Awesome Animator News

Using APE Physics Engine with Awesome Animator – Part 2

by Administrator on Jul.23, 2011, under Scripting

In this post we shall delve into using a pre-built physics library (namely APE by Alec Cove). This is a set of AS3 classes. First download them off the the APE website. Next copy all the files in each of the demo folders into the source folder. This is so the source files can be found by Awesome Animator. (Make sure you have the latest version). Now open the script window and go to AS3 > Import class… and choose the CarDemo.as for example. We set CarDemo as the main class and parse everything. Next we can close the script window and decorate the background. What we end up with is something that looks like this:
(The keys are ‘A’ for go and ‘D’ for reverse)

Other things we could do is modify the colours in the CarDemo constructor or class file to change the colours of the robot and obstacles.

You may find it useful to download the Flash debug projector when working with scripts. It can be found on the Adobe website.

 

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Using APE Physics Engine with Awesome Animator – Part 1

by Administrator on Jul.23, 2011, under Scripting

In this post we shall delve into using a pre-built physics library (namely APE by Alec Cove). This is a set of AS3 classes. First download them off the the APE website. Next copy all the files in each of the demo folders into the source folder. This is so the source files can be found by Awesome Animator. (Make sure you have the latest version). Now open the script window and go to AS3 > Import class… and choose the RobotDemo.as for example. We set RobotDemo as the main class and parse everything. Next we can close the script window and decorate the background with some clouds. What we end up with is something that looks like this:
(The keys are ‘P’ for go and ‘R’ for reverse)

Other things we could do is modify the colours in the RobotDemo constructor or class file to change the colours of the robot and obstacles.

You may find it useful to download the Flash debug projector when working with scripts. It can be found on the Adobe website.

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Using Kinect to Create Flash Animations with Awesome Animator

by Administrator on Jun.21, 2011, under Animating Tips

If you want to create a quick animation then instead of animating every frame by hand wouldn’t it be simpler just to scan in some human motions and use those? Well now if you have a Kinect that is exactly what you can do!!! Just plug your Kinect into your PC (you may need a separate power adapter if your Kinect cam bundled with your XBox or if you bought your Kinect separate from your XBox it should plug straight in with the USB).

Now you will need some software which turns your actions captured on the Kinect into a motion capture file (BVH). You can download some free software from the Brekel website.

Now do a little dance, jump up and down and capture your motions. Save them as a BVH file.

You can then import this BVH file into Awesome Animator (make sure you download the latest version) to create a Flash animation. The animation will show your movements as a stick figure but you can change these by double clicking on a rectangle and changing it for a different graphic.

Here is an example of importing a BVH file to Awesome Animator. (This one is of a horse but the same principle applies.) I have changed the head from a rectangle to something more interesting.

If you don’t have a Kinect you may be able to download some free BVH files that others have created.

Once you have made some good animations you can put them on your website or share them with your friends and don’t forget to mention they were made with Awesome Animator!!!

Digital Puppetry
Just because you are a human it doesn’t mean your animation must be of a human. For example, you could use your arms to pretend to be the jaws of crocodile. Then when you import the BVH file into Awesome Animator simply delete all the layers except for the arms (which will now be jaws) and use them as the basis of an animation!!!
You can combine multiple captures. For example first capture your body. Then capture your arm gestures again but this time use them for animating the mouth of your character.
A third capture could use your arms to animate a claw.
You can add different captures for different characters by importing the BVH inside different MovieClips.

Now just export your animation as a Flash (SWF) file!!!

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Unicode supported

by Administrator on Jun.14, 2011, under News

The latest version of Awesome Animator now has Unicode support. Which means that you can use it with Japanese font for example.

The text here is こんにちは私の日本人の友達が! which Google translate tells me says “Hello Japanese people!” Which probably means it says no such thing!

Unicode can be used in buttons and text boxes. You will need to use a font supporting Unicode such as “MS Mincho” or “Arial Unicode“. It is best to write out the Unicode first and then paste it in to a Awesome Animator text box because the characters may not show up in the dialog box.

Unicode was requested using our “bug tracking” feature.

The very latest version now supports Unicode in animated titles:

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Updates

by Administrator on Feb.13, 2011, under News

Over the recent weeks we’ve made some improvements to Awesome Animator. These include performance enhancements, bug fixes and additions. You can download the latest version (12th Feb 2010) from the Awesome Animator download page.

One of the new improvements is that Awesome Animator now allows you to open Flash animation SWFs containing Actionscript 3.0, change the graphic content and then re-export them. (Be aware, however, that changing the content of someone’s animation or game, may violate their copyright.) At present you are not able to edit Actionscript 3.0 code in AA although you can see a list of classes and functions contained in the SWF. If there is a high demand we may add Actionscript 3.0 editing at a later time.

We’ve also added a bug reporting facility which should help speed up the process of fixing bugs. Any bugs that are reported with this facility we shall prioritise. It speeds things up considerably if you can describe how to replicate the bug in the shortest number of steps. As always, we provide all updates free to existing users so it’s a win-win situation! We believe the latest version of AA to be the most stable and fastest yet.

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Candle Animation

by Administrator on Oct.26, 2010, under Animating Tips

In this example we shall use the quick particle effect wizard to create a nice animated candle. The result is:

We used the cylinder tool for the candle itself. We used a modified cylinder for the candle holder. We used a ring shape for the handle. The shine on the candle is simply a circle with a radial gradient where the outer colour opacity is 0%.
To create the flames we used the quick particle creator and used an orange colour. This layer is underneath the shine layer to give the best effect.

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Earth Moon Gravity Simulation

by Administrator on Oct.25, 2010, under Scripting

In this tutorial we shall make a basic gravitational simulation with the inverse square law of attraction.  It should end up looking like this:

We draw two spheres and group each one as a MovieClip. Using the frame panel we assign a reference name to each one: earth and moon. For the moon we set up the variables by choosing the MovieClip Events > onLoad action from the action menu. And type in:

mass = 1000
velocity = {x:15, y:0}

And then for the MovieClip Events > onEnterFrame we have:

//work out distance from earth to moon
dx = _root.earth._x – _x
dy = _root.earth._y – _y
r = Math.sqrt(dx*dx + dy*dy)

//get the mass of the earth from the other MovieClip
m = _root.earth.mass

//change the velocity according to the inverse square law of attraction
velocity.x += m*dx/r/r/r
velocity.y += m*dy/r/r/r

//change the position with the values of the velocity
_x += velocity.x
_y += velocity.y

We then repeat these actions for the Earth but  wherever it says earth put moon.  Also, the starting values for the earth MovieClip in the onLoad action should be:

mass = 50000
velocity = {x:-0.2, y:0}
We found the values of the masses mostly by experimentation. What we can do next is add the ability to drag the planets by adding the actions startDrag() and stopDrag() to the onPress and onRelease actions.
If you forget which events or references you’ve added to the MovieClip, Awesome Animator has the useful feature that when the MovieClips are selected it shows a list of events beside the shape and the reference name below the shape:
Showing events in editor

Showing events and references in editor

Other things you might like to add would be a reset button.

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Bouncing Ball

by Administrator on Oct.25, 2010, under Scripting

In this tutorial we are going to model a bouncing ball using the equations of Newtonian physics no less! This is the result:

First let us create a new animation with size 400 x 300 using the File > Document Properties menu.

Next we draw the ball with the sphere tool. Next we group the ball as a MovieClip.

Next with the ball selected we go to the Action menu and in the MovieClip Events we choose onLoad to set up some values for when the ball first appears on the screen. In the action box we type in:

gravity = 4
velocity = {x:10, y:0}

This sets the strength of the gravitational force to a suitable number and adjusts it for 24 frames a second animation. It sets the initial velocity to a sideways direction in the x-axis.

We close this window. Then in the MovieClip Events we choose onEnterFrame which tells the ball what to do on every frame. We type in:

//the velocity increases downwards every frame
velocity.y += gravity


//the position of the ball change with the velocity
_x += velocity.x
_y += velocity.y


//if it hits the floor reverse the downward velocity
if( _y + _height/2 > Stage.height){
    velocity.y*= -1
    _y=Stage.height -_height/2
}


//if it hits the sides reverse the sideways velocity
if( _x - _width/2 < 0 || _x + _width/2 > Stage.width){
    velocity.x*= -1
}

Close the action window and preview the result!

(You may notice that when it hits the floor we also adjust the position of the ball so it touches the floor exactly. This prevents unusual behaviour such as the ball bouncing higher then it fell.)

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Morphing and Tweening

by Administrator on Oct.22, 2010, under Animating Tips

In this tutorial we shall use simple morphing and tweening methods to create a semi-realistic water droplet effects. The effect is further highlighted with use of transpareny and gradients.

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Quickly Create Animated Text

by Administrator on Oct.16, 2010, under Video Tutorials

In this video tutorial we shall create some animated text of the classic words “Hello World”.  Watch the video and repeat the steps, pausing the video when you need to.

The steps are very simple.

Step 1

To change the background colour, open the ‘Appearance’ menu and choose ‘Background colour’.

Step 2

To add the animated text go to the ‘Quick’ menu and choose ‘Title Text”. Type the words in you want. (In this case “Hello World”). Adjust the parameters until you like what you see in the preview window. Click OK to add it to the page.

Step 3

Use the blue cursor to move the text into the right place and the resize tool to make the text the right size.

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