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I've had so many people ask about how I did the special effects in Tarboy, and despite the fact that I intended to write a proper tutorial about for my blog, I decided to write a quick guide for how I did some of the art. I've posted it up on the forums, but I figured I'd post it here too. I figure it could help someone if they don't frequent the forums too often.
You can download the source FLA here (CS3):
Explanation below, copied from the thread here http://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/topic/12 55008:
I used tweening for the Robots, and for Tarboy I used a more hybrid approach. Some scenes for Tarboy are all tweened symbol animation, others contain elements of traditional animation (FBF) and some morphing for simple shapes.
For the sneak cycle for example, the head and arms are tweened, the torso is morphed, and the legs are traditional. Each part is nested into a symbol, as I like to keep my elements separate, so it's easy to make minute changes as I go. Because Tarboy's design is a silhouette, it makes it a bit easier to work in this way, I don't need to worry about the sharp edges of the morphing etc as it just bleeds into the overall white shape.
The sparks and FX are all Flash. What I do is start by animating a simple white shape (a single piece of debri, a disintegrating flame or something. Once I have a few base elements, such as the flame, the bouncing debri, the initial burst, I duplicate the hell out of everything. I flip and rotate everything to make it less apparent that I've duplicated it, and change it's first frame so that not everything happens at the exact same time, or it will break the illusion. It works best if you try to not make it too 'random', but have different levels of variation. There might be small parts of the explosion where there's many little flames clustered together, spewing out in an overall direction, and another part where there's one bigger flame (which I might sometimes expand the duration of this one symbol to give a bit more variation). When I'm satisfied with the look and timing, I place everything into the one movie clip symbol, and apply my glows. To give a more realistic effect, I apply three glows into the symbol which is the hotter colour close to the centre (usually yellow), the cooler colour (orange), and the coolest colour on the outside (darkish red). The content of the symbol itself is the hottest part which is already white. If you apply an 'add' blend mode to this movie clip, it will help to create more convincing glow effect.
The camera movements are Flash as well. Unfortunately it's impossible to render out an SWF which retains vector data from After Effects. The basic idea is that the furthest objects from the camera move slower, and closer objects move faster. This is true for when the camera is in motion, whether it's moving from side to side, forward or back, rotating in space. If the camera is simply zooming on an object (instead of physically moving towards it), this isn't the case, everything move at the same rate.
Flash is quite primitive when it comes to handling more complex camera moves (such as if the camera is moving from left to right, while zooming in and rotating). In these cases it's better to separate the movements into different symbols. Eg: Nested in the first symbol is all of the elements, simply moving from left to right. From outside that symbol, apply rotation. From outside that symbol, apply the zoom etc. This allows you to have varying rates to the zoom, while have a constant left to right motion if you need to.
We just submitted 'Purged' . Go check it out!
I've had this sitting on my hard drive for so long now, and people were asking for me to submit it, so I though I'd package it for a proper release.
It's pretty different to my other work; a lot less 'coherent'. I'm interested to see what the community's reaction will be :)
2010 was a pretty sparse year for me in terms of releasing new Flash. Hopefully this year will be a lot better. There's a couple of different projects I'm hoping to get out sooner rather than later (even though I say that all time :)
We're all on livestream at the moment. Hania and Jazza are doing a music collab and I'm animating the clip. View it all happening here! http://www.livestream.com/jazzastudios
We'll post our creations here on NG when we're finished :)
We've wrapped up 24 in 24, and we're currently compiling everything together. It's a much bigger job than we initially anticipated, so it's still a few hours away (for those that I had told that we'd get the video out soon after completion)
Will put it up on NG as soon as it's ready
Hania and I are doing 24 animations in 24 hours, and you can watch live on Stickam here: http://www.stickam.com/24in24
Come and watch and let us know your ideas. We'll credit you as inspiration if we use your idea.
You can also follow our progress on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jameslee03
Hope to see you there :)
Just posting a quick update to let everyone know that I'm still alive and working on new projects. I have two completed films called 'Purged' and 'Short & Sweet' which I'll be preparing for release over the coming couple of months. The bulk of my time has been spent preparing for a currently secret project which I'll be announcing around September.
Aside from keeping busy and laying low I got myself a Twitter account which you can follow here: http://twitter.com/jameslee03
Hopefully next time I post I'll have a new film released :)
Hania woke me up at 8AM today to watch the awards live on stickam - it was a shock to see that both of us had come away with Tank Award each! I can't tell you how grateful the two of us are for the awards! I've been coming to NG since I was making stick figure Flash's in highschool, and this place has always been a huge source of inspiration to continuously improve my animating skills.
It's been a long time coming, but we finally knuckled down this week to finish off the soundtrack release of Tarboy.
Some of the tracks have been extended, but what I'm excited about is the new remastered 'Two's a Party' which ended up at 3 minutes in length. Hania put a lot of work into it this, writing new material for it. She's also included some concept music for Tarboy II.
There's also another CD of bonus tracks, for those that are interested in hearing more concept music that Hania created for Tarboy I - and some different variations on the existing music.
The albums are free, but you're welcome to donate. It would be greatly appreciated :)
In other news, I'm reworking the Tarboy site from scratch as a Wordpress blog, hence why our latest updates and releases have come through Hania's blog. Once it's up and running, this should give me much more flexibility to update as I'd like to a lot more in the future.
After a few months of Newgrounds/Tarboy inactivity, I thought I'd give a brief rundown on whats new and where I'm at.
Latest news is I've posted Popstar to youtube:
Lately freelance work has consumed most of my time so all of my creative projects have taken a back seat for a few months. Good news is that from March I'll be back into working on my own stuff, and getting started on a larger, top secret project that's Tarboy related. :P
If all goes well I'll have something Tarboy related out by the end of the year. Before then I plan on releasing two other films that have been finished for a while, one which was created before Tarboy, and another I finished last year.
Aside from that, there's still a bunch o' other stuff that I promised which is way past it's due date (tarboy store, shirts, album soundtrack etc)- They'll be out at some point, just don't give your hopes up that they'll be out any time soon :P
Below's a WIP painting Ive been doing - I'm thinking of introducing some more painterly elements into Tarboy, might make a nice contrast against the crisp vector graphics?
We have three Tarboy shirt designs currently getting printed, and I thought I'd make a news post letting people know. We only have a limited amount, so if anyone's keen to make sure they get one, email the following details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Which shirt design
There shirts will be ready in about two weeks. We'll be uploading photos so that you can confirm your order after you've seen them. Payment will be available through our online store, credit cards and paypal will be accepted.
Check out THIS LINK for the selection and details.
The Tarboy soundtrack will also be available to download on the same day the shirts are out.