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Chapter 4. Animating Sprites

Chapter 4. Animating Sprites

Traditionally, the word sprite means a lively supernatural being—an elf or a pixie. The sprites you put on the Stage and in the Score aren’t very spritelike if they just sit there, are they? To give your sprites life, you need to animate them, which is one of the things Director does best.

You can animate sprites in two ways. The first way is to change a sprite’s properties—for example, its size, rotation, color, or location on the Stage—over a series of frames to create the appearance of motion (Figure 4.1). The second way is to have the sprite represent a series of cast members in which each cast member is slightly different from the one before it (Figure 4.2).

Figure 4.1. You can animate a sprite by changing its properties over a series of frames. This technique is called tweening.


Figure 4.2. You also can animate a sprite by having a series of slightly different cast members replace each other on the Stage. This technique is called frame-by-frame animation.


The first of these methods is called tweening; the second is called frame-by-frame animation. Often, animators combine both methods in a single animated sequence, moving the image and changing it at the same time.

This chapter covers the basic techniques for accomplishing both types of animation. It also shows you how you can use animation to create film loops and custom cursors.

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