Deep down, every designer wants to be an animator. But fear not䭻lash is here to 毗ave the day!
This course provides a thorough introduction to Adobe Flash, acknowledged to be the industry standard for web-based animation, multimedia and interactive content. You will learn how to animate and how to work with a range of media, and create content ranging from animated banner ads through to complex projects.
With Adobe Flash, you can learn how to create stunning animations using basic tweening, frame-by-frame techniques, and a few bells and whistles. In this hands-on 6-lesson course, you’ll learn how to draw simple but compelling characters, prepare them for animation, add expression and motion, and storyboard and animate a 30-second sequence with a soundtrack.
Title: Flash Animation
Duration: 6 Months
If you’ve mastered the basics in Flash, now’s the time to study animation. While the focus of this class is on character animation, techniques learned in this class can be applied to any Flash design project.
Students learn how to:
- Plan an animated character with the potential for interesting animation and movements.
- Use Flash drawing tools, onion skinning, symbols, and layers to design a character and prepare it for animation.
- Create a series of communicative facial expressions and use symbols to manage and animate them efficiently.
- Create believable mouth shapes to correspond with vocal sounds, and sync animated mouth shapes to vocal sounds.
- Hinge the body parts of animated characters and animate them with tweens and frame-by-frame animation to achieve convincing movement.
- Use the “2.5D effect” to apply realistic three-dimensional movement to a two-dimensional character.
- Apply blurring, selective animation, speed lines, and squash/stretch effects to add convincing or exaggerated motion to characters and objects.
- Tell a compelling story with Flash animation and plan it effectively using storyboards and animatics.
- Sync an animated story to a soundtrack and sound effects.
- Incorporate advanced animation effects and interaction with props while polishing and finalizing a short animated Flash movie.
LESSON 1 Character Design
Do you know why Yogi Bear wears a tie? Or why Scooby Doo wears a collar? Lesson One focuses on the art of drawing simple but compelling characters and preparing them for animation. You’ll start with an animator’s introduction to the many applications and best practices for Flash animation on the Web today. Then you’ll explore how Brush, Pen, Shape, and Onion Skin tools, together with symbols, can be used to draw effective characters. Students with digital drawing tablets will learn to use them in conjunction with Flash. Then you’ll learn how to clean up your sketches and manage your artwork using timeline and library features. Your first exercise will be to create a Flash character that’s primed for animation.
LESSON 2 Character Animation
To add life to your characters, you must give them expression. Lesson Two looks at some classic approaches to giving animated characters expression and emotion. The mechanics of eye movements, blinking, talking, and making gestures are explored, together with efficient ways to achieve those effects, such as nested frames. Throughout, the emphasis is on creating a convincing animation by hinging body parts, smooth tweening, and easing in and out. In the exercise, you’ll make your Flash character come to life with a variety of expressions.
LESSON 3 Characters in Motion
Flash provides multiple options for moving your animated character around the stage. Lesson Three explores the critical issue of how and when to tween, and when to animate frame-by-frame. Case studies explore various approaches to the “walk cycle” of a character, breaking down the independent motion of different body parts for a convincing effect. You’ll look at how to create the illusion of motion in 3D perspective, and edit frame-by-frame motion using the Onion Skin feature. In the exercise, you’ll make your Flash character walk around and appear to move in 3D space.
LESSON 4 Motion Effects
In animation, there’s always more to motion than meets the eye. Animators use various classic motion effects as a short-hand for acceleration, collision, turning corners, and more. Lesson Four explores how these techniques can be created in Flash, by using motion blurs, selective animation, and speed lines. A case study looks at the challenge of squashing and stretching, a phenomenon long familiar to Road Runner fans. The exercise will be a series of motion studies that challenge you to apply these techniques.
LESSON 5 Sounds and Storyboards
At this point in the course, you’re ready to plan and sketch a short animated scene. How does a pro animator prepare a sequence? Lesson Five discusses approaches to writing a story, sketching and animating a storyboard in Flash, and planning your “camera” shots and techniques. You’ll also review how a classic Bugs Bunny cartoon approaches storytelling and how to incorporate sound in your movie. In the exercise, you’ll create your own animated storyboard complete with fun sound effects.
LESSON 6 Animated Sequences
Now you’re ready to finalize and launch your 30-second animation in Flash. Pixar, look out! Lesson Six explores turning your animated storyboard into a fully featured animation. You’ll look at different ways of using your animation skills to make your character interact with other characters or objects. Finally, you’ll examine some additional Flash character animations for inspiration and a professional perspective. In the final project you’ll complete your short animation and publish it for all the world to see.