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Learning Flash CS4 Professional by Rich Shupe

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Chapter 5. ANIMATION

Introduction

For many users, animation is the cornerstone of Flash. Sure, there are large groups of users who choose Flash over other tools because of its video capabilities, or for use as an application development tool, or even to learn programming in a fun, visual way. A big part of the Flash user base, however, employs the application as the main tool, if not the exclusive tool, for animation.

For years, animators have used Flash to further web-based storytelling, produce content for animated television shows, and even contribute to feature films. In some ways, it’s easy to see why Flash is a boon for animators. Using Flash, artists no longer have to draw every single frame of an animation by hand. Instead, animators can draw a few key poses by hand or build characters from many smaller posable parts, and then let the computer fill in the frames between poses. This process is called tweening because the computer calculates the frames between each pose.

Of course, Flash is not a wholesale substitute for hand-drawn animations. Highly expressive poses or sequences with rapidly changing poses still require a lot of manual illustrations. Even in these situations, however, Flash can lend a hand with backgrounds, transitions, and other elements that aren’t the primary focus of attention. Deciding when to use Flash in your animations will usually be a matter of choosing the best tool for the job.

In this chapter, you’ll learn how to create animations using a variety ...

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