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Issues with Animate

Explorer ,
Apr 04, 2019

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I will preface all of this by stating that I have been working with Flash since Flash 5 in ~2002 - I'm quite familiar with it.

There are issues that I am experiencing (that I have been experiencing) for years now, I'm wondering if there are any solutions:

  1. The transformation point changes the more I animate a graphic/movieclip. For example, I have mouth shapes in a single file and I tween them as characters talk. By default the transformation point (little white dot) is centered on the graphic/movieclip. After a few movements I notice that the transformation point starts to gravitate around a bit. It's not consistent in its direction either. After a while it's so far from where it should be that it makes animating mouth movements a giant pain. Originally I noticed it with graphics/clips that had frames of varying sizes, but the same thing happens even if everything within the clip is the same size.
  2. Audio. I have a few issues with this. Firstly, why can't I resize the audio dialog window to be as large as I like it, in order to see all of my audio? I have minutes worth sometimes, yet I can only view it all in a small window. This was fine when we were on 800x600/1024x768. Not so great at 2560x1440.
  3. Audio again. Audio seems to play much much louder in Animate than it does in anything else - why is this? I also notice that when I edit and lower the volume in a file (wav or MP3), nothing changes. For Animate's volume to be on par with other applications at 100%, I have to set Windows volume to around 40%.
  4. Why can't we set a default for a graphics options? eg: loop, first frame, play once. I set most to play once but by default it's set to loop, which means in my project (thousands of objects) I have to do this thousands of times.
  5. Why can't I export scenes as separate video files? This is a major issue, mostly because Animate has (and has always had) an issue keeping audio in sync across scenes if you export it all as one video. I had a script written for me that exports them separately and the issue disappeared. This should be native behavior.
  6. Performance with Animate 2019 is terrible. 2018 is a much smoother experience (8700K/GTX1080/32GBRAM/SSD), particuarly when working with the camera. Everything is so slow and delayed in 2019. I have a scene (with the camera zoomed in on it) and in 2018, when I play it in the timeline, it's completely smooth. If I do the same thing in 2019, it skips frames and feels janky.

I'm currently working on a gigantic project and I would really like to sort these things out if possible.


Thanks

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Issues with Animate

Explorer ,
Apr 04, 2019

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I will preface all of this by stating that I have been working with Flash since Flash 5 in ~2002 - I'm quite familiar with it.

There are issues that I am experiencing (that I have been experiencing) for years now, I'm wondering if there are any solutions:

  1. The transformation point changes the more I animate a graphic/movieclip. For example, I have mouth shapes in a single file and I tween them as characters talk. By default the transformation point (little white dot) is centered on the graphic/movieclip. After a few movements I notice that the transformation point starts to gravitate around a bit. It's not consistent in its direction either. After a while it's so far from where it should be that it makes animating mouth movements a giant pain. Originally I noticed it with graphics/clips that had frames of varying sizes, but the same thing happens even if everything within the clip is the same size.
  2. Audio. I have a few issues with this. Firstly, why can't I resize the audio dialog window to be as large as I like it, in order to see all of my audio? I have minutes worth sometimes, yet I can only view it all in a small window. This was fine when we were on 800x600/1024x768. Not so great at 2560x1440.
  3. Audio again. Audio seems to play much much louder in Animate than it does in anything else - why is this? I also notice that when I edit and lower the volume in a file (wav or MP3), nothing changes. For Animate's volume to be on par with other applications at 100%, I have to set Windows volume to around 40%.
  4. Why can't we set a default for a graphics options? eg: loop, first frame, play once. I set most to play once but by default it's set to loop, which means in my project (thousands of objects) I have to do this thousands of times.
  5. Why can't I export scenes as separate video files? This is a major issue, mostly because Animate has (and has always had) an issue keeping audio in sync across scenes if you export it all as one video. I had a script written for me that exports them separately and the issue disappeared. This should be native behavior.
  6. Performance with Animate 2019 is terrible. 2018 is a much smoother experience (8700K/GTX1080/32GBRAM/SSD), particuarly when working with the camera. Everything is so slow and delayed in 2019. I have a scene (with the camera zoomed in on it) and in 2018, when I play it in the timeline, it's completely smooth. If I do the same thing in 2019, it skips frames and feels janky.

I'm currently working on a gigantic project and I would really like to sort these things out if possible.


Thanks

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Apr 04, 2019 0
Guide ,
Apr 04, 2019

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Hi mate,

I'll address the issues that I believe I have some information or opinion about, but before that, just like you, I'll say I've been using Flash for 20+ years and some of the frustrations with it motivated us to start the EDAP Tools project. If you're unfamiliar with our work, come have a look!

1. Transformation point and all other 'inexplicable' small changes that happen as you progress, I believe, are due to poorly implemented rounding of calculations. They vary from version to version.

Best practice here is to register your symbols properly, using the Reg Point as the important one and not rely on Transformation Point unless it is some temporary exception. Because if it starts drifting away you can always double-click it and it will snap back to the Reg Point.

I have an in-depth article in the making about "Understanding symbol registration"

If you are working inside a container, i.e. if your content is nested inside a symbol, the further you are from that symbol's Reg Point the bigger the anomalies will be. Pay attention to this and you might notice a pattern.

2. There are some improvements to audio in the newly released AnCC 2019.2. I have not checked that out yet.

4. I have 3 simple commands to switch between Single frame, Play once and Loop and have mapped those to 1, 2 and 3 on the NumPad. Very fast and handy. Never worries me at all. Here they are. Put them in your commands folder and assign shortcuts.

5. Using Scenes is a bad practice. Don't use scenes for any serious work.

6. Performance drop has been huge, starting in An CC 2018. If you install An CC 2015.2 you will notice it is significantly faster than 2018.

In fact if you go to Flash CS6 you will be blown away by its speed and reliability. Animate CC feels and behaves as a perpetual beta.

I work on serious character animation with huge timelines and I can't move on past CS6 for my work.

You can have CS6 alongside your latest An CC.

I have all the AnCC releases to test and they are not performing to a satisfactory standard to be able to make the switch.

We have reported the performance drop to the dev team. Whether they will be able to improve it I have no idea, but they are aware of it and I think that they are genuinely trying to improve Animate.

Hope this is of some help!

NT

- Nick: Character designer and animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of Flanimate Power Tools team - extensions for character animation

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Apr 04, 2019 4
Explorer ,
Apr 04, 2019

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Thanks for all of that!

  1. Sorry, I meant the reg point. It drifts away - I didn't realise you could double click it to reset. After 20 years and I'm still learning things...
  2. I tried it in 2019 but it's still the same tiny window to work with. Here's an example pic from CC 2018 that I just took (same as 2019). As you can see it's tiny. Zooming in and out in such a small area is hard to work with. Being able to drag the corners to expand its size would be a godsend. I don't think its size has changed in the 20 years I've been using Flash.
  3. These sound like they will save an immense amount of time - though I still believe this should be an out of the box thing. Photoshop, Illustrator etc can be configured to the nth-degree, Animate doesn't get anywhere near as much love.
  4. There's no way around it. This work is about as serious as I've ever made it. The entirety of the animation is over 1 hour so far and everything fairly detailed. It's currently spread across ~8 files and maybe 40 scenes. The library, symbol naming, folder structure etc for every single thing is impeccable. There's just no way to put it in a single scene or file without crashing or other Flash weirdness occurring. It'd also be a nightmare to edit in that way with how long it is.
  5. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has noticed. To be honest, I could use Flash 5 to do almost everything I've got in my current animation (and a lot of what I have is actually from old versions, from years ago). That thing was blazingly fast, I recall later on how Flash MX felt extremely sluggish in comparison. I guess it's a long running theme now...

Thanks again for the help. I'm going to give those tools and suggestions a go.

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Apr 04, 2019 0
Guide ,
Apr 04, 2019

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Scenes... I understand.

Next time

Best approach would be to keep each scene a separate FLA.

Since you are working on such a huge and important project, just another warning:

Keep saving as.. and having versions of your file as you go, several times a day, as there have been many reports of AnCC corrupting files during save lately. Make backups and take all possible precautions.

Good luck!

- Nick: Character designer and animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of Flanimate Power Tools team - extensions for character animation

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Apr 04, 2019 1
Guide ,
Apr 05, 2019

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ps. No, you were correct the first time - it's the Transformation Point that may drift away - the little white circle which you can move on the outside of a Symbol instance.

The Reg Point is the little cross that you cannot move. The Transform Point snaps back to the Reg Point when you double-click it with the Q-tool.

- Nick: Character designer and animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of Flanimate Power Tools team - extensions for character animation

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Apr 05, 2019 1
Explorer ,
Apr 19, 2019

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@Preran While the answers above are very helpful for a couple of the issues I expressed, in no way do they address these long standing issues with Flash / Animate, I don't understand why you would mark such answers as correct.

I have raised concerns many times over the years (via surveys, this forum, via emails or even as a partner between 2008-2018) and each time they have been ignored. Marking answers that agree with the issues I am experiencing is not 'correct', nor does it address those problems. As I stated earlier - some of these things have been overlooked or ignored for almost 20 years. For a product that likely has far less users than it did ~10 years ago, I would have thought such things would be important to address.

Here are some more, while I remember:

  1. I can't bind Mouse4/5/6 etc to Animate commands without using a third party App
  2. Selecting symbols (in the library) with a 'use count' of 0 is often buggy and results in either not selecting all with 0 and in some cases selecting some with more than 0. This means if I delete these symbols, I am deleting things I use. I resort to doing this manually now.
  3. The 'use outlines for stage panning for better performance' option simply is not true. In many cases it makes performance much worse.
  4. Exporting files as .MOVs will sometimes fail with no reason given and no output at all
  5. A looooong running issue - there is often no rhyme or reason to how a shape tween will work, even if you use the little alphabetical nodes.
  6. When using the camera tool - having to re-center the stage each and every time you open a file or navigate to a new scene is tiring. I can't imagine why the default behaviour isn't to focus on where the camera is pointing.

...and so on.

QOL improvements would be great at this point. I would much prefer them over any bloated version of Flash/Animate that came after ~CS6/CC2016.

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Apr 19, 2019 1
Explorer ,
Apr 25, 2019

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Another issue just now. Around 5 minutes of lip synced symbols disappeared. Here's what it looks like.

1ZoYFGd.png

The symbol I was using still exists, yet in over a dozen different talking character's heads symbols - this is what I see. Thankfully I have Dropbox history to restore it all. If I didn't I would have lost at least ~3 days worth of work.

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Apr 25, 2019 0
Explorer ,
May 03, 2019

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I used layer parenting in 2019 today as a test. This would be ridiculously helpful, except I still can't use it in my project as CC 2019 runs like a pig. 32GB RAM, an 8700K and a GPU which are barely utilised at all.


I ran another test and the performance is about the same between the PC above and my 2018 Macbook Air.

Why doesn't the app use the resources available? Is this going to be addressed?

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May 03, 2019 0