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Chapter 4. Animating Sprites > Real-Time Recording

Real-Time Recording

The real-time recording feature is like a video camcorder—it allows you to drag a sprite around the Stage while Director records the sprite’s movements to the Score. Real-time recording is most appropriate for sprites that need to be animated along a natural, free-flowing path with many changes in direction.

To perform real-time recording:

Make sure the sprite whose movements you want to record is in a channel by itself.

(Director will record indefinitely in a clear channel but will cut recording short if the playhead encounters another sprite.)

Within the sprite, click the frame in which you want real-time recording to begin.

The entire sprite will be selected, and the playhead will jump to your chosen frame.

Arrange the sprite on the Stage the way you want it to appear in the first frame of the recording.

Choose Control > Real-Time Recording.

An indicator appears to the left of the sprite in the Score (Figure 4.36), and a red-and-white striped frame surrounds the sprite on the Stage (Figure 4.37).

Figure 4.36. Select a sprite for real-time recording, and click the frame where you want to start. When you choose Control > Real-Time Recording, an indicator appears to the left of the sprite.

Figure 4.37. The attention-getting frame around the sprite on the Stage means that Director is standing by to begin real-time recording.

Whenever you’re ready, start dragging the sprite around the Stage.

Director begins recording at the moment you first move the sprite.

When you’re finished, release the mouse button.

Director stops recording (Figure 4.38).

Figure 4.38. When Director stops recording, the sprite’s motion path becomes visible on the Stage. It’s a record of the movements you made to the sprite while recording.

Rewind and play the movie to see the animation.

Adjust individual frames, if necessary, to refine the sprite’s motion path.


  • The drawback of real-time recording is that the resulting animation never looks as smooth as you might like. You can always go back and refine individual frames, but if you’re going to fix numerous frames manually, it probably makes sense to use step recording instead.

  • Unless you have lightning-fast reflexes, it’s a good idea to record real-time animation at a very slow frame rate—perhaps two or three frames per second. To change the frame rate, open the Control Panel by choosing Window > Control Panel; then enter a value (in frames per second) in the Tempo box (Figure 4.39). You can reset the tempo to a higher rate to play back the animation.

    Figure 4.39. 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 Sprite toolbar or the Property Inspector. As the sprite moves across the Stage, it leaves a trail (Figure 4.40).

    Figure 4.40. Select the Trails option in the Sprite toolbar for a real-time recorded sprite to create a handwriting effect.

  • Like step recording, real-time recording can be done with several sprites at once.

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