Flash animation has come a long way over the last few years. In fact, all animation has come a long way in the last few years. It's everywhere, be it on TV, films, the internet, video games, mobile phones, night clubs, computerised ATMs, in-flight safety videos and so on. Actually, it's amazing there are enough animators out there to do it all.
So why has there been this boom in animation? Well, if we're talking 2D animation (and we are), in part this can be attributed to the rise and rise in the use of Flash. Flash 8 provides you with everything you need to create broadcast quality animations at a snip over £200. It's no longer necessary to have expensive studio space equipped with lightboxes, line-testers and rostrum cameras (not to mention paper). Now anyone can get animating (and save the environment) with a little more than a computer and a copy of Flash.
The problem is there's a lot of bad animation out there. With everyone having a go, much of the current crop is poorly executed and many would-be animators are falling into the same traps. Just because Flash puts everything at your fingertips doesn't make it easy.
Flash is just a tool, and if you can learn to use it to its full potential, you can create things that don't look like they've been made in Flash at all, and no one will know how you made them.
The following tutorial should unravel some of that mystery. The plan is to create a tense showdown between two characters, by following a storyboard and using Flash primarily as an editing tool. Once we get that nailed, we can move on to some pretty awesome special effects and tricks that will really put your audience in the thick of it.
To get you going, we've provided a couple of simple animated characters (Combat Wombat and a rabbit) for you to work with. This tutorial is geared towards experienced Flash users, so if you get lost, we've provided the final FLA files and finished sequence. And finally, don't lose sight of the end goal, which is to create something people want to watch.