Animation-2D BAsics

This introductory series of screencasts is for beginners to animation, for first-timers who have never composed a 2D animation before, never used the Flash animation editor or such experiences happened so long ago that starting from the beginning is the best way to go. Animation is one of the fundamental elements of the digital palette, the new literacy of the 21st century.

At the top of each page is this series of video compositions that show the blow-by-blow actions on the computer screen. They walk the beginner through the process, introducing some of the major features of the world’s most commonly used animation editor. Watch. But more importantly, pause and do. That is, stop the screencast and actually do some piece of the action. Then, continue with watch, pause and do.

The goal of this beginner activity is to animate an instructional photo and related text within a specified display space. This concept can be used with any content area to create content for teaching lessons while introducing animation using the Flash animation editor. Once this basic pattern is learned, it easy to add other layers to add to the richness of the composition.

It may be useful to see the finished example first, then begin the screencasts above.

INtro to Flash-
Basic layers
Flash 2D
Beginning to learn 2D animation-a key step in digital literacy

Author: Houghton

There is a pair of identical screens movies for each stage of the activity. It is only necessary to choose one of the two sizes of each of the screencasts (at top the of the page) to follow the steps to an introduction to digital animation. One is bigger, so easier to see, and one is smaller so loads and starts playing more quickly.  One will be best for your computer and its Net bandwidth.

This project uses screencast video to teach composing with media from 4 other elements of the digital palette: text, images, animation and audi
o. This series of movies introduces animation by animating two objects, a photo and a related set of text. It will also discuss when to use and how to include a short action script, the stop command. A final layer will include audio that was created and edited outside of the Flash animation editor.

Additional layers are also easy to add, so these layers might serve as springboard to your creativity in adding further layers of images and text or other animated graphic objects.

These movies come in two sizes, 70% of the original screen size and 50%. The bigger 70% will be easier to read. The smaller 50% will load and play faster.  Choose the size that works best on your computer.

Length total of all screencasts (37 mins)

  1. BulletStage one (3 mins 40 secs) - Watch a model animation then plan and prepare one of your own. You will just need an instructional photo or graphic image and some related text.

  1. BulletStage two (6 mins 16 secs) - Insert and animate an instructional image, a single layer with a single object.

  1. BulletStage three (4 mins 31 secs) - Insert and animate text, a quotation related to the image or photograph. Next add the action script ‘stop’ command.

  1. BulletStage four (2 mins 8 secs) - Insert an action script command into a layer that stops the animation.

  1. BulletStage five - (1 min 24 secs) Setup the publish choices to put animation in a file format that can be shared on the Web or played from the desktop.

  1. BulletStage six (1 min 12 secs) - Put the animation in a file format that can be shared with online Web editing sites such as Google Sites.

  1. BulletStage seven (1 min 18 secs) - Put the animation in a file format that can be used with desktop editors such as Sea Monkey and Dreamweaver for later uploading.

  1. BulletStage eight (8 mins 46 secs) - Compose an audio composition to help set the tone and meaning of the animation.

  1. BulletStage nine - (5 mins 46 secs)  Add the audio file to the animation using the import command (under File in the Flash application) once the audio is a file in mp3 format.

Stage ten -  See the finished example.

Adobe Flash CS6 can be downloaded, installed and used for free for thirty days. Some version of Flash will be needed to follow along with these activities.

This work is linked to related compositions:

  1. The Knowledge Society (article)

  2. Digital Literacy Methods chapter on animation (book).

  3. Multimedia Education chapter on animation (book).