SAUCER ATTACK - Intro to Animation

This project uses the FLYING SAUCER 101 file you made earlier

1. Start your SCENE
  • Go to SCENE Mode
  • Use BUILD - ADD OBJECT and add your Flying Saucer

Notice that the object arrives at the ORIGIN of your scene - location 0,0,0 in the 3D "Universe"
Anim8or_SaucerAttack01.png
2. Use QUAD VIEW
  • Hit the period [.] key on your NUMERIC KEYPAD to toggle into "Quad View"

This allows you to quickly adjust the positions and rotations of objects in your movie. Try using the MOVE tool in each of the four quadrants to see how you can place the saucer just about anywhere you need to
Anim8or_SaucerAttack02.png
3. ADJUST your CAMERA
  • Select the Camera
  • In the LEFT VIEW window, ROTATE it (use the RIGHT mouse button!) so it's not pointing DOWN so much
  • MOVE the camera so it's closer to the "Ground"

The SCENE you're arranging should emulate a real movie set - cameras are rarely pointed toward the ground - they more typically point at the horizon, or are level to the stage floor
Anim8or_SaucerAttack03.png
4. SET UP your ENVIRONMENT

Okay - so now you need a backdrop - there are plenty available on the handouts folder, or on the web if you know how to load them in:

  • Click SETTINGS - ENVIRONMENT
  • Choose the following
    • Select PANORAMA
    • LEFT should be -180 and RIGHT 90
    • Click file LOAD and search the DOCS HANDOUTS folder for MAY - Media_IMAGES - GRAPHICS - BACKGROUNDS. There's a starfield in there that should work well
    • Turn OFF the GroundGrid
  • Click OKAY
Anim8or_SaucerAttack04.png
5. Check the CAMERA'S VIEW
Environmental backgrounds can only be viewed by the "Camera" view
  • Turn off the QUAD view [numeric period key]
  • Tap the numeric [1] key to choose CAMERA view

Notice your TIMELINE a the bottom of the scene screen. You're given 72 frames (seconds @ 24fps) as a default, and you start in frame 0. LET's FIX THAT to give us 150 frames @ 30fps:

FIX the FRAMERATE & ADD MORE FRAMES
  • Click VIEW - PREFERENCES
    • Change the FPS (frames per second) to 30
    • Click on "Limit Playback"
  • Click SETTINGS - SCENE
    • Name the scene "Saucer Attack" if it still needs it
    • Set the LENGTH of your scene to 150 - that'll give you 5 seconds of animation time
Anim8or_SaucerAttack05.png
6. ON YOUR MARKS
  • Click the numeric [8] keypad to view your set from the top.
  • Choose the MOVE tool, and move your saucer BACK until it's right off the visible "stage"
  • Tap the [F] key to fill the screen and see the saucer again
  • Keep moving it back off the stage and hit [F] again
Anim8or_SaucerAttack06.png
7. GET SET

View from QUAD VIEW [.] and you can see your saucer moving offscreen from the camera view.

  • Keep moving it from the TOP VIEW window - note you DO NOT have to actually click on the SAUCER object to move it, neither do you HAVE to keep hitting the [F] key to keep moving it. You can simply monitor it's progress in the CAMERA window
  • Be sure you're still in FRAME 0 in the timeline
    You can click the REWIND button to make sure
Anim8or_SaucerAttack07.png
8. GO!

The KEYFRAME GENERATOR
  • Click the "Keyframe Generator" on the lower left of the tool panel. This is kind of like a RECORD button - but it records KEYFRAMES - specific frames that hold specific locations of your objects
  • FIRST KEYFRAME - Use the MOVE tool to "nail down" a keyframe in frame 0 for your saucer - just click the move tool anywhere in the TOP window
  • Now hit the FAST FORWARD button to take you to the LAST frame in your scene
  • LAST KEYFRAME - Use the MOVE tool to drag the saucer back in front of the camera, and even let it travel past the camera in a straight line
Anim8or_SaucerAttack08.png
9. PLAYBACK

  • Click the PLAY button - if yo've done everything properly, you should see your saucer travel in a straight line toward and past the camera

SCRUBBING
"Scrubbing" a movie is playing it forward or backward using a controller
  • Use the ARROW KEYS on your keyboard to scrub the movie one frame at a time
  • IF you have the latest version of Anim8or, you have a "Scrubbing Handle" that you can drag with your mouse at the top of your timeline

So far your scene has only TWO keyframes
  • A starting keyframe
  • An ending keyframe

You can click in the timeline on EITHER the first or last frame, and adjust the location of the saucer in those keyframes. As long as the keyframe generator is on, ANIM8OR will record your work
Anim8or_SaucerAttack09.png
10. ANIMATE your CAMERA
Now it's time to add a PAN to your camera so that it "tracks" the saucer's flight
Keep the KEYFRAME generator ON, "Rewind" to the starting frame and use the TOP view for these steps:
  • In Frame 1, ROTATE the camera so that it has the saucer in frame to the right side
  • FAST FORWARD to frame 149 and ROTATE the camera to put the saucer at the right side of the frame again
  • Try playing your movie, and you'll see the camera move, but too quickly for the saucer to stay in view
  • Scrub to the middle of the movie (frame 75) and ROTATE the camera to give it a third keyframe. Now play your movie and see how it looks.

RULES OF KEYFRAMES
  • Keep the NUMBER of keyframes you use to a minimum
  • Line up your keyframes