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The addition of bones and inverse kinematics (IK) to Adobe Flash CS4 provided animators with a new level of control over their animations. Instead of having to coordinate the complex motion of separate elements to create convincing movement, Flash animators can now attach graphics to skeletons, known as armatures, and simply animate the bones. In this practical "hands-on" course, VTC author Rick Martin walks you through the entire process of animating with bones from start to finish. You will learn the two types of IK animation, how to create and edit armatures, how to fine tune your bones and artwork, and how to avoid common pitfalls along the way. Work files are included.
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Hello and welcome to the Virtual Training Company's MasterClass! Adobe Flash CS4, Animating with Bones course. My name is Rick and I'll be your guide. In this Course we're going to be learning a new method of animation introduced in the CS4 version of Adobe Flash. In previous versions of Flash to animate characters, designers had to rely on the tweening of separate objects and graphics to create the illusion of a whole coherent animation. Sometimes animating like this wasn't so bad. But often it was a real pain. Synchronizing the movement of multiple parts of a complex object required a lot of time and effort to pull off convincingly. Flash CS4 changed all of that. Adobe has added Bones and Inverse Kinematics, or IK for short and these are two things traditionally used by 3D animators using programs like 3D Studio Max and Maya. Using IK and Bones we can build a skeleton and attach graphics to it so animation is then a simple matter of positioning the skeleton in different poses. Flash then automatically takes care of the animation during the transitions or the time spent moving from one pose to another traditionally known as tweens. And we're going to be doing this with a little gecko, or small lizard graphic. It should work quite well with skeleton animation. I've included him at each major stage of setup and animation in your Work Files, that way you can compare my copy to yours or figure out how I've done mine if yours is different. We're going to be setting up and animating this gecko twice because there are two different types of skeleton animation in Flash CS4. First we can attach a simple graphic or shape directly to a skeleton and we're going to be covering this method first. Second, we can attach separate symbols from the library to each bone in a skeleton. For this I'll chop the gecko up into individual pieces and convert each piece into a movie clip. It's a little bit harder to create the appearance of fluid animation with the second method but it does allow us to do a bunch of cool things, one of which is using instances of movie clips which themselves contain animation. Imagine creating, for example, an animal and we want to be able to move the animal's eyes independently of the head movement. Of course, this is a very basic example. There are lots of ways we can combine animations to create some pretty impressive things. OK, in this course I'm going to assume that you are already up to speed on Flash basics including Timeline animation, Symbol creation and the new Object-based animation in Flash CS4. If you're not, jump over to the VTC course, Adobe Flash CS4 by James Gonzalez. It'll show you everything you need to know to follow along comfortably in this Course. Another thing to keep in mind when you want to work with Bones in Flash is that you must set your Flash files up to use ActionScript 3. Earlier versions of ActionScript don't support Bones. And as a last note, I'd like to point out the fact that there are a bunch of different ways to do just about everything I'm going to show you. Most things on computers can be done in a variety of ways and this applies particularly to Flash. I'm going to demonstrate methods that work very well for me. If you find a way to do something that works better for you than my way, by all means go ahead and use it if it gets the job done. I actually wouldn't mind if you contact me and sent it my way. I don't think anybody should ever stop learning, including instructors. Alright, let's move on to the next lesson and get started.
- Course: MasterClass! - Adobe Flash CS4: Animating with Bones
- Author: Rick Martin
- SKU: 34056
- Work Files: Yes
- Captions: No
- Subject: Animation & 3D
- The first 3 chapters of courses are available to play for FREE (first chapter only for QuickStart! and MasterClass! courses). Just click on the movie link to play a lesson.