The standard Flash animation workflow hasn’t changed a lot in the last several years. There have been several plugins aimed at speeding up the process but none have compared to the set of tools were looking at today.
The Electric Dog Flash Animation Power Tools (EDAPT for short) is a new technique for rigging character within flash that dramatically speed up animation workflow.
The concept revolves around setting up “Magnet Joints” (special invisible objects) on your character at locations where they would naturally pivot. Shoulders, elbows, knees etc.
Utilizing the “Magnet Rig” panel, you can build a visual skeleton of that character’s layout, and assign which part of your character connects to which Magnet Target.
This allows you to select and move/rotate all body parts at once instead of updating one piece at a time and any point you can press a single button and snap every body part back into place.
Here’s a real world example.
Lets say you wanted to animate a character raising its arm up and down. You can select the upper arm, and hit 1, and this will select all the child objects of the arm (lower arm, hand, fingers etc). and it would set the rotational pivot point at the shoulder. Then you can quickly select the lower arm. Hit 1 again and rotate the lower arm with the hands/fingers again etc. rotating around the elbow’s pivot point.
With the old way of animating in flash you would have to select each individual piece and move it into position on every frame. This gets even more messy if you were to add a tween to those objects. With the old method, if the arm was hanging beside the character, and he raised it up into the air, all of the pieces would move in a straight line from point A to B. You would then have to go into every frame in between and fix each of their positions and rotations to look proper.
With the Magnet rig setup all you have to do it go to one of those in between frames. Set a keyframe, and hit the ~ key and it will snap all of the objects back into place!
(Windows and MAC compatible)