Koolmoves: Animating GoAnimate Stick Figures, Tweens and Action Script


In this tutorial I show you how to recreate a GoAnimate Stick figure character in order to create your own animated custom stick figure movements with Koolmoves. In the process you'll learn about the role of 'tweens' and put the tiniest of nicks into learning action script so you can stop your animation from continuously looping.

You'll need to have seen at least my first Koolmoves tutorial in order to set up your GoAnimate Character/Prop template file. The second tutorial is optional but will give you an overview of the drawing tools (if you are not familiar with them) and show you the first action you should animate with any completely custom character.

All three parts of tutorial three are embeded below with some additional notes to let you know what each section contains. I know these tutorials are quite long, and I've tried to make them as interesting to watch as possible, but, if animating were easy, quick and simple... well we wouldn't have any need for GoAnimate now would we?

NB: Apologies for the spelling mistake in every video's title (see if you can spot it). My editing software, video preview window is set to low resolution so text can be very hard to read and mistakes even harder to spot. Noticing the mistake after 9 hours waiting for the tutorial to process, I figure it's not that important of an issue to spend another 9 hours processing just to fix it.


Tutorial 3, Part 1

In part 1 I explain how I created my copy of a GoAnimate Stick figure character. I show you, in detail, how he is drawn so you can easily recreate your own version. Next I show you my drawing sequence for an animated kick that I will be tracing to create my new custom action and start to trace my second key frames.

Important!: In Koolmoves, when creating key frames Always start with a copy of one of your other key frames so Koolmoves can track the changing positions of the line points across each frame. (If you draw every key frame from scratch then Koolmoves can't keep track of the line points and will not be able to calculate tweens).




Tutorial 3, Part 2

With my two key frames I introduce 'Onion skinning' and the concept of 'tweens' by adding in 12 tweens between my two key frames and demonstrating the results when the movie is played. I then continue on creating more key frames and demonstrate how that affects the tweening.




Tutorial 3, Part 3

Finally I set up my animation sequence as it will be imported into GoAnimate complete with the correct number of tweens between each frame. I then show you how to stop your sequence from continuously looping with the tiniest bit of Action Script. The tutorial concludes with a demonstration of how my custom action looks when imported into GoAnimate's studio.




If you have any questions about the tutorial feel free to ask away in the comments below. I also appreciate general feedback too. I'd love to know if you're finding these tutorials interesting, useful, boring etc. I do put a lot of time into the editing to try and keep things moving along without going so fast that you miss out on important information.

Koolmoves Tutorials for GoAnimate - Parts 1 and 2

Quite a few people on GoAnimate have asked me to make a Koolmoves tutorial for creating flash props and characters suitable for use with the GoAnimate Studio. Well that day is finally here with this series of four videos that will give you more than enough learning to at least be making your own flash props - and will give you a kick start for animating characters too.

Tutorial 1

The first video will step you through the process of setting up a template file suitable for using as a starting point for all your flash props and backgrounds. More than that, the way the template is set up is exactly how you need it for creating your own GoAnimate Community Characters - a feature that is currently only available to GoAnimate Beta Users but, if GoAnimate makes it widely available, you'll be ready.

The tutorial finishes with showing how to upload your flash props/backgrounds/characters etc. into the GoAnimate Studio.




Tutorial 2, Part 1

In part 1 I show you how to import a trace image into Koolmoves (meaning you don't need to be a great artist to make your own stuff - you can just trace from photos or other peoples art). I demonstrate a particular bug Koolmoves has when it comes to tracing images. Fortunately it's just annoying and not a fatal bug.

Then, before we start I run you through the main drawing tools and demonstrate why you should never ever use the freehand line or freehand shape tool. Finally I show you how you can add a 'styled' line into your art if your the kind of person that likes a more varied thickness of line in your drawing.





Tutorial 2, Part 2

Part 2 I talk about character planning. i.e. creating your character in sections for easier animating later on. Next I step you through drawing just one section of my character, Detective Duck and show you how to group all its parts together.




Tutorial 2, Part 3

In the final part I show you my finished Detective Duck character and pull him apart so you can see how I've group various sections of his body together. I then show you how to make your very first animated action, Breathing (yeah awesome, I know!). It may not sound exciting but making your character breathe is the difference between it being just a picture or an animated character.

Through learning that simple action I introduce you to the concept of 'tweening' - any flash animator that tells you they hand draw every single frame of their animation is lying. These days it's all about the key frames!



With that, you have more than enough to get you started with Koolmoves. If you're just making a still prop or background, make it inside your movie clip object with a single frame. Then resize it on the Main Movie stage and then import it. Note that backgrounds do not need to be centered like props and characters because they automatically fill the GoAnimate stage once imported.

I will be doing more Koolmoves tutorials in the future. If you have a specific request for a tutorial let me know in the comments below.

Some ideas I've already had for tutorials:
  • Adding Bones to characters.
  • Making a mouth prop.
  • Making your character walk.
  • Making animations that don't continuously loop (action script).
  • Animate your own Stick Figure Characters using Bones.
Comment below if you have a preference for which of the above I should tackle first.

TET's GoAnimate Entry in Sydney Opera House Animation Competition

I've entered the Sydney Opera House's Graphic, Animation Competition. Submissions closed today and now there is on 2 DAYS for the public to vote for their favorite.

The field of entries isn't  that big (I'm estimating about 40 entries) and near as I can tell I'm the only GoAnimate Entry. FIRST ROUND PUBLIC VOTING CLOSES ON JULY 20 (OMG THAT'S ONLY 2 DAYS!!!).

Would you like to see a GoAnimate entry make it to round two in this prestigous competiton? Here's how you can help:
  1. To vote for my entry go to the competition page. Select 'VOTE'.
  2. Enter the name of my entry in the search box 'Relative Escape'.
  3. Then just give it a big green THUMBS UP! - Easy!
 I'd really appreciate your support. There's a AU$20,000 grant 1st prize on this.

I'll be posting my entry in this blog with some behind the scenes notes soon but for now if you want to see it, head over to the competition page and follow the instructions above.

Help TET Win with Star Trek in Xtranormal's Contest

Animation site Xtranormal is having a Summer Movie Contest with a $1000 first prize and they also just released a new set of Star Trek themed characters and backgrounds called Trekkiez. I decided to combine the two into this blog post by featuring their new characters in my Summer Movie Contest entry below.



If you enjoyed the above animation then I'd really appreciate it if you took a moment to visit the animations Youtube Page to click the Youtube 'Like' Button under the video. The top ten most liked videos will all win a prize.

As mentioned, first prize is US$1000, with second prize being an iPad 2 and third an iPod Touch (any of which I'd be happy to win but first would be awesome). The competition ends at the end of July 2011.

Long time fans of my online animations may find the theme and script of the above animation some what familiar. That's because I based it upon the ideas that feature in the script of my original GoAnimate, Star Trek Quogs series, Laundry Day.

Xtranormal's Online animation creator is limited to two characters and one scene, hence the lack of the rest of the crew on the Enterprise's bridge. But hey, I figure it's Laundry day so everyone is out doing their laundry.

Remember if you enjoyed this animation and would like to help me win a prize visit the video's Youtube page and click the Like button. I'd really appreciate it.
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