In-depth post #5- the six hats

I don’t know if I should go as far as to say this, but so the past month or so has been a disaster.

I pretty much lost all my progress on my animation except a few storyboards since I found out my old computer couldn’t handle me re-downloading flash since flash requires your system to be running on 64-bit. And upgrading your system from 32-bit to 64-bit causes it to be very inefficient, so I had to veto out that option. So what I did was transfer everything (literally everything) over to a different device. So I spent all of yesterday doing that, downloading drivers so my tablet would work, learning how to use toonboom, and pretty much just animating and working out kinks.

Although I was previously using flash, I decided to go for a change of scenery and try out something new, since my project has pretty much been a train wreck. I found it to be relatively similar to flash and pretty much made 1 second worth of animation. Oh, the fruit of my labour. But really, the 1 second animation was quite simple, only 2 pictures which were nearly identical. But it still took my several hours since I was teaching myself how to use toonboom. That animation will probably be done by my next (and final) post.

So I guess in the short period between this post and the next, my goal should be to start on an actual animation (I have no idea how long it’ll be) and get a YouTube channel up and running. I also really want to be able to talk to my mentor more but that may not be possible because of his extremely busy schedule.

Anyways, onto the topic of my last meeting with my mentor. As aforementioned, I finally got around to talking to him about symbols and timelines. He’s pretty much been unreachable, each time I  try to contact him he’s always been incredibly busy. Which is one of the reasons why this post has been delayed till now, as well as a very full spring break. But here is an excerpt of the conversation we had (unfortunately over the phone)

Me: How do you move… the stuff and like rotate and use it, I guess. (really bad blue hat attempt)

Mentor: Mhm. So did you figure it out on your own yet?

Me: um…

Mentor: Have you tried yet?

Me: I have tried a little bit of stuff but like, the stuff about the object’s center of gravity was what I was confused about. (blue hat: I’m trying to lead the conversation towards my mentor telling me about tweening and symbols)

Mentor: Oh… okay, so, um, have you been able to use the motion tween? (green hat: asking this as an alternative)

Me: Not quite, which is why.

Mentor: Oh, okay. Well, in order to use the motion tween, the drawing has to be turned into a symbol, and not just a group. Groups cannot be tweened on the timeline. (white hat)

Me: Right. How can you turn it into a symbol?

Mentor: If you go under the tab, I believe it’s called modify? There is a convert to symbol, which the shortcut is F8. (white hat again)

Me: Oh, okay.

Mentor: So once you’ve converted to symbol, it will ask you to name it, which will be stored into your library.

Me: Right. And symbols have a specific timeline, right? (white hat: trying to confirm this is true, getting my mentor to focus on this information)

Mentor: It has a specific… What was your question?

Me: Symbols have a different timeline, right?

Mentor: Yes, when you turn something into a symbol, it becomes… well, it’s called a symbol but you can double-click and it has its own timeline because you can have multiple layers. (white hat) But for what you’re doing, I would keep it as simple as possible.

Me: Right.

Mentor: Without going too deep into it. (black hat: caution) But each symbol has its own timeline, and when you create a symbol, when you select it, you’ll see where the center point is, and the center point of that, is the center of the screen when you go inside. Does that answer your question?

Me: Yeah! I guess so…

Mentor: Yeah, groups do not move on the timeline. They cannot be tweened. Only symbols can be tweened. So it takes a lot of organizational skill.

Me: Yeah, okay, I guess I get it now. I feel like a lot of it is about working on the actual program, though. (red hat)

Hopefully my condition (?) will have improved by the next post. Until then, I’ll keep working hard on animating and figuring things out to the best of my ability.