"Vector animation" means that an animation is created using vectors rather than pixels. Vector animation allows a neater and smoother animation because the animation is made using a sequence of images. Macromedia's Flash program has for a long time been the preferred program to use for this sort of animation. Today, you can also use Adobe Illustrator or the free program Vector Giotto.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Open a new document in the Macromedia Flash program. Click "File," "Import" and select your vector. Click "Open." Click on the "Select" tool and drag the vector to the right side of your drawing board.
Click frame "41" on the "Timeline." Go to "Insert," "Timeline" and select "Blank Keyframe." Click "File," "Import" and select your vector. Click "Open." Click on the "Select" tool and drag the vector to the left side of your drawing board.
Right-click on the timeline and select "Create Shape Tween."
Click "Control," Test Movie" and select "Test" to watch your animation.
Click "File," "Place" and "OK" to insert four images into a new document. Click the "Select" tool and drag the cursor over the images to select them. Align the images on top of each other. Go to "Window" and click "Align." Click the vertical and horizontal icons (the second and sixth) under "Align Objects."
Click on the "Blend" tool. A window will pop up, bringing up the "Blend Options" tool.
Click "Specified Steps" under "Spacing." Write "8" for the value box. Click "OK."
Click "Object," "Blend" and "Make" from the tabs at the top of your drawing frame.
Go to "File" then "Export." The "Export" window will pop up. Write the name of your animation and select "Flash" from the drop-down menu under "Format." Click "Export." A "SWF Options" window will pop up. Click on "Basic" on the left side. Make sure under "Export As" it says "AI Layers to SWF Frames."
Click the "Advanced" tab and uncheck "Looping." Click "Animate Blends." Click "In Sequence." Click "OK."
Click "Web Preview" to open the animation on your web browser.
Open a new document in the free Vectorian Giotto program by pressing "Ctrl" + "N".
Click "File," "Import" and select your vector. Click "Open." Click on the "Select" tool and drag the vector to the left side of your drawing board.
Right-click the number "40" on the Timeline and click "Insert Keyframe."
Right-click on the grey frame and select "Create Motion Tween."
Click "File," "Import" and select your vector. Click "Open." Click on the "Select" tool and drag the vector to the right side of your drawing board.
Click on the frame number "1" and press "Enter" to watch animation.
Tips and warnings
- To select "Blank Keyframe" in the Macromedia Flash program, you can also press "F6" on your keyboard. Press the enter key to watch your animation. Tweening motion consists of created the first and the final frame to create a movement. The program will insert the missing frames in between.
- Tweening shape allows you to change the physical properties of the object by morphing it. One shape appears to change over time.
- With shape morphing, you can blend one shape into a different shape.
- In Vectorian Giotto, you can convert a drawing into a symbol by pressing "F8" and put it in the library for later use. This can be useful when creating animation since you will probably have to reuse several objects many times.
- Do not press on the intermediate frames with tweening. You just need the first and the last frame and the program will create the motion automatically.
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