The Little Flash Rabbit

IT’S THE WEEKEND, so as a break from my normal work I decided to have a go, once again, at creating a Flash Animation. This rabbit, which would have failed the audition for Watership Down, is from a tutorial on ‘Simple Animation’ in Ivan Hissey and Curtis Tappenden’s The Professional Step-by-Step Guide to Cartooning.

A year ago, I read right through the Teach Yourself Visually Guide to Flash MX but that has the disadvantage that when you get to Chapter 9, ‘Create Tweened Animations’, they expect you to have picked up the basics. I’m afraid that with Flash, which I use only once or twice a year, I’ve invariably forgotten the basics. The Step-by-Step Guide gives you clear simple instructions in full.

Effects like this Shape Tweening are simple to achieve once you know how. I like the way the Step-by-Step Guide casually mentions a few really useful keystrokes for Flash in the two paragraphs of instructions for shape tweening.

But I’m afraid that’s going to be the end of Flash for me for another six months! What a complex program! Everything seems designed to do what you don’t expect it to do. What finally stumped me was trying to do the simplest of processes, the selection of a sequence of frames in the animation: ‘select frames . . . by clicking and dragging the mouse across the timeline’. In my version of the program, that just drags the first frame along the timeline, leaving a sequence of blank frames. Most discouraging.

I’m not completely illiterate when it comes to computers but Flash does win the prize for the most abstruse and contrary program ever designed. Perhaps it’s too much to expect to run an old program like Flash MX on Windows 7.

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