Friday, October 22, 2010

Pool Table - CK

When it comes to these projects, I tend to think of a concept first (one that will make good use of the basic tools) and worry about hitting every requirement afterward. This was no different. In fact, I think in some cases it would be easier to create 2 different files to meet all the requirements of a project instead of making sure the one file has everything. It seems unlikely, I guess, that a real world scenario would use so many different tween types at once. Enough rambling.

a) The idea of a pool table occurred to me as a simple way of moving objects around on pre-determined paths, while also allowing for some more detailed effects. The cue ball is traveling on a motion tween mostly for simplicity's sake, while the 8-ball is on a classic tween motion guide so I could be a little more specific with its path. The purple ball is really just there for a shape tween, as I couldn't come up with a great idea for how to incorporate it otherwise without doing something really outlandish. The cue stick was originally on a classic tween, but I switched to a motion tween and applied the Fly Out Left preset to give it a little more life. I found Easing to be more complicated than I anticipated, as I spent a lot of time with the motion editor curves trying to get things just the way I wanted.

b) As mentioned above, the cue ball is a motion tween with basic position changes, with an alpha change at the end for the "disappears into the pocket" effect. It was the first symbol I created, so I kept it simple. I tried to get the ease properties adjusted in a way that after every contact with the wall, the ball slows down. Because of the length of the movie and speed of the animation (only 48 frames), it's difficult to see it very well but it mostly worked. The 8-ball is a classic tween on a motion guide. I could have used a motion tween, but I think it would have been too choppy over the same path I used. Again, the shape tween was something of a problem for me. It's in there, but used in such a rudimentary fashion that it sort of bugs me. A more advanced animation might have more interaction between the balls, with associated shape changes. The Fly Out Left preset I used on the cue stick has been modified in the ease and the Z rotation. Originally I had it without a preset, and simply moving forward to strike the ball and then back. Switching to the preset and adding the rotation seems to look more like a person actually lifting it off the table after shooting.

c) I was far more at ease this time with the layer management, and layers groupings sort of naturally fell into place, especially as various objects were moving about in entirely different ways. Switching back and forth and locking other layers started to become a habit - and I didn't even forget to add/switch layers when creating a new tween!

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