Introduction: Flash Animation: Basics
In this instructable, I will be concentrating on the basics of a program called Adobe Flash Professional CS6. It will give you a run down on useful tips on how to use this program and where to get started.
What to expect:
- Basic terms and what they mean
- Useful tools and what they do
Step 1: Opening Flash
When you first open up Flash you will want to create a new ActionScript 3.0 or 2.0, it doesn't matter what one you choose.
Step 2: Changing Your Layout
If you do not like the way your layout is you can change the positioning of where your tools are located by clicking and dragging on the grey area above the box to where you feel it fits the most.
Step 3: The Stage
This white box is called your stage. This is where you are going to be drawing all your animations. It acts as the screen, what ever you draw on the stage will appear in your film. If you so happen to draw outside of your stage (on the grey area) it will not show up in the finished product.
If you do not want see your drawings outside of your stage you can disable that feature by going to View>Pasteboard or by pushing Ctrl+Shift+W. Disabling this will only allow you to draw inside the confines of your stage.
Step 4: Making Your Film HD
Before you want to start animating I would recommend you making your stage 1920x1080. Changing your settings to 1920x1080 by going up to Modify>Document then a new window will pop up where you can type in your dimensions. For the height you want it to be 1920 and for the width you want it to be 1080. Once you click okay Your stage will become much bigger.
You will want to zoom out so your stage will fit your screen. You can do this by clicking on the zoom tool (this tool will allow you to zoom in and out), then reduce, then click on the stage or grey area. Alternatively you can use the drop down menu and choose what percentage you like.
Step 5: The Timeline
The bar at the top is called your timeline. This is where all your frames are kept. You can add more frames by hitting F6 on your keyboard. You wont see anything because there isn't any animation there, but you can draw into your stage then move to the next frame by using the red bar to scroll back and forth. Alternatively you can use the < (Less than) or > (greater than) sign on your keyboard to move back and forth through frames. Once you make a basic animation you can push ENTER to preview your animation
Step 6: Animating With Ones, Twos or Threes
You can drag your frames out by right clicking the frame you want and choosing the option "Insert frame". This will double the length of the frame making you animate in twos. If you drag it out by three frames you are animating in threes.
Benefits of animating in twos/ threes:
Animating in twos/ threes provides a longer frame making slower movements benefit from this the most.
It allows you to animate in 12 frames per second because it is stretching the frame out to be twice as long, even though you are technically animating in 24 frames per second.
Cons of animating in twos/ threes:
It will cause the animation to look a little bit choppy.
Step 7: Tools: Selection Tool (V)
When you have the selection tool on you can highlight your art. From this point you can do a lot of things, like delete the art you have selected by hitting the DEL/BACKSPACE button on your keyboard, Or you can right click and go to "Free Transform". Now you can resize your art, rotate, or scale (Hold shift whilst rescaling it so it wont stretch or distort your art). Envelope is also a useful tool and you can get to it by selecting your art, right click, and clicking on "Envelope". Using envelope will allow you to warp your art in any way you wish.
Step 8: Tools: Line Tool (N)
By using the line tool you are going about a more mathematical approach. Once you have the line tool selected you can click and drag making a line. Then you can use your selection tool to click on the line and warp them.
Step 9: Tool: Brush (B), Pencil (Y)
You can draw with two tools:
The pencil (Y): The pencil tool gives you thin and dull looking lines.
The brush (B): The brush tool gives you more clean and finished lines.
I would recommend using the brush tool over the pencil tool seeing as it goes give you cleaner lines. But the pencil tool is still there for you to use.
You can change the color of the brush by clicking on the box underneath the bucket tool (underneath the pencil to change the color of your pencil). To change the size of the brush is in the same spot as the eraser (refer to step 11).
Step 10: Tool: Paint Bucket (L)
The paint bucket tool will allow you to fill in your lines adding color to your art. You can change the color of the paint bucket by clicking the box underneath the paint bucket. If your lines are not closed all the way Flash has a feature where you can change the gap size and it will fill in the lines. You can turn this feature on if you go to gap size> Close large gaps.
Step 11: Tool: Eraser (E)
The eraser tool can be use to erase your art if you made a mistake. You can also use the "Lasso Tool" to draw an outline and delete the part of art you wish by pushing DEL or BACKSPACE on your keyboard.
Step 12: Creating Animation in Flash: Frame by Frame
Frame by frame: This is a type of animation where you draw the frames one by one, a useful tool to use is the onion skin feature. It will show your previous frame as a ghost showing you where your previous art was so you wont go off model to much.
How to animate frame by frame:
Animating frame by frame is really easy all you have to do is draw each frame one at a time changing its position every time.
Step 13: Creating Animation in Flash: Tweening
Tweening: This is a type of animation that makes the computer generate your frames in between two other frames.
Instead of drawing out the art every single time, animators will cut their piece of art into sections and tween it making the art move. This is a really advanced way to animate and I wont go into to much detail about it.
How to animate tweening:
You want to insert a frame by pushing F6, then draw what you want to tween (I will use a circle for this demonstration). Right click the frame and click "Create Classic Tween", then you want to highlight right click and insert more frames, Then you want to choose a frame (lets say frame 10 for example) right click and choose "Insert Keyframe". It will create a line from the first keyframe to the second keyframe. Now you can drag the circle from one point to another point. Now you have successfully tweened an animation!