Homework 2. Basic animations (Due before 11:59 pm on 9/19)

This weekend’s homework involves a combination of old skills and new techniques.

1. Finish the Animation Exercise from class.

If you did not finish the animation exercise during class, please do this first. If you are working from home, you might have to download the files from TLEARN again. Stop after you reach #14 on page 3. 

2. Fill out the “Basic Animation Debriefing” form posted on TLEARN. 

3. Experiment with more complicated motion paths. 

  • Create a new Flash file and import the same background and character graphics that you used at the end of the class assignment.
  • Create three layers in your file with the following names: background, character, and pencil. Import the background on the background layer, and import the character in the upper left corner of the character layer. Extend the background to frame 24 by hitting F5.
  • Click on first frame of the character layer, and right click to create a motion tween. Move to the last frame of the character layer and insert a keyframe. Drag your character so it is hovering just above the helmet of the pig. The motion path will look short and ridiculous, but this is OK.
  • Move to the pencil layer, click on the first frame, and select the pencil tool from the toolbox. With a steady hand, draw a path that loops along the top (past the black bird in the slingshot), around and down the side, above the pigs with the piece of  glass on their head, and ultimately ending up on the helmet of the pig in the middle bottom part of the screen. After you have drawn the line, get your selection tool (v), and double click to highlight the entire line. Then, hit control-C to copy that line.
  • Click back on the character layer of your timeline anywhere in the tween area. Click once on the motion path to select it, and then paste your pencil path on top of it with control-V. This will replace the old motion path with the one that you drew on the pencil layer.
  • Test your animation.
  • You’ll notice that your animation flashes because the pencil lines are showing up each time it loops back through the first frame. Now that you’ve copied the path over, you can just go ahead and delete the pencil layer.
  • Finally, try to slow down your animation by adding more frames. Click on cell 72 of your background layer, and hit F5. Then, drag the end of your character tween all the way to the end of the timeline so it lines up with the background layer. Test your animation.
  • Turn on the onion skin and drag the grey bar above your timeline so it shows the entire animation. Post a screenshot of this in your blog posting for Homework 2, and include a few sentences describing your thoughts on the process. Did you encounter any problems along the way?

4. Master the art of “shape tweening” 

  • Work through the short (7 minute 43 second) shape tweening module in the Flash Professional Training tutorial on Lynda.Com. If the link is not working, you will first need to connect to http://lynda.trinity.edu, and then try the link a second time.
  • Create a new animation in which a shape transforms into the phrase “TFYQA” and then transforms back into the original shape. It can be any shape you want, but the text should be created with one of the computer’s typefaces. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could always use a shape that looks like the human brain. 🙂
  • After you are satisfied with your animation, take screenshots of the first frame, a middle frame, and the final frame. Post these screenshots in your blog posting for Homework 2, and include a few sentences about the shape tweening process. Did you encounter any bumps along the way? What did you need to do to solve these problems?
  • Attach the FLA file containing your complated shape tween to an e-mail message, and send it to Aaron with the subject “Full Name’s Homework 2” (e.g. “Aaron D.’s Homework 2”).

5. Solve the case of the mysterious wheel

  • For this question, you don’t have to do any coding or animating. Instead, you should download the appropriate zip file from TLEARN. Decompress the file into two Flash files, and view the animations in each one of the files by hitting CONTROL-ENTER
  • The wheel in the second file is behaving differently than the wheel in the first file. Explain what is happening.
  • Why do you think this might be happening? You will have to click around in the file library to solve this mystery. Include a screen shot when you solve the mystery.
  • Don’t spend more than fifteen or twenty minutes on this question. Please resist the temptation to ask someone else or to peek at someone else’s answer. It will be more fun if you can guess at the solution on your own.
  • At the very end of your blog posting, please estimate approximately how long it took you to complete the homework assignment.

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