Multimedia Production

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Motion, Graphics and Multimedia Production

ActionScript allows custom scripting to be integrated into movies by adding scripts to frames (frame actions) or objects (object actions). ActionScript can be applied in an easier context than hand coding by using behaviors in Flash. Similar to behaviors in Dreamweaver, Flash behaviors allow easy access to basic scripting functions that add interactivity and enhanced multimedia capa- bilities to Web pages.

Unit Values in Flash

The timeline in Flash is where all the elements in the Flash movie are positioned over time. Time needs be involved when motion and animation is involved. Animation is defined as change over time. Motion graphics is a form of animation. The unit of measurement that is used in Flash to represent time is the frame. A series of frames with objects runs over time to present an animation. The frames are designated a speed rate when the designer creates the movies.

The FPS (frames per second) is typically set for 12-15 FPS for Web based animations. The timeline status display at the bottom of the timeline indicates the selected frame number, the current frame rate, and the elapsed time to the current frame. The higher the FPS rate the faster the animation will try to perform. However, the animation has other factors that affect its performance. The first is the speed of the user’s computer. The second is the speed of the internet connection. The performance attributes that you design into your animation also affect the way the motion graphics play.

For example, bitmap images with heavy file sizes tend to animate slowly. Bitmaps must be optimized correctly and they also must be scaled appropriately for the Web so they perform and communicate. Vector images and shapes drawn in Flash animate quicker than bitmap images. For this reason, we will examine text based animations that are small in size and big in communication. Gradually we will learn about bitmap basic bitmap usage while creating an animated banner. Thinking about the Text Animation.

Creating even the simplest text animations in Flash requires creative planning. It is essential to develop a compact, persuasive message that will translate well in the realm of motion graphics. To do this, you should write out your ideas in a brainstorming session. Think of a core message that you want your Web portfolio to communicate to users.

You examined this same question when you conceptualized the Web portfolio. Focus on that same message or develop a new message. Make it one statement that defines you. Once you have the statement, think of five to seven words that support the statement. Each word can be animated to present a full statement in motion across the users screen.

Creating the Text Animation Creating the text animation is simple good beginning project to get acquainted with the Flash interface elements and to create an interesting multimedia element for your Web portfolio. We will make a splash page to open our site. The page will have an animation and an entrance button. We will also build this animation up by adding sound.

Start by creating a new Flash document. Let’s use the default size of 550 pixels wide x 400 pixels long. This size will provide us with plenty of room to use motion and it will fit nicely into the content layer on our homepage. Pick a background color for the movie that will work within the color scheme of your site. You do not have to use the exact colors; you can use variations such as light or dark shades and complimentary tones.

All the colors are Web safe in the palette so they will reproduce accurately on the users monitor. Save and name it the movie splash_intro.fla. Now we should get some good Flash housekeeping issues. It’s a good idea to organize your layers before beginning to work. Organizing layers means naming the layers consistently throughout your projects. When your projects begin to get larger in scope, you will appreciate naming your layers in advance. In the timeline, create new layers with this naming convention:

  • Guides
  • Labels
  • Actions
  • Sound
  • Button
  • Name
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