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The Art of Flash Animation: Creative Cartooning

Book Description

Part animation guide, part Flash manual, The Art of Flash Animation: Creative Cartooning provides a practical primer on classic, hand-drawn 2D screen animation as well as an introduction to using Flash for creating your own cartoons. Section I discusses the terms and techniques of hand-drawn animation, character design, and storyboards, while Section II covers scanning, digitizing your artwork into Flash, and setting up scenes. Topics include how to animate a walk cycle; recording and editing dialogue, sound effects, and music; how to use recyclable symbols to make the animation process more efficient; preparing your work for video or web download.

Table of Contents

  1. Dedication
  2. Contents
  3. Preface
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. Section I DRAWING AND THEAND THE ANIMATION PROCESS
    1. Chapter 1 Introduction to The Art of Flash Animation
      1. Richard Williams’ Animation MasterClass
      2. Why Animation? You May Ask
      3. Why Flash? You May Ask
      4. Why Not Just Learn Flash?
      5. Why This Book?
        1. Paragraph Q
      6. What It Is and What It Ain’t…
    2. Chapter 2 Learning to Draw: Tools and Tips
      1. Three Methods of Character Design
        1. The Frankenstein Method
        2. The Observational Method
        3. The Random Doodle Method
      2. My Drawing Process and Tools
        1. Animation Pencils
        2. Animation Paper and the Acme Peg Bar
      3. Learning to Draw
      4. Three Methods of Character Construction
        1. The Grid Method
        2. The Gingerbread Method
        3. The Geometric Construction Method
      5. Basic Character Types
        1. Basic Hero Construction
        2. Basic Heroine Construction
        3. Wacky Sidekicks
        4. The Villain
      6. Copyright Registration: Protecting Your Creation
    3. Chapter 3 Thumbnails, Storyboards, and Layout
      1. Thumbnails
      2. Storyboards
        1. The Rule of Thirds
        2. Make It Painfully Obvious
        3. Basic Camera Shots
          1. The Wide Shot
          2. The Full Shot
          3. The Medium Shot
          4. The Close-Up
          5. The Extreme Close-Up
        4. Other Useful Camera Shots
          1. Cutaway Shot
          2. Cut-in Shot
          3. Over-the-Shoulder Shot
          4. Point-of-View Shot
          5. Noddy Shot
        5. Camera Pitfalls to Avoid
          1. Jump-cut
        6. Camera Moves
          1. Zoom In/Zoom Out
          2. Truck In/Truck Out
          3. Tilt Up/Tilt Down
          4. Pan Left/Pan Right
        7. Camera Transitions
          1. The Cut
          2. Fade-In/Fade-Out
          3. Dissolve
          4. Blur Pan or Zip Pan
      3. Layout and Backgrounds
        1. Art Marker Backgrounds
    4. Chapter 4 Soundtracks and… What ’s an Animatic?
      1. The Dialogue Track
        1. Recording Dialogue at a Professional Studio
        2. Recording Dialogue at Home
      2. The Music Track
      3. Editing Sound Effects
        1. Importing Soundtracks in Flash (Formats)
      4. Animatic, or “Pose Test,” Defined
    5. Chapter 5 An Actor with a Pencil… Um, Pixel
      1. A Few Words on Acting
      2. Comedy vs. Tragedy: The Power of Sympathy
      3. Animation vs. Illustrated Radio
      4. Suspension of Disbelief
      5. Line of Action and Silhouettes
      6. All in the Eyes… Eyelids… or Eyebrows?
      7. Read My Lips… The Importance of Lip Synch
      8. Three Methods of Animation
        1. Straight-ahead
        2. Pose-to-Pose
        3. The Best Method
          1. Secondary Action and Follow-Through
          2. Mechanical Inbetweening vs. “Slowing In” and “Slowing Out”
          3. The Hardest Thing to Animate… So Get It Over with First!
      9. Closing Thoughts on Acting with Pencils and Pixels
  6. Section II Using Flash to Animate Your Drawings
    1. Chapter 6 First Peek inside Flash
      1. Installing and Creating a Shortcut
      2. Creating a New Flash Document
      3. Overview of Flash
        1. The Timeline
        2. The Toolbox
        3. The Stage
      4. Creating Your Movie
        1. Importing Files
        2. Working with Layers
        3. Importing the Soundtrack
        4. Working with Frames
      5. Exporting Your Movie
      6. Critiquing Your Movie
    2. Chapter 7 Inking, Scanning, and Tablets
      1. Drawing with the… Mouse?
      2. Oh, for Crying Out Loud… Buy a Wacom Already!
      3. The Inking and Scanning Approach
        1. Inking with a Pen
        2. Inking with a Brush
        3. Scanning Your Inked Drawings
          1. Scanning Tips
      4. Importing Art into Flash
      5. Setting Your Stage
        1. For Video
        2. For Web and Multimedia
      6. Document Properties
        1. Frame Rate
        2. Create from Template
      7. Trace Bitmap
      8. Toolbox Basics
        1. The Paintbucket Tool
        2. The Paintbrush Tool
        3. The Pencil Tool
        4. The Ink Bottle Tool
      9. Gradients with the Paintbucket Tool
        1. Creating Your Own Custom Gradient Fills
        2. Modifying Gradient Direction and Distribution
      10. Drawing in Flash with Onion Skin
      11. Necktie Fashions, Talking Bears, and Character Layers
      12. Mark’s Favorite Shortcut: Option-Drag
      13. Playing Your Animation
    3. Chapter 8 Managing Symbols and Scenes
      1. Why Should I Care about Symbols?
      2. Okay, So What Is a Symbol, and How Do I Create One?
      3. Transforming a Symbol
        1. Rotating or Resizing a Symbol
      4. Creating a Simple Cartoon by Using Tweening
      5. Adding a Background to Your Simple Animation
      6. What’s an Instance?
      7. Shape Tweening
    4. Chapter 9 Libraries, Scenes, and Special Effects
      1. Nested Symbols or “Meta-Libraries”
      2. Breaking Down a Character into Component Symbols
      3. Meta-Library Defined… Finally!
      4. Lip-Synching with a Meta-Library
      5. Working with Scenes
      6. Special Effects: Creating Glows with Flash
    5. Chapter 10 Preparing Your Work for Video or Web Downloads
      1. A Brief History of Dubbing Homemade Cartoons to Video
      2. Title Safe and Action Safe Areas
      3. Screen Sizes and Ratios
      4. Screen Resolution
      5. Movie Format: FLA, SWF, or MOV?
      6. Exporting as QuickTime for Video
      7. Creating a Projector
      8. Possible Cross-Platform Conflicts: Fonts, in Particular
    6. Chapter 11 Jobs, Colleges, and Film Festivals
      1. Finding a Job
        1. Interview with Joe Peery, ASIFA-Atlanta President, and Animation Director, Turner Studios
        2. Interview with Brian de Tagyos, Lead Animator, and Steve Vitale, Lead Animator, Turner Studios
        3. Don’t Wait for Your Fairy Godmother to Appear
        4. Top Five “Reality Tips” for Animation Careers
        5. Freelancer’s Secret Best Friend: Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market
      2. Colleges and Schools
      3. Film and Video Festivals
      4. Animation and Cartooning Jobs
        1. Let Your Fingers Do the Walking
        2. Top Five Freelance Business Tips
      5. In Closing
  7. Appendix A Recommended Reading and Viewing
    1. Recommended Reading
    2. Recommended Viewing (Currently Available on DVD)
    3. Ten Most-Needed Animated DVDs (Currently Unavailable)
  8. Appendix B List of Suppliers
    1. Art Supplies
    2. Music and Sound Effects
    3. Educational Discount Software
    4. Refurbished Hardware
  9. Appendix C Flash Professional 8 Tips, Tools, and Terms
    1. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Flash But Were Afraid to Ask For
    2. Managing Symbols
    3. The Toolbox
      1. Personal Favorite Tool: The Paintbrush and Its Options
  10. Appendix D About the AuthorAbout the Author
  11. Index