5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 17, 2008 9:58 AM by TySteck

    motion editor, cropping timeline, eases don't crop?

      I did a simple animation to get used to the new motion editor of a ball bouncing. I have several complaints with the motion editor, especially concerned with editing curves and tweaking an existing animation, though I may just not understand the workflow. Here's my problem:

      i animated a ball bouncing with some squash and stretch, and here's what the motion editor shows:

      image 01

      First question: In the upper left i have circled the two layers. They are both motion layers, but for some reason, the bottom layer (with my bouncing ball) doesn't have the correct icon, why is this?

      Second question: After getting my custom ease curve edited the way i want it, I notice I have several frames (from 56-75 marked by red in three places you'll notice) that aren't being used, and i wanted to crop that part of of the animation. So i selected the frames in my timeline and used "remove frames".

      This is what's left:

      image 02

      Notice that it properly cropped the basic motion and transformation graphs, but instead of cropping the Custom ease graph, it seems to have maintained it's curve, with that undesirable drop off at the end. The part where it goes from 100% to 0% in a single frame I presumed would get chopped off too. Is there an easy way to resize that graph? or get rid of the chunk on the end that drops off to 0%?

      Maybe I just don't understand the workflow with this motion editor, but it seems that if you ever have to go back to your main timeline and remove frames or add new ones, you have to completely readjust your ease curves if you've used any. Such a tremendous pain!

      Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
        • 1. Re: motion editor, cropping timeline, eases don't crop?
          jendehaan Level 4
          Hi TySteck,

          Regarding the first part about the layer icon - we have a known issue regarding undo and switching layer types that may result in a layer icon not updating. Does that sound like it may have been what you run into? Do you remember any other steps that may have led to this? (if you still have the history in your FLA and can send it to me, that might help). You might be able to regain the icon by creating a new layer and copying the frames or span to it (Alt-drag the span to a new layer or copy frames/paste frames). The "normal" layer icon shouldn't interfere with the actual workings of your file (ie: it is entirely cosmetic).

          Regarding the custom ease - they behave differently than other graphs (eases and properties are different entities). So a custom ease goes across an entire tween span (it has a few rules such as that, must be a keyframe on the first and last frame, exist for the entire span, start at 0, etc). And it won't be cropped, but be readjusted when you remove frames for the span.

          To not have the drop off you will have to adjust the bezier controls (but it will have to exist to the end of the span). You could make it stay at 100 until the end, and to do that you could right click the second-to-last point and say Linear Right, and the final one and choose Linear Left. Another way I imagine you could do it is click the second to last keyframe and pull the right handle vertically upwards, and do the same to the left handle of the final keyframe.

          It is true that you do need to think of eases, in particular with resizing the animation, because the two are so closely intertwined (affecting the time of the animation vs. frames - it's like two different timing models). Custom eases are trickier than the preset eases. And the main thing to keep in mind is that (at least for now) eases exist for the entire span, not just to the last keyframe of your property.

          Hope that helps!
          • 2. Re: motion editor, cropping timeline, eases don't crop?
            TySteck Level 1
            Thanks for the reply. I tried your method for fixing that drop off at the end of my curve, and it didn't work on that file i was messing with. The reason i think it didn't work is because at some point it became corrupted with a bug. that area near the top right of the curve isn't behaving correctly at all right now, i think i broke flash :(

            I remade the file and tinkered around with the method you described some more and it worked fine - just as you described, so I'm sure I ran into some sort of bug with my previous curve. I'm starting to understand the motion editor a bit more now, that I've played around with it a bit.

            I'm trying to discover work flows that make it faster and better than the classic tweening style, but so far, I haven't been too successful.

            I tried to do the entire bouncing animation of a ball on one tween span, and that may be a bit much, so i tried on a layer above to make it more in the style that i would classic tweening(where you break up the movement with more keyframes)while still using the motion graph. If you check out "image 01" in my previous post, you'll notice the layer above has two tweened spans, as i was just starting to animate the ball bouncing with multiple motion tween spans, instead of the giant one that you see in the layer on the bottom.

            I can't come up with a good reason to use the new motion editor, honestly. If i'm going to create smaller tween spans just like in the old tween style (to make tweening curve easier to manage), I may as well use the classic tween anyway. And the lack of ability to set "play once", "loop" or "single frame" with graphic symbols or swap symbols out when using the new tweens, I feel that I have even less reason to use the new motion editor tweens. I'd really like to incorporate the motion editor into my workflow, but so far, I haven't seen any benefit. Am I missing something? Is there a good example of a workflow out there that i can check out that shows it's advantages over classic tweening?

            Thanks again for your help! it's much appreciated :)

            • 3. Re: motion editor, cropping timeline, eases don't crop?
              jendehaan Level 4
              Hi Tyson,

              Absolutely - I have an old blog post that outlines the advantages and new capabilities over classic tweening.

              http://flashthusiast.com/2008/09/22/the-new-way-of-tweening-in-flash-cs4-or-new-motion-in- flash-cs4-makes-your-animations-better-faster-stronger/

              I'll paste the bulleted list here:

              * you cannot break a new motion tween - no more “dashed arrows”
              * as such, new tweens are easier to use: you directly manipulate objects on the Stage without needing to always think about keyframes. You don’t even need to add keyframes - just manipulate the object and the keyframes are inserted for you.
              * granular control over each part of a tween.
              * motion paths are shown right on the Stage for all tweens. Highly visual, and directly editable.
              * you can use the new Motion Editor with new tweens
              * as such, the Motion Editor means tweens are more powerful in general: each property and keyframe on each property is accessible and editable independently. You can tween alpha separately from rotation separately from scale (etc).
              * in that Motion Editor you can edit individual properties on a graph
              * you can use the new 3D model with new tweens
              * you can give your tween an instance name and then give other instances that same tween at runtime
              * new tweens are easy to stretch by just dragging the span in the timeline
              * new tweens have new eases, which have advanced (and very cool, better, enhanced) eases
              * you can create/apply custom eases that do not need to end at 100%
              * you can save a tween as a preset and reuse it in that or other documents
              * new tweens are easy to move now - either on the timeline (drag the tween span around), or on the stage by selecting the motion path and just moving it on the Stage (lets just say it is WAY easier than edit multiple frames).
              * motion paths in general are easier, and you no longer need motion guides. The motion path for a tween is attached right to the tween.
              * you can apply a new instance to an existing tween by just pasting it onto a tween to swap it out, drag a new instance from the Library, or use Swap Symbol. you can even have a tween without an instance applied to it, and all properties of that tween will be saved until you apply an instance to it.

              And as for the motion editor, it would be the only way to apply easing to individual properties, add ease presets, create custom eases, and apply some kinds of edits to individual property curves (namely, turn corner points to curve points, etc).

              Changing the graphic symbol setting within a span is a known limitation for this 1.0 motion release, and something that we're actively working on. :) Splitting spans lets you achieve similar/same results as with classic tweens, and surprisingly wasn't too awkward (except for selecting split span from the context, I found that a bit tedious).

              Hope that helps,
              • 4. Re: motion editor, cropping timeline, eases don't crop?
                jendehaan Level 4
                Oh yes, and a few of the rather useful new parts of motion unavailable in classic tweening are the ease presets applied to individual properties (such as alpha and such), and the tween instance feature - I have examples/downloadable FLAs on my blog if you want to check them out (click the Flash CS4: motion category or Tween instance category).
                • 5. Re: motion editor, cropping timeline, eases don't crop?
                  TySteck Level 1
                  Thanks for the input! I'll keep playing around with it and see how it goes. I appreciate your feedback.

                  Thanks again!