3 Replies Latest reply on Jun 9, 2014 1:15 PM by NerdDoc

    How can I repeat a handwriting effect?


      Hi there,


      So I'm new to flash and I've switched over because my powerpoint animations were becoming too complex and the video output I was trying to upload to YouTube just didn't look as good as I'd hoped.


      I really liked the ability to quickly "wipe" in an object from the left so that it looked like I was drawing it. I'm basically making a presentation that has lots of arrows and lots of things getting crossed out as I build and solve some math problems. I'm wondering if there's an easier way than stepping through 4 or 5 key frames and erasing a chunk of the line and then reversing the whole sequence? This method would take forever for what I'm wanting to do, so I'm hoping there's a quick way for me to accomplish this?


      Here's a video of what I'm talking about:

        • 1. Re: How can I repeat a handwriting effect?
          AdeptDigital Level 2



          Since the new HTML5 Canvas tools do not support masks you may need to get creative with different gradient PNG files and layering. For example, you put you text on a layer, then on the layer above it you position a box with a gradient that starts at 0% opacity and moves to match the background color, then animate a move from left to right sliding the gradient off the text to "reveal" it. This works well enough on a solid background but becomes un-useable when you use it on an image or gradient background.


          If you are working in AS3 versus the HTML5 canvas you can apply a mask to the text layer that reveals on a timeline, check out the tutorials on masking.


          If you want some serious text animation tools that will really knock your socks off check out AfterEffects. The text tools there are really powerful and can be outputted as small video files that you can then add to the AS3 version of the timeline. I am just getting into the HTML5 canvas version in Flash and thus far I have not found a way to use video files within the animations. I have that question in the Forum too.


          If you want the project to be viewable on the iOS operating system (iPad/iPhone) then you are limited to using the new HTML5 canvas and therefore the masking and video limitations are in effect. I guess since this tool is so new they were not able to get all the functionality into the new platform.


          If all you are looking to do is create Slideshows that you play from your laptop and/or videos that are posted on YouTube then the AS3 tools will make easy work of the text effects you are looking to accomplish, just learn as much as you can about masking and using gradient PNG files. If you have the Creative Cloud and are a little adventurous, check out AfterEffects and the text tools there, they will help you create any text effect you have ever dreamt of.


          2 more things you may be interested in:

          First, in AfterEffects you have the ability to program a timed reveal of the strokes on handwritten fonts. That means that if you set it up correctly you can automatically set up a handwriting reveal that looks like actual handwriting with pen strokes, again take a look at the tutorials, The function is called animating a stroke and I have seen several in the Adobe tutorial videos over the years.


          Secondly, one of the hurdles in using Flash as a slideshow generation tool is how to get the remote in your hand to animate the frames in the show. Unless you are standing at the keyboard hitting the buttons you program in to advance to the next slide you will want a remote to handle this functionality. The bluetooth remote for the Mac and the IR remote for PCs will not do this automatically, you will need to program in that functionality and to do that you need the computer to recognize the remote's button presses as a certain key press so you can trigger the function on that key press. For the Mac I have had success with the Better Touch Tool ap. It allows for assigning the button press on the Mac Remote to do specialized keypresses that I then insert into the AS3 of my slideshow to trigger the next frame or previous frame. I was even able to program the up button to go to the beginning of the presentation and the down button to go to the end.


          I hope some of this helps.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: How can I repeat a handwriting effect?
            NerdDoc Level 1

            Thanks AD,


            I played around with PNG's a little bit and I've figured out how to get this done. Now I'm wondering if I can cut flash out altogether and just use After Effects to build the presentation. Hard to find YouTube tutorials on how to go about building a PowerPoint-like presentation in AE, so I'm not sure if that's even possible. I'm wondering if Captivate is something I should be looking at...

            • 3. Re: How can I repeat a handwriting effect?
              AdeptDigital Level 2

              The thing about AE is that you cannot program anything into that will trigger. All it does is produce a video clip that starts at the beginning, plays to the end and stops. The programming tools in Flash are what make it possible to create a slideshow. I have zero experience at Captivate so I can't help you out there.


              I got a reply to my inquiry about adding video to the HTML5 Canvas version of the new Flash CC output that was uninspired. I think the contributors to this forum are pissed at me or something. At any rate, if you are still looking for the most versatile tool for creating slideshows with animations then Flash with AE is your best bet in my humble opinion, but you have to pick up a little AS3 along the way or it will not work out for you.


              Again, hope this helps.

              1 person found this helpful