Getting animated

I’ve been meaning to post a progress update on The Lonely Bear.

As already mentioned, I am using Flash for the animation. The truth is I’m not a Flash expert and I’ve been tearing my hair out trying to get things moving. The last version I used was when it was owned by Macromedia (circa 2000). Therefore it was back to the drawing board when I fired up the latest version in my Adobe Creative Suite. Some bits were  still familiar, most of it I needed to relearn.

One of the discoveries I made early on was the bone tool. I had a play and all seemed to work well on my demo with Mr Circle Man – I was very excited!

Circle man demo

This excitement was short-lived. My project kept crashing whenever I tried to save it – extremely frustrating. The only way I could save anything at all was to export to an earlier Flash format. The downside was that the bone tool didn’t appear to work properly now – despite my numerous attempts and following online guides. Eventually I gave up.

At this point I decided to return to my trusty old friend “Tweening” for help. Tweening is a process where you set two key frames (a start position and an end position). The “tween” then attempts to fill all of the frames in between these two points. Just to confuse things – Adobe Flash has a fancy new tweening method which I wasn’t quite able to get my head around.

Momentarily frustrated again, I decided to try stop motion and just move each leg, arm, foot, hand etc manually. Now I have to say I adored the crude look this produced. However even I was able to foresee the world of pain this would ultimate cause. I was hoping to finish the film this decade with some sanity remaining. I decided to take another quick look at tweening and I stumbled onto “Classic Tweening” – this appeared to do what I needed. At last!

Okay – enough talk, time for a visual demonstration as things currently look. The timing isn’t right, although I like the effect that produces:

Right, that only took most of the week – let’s hope I can get things moving a bit quicker next time.


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