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Some Flash animation tricks I learned from my first music video

picture of the cartoon title card and Tom Ray laughing

I found a bunch of folders on one of my external hard drives of old animations that I did like over 10 years ago.

Previously I watched the first one that I made here. This time I want to talk about the second one that I did.

I was reading more animation books and stuff during this time trying to teach myself animation. For this one, I got a little bit more ambitious. 

Suddenly I was trying to make like a huge production for this one! 

I not only had a song that I was working on with my band Lorenzo's Music that I wanted to use for this but I decided I wanted to try and make this cartoon idea a series. 

So this was the intro cartoon of this series, it was a music video. 

I didn't even really have a storyline! All I had was an idea but I started making it anyway.

I made some characters, I had a concept and I assumed that basically, I would figure it out as I went along. At the time I was really into the animated series Batman Beyond so a lot of the styles in this are trying to be like that show.

The basic concept of the story is somebody is being extorted and threatened, if he doesn't pay up this bad guy is gonna kill him or something.

image of two characters from a cartoon

So his friend, who is clearly me, only I drew myself as a very rugged version of myself, he helps him kill the bad guy that's after him.

image from an animated cartoon

But... there's a secret person in the shadows that saw the whole thing. And it was going to turn out to be a mad scientist from what I remember of the concept. 

I called it "Lorenzo's Mutation" because I was going to use music by my band Lorenzo's Music for the soundtrack. 

Oh and this was all hand-drawn! All of these drawings and all these animations I drew by hand on paper flipping them back and forth. Then I would scan them in and convert them into vector graphics and bring them into the Flash animation software. 

My average for creating three-minute cartoons was around three weeks back when I was doing these. I learned a lot about jump cuts and camera angles and manipulating different objects in this animation too.

At the time when this was made people were putting their cartoons online up as SWF files, YouTube wasn't around yet. I figured out a way to download the SWF files and then import them into my Flash program. I would scroll through and see how these people were making their animations.

Here's the way that the cartoon starts.

So I'm walking up and then boom! I hit the bad guy with a shovel.

animated gif
Opening scene

I zoom in on this hit right there to add to the effect. And then I shake it to the right as I do the follow-through so you can see that the camera is moving around inside of that staging area and also with the sound effect that I had all that worked that together.

animated gif
Camera angle process

Here's a flashback scene where the guy falls.

animated gif
Guy falling scene

And the effect is very simple and it's actually a trick. Here's what I did. Instead of animating him actually falling all I had to do was just rotate the background and that actually worked out great! 

animated gif
Rotating the background in Flash

And there you go that's so simple! I had forgotten that I had done that. 

Watch the video of this whole process here.

Here is a scene where he's spinning around and zooming in I had to create an animation on each layer of the cartoon to do this.

image from the cartoon with Tom Ray watching

I didn't learn until much later that in Flash what you can do is you can actually put all those layers into a self-contained object then put that on the timeline as just a standalone object and the zoom and pan that one object. Flash doesn't pay attention to what's going on inside because it's self-contained.

And then of course the cliffhanger!

animated gif
Cliffhanger ending...

And that was it! That was what I had done with the second cartoon that I made.

You can watch the full video where I watch the cartoon and talk about it here https://www.tomrayswebsite.com/2021/03/looking-back-at-my-second-animated.html

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