18 October 2004
Note: This article describes classic animation techniques in Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004. For the latest information about animation in Adobe Flash, be sure to visit the Animation Learning Guide for Flash. Read Motion migration guide for Flash CS4 Professional if you have used animation methods in earlier versions of Flash and want to learn how to migrate your skill set.
Some characters come together more easily than others. It's as if they were meant to be created—all their parts fitting together the first time, like some well thought-out puzzle. Other times, certain characters draw blood and tears from you, forcing you to grind them out, revision after revision—and they still don't come out right.
The Hula Girl was one of those easy-to-create characters. She came together almost like magic. From the original paper sketch to the final vector drawing in Macromedia Flash, the Hula Girl character seemed to create herself—as if she knew how she wanted to look. Needless to say, I had a lot of fun designing this character because she came together so easily and fast.
The only thing more fun than creating a cool character is animating it. The Hula Girl has some very cool, yet challenging, animated features. Her hair required the old-school frame-by-frame technique, and her skirt started out as a basic shape tween. I then edited each frame individually. The rest of her uses simple motion tweens.
I chose to present the Hula Girl character because she uses nearly every animation technique that Flash has to offer, including a couple of my own tricks and techniques, thereby making her a prime candidate for a Breeze presentation. I hope you enjoy it. Aloha!
View presentation (1:22 min.)