag something for you. The rotation action happens on this layer, and I have called it rotate, and I put a label on the Timeline called, the camera rotates, which you can access to the Properties panel. And let me just wreck that, let me rewrite it: the camera rotates. In the inside clip that contains the zooming action, I have called the layer zoom, called it the camera zooms out, this symbol is called 2 zoom. This should give you a clue that I like to know where I am. It's awfully easy, when you do these nested camera moves, to get lost, because there are so many, and they all look the same.
When you're looking at the rotation symbol, it looks exactly like the zoom in symbol, and it can really boggle your brain. That's why I put these labels everywhere. I like to know where I am; they are maps really. So okay, that said, let me just delete that, and we'll go into the library. I am going to take the crane symbol, and if you haven't got access to the Exercise files, your start state from here will be pretty much the same as your end state from wherever you did following along from the previous section. So let's go to the library, drag the crane into the Stage; even if you have the Exercise files just follow along, and delete everything. Just do exactly what I'm doing here.
Make sure that you're off the edge of the Stage. There might be a little mismatch there, so let's try to make sure we are completely lined up, and I think we are pretty good; padlock that. I am not seeing any white space. Little bit at the top there; I like to keep things pretty covered. Great. So now we have our symbol, and this contains the vertical move. We'll click on the symbol, and in your Properties panel be sure that you're set to graphic, and be sure you are set to either loop or play once. I prefer play once.
So then you've got your crane shot animation taken care off in here, and what I'm going to do is add a move on this external layer. So we have the crane shot nested safe inside a symbol called 1 crane, and on the main Timeline now I am going to add a zoom. So on Frame 80, I like where we end, and we are going to keep that consistent. So hit F6 to put down a keyframe there, and on Frame 1 we are going to zoom in. And I think the best way -- sometimes when I do these, because these things can get pretty big, and the edge, even if you have like a big Stage, sometimes the edge can be hard to find.
The way I like to increase these is hit Control+Alt+S. You will have the scale and rotate pop up. So be sure rotation for this is set to 0. And pick an increment for scaling that's big, but not too big; let's say 120%, and hit Enter. And there are occasions when I've had this little window disappear on me, or not pop up through the keyboard shortcuts, and let's see if we can find where it was. Transform>Scale and Rotate, there it is. Modify>Transform>Scale and Rotate. So if your keyboard shortcut doesn't work, or you're not able to do that; it's a little shortcut combination; that's how you access it.
So I am going to repeat, Control+Alt+S, and just keep doing that. And keep dragging your symbol until you keep it centered, Control+Alt+S; it becomes a pretty familiar shortcut. So there we go. I am not going to go in too big; that's about good enough I think. And this is going to be your zoom, of course, so let's call the layer zoom. And let's put a label in here camera zoom; uppercase, don't forget. Okay, so now we right-click on the Stage, and go Create Classic Tween, and there we have a zoom now combining with the vertical camera move. You'll notice the horizon line behind the character is moving up over his head.
As we are moving out, we are also moving up, and looking down. So it's a combination of two interesting actions to create a more dynamic shot. So now that we have this done, the time has come to nest this Timeline inside another symbol. So select the entire Timeline, right- click, Copy Frames, Insert>New Symbol, and we'll call this one 2 zoom new; click OK. And then the empty frame that appears, right-click, Paste Frames, and we should have our Timeline name correct, our label is telling us where we are, and our title is telling us where we are.
So now we go back to the main Stage and nothing happened. That's because the symbol has been created in the Library. So I am going to hide this layer, make a new layer, go into the Library and there is 2 zoom new. So let's drag this guy onto the Stage into the empty layer. It should be the same size as the one beneath. If you want you can use the one beneath as a position reference, so I am going to padlock the lower layer, put the upper one onto an outline, and just -- there we go. That's pretty close. So we can now delete the layer beneath. And don't worry about naming it, because this will be different. And so now we have everything safely nested, and if we double-click on this into the zoom new symbol, there we are; zoom, zoom, zoom.
So, I know it looks ridiculous, but trust me, it really does help. So now we are on the outside, and we are ready to apply the rotate. This will be the rotate section, so we call that rotate. In the Properties panel over here, we will just click on anywhere on here, and then label, we'll call this camera rotate. And don't forget the end state; I like the end state, that's the perfect place to end it. And now what I want to do is to rotate this image, so I will hit Control+Alt+S to scale and rotate.
I don't want to scale anymore, so I'm going to keep that at 100%. I do want to rotate this image to get kind of a corkscrew effect on the camera as we come out from the shot. So let's rotate this 25 degrees; something that we can really notice. And once we have that, we can now add a tween. Create Classic Tween, and there we go. So let's test this, Control>Test Movie>Test.
And the beauty of this method is that this will export as an AVI or a true MOV file. You won't have to do too many workarounds, or you need a PNG sequence. So this is a kind of technique that you could apply if you're working on something high-end for, say, a TV animated series or something. Obviously, you can do these kind of moves in After Effects and other programs, but there are times when you may want to do them in Flash. It really is handy to have the option of doing it inside a program with which you are familiar with; save you the trouble of having to composite them. And it does mean you can do things such as synchronize various movements and animations that you might have on the lower layers.
The only other thing I would warn you to watch out for is if you apply easing in or eating out, try to keep them as close as you can to one another. In other words, if you apply an ease out on the outer layer, let's say 80, so that we have a faster movement at the beginning. So let's say we have 100 ease out on the outer layer, and we'll do the same thing on the inner layer; they should all be the same. If you have a mismatch that can actually cause some pretty shaky camera moves, so I am trying to keep all these the same.
It's hardest to do if you use the custom ease in and ease out. You can, of course, keep them the same, but you do have to be a little more precise with that. So okay, that done, let us go Control>Test Movie>Test. Yeah, that's right, so now we are slowing in at the end. Not too bad. So that's the process, and I have to say, don't get frustrated. You will have to spend a little bit of time just playing with this. Start simple; don't go too crazy with like massive Stages or anything. This is about the right size to begin playing with before you go deeper in it.
But I've done some fairly complex shots with using these techniques; you can push them way further. And like I said, follow along, it's worth having a go at these from time to time, but do keep control over the names of your files, and you won't go too far wrong.