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How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 6:42 pm
So, once you've stopped screaming in abject horror at the maddening concept of the title, you might realize that there actually is a reason you'd like to learn to not have to use V-Cam anymore. Perhaps you have hit stumbling blocks with the artificial limitations V-Cam can often force upon you as the person who made it only designed for it his personal use in mind and the release to public was an after thought. Or, perhaps you love V-Cam, but have recently wanted to enter a Collab that has forbidden its use as nothing unfortunately breaks collabs faster than every single submitter freely mixing and matching their uses of action script at random. Or, maybe for completely unexplainable plot points, you have been thrust back into the past to a time before Flash 7 has yet to be invented. Whatever the case is, I am here to teach you how to easily achieve all those great camera moving effects without a single line of actionscript.

BUT FIRST, A PRECUSOR LESSON

You probably already knew that you make your sprite animation loops of things such as a character running in a movie type symbol. However, did you also know that you can have them be in a graphic type symbol and still achieve the same effect minus the synching impossibility matters that come with using a movie file? It's all true, you can even use the already compiled movie symbols for this without manually editing any of them.

Step 1:

Drop your already made movie symbol on the stage.

Step 2:

Click the movie symbol, but do not go inside of it.

Step 3:

In the properties panel (be sure to have it open) first change the part that says movie to graphic instead (if you start out with something that is already a graphic object, this part can be skipped). Next, change the part that probably say Single Frame to Loop. If you so choose, you can even manually select a frame within the movie for it to start upon rather than it merely always starting on frame 1... but for now just leave it at 1.

Once you've done this, you will be able to see the animation contained within the movie symbol play out across the timeline without having to render your movie to a swf file. This can be positively priceless when you're trying to make the speed someone is walking/running look like it actually matches the animation in their walk/run cycle. Just remember, though, any animation made in this manner will stop whenever the movie is paused with the stop() command. However, any animation done this way will always play out and synch the same way every time the movie is played. Think of it sort of like setting an audio file to stream instead of "start".

Okay, so now that you know how to have animation inside a graphic type symbol, we will be getting to the heart of what I promised.

THE REAL MEAT AND POTATOES (Gravy Costs Extra):

So long as you set the properties for a graphical symbol to loop (or, in some cases, Play Once) you can have anything you want inside it be a fully featured movie. You can have multiple layers inside the graphic symbol, and each layer can be a timeline of far more than one frame. You can have multiple movies and graphic symbols upon the layers inside that graphic symbol. You can even have - oh sweet delicious recursion - timelines, layer and symbols inside THOSE symbols. The possibilities are endless.

Applications:

- If you build you entire animation inside a grahic symbol, you can then move that entire graphic symbol around the timeline with the use of keyframes, tweens, and guide-lines as normal... all this while the animation inside of it continues to play as normal. Also, because you can manually set which frame a graphic symbol begins upon, each new keyframe of your simulated camera movement won't have to mess with the animation going on inside (actually, flash will usually keep track of and update this automatically for you unless you do something stupid)

- Want a shaky camera effect? Why's that easy too! Simply have your symbol with the entire scene in it inside another symbol that has the animation for all your camera movements. Next, place that inside another symbol that moves the symbol directly most inside of it in a shaky stuttering effect. This will cause the stuttering effect to be layered on to of your already simulated camera movement, giving the impression of the shaky handcam look first popularized in Blair Witch Project. You will quickly come to find that complex motions can be split into far simpler component elements using symbols inside of symbols inside of... (you get the idea)

WARNING:

If one of your nested graphics symbols isn't playing its animation correctly then be sure that you didn't do one of the two following:

- Be sure that the graphic symbol in question is not set to single frame in the properties panel
- If you have your symbol nested inside of another symbol, then be sure that the higher level symbol has a timeline that runs the ENTIRE length of the animation contained in the symbol nested inside of it that doesn't seem to be fully playing.


Last edited by Clovis15 on 1/16/2011, 10:58 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 7:23 pm
Thanks again for educating us :0


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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 8:08 pm
For the camera shake, instead of having to put it inside another symbol, you can much easily create the tween for the camera movement, keyframe some of the frames in side the tween and move the symbol as you would.
I don't know if it's easier or not but just throwing in something else.


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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 8:11 pm
TO ERIC:

Inserting extra keyframes and manually moving the camera around would also work. I think my programming background has simply taught me to look for chances to use recursion wherever I can, as well as to make sure that you aren't doing something that can't ever easily be undone later on if you change your mind (for instance, you would be able to change the tween itself with destroying the shaking effect, or vice versa)


Last edited by Clovis15 on 1/16/2011, 8:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 8:16 pm
This is pure GOLD.



@darkdragon581 wrote:ping, i don't see you getting 'boodie' anytime soon, i don't care if your black, its most likely not going to happen
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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 8:21 pm
@Clovis15 wrote:TO ERIC:

Inserting extra keyframes and manually moving the camera around would also work. I think my programming background has simply taught me to look for chances to use recursion wherever I can, as well as to make sure that you aren't doing something that can't ever easily be undone later on if you change your mind (for instance, you would be able to change the tween itself with destroying the shaking effect, or vice versa)
That's when you make love to CTRL + Z


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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 8:33 pm
I make love to CTRL+Z regularly, and sometimes CTRL+Y as well... we make a threesome of it.

I actually mean something more along the lines of changing your mind some time after the next couple of scenes have already been finished. Of course, concerns like that really only apply to longer animations.


Last edited by Clovis15 on 1/16/2011, 8:36 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 8:34 pm
@Clovis15 wrote:I make love to CTRL+Z regualrly... I mean more along the lines of changing your mind some time after the next couple of scenes have already been finished. Of course, concerns like that really only apply to longer animations.
And my main projects is to be over 20 minutes :3


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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 8:37 pm
@Eric wrote:
@Clovis15 wrote:I make love to CTRL+Z regualrly... I mean more along the lines of changing your mind some time after the next couple of scenes have already been finished. Of course, concerns like that really only apply to longer animations.
And my main projects is to be over 20 minutes :3
/brag


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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 9:08 pm
So, matters of camera shaking aside, was the rest of the tutorial useful?
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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 10:31 pm


....nah im just kidding, it was a good tutorial but i had a hard time following it ._.
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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 10:37 pm
What would you like for me to explain in more detail?
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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 10:41 pm
ehh....no...im perfectly fine with my v-cam
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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 10:41 pm
I don't understand why most of you can't handle that small amount of read.
I never read books and this was fine.


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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 11:07 pm
Lange's tutorials were longer and you still read it, DD >_>


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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 11:30 pm
You don't absorb Mr Lange's information it absorbs you.

anywho, nice tut i actually read it, but still, i'll never betray Mr.VCAM


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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 11:41 pm
That's okay that you choose to keep using V-Cam, just so long as you remember the material here all the same. My next tutorial will cover some ways of effecting dynamic animation control, that can even be in conjunction with V-Cam at the same time, and will build upon some of the stuff I already taught in this tutorial.
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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 11:53 pm
good tut,but im sticking with vcam.
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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/16/2011, 11:57 pm
I think he just looks at the pics Lange gives and uses that, no reading required :3
also, i think pics would be nice in the tuts. though i don't know if its required since i don't know if its hard to do


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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/17/2011, 5:30 am
This was pretty good. I've always had my problems with V-CAM. Even using Flash 8/CS3, I find that it's a pretty silly thing. I only use it because of it's simplicity. But I'm gonna try this method now, it's gonna be useful since I've been looking for new methods of doing camera work in Flash.

Thank you for your great tutorials, Clovis. And this came faster than I thought. Wow.
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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/17/2011, 5:36 am
I'm glad you liked it, your initial interest in the concept was part of what drove me to make it so quickly.
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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/17/2011, 5:58 am
lol I made you make this

And I've did think on using the same method that you explained (with a few errors). But my method proved to be time-consuming...
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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/17/2011, 6:21 am
I suggest making your entire scene in a fresh timeline first in a seperate flash file, and then pasting those entire timelines into a fresh graphic object. I'm pretty sure that's how I did the Dragon Tank fight in Episode 15 of CTU. I originally animated it as a fight with a stationary camera, but it occured to me as I was finishing it that I could put it all inside of a larger graphic symbol and then move that around to make it seem much more interesting. I probably would have spent a lot of time fixing errors if I had tried to build it from the outside in rather than the inside out.
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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/17/2011, 6:27 am
Oh thanks Clovis. For some reason I thought on doing it inside my project file. Big mistake, I should've done what you said.
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Re: How to Live Life Without V-Cam

on 1/17/2011, 8:57 pm
I find it's often important to do things in seperate files if no other reason than flash is an evil misanthropic bastard that has no higher asperation than to consume your hard work by way of file corruption and then feast malevolently upon your searing tears of agony.
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