Please note that this article focuses on Flash, which is mainly outdated and HTML 5 is much more relevant in 2018, but the animation ideas and theories are still very relevant.
During this unit, I have used various different tools and techniques, in order to make my animation suited to how I wanted it. Below are the techniques that I used the most, which I started to get the hang of.
The two software programs that I used were Flash (used to make the film) and Photoshop (Used to make the gif). Both software programs were reasonably similar, as they were both made by Adobe, so the techniques that I used were, in some aspects, the same.
Frames and keyframes
Whilst making the GIF and the flash animation, it became clear to me that the most basic tool that is the basis of all animation is a frame. An animation is made up of a series of slightly different pictures, and they are played in a sequence that creates the illusion of movement. I used frames in both my GIF and my Flash animation. They soon became clear to me how they are used.
In Flash, there is something called a Key Frame. This basically means a frame at a pivotal point in the animation. To explain this more easily, I have used some screenshots from my battle of Hastings animation.
Keyframes are useful because they make it clear where the pivotal points in the animation are, so I can see where the scenes change or the movements happen.
Tweening is something that I learned to use as part of Flash, and it proved very useful. It certainly made my experience easier. A tween is when you select two different key frames of the same thing when they are in two different positions. You then right-click and select the option ‘Create Classic Tween’ and then a tween will be created.
A tween prevents me having to draw the individual frames, instead, I only need to draw the keyframes.
As you can see below, the French flag is at the top of the shot and it moves to the bottom (0:55).
All I did was draw the first keyframe, of the French flag high in the air, and the last one, of it in the man’s hand.
Tweening was useful because it made it easier than creating a movement in every frame, and it also made it go at equal speed, where I may have made the jump between frames bigger or smaller than others. Please see the animated GIF on my 35p energy drink article for an example of a perfect GIF.
Layers were something that I encountered on both Photoshop and Flash, and they were used in the same way. With a layer, you choose whether to make it visible or not and then the exact position and the position of a layer moves per each frame if you program it to do so.
The order of the layers is in which way you want them stacked on top of each other.
On Photoshop, it is easy to select whether to make a layer visible or not. You have a panel with a list of layers, and there is a picture of an eye. To deselect that particular layer, you need to click on that picture of the eye, in order to make it disappear.
At the minute, layer four is the top, so layers 1, 2, 3 and background are invisible. So for me to make Layer 3 visible, I would need to click on the eye on layer four, and then bayer 3 would be on the top.
Layers were useful because they allowed me to cover things over, and allow some parts of the animation to move while other parts stayed still. I also found that the layer folders systems allowed me to make a logical storage order and naming system to store the layers as parts of the scenes. I also kept on layer (the green hills at the back) permanently as the background on my animation.
Scripting is a technique that means your write what happens to the animation or flash file depending on what the users do. This means that it can be used to make things like Flash games and websites. I personally did not use scripting, primarily because I didn’t need to, and because it is very complicated and not really worth the trouble. If I needed to, however, I would have used it.
Pre-loaders are something that is directly linked to the loading
of your page. What it means is that the amount of loading progress that you have made is indicated by the pre-loader. I didn’t use preloaders as I didn’t need to.