Chasys Draw IES Help:

Object Animation Tutorial

What is this tutorial exercise all about?

This tutorial exercise shows the user how to do simple animations (such as the ones you see on the web) within Chasys Draw IES Artist using the object animation method. You can also create animations using the frame animation method. The tutorial assumes you have gone through the other tutorial exercises.


How do I go about it?

An object animation is simply an illusion of movement created by moving layers and changing their attributes over time based on a predefined set of rules. Such rules can, for example, indicate that a layer with the image of a ball should move from the bottom of the page to the top of the page within one second. Chasys Draw IES will then move the “ball” along that path over the course of one second, creating an illusion of movement. Unlike the related timeline animation method implemented by other image editors, object animation in Chasys Draw IES is completely frame-less, although the results can be converted to a frame animation. For that reason, object animations do not have a frame-rate. Each object that needs to be animated is represented by one free-style layer.

Before Chasys Draw IES Artist can animate the layers for you, you need to inform it that the image you are working on is an object animation. You do this by setting the image-mode to object animation. You can find this option under the image menu.

Next, you need to define the animation behaviour of each layer that will move or change as the animation progresses. You do this using the “Animation Timeline” window shown below. The details of doing that will be covered in the tutorial exercise below.

Your can animate any layer except the background layer. All other layers can be animated in terms of position and visibility over time as required for the animation sequence you're creating. The preview window will play the animation as you build it. The length of the animation is determined by the position of the last keytime, and is calculated and managed separately for each layer.


You can convert an Object Animation into a Frame Animation using the “Render Object Animation” option on the “Animation” menu in Chasys Draw IES Artist. This may be useful if you want to export the animation as a GIF or AVI file. Please note that the reverse cannot be done; you cannot convert a Frame Animation into an Object Animation. If the animation is too long or too big to be converted to a Frame Animation within the workspace, you can render it directly to a video file using the “Animation Renderer” device plug-in by going to the “File” menu then selecting “Send to Device”.


Animating Objects

For this exercise, we will create a simple background, a ball and its shadow as three separate layers. We will then use the Object Animation functionality to define the movement of the ball and its shadow, as well as the visibility of the said shadow, to create a realistic animation of a bouncing ball.

Start a new blank project and set the size to 800 by 600 pixels. Draw a simple background with a blue sky and green ground, then set the image mode to Object Animation as shown below.

Add an object (such as a ball) to the background and position it as desired.

Add a new layer of the same size as the ball. Make the background of that layer transparent and use the GT Shape tool in ellipse mode to draw a black elliptical shadow on that layer.

Move and change the z-order of the new shadow layer so that the shadow is positioned behind the ball. Hint: Use the blue arrows in the Layers window to change z-order.

You are now ready to animate. Highlight the ball by selecting it with the Hand tool. You should have the Animation Timeline window open, if you don't, choose it from the Window menu. On the timeline, move the blue time slider to 00:01.000 (1 second or 1000 milliseconds) while holding the Shift button so that it snaps to the axis instead of moving smoothly. There's a line marked “Y” on the timeline, and to the right of that there's a “+” sign; that's the “Add Y” button. Click that button. The “Time” should read “1000 ms” and “Type” should read “Position, Y”. Set “Value” to “-400” so that the ball goes up and “Function” to “Sine, forward” because bouncing balls don't go up linearly. Click “OK”. A new entry will be added to the timeline; such an entry is called a keytime.

Look at the preview window. It should show the ball going up but reappearing at the bottom as if by magic. That's because we haven't defined the path it should take on the way down. To do that, create a new keytime by moving the time slider to 00:02 and repeating the process above. Use the following values: Time = “2000 ms”, Type = “Position, Y”, Value = “0”, and Function = “Sine, reverse”. Note that the sine is reverse, not forward. Clicking OK will yield a timeline that looks like this:

Look at the preview window again. You now have a ball that is bouncing properly, but the shadow is static. Given the direction of the light, the shadow should fade out and move to the right and back as the ball rises, so our animation is not realistic. We need to fix that.

Select the layer with the shadow using the Hand tool to make it the active layer. The timeline should go blank because that layer has no animation information defined yet. We will now add animation to it by defining keytimes. Since the movement of the shadow is more complex, we need more keytimes for it: two for “X”, two for “Y” and two for the eye symbol, which represents transparency, for a total of six keytimes. Create them as per the table below:

Step Time Type Value Function Explanation
#1 1000 ms (00:01.000) Position, X 300 Sine, forward Move 300 pixels to the right
#2 2000 ms (00:02.000) Position, X 0 Sine, reverse Move back to the initial position
#3 1000 ms (00:01.000) Position, Y -80 Sine, forward Move 80 pixels up
#4 2000 ms (00:02.000) Position, Y 0 Sine, reverse Move back to the initial position
#5 1000 ms (00:01.000) Transparency 240 Sine, forward Change transparency to 240 (94% transparent)
#6 2000 ms (00:02.000) Transparency 0 Sine, reverse Restore transparency to 0 (fully opaque)

Your timeline should look like this after you've created all the six keytimes listed above:

The resulting animation is shown below. You can save it as a CD5 file, or, additionally, you can render it to a frame animation so that you can export it as a GIF animation or an AVI video. To do that, just select “Render Object Animation” from the Animation menu in the main window then save the result as a .GIF file. You can also render it directly to a video file using the “Animation Renderer” device plug-in by going to the “File” menu then selecting “Send to Device”.

When saving object animations, remember to save them in the CD5 file format. If you want to use another animation file format, such as CD5, GIF, WebP, AVI or ANI, remember to use “Render Object Animation” to convert the object animation into a Frame Animation first. If the animation is too long or too big to be converted to a Frame Animation within the workspace, you can render it directly to a video file using the “Animation Renderer” device plug-in by going to the “File” menu then selecting “Send to Device”.



Copyright © John Paul Chacha, 2001-2019