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Chapter 4. Animating Sprites > Real-Time Recording

Real-Time Recording

One of the most direct ways to animate sprites in Director is to use real-time recording. For real-time recording, you drag a sprite around the stage while Director automatically records its movement to the score. Real- time recording works well when you want to animate a sprite along a natural, free-flowing path with many changes in direction. The drawback of real-time recording is that the motion generated by your hand often looks considerably less smooth than you might like, although you can correct it later.

To real-time-record:

Select a sprite.

You can real-time-record multiple sprites by selecting them as a group.

Click to select the starting frame for your real-time recording (Figure 4.35).

Figure 4.35. Click the start frame for your real-time-recording animation.

Choose a frame within the sprite's span.

Arrange the sprite on the stage as it should appear in the first frame of the animation.

Choose Control > Real-Time Recording.

A real-time recording indicator appears in any channel that contains a selected sprite (Figure 4.35).

Drag selected sprites around the stage to start real-time recording.

Release the mouse button to stop recording (Figures 4.364.37).

Figure 4.36. The score after a real-time recording.

Figure 4.37. An example of a real-time-recorded path

If you record beyond the last frame of a sprite, Director automatically extends the sprite through the score until you stop recording or until the start of another sprite is reached in the same channel. (In the latter case, recording stops automatically, because real-time recording does not overwrite other sprites.)

Play back and review the animation.

Adjust individual frames, if necessary, to refine the motion.


If real-time recording seems to be too sensitive to your mouse movements, try slowing the recording tempo. In the Control Panel, set a new tempo by entering a new value (in frames per second) in the Tempo display (Figure 4.38). You can reset the tempo to a higher rate to play back the animation.

Figure 4.38. Slow the recording tempo in the Control Panel for more control.


You can create a handwriting effect by selecting a real-time recorded sprite and clicking the Trails box in the score's Sprite toolbar (Figure 4.39). As the sprite moves across the stage, it leaves behind a trail.

Figure 4.39. Select the Trails option for a real-time-recorded sprite to create a handwriting effect.

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