This tutorial will cover the basics of animating objects for your
movies. We shall cover creating a simple animation.
Object Animation: Simple Animation
The basics of animation depends on two things, file size and smoothness
of animation. The smoother the animation the bigger the file size
will be. This tutorial talks about the basics of animations. How
to create an animated object will be covered in a separate tutorial
You as the designer need to make the decision which is more important,
file size or smoother animation. In most cases you can get an acceptable
result between file size and smoother animation. Remember that larger
file size means slower download speeds for your viewer so you really
need to weigh the differences and know your viewers.
Generally speaking a frame rate of 12 fps is satisfactory for button
animations and simple animations. Higher frame rates, such as 24
fps and 30 fps, make more complex animations smoother. Things such
as screen transitions and splash screens flow better at higher frame
We normally design for 30 fps and if the file size is too great
we try 24 fps or slower. Actually, you really have to have a keen
eye to notice differences between 20 fps and 30 fps, at least we
don't notice that great of a difference.
Below is an example of an identical animation exported out at different
frame rates. In this animation we used Position, Rotation, Scale,
and Color Transitions. Feel free to play with them and create new
animations of your own.
Sample Animations at 12 fps, 20 fps, 24 fps, and 30 fps
NOTE: As you can see from the animation examples
higher frame rates mean larger file size. The file size being half
the size of the frame rate is not always the case, it just worked
out that way. Looking at each of the animations you will notice
there is not much difference in each of the animations. So you decide
which is best for you to use. Now we will look at creating a simple
What can be animated?
What can be animated? A better question would be "What cannot be
animated?" The reason is because almost anything can be animated.
Objects, text, pictures, and many other things can be animated so
it really is up to you do decide what you want to animate.
There are five main Transformations which are safe to use in your
animations. These Transformations are as follows.
This allows you to move an object in any direction you choose.
You can move an object from one spot to another spot over a period
of time that you choose. Setting a distance over a short period
of time will give the appearance of a rapid motion. and a the same
distance over a longer period gives an object a slower motion.
Opacity is what you use to set the transparency of an object. You
can use Opacity to fade an object in or out. Changing the Opacity
over time does several things such as making objects suddenly appear
or disappear. You can have an object appear slowly or quickly by
varing the amount of time you set.
Setting Rotation will allow you to animate the object to spin and
flip. Keeping an object in one spot and changing the rotation over
a period of time spins an object. Changing the Position and Rotating
gives the appearance of an object flipping.
Skew is kind of hard to explain because you really need to play
with this to get the effect you want. Essentially using the Skew
Transformation warps the object. In the Properties Palette you have
two ways to Skew an object.
Scale is the last of the regular Transformations. With scale you
can change the size of the object over time. You can change the
height and width of the object.
The following examples show you what you can do by combining two
of the transformations. You can create your own combination by mixing
various transformations. Combine two or more transformations at
different start and end frames and you will be able to create some
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