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Why Does Image Distort When I move the Bones?

Oct 28, 2011 1:19 PM


Hi, I just watched a tutorial where they apply bnes to deform a "bitmap" image. Their image didn't distort like my image. Why is this happening.


I imported an image then I "selected "break apart" and then I added bones to it. When I move the bones it makes the image distort, but in this tutorial here the image doesn't distort. What is wrong?

  • Peter Celuch
    505 posts
    Nov 17, 2005
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    Oct 29, 2011 4:37 AM   in reply to Comp. 792

    Go to library, rightclick on the imported bitmap -> properties -> allow smoothing: true.

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    Oct 31, 2011 11:28 AM   in reply to Comp. 792

    The tutorial you watched is very simplistic. He doesn't use the bones in a realistic way and skips over the fact that his image isn't actually distorting the way he implies it will.


    When you break apart a bitmap on the Stage, you end up with a shape that has its fill set as the bitmap (which is still in the library). When you bend and distort this shape with bones, the effect on the bitmap fill is unpredictable. Note that in the tutorial you cited, the author does not show the bitmap actually distorting in any useful way.


    The better way to do this is to select the bitmap instance on stage and then choose Modify > Bitmap > Trace Bitmap. This converts the bitmap instance to a vector drawing. The problem here is that you end up with mulitple shapes of different colors if you have a multi-color image like your dinosour tail. You can add bones to the main green part of the tail, but the yellow parts will not be associated with those bones and so will not move with them. If you are animating the tail in the timeline, you can animate the main part of the tail via the bones and then animate the other parts to compliment that movement by moving those other parts to different layers and animating with normal motion tweens. 

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    Oct 31, 2011 11:50 AM   in reply to Jay_Armstrong

    Jay is 100% correct.

    If you break apart the bitmap you can "edit" it and apply a bone armature to it but it won't work like you think it would or should. The bitmap will act like a fill and will not conform to the armature when it is manipulated. Flash simply can not do this unfortunately. Only a few programs can;

    After Effects - "Puppet" tool.

    Anime Studio Pro - combine their IK armature with teir "Image Warp" feature (works amazingly well)

    Toon Boom - I believe they make software that can warp bitmaps.


    So truth is, that tutorial is good but misleading - you can apply a bone armature to a bitmap if you break it apart but you can't get the image to bend with the armature itself.

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    Nov 1, 2011 8:03 AM   in reply to Comp. 792

    You might want to look into Anime Studio Pro

    It has Bones and Image Warp. When combined, they make for a great animation tool. Animate/warp your bitmaps with IK and then export to SWF and import the SWF into Flash. Although for your situation making your image using flash and symbols will yield the most flexibility and smallest file size.

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