Assitance Learning Animation

New Here ,
Aug 25, 2020 Aug 25, 2020

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I have an animated map project that I need to consult with someone about and hoped I could find the help I need here or be directed to someone who can help me. I am a beginner. I have been watching tutorial videos in Animate and After Effects, and have become convinced that I need assistance to focus on the animation commands I need rather than wading through a lot of commands I will never use.

 

The map animation is not a game but a simulation of an historical battle. The hoped for result is a video, viewed looking down on the map (file obtained from the Library of Congress), of military units, scaled to the map, moving over the map in real time, to show the entire scope of the battle that took place over the course of 12 hours. The video would hopefully be able to be adjusted to speed up the time, able to focus on particular areas of the site, able to have embedded narration, and able to have embedded written comments, likely in the form of speech bubbles used in cartoon books.

 

The basic object to be animated is a colored rectangle, 50'-0" long and 3'-6" deep. It needs to move forward and backward, forward diagonally to each side, rotate forward pivoting on either of the front corners as well as backward pivoting on either of the back corners. It also need to be able to wheel as it moves forward along an arch defined by either end or by the center. It also needs to move parallel to the long axis in either direction in a straight line or following a road on the map, able to turn at an intersection and flow around the corner.

 

The basic object (a company) also needs to be able operate with 9 other objects (making up a regiment), either as a unit (a long object made up of these ten basic units tied together) or by the individual units articulating together to form a column (10 units stacked up one behind the other) and other similar articulations, and then deploy back into a long line.

 

These different articulations of 10 units acting together need to be in the form of various preset commands, comprising all the commands needed to make each different articulation happen from beginning to end.

 

Each basic unit needs to be animated in some way to show it being unstable and subject to panic. Each basic unit also needs to be animated in some way to break apart into fragments which either remain as fragments or can also reform, in whole or in part, back together into the basic object.

 

That forms the basis of my animation needs. I need assistance which could be just pointing me the proper tutorials that meet my needs, it could be developing training program, or it could be on-line Zoom type recorded hands-on training.

 

I am willing to pay for this assistance.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

Scott Parish
Mariposa, California

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 26, 2020 Aug 26, 2020

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the first possible issue i see is, "The video would hopefully be able to be adjusted to speed up the time, able to focus on particular areas of the site".

 

video is not interactive.  ie, users won't be able to control anything other than what you see in videos on youtube. ie, users can't adjust to focus on particular areas.  you (the creator of the video) can do that.

 

if that meets your needs, then your next possible problem is you're not going to be able to create a 12 hour video using animate.  i can't imagine you really would want that but you did state this was to be "...in real time".  hopefully, that was a misstatement or a misinterpretation by me. either way, you can scale the time (eg, 1 second of video = 1 minute of battle time so your video would be 12 minutes long.)  then you may face a problem that nothing happens for large parts of the video and in certain portions a lot changes over a few seconds.

 

other than that, everything else is easy and there's not much to learn.  ie, you have some major design decisions to make before you start.  but once you decide exactly what you want (if it's doable), it wouldn't require much learning to do what you want, though it would possibly require a lot of time to create what you want.

 

p.s.  what battle?

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New Here ,
Aug 26, 2020 Aug 26, 2020

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kglad,

Thanks so much for your helpful response.  I am a beginner and wrote from ignorance of how animations are produced and what is possible.  Here are some clarifications:

 

  • Understanding the limitations of the end result of the animation in a video is helpful.  What I want to do would lend itself to four basic videos: a view of the entire battle, and then a view of three distinct phases of the battle.  This battle lends itself to that breakdown.  It seems I could also then develop more detailed views if I so desired.

 

  • In terms of the time scale, the battle took place over approximately 12 hours.  So the way I am looking at it is that if I am going to be historically accurate, I need to be aware of real time in the development, regardless of what time scale I use as a finished product.  Likely, no one would want to sit and watch a 12 hour long video, but I would want to make that available.  It is more likely that a 2 hour or 1 hour video would be best.  From what you said, I could determine the time scale that is best for each particular view.  Sounds good.

 

  • Not only did the battle occur over 12 hours, it also involved something like 700 different military units.  So yes, this is a large endeavor that will take alot of time to complete.

 

  • I also forgot to mention that each unit needs to have a designator that somehow floats along with it - a number and a state abbreviation (i.e., 61st New York would have that tag "61NY").

 

  • If Animate is not the right platform, I am not tied to it.  I am happy for recommendations of other animation programs.

 

Thank you for your help!

Scott Parish

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 27, 2020 Aug 27, 2020

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is this an antietem simulation?

 

where will this be deployed?  eg, will this be hosted on a website?  will this be a mobile app?  something else?

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New Here ,
Aug 27, 2020 Aug 27, 2020

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Yes, Antietam.

 

I don't know yet how it will be deployed.  Perhaps a downloaded file.  Perhaps a website.  How does that impact the project?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 28, 2020 Aug 28, 2020

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determining the deployment target is critical to determining what kind of file you'll want to create and therefore what software you should use to create that file.

 

a downloadable file will be limited to people you know.  not many people would be foolish enough to download from an untrusted source.  otoh, if you're a teacher, your students would justifiably trust you but then could be expected to have problems figuring out how to use the file they downloaded so that's really not a good choice.

 

deploying on a website would be a better option and using animate to create a canvas project (html5) is deployable on the web and supported by all (afaik) browsers.

 

if you use animate you can allow users to select a time scale whenever they want and as often as they want so they can control when to speed things up and when to slow things down.  you can allow users to drag a slider to any point in the battle timeline forward or backward.

 

most of the time-consuming work would still be creating and animating objects on animate's stage but the items in the above paragraph would require intermediate level coding.

 

p.s. if nothing else, you'll better understand antietem by working on a project like this.

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New Here ,
Aug 28, 2020 Aug 28, 2020

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Thank you, kglad.  It makes sense to point my project toward the web then.  I think this is marketable, but if not, it is still valuable.

 

So with that in mind, is Animate a good program to create this "canvas project", given the complexity of the movements of over 700 different units?  If, as you say, users would be able to select a time scale, that would be ideal.

 

You speak of "intermediate level coding".  Is that related to the web deployment only or part of the animation?  In other words, can I develop the animation first and then, if it seems marketable, puruse the development necessary to deploy it on the web?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 28, 2020 Aug 28, 2020

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yes, animate is a good program to create html5 files.  in animate, a canvas project creates html5 files.

 

coding is only needed for this part:

if you use animate you can allow users to select a time scale whenever they want and as often as they want so they can control when to speed things up and when to slow things down.  you can allow users to drag a slider to any point in the battle timeline forward or backward.

 

no code is needed on your part to add this to a website.  if you have no current website, you can google web hosting sites to see what meets your needs.  eg, to start you might want a free web hosting site.  google some reviews to see the pros and cons of what is available.

 

and (probably) yes, you could create your project using no code and then later add the code and features needed to allow users to control the battle's timeline and speed of playback.  i say "probably" because it's possible you might do this is a way that would make adding those features later, difficult or impossible.

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New Here ,
Aug 28, 2020 Aug 28, 2020

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Thanks again, kglad.

 

What I would like to do is to learn the basic animation commands and test things out to see if I am on a good track before I commit myself further.  I want to show some partial results to interested parties.

 

So...what would be the best way to learn the necessary animation commands without having to wade through it all?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 30, 2020 Aug 30, 2020

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google "adobe animate basic animation tutorial".

 

check several while animate is open so you can follow and test.

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New Here ,
Sep 02, 2020 Sep 02, 2020

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Thanks, I will try that.

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