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Flash Animation

The following flash movie animates the poem "A Clear Midnight," by Walt Whitman.

After selecting the topic for my Flash assignment, I began by storyboarding the movie. Once my storyboarding was complete, I found my background images and imported them to the library - each of them was converted to a graphic symbol and sized to the canvas (300x300). Also, the file was created with ActionScript 3.0.

Scene 1: Scene 1 of my movie is only thirty frames long and contains a play button to start the animation. Once the viewer presses play (coded using Action Script), the "sun" tweens from its square shape to a circle and then sets. As the sun tweens and sets, the background image of the poem is revealed. Simultaneously, the words "flash," "animation," and my name move (via motion tweens) off of the stage.

Scene 2: Scene 2 of the animation introduces the poem title and author to viewers in 50 frames. All elements of this scene use a motion tween to 'land' on the screen and, after 5 frames, move off. "A Clear Midnight" also tweens from 0% alpha to 100%. Similiar alpha-tweening is found throughout the text of the poem. The three elements begin to move off of the screen at the same time- the title by fading out, "a poem by" by twisting away, and the author by first growing then falling out of the frame.

Scene 3: Scene 3 contains only the first line of the poem:

"This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless"

The first and second text segments simply fade in from 0% to 100% alpha. Element three, "the wordless", uses a motion tween to grow from invisible to 'full' size with the rest of the line. Each element begins in a different frame (staggered) and reach full alpha/placement at the same time. After 10 frames of hold time, the elements spin and fade out of the stage.

Scene 4: Scene 4 is the largest of the scenes in my animation and contains 235 frames. The remaining three lines of the poem have been placed in this scene. Line 2 of the poem begins to show on the stage through a motion tween that folds the text from upsidedown and off-stage onto the bottom of the screen. The next part of line two spins on to the stage as the first element moves upwards. The third part of this line of text then appears with "no" brightness and increases to full color which creates an almost shining effect as the text appears. As the third element reaches full brightness, prior elements fade and move upward on the stage. Again, after hold time, the elements tween off of the screen via a straight-motion tween or by shrinking and fading to invisibility.

Line 3 Next in the scene, line 3 begins to appear. Both segments of this line use a color and alpha tween, giving the line a more unified appearance. Also, this line of text is given a straight-off motion tween to clear the stage because the content is longer than other lines.

Line 4 After line 3 has faded from the stage, the background image fades from the moon over water to an image of stars. The fade out of background 1 and in of background 2 occur simultaneously and produce an interesting layered effect. Once background 2 has reached full alpha, line 4 begins. "Night," "sleep," and "death," all fade in and out (in a static position) over the course of 20 frames. There is a brief pause after "death" and then the phrase, "and the stars" moves into place via a motion tween. This final element of the poem was given a motion guide to follow as it fades in.

Scene 5: The final scene of my animation is a very brief one, consisting of only 20 frames. In this scene, background 2 shrinks and fades into the center as a new blue background grows into place and a ball bounces across the screen to the lower right corner. The ball had a motion guide created that was drawn with the pencil tool. As this occurs, the text moves on to the top of the screen and the Whitman Archive button fades in. The Whitman button was created through Flash's button tool and coded in the actions layer using Action Script.