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Chapter 4. Animating Sprites > Making Film Loops

Making Film Loops

Film loops consolidate many sprites and effects over a range of frames into a single cast member (Figure 4.57). When you place a film-loop cast member in the score, you create a single sprite that consists of all the consolidated sprite data in the film loop (Figure 4.58).

Figure 4.57. You can consolidate all this sprite data into a single film-loop cast member.


Figure 4.58. A single film loop replaces all the score data.


Film loops make it much easier to develop large and complex animations. They also make it easier to work with animated sequences. Suppose that you have a sprite that consists of the four cast members shown in Figure 4.59, forming an animated sequence. If you create a film-loop cast member from that sprite, you can simply place that single film-loop cast member in the score whenever you need it, instead of hassling with four separate cast members.

Figure 4.59. A sprite that consists of four cast members.


You can tween film loops just as you would any other cast member or apply real-time recording with them to create complex animations. The film loop of a bird flapping its wings, for example, can be tweened to fly across the screen.

A film loop itself can be composed of other film loops. Suppose that you have two film loops in the score: one of a walking man and the other of a running dog. You can create a single film loop to include both loops.

Director stores film loops, like other cast members, in a Cast window, identified by the film-loop icon (Figure 4.60).

Figure 4.60. A film-loop cast member in a Cast window.


To create a film loop:

1.
In the score, select all the sprites for the film loop.

You can include effects sprites from the effects channels.

2.
Choose Insert > Film Loop.

The Create Film Loop dialog box opens.

3.
Type a name for the film loop (Figure 4.61).

Figure 4.61. Name the film loop.


4.
Click OK.

Director puts the film loop in the next available position in the Cast window.

5.
Place the film loop in the score or stage as often as you need it.

6.
Add frames in the score, if necessary, to provide enough room for the loop to play at least once all the way through.

Film loops animate only when you play your movie; you won't see the animation if you step through the frames or drag the playback head across the frames.

Tip

You cannot apply score ink effects to film loops. You must apply ink effects to the individual sprites before you include them in a film loop.


Tip

As a shortcut, create a film loop by dragging a selection of frames from the score to a Cast window.


You can use real-time recording to record a path for a film-loop cast member to follow across the stage. The process is very similar to real-time recording with other cast members, as described earlier in this chapter.

To real-time-record with a film loop:

1.
In the score, select a film-loop sprite (Figure 4.62).

Figure 4.62. Select a film-loop sprite.


2.
With the sprite still selected, click a frame (within the sprite's range of frames) to indicate the start frame for real-time recording (Figure 4.63).

Figure 4.63. Select a frame for the start of real-time recording.


3.
Arrange the sprite on the stage for the initial frame of the animation, if necessary.

4.
Choose Control > Real-Time Recording.

5.
Drag the selected sprite on the stage to start real-time recording.

6.
Release the mouse button to end your real-time recording session.

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