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DMA 205

For our Intro to flash site our project was to create a walk/run animation cycle. I have no experience in working with flash so it was challenging  at times.

I started by thinking of a character concept, and sketching it out on paper. The idea for my character was that he was a hired messenger, hired by secret agencies to deliver valuable information. haha, yeah…

Later, I started out sketching out a run cycle for the character. this was the most challenging part and after sketching it out, I realized that i wouldn’t be able to add as much detail as a I liked. This was because the character wasn’t going to be big on screen and too much details will over crowed the look of the character. Also it would of taken way to long to create a detailed character 12 times in Illustrator.

Once I had a run cycle on paper, i scanned it and started created it in illustrator.

It took a really long and probably the most time making the run cycle in Illustrator, which is why I really needed to keep it simple. I had to add 5 more frames of the run to complete it and so the animation transitions nicely back to the first frame.

Some of the graphics for the background was done in Illustrator and Photoshop. I managed to look the background nicely by making a long strip of the road, fence and mountains and just look it back to the beginning when it reaches back to the same exact position at the beginning.

Some blur effects was added to the objects in the back to give it some depth of field.

For the sun, I used the motion path tool to move it in an arch. I also added glow effect and added spinning light rays coming from the sun.

For the transition from day to night, i lowered the brightness for everything on screen, and changed the gradient of the sky. Since the sun goes away and the light turns on from the light post in front of the character so the point of view of the shadow changes.

The shadow caused a lot of frustrations. I was difficult aligning the shadow with the character because i wanted the direction to change according to the position of the sun and the street light. Also, for some reason after when it completes a cycle, the character and shadow goes out of sync. I still can’t figure out why this happens since they are both running at the same frame rate and both using the same run animation. The problem seems to come from just copying the frames to extend the duration.

After couple hours, i decided to solve it by making duplicate movie clips of the character and shadow then keep changing them after each cycle, so it resets. Unfortunately this causes the animation to skip/stutter. It can be distracting but it’s better than a shadow running on its own.

Bumping up the fps is another thing i considered doing. It made the animation looked smoother but i find it went to fast, especially for the run cycle. I decided sticking with 12 fps was okay.

In the end, I wasn’t  happy with the end result. Overall it looks rough, visually it doesn’t look nice and the shadow problem is distracting. I feel that i should of focused on one aspect of the the project more like making the character and background look much nicer, instead of spending time creating transitions from day to night and moving shadows, which was time spent mostly on figuring out how and fixing.

Here’s the animation:

http://perpetualdays.com/DMA205/animation.html

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