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P4 - Describe the software tools available for animation

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Kathryn Powell

on 17 March 2015

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Transcript of P4 - Describe the software tools available for animation

P4 - Describe the software tools available for animation
The Tools For Animation
When creating an animation there are several tools and techniques which are used throughout all types of digital animation development. The majority of this presentation will be applicable to other types of animation, however I will be focusing on animation which consists in the modern animation industry.
Frames
Key Frames
This leads me onto the next tool which are 'Key Frames'.

Key frames are a single still images which are animated into a sequence that occurs at an important time. Key frames are put in order to define the crucial points of the animation before the frames are drawn or created to a 'tween'. An example would be the swinging of a bat; firstly the bat will be at rest which would one key frame, the other would be at the end of the swing. All other frames would be 'tweened'.
Controls
The controls are the tools which are available within the animation application. The tools are usually found in the Toolbox palette. The Toolbox allows you to use a range of different things such as zoom tool, fill colour, stroke colour, line tool, pen tool, text tool and many others.
Layers
Layers are referred to as different levels which allows you to place objects and drawings on . The layers are stacked above and below one another, the top layer obscures the bottom layers. Bottom layers are always hidden by the top layers. Layers are just like sheets of paper but just cut into different shapes. For example, if you have a circle and place it on the table; that's your layer one. If you add another shape such as a triangle that's your second layer. The shapes may overlap but that are still a separate layer.

Layers allow you to have more freedom when editing and keeping them separate from merging objects together on one frame when you would like them to be on different layers.
Frames are a sequence of images which is created using frames of individual pictures. These frames are played on software such as Flash movie where the frames are flashed on the screen at 12 frames per second. This creates the appearance of motion on the screen. The majority of films are shot at 24 or 30 frames per second. FPS is often used in games to measure how fast the graphics processor of a computer is.

To create a frame-by-frame animation you will need to use something called a 'Key Frame'. The new key frame contains the same content because the content of each frame has been copied and pasted.
Tweening
Buttons
Libraries
Integrated Media
Preloaders
Scripts
'Tween' is the short word for 'in-between', referring to the creation of the successful frames of animation between the key frames.Tweening is most commonly used in Adobe Flash, where animation is 'shape tweened' and 'motion tweened'. This is where the user can define two key frames and then Flash will automatically create the tween by either morphing one shape into another over a period of time or it can move a shape from one place to another over a set period of time. 3D animation programs also have their own method of 'Tweening'.
The libraries are the tweens, symbols and other asset are stored so that they are able to reused later on in the animation. Reusing the assets makes it easier for the animator as they will not have to create the same thing over and over again. It also means that there will be no difference in what is meant to be the same asset. Reusing the same asset will save a lot of time and would mean that they would be identical all the way through the animation.
Buttons are used to control the play of an animation or alter the sequence . There will be a button at the beginning - a start button be able to play the animation. there may also be another play button at the end to be able to replay the animation. A scene selection button may also be present such as the ones on a DVD so that the viewer is able to view a particular part of the animation.
Integrated media are other types of media that is able to be integrated into an animation such as sound and video. These types of media can have a powerful effect on the animation, however it can be awkward to include into the animation. The file size will also become a problem as it will increase dramatically.
Preloaders are displayed to indicate to the user when a file has been loaded. They are generally used when a larger file is being uploaded as it make take time to load or upload the file to the web. An animator is not able to predict how long the animation will take to open. Preloaders display a bar in the center of the screen. Sometimes the preloaders will have additional information such as the title, the animators name, a short description and a mini animation.
Scripts make animations more adaptable, they can make a simple linear animation change to one that has more potential to do well on selling and allow interactivity with the user. Scripting languages can also be used such as ActionScript in Adobe Flash.
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