Planning Your Flash Animations
by Ron Kurtus (revised 12 January 2002)
Before you start developing a Flash animation, it is a good practice to write out a plan of action. The reason is that any type of software development can be complex. Good planning helps to avoid mistakes that may be difficult to find and fix.
Questions you may have include:
- What are the basic planning steps?
- What are the details of these steps?
- What are some examples or illustrations of this planning process?
This lesson will answer those questions.
The plan consists of the following basic steps:
- Describe animation
- Write out how you plan to do it.
- Add notes as you go along
The detailed steps are as follows:
1. Describe animation
When you get an assignment to develop a Flash movie or you come up with an idea of something you want to put together, you should write it out and explain the animation in words. Examples of this are:
- Demonstrate electrons moving through a metal wire
- Draw a cartoon of a character kicking a soccer ball that then explodes
- Develop a splash page for a company, showing animated gears
These descriptions or explanations are short and sweet, but they convey the image of what you want to do.
2. Write out how you plan to do it
Next, you write out the steps or details of how you plan to design this animation or Flash movie.
Demonstrate electrons moving
- Draw a model of a wire, about 80 pixels wide on the stage.
- Add a number of colored circles to simulate the atoms in the wire.
- On a new layer, animate an electron (smaller and different color than atom) as it goes in a zigzag path from one end of the wire to the other.
- Add several other layers with other electrons zigzagging through the wire. Perhaps copy original and modify path.
See sample of animation below.
Kicking soccer ball
- Draw background of soccer field.
- On a new layer, animate a cartoon character kicking.
- On a new layer, animate a ball being kicked, then exploding.
- Add sound to explosion.
- Draw background.
- On a new layer, animate a gear rotating.
- On a new layer, animate another gear meshing and rotating
3. Add notes as you go alongIt is a good idea to make notes of problems you encountered and solutions, as well as how long it took you to complete your project. For example, in the demonstrating electrons moving through a wire project, it was found that an additional layer was needed for effectively adding the atoms. this could be noted.
Below is the demonstration of electrons moving through the wire:
It is a good idea to write out what you plan to do and how you plan to achieve that goal when developing Flash animations.
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Planning Your Flash Animations