Guide to Basic Animation Capabilities of Director

Stephen Wilson, Professor, Conceptual Information Arts Program, SFSU

* Basic animation sequence:  Create cast member.  Place on stage (By default Director will fill a sequence of frames). Select that sprite (either by clicking on the channel in the score or by clicking on sprite on stage).  Chose "Edit Sprite Frames" from the Edit menu.  (Each frame will be separately indicated).  Click on the sprite box in the next frame. Go to stage and drag the sprite to the position you want) Do this sequentially frame by frame to build up an animation.

* In Between:  Use same process as above to create sprite and choose edit sprite frames.  Select a frame somewhere in the middle of the sequence by clicking on that frame in the channel.  .  Go to the stage and move that sprite to the position you want.  This becomes a "key frame".  Director will "in-between" from the  last key frame (the beginning if you have not created any).  It will interpolate movement in each frame to make smooth transition.  Repeat to create as many key frames as you need to make smooth motion.

* In Between- Insert or Remove key frames:  Select a sprite with an existing animation.  Go to the frame you want to create a new key frame (either by selection in score window or via controls window).  In the Insert menu choose "Key frame" and Director will create a new key frame for you.  Go to the stage and adjust it as you want.  To remove a key frame, go to the score window, select a sprite, click on frame with key frame and go to Insert menu and choose remove key frame.

* Real time recording:  Create a sprite.  Click on the frame you want animation to begin. (Select sprite in empty score channel following it because Director will need room to create new frames.)  Choose "Real-time Recording" in the Control Menu.  Drag the sprite on the stage in the motion you want to record.  When you let go,  recording with stop.  (Slow down the tempo to have more control)  Step recording is available also in the Control menu.

* Reverse sequence (Modify Menu):  Create a sequence through one of the methods such as in-between, real-time recording or the like.  Go to Score window.  Select the sequence.  Click on Reverse sequence.  It will create the opposite motion path.

* Space to time (Modify Menu):  You create one frame with multiple versions of the same cast member at the relative positions you want.  Create the cast member you want to animate.  Go to Score window.  Paste it into a frame.  (Reduce it so it only occupies one frame in channel.)  Paste it again in the next channel.  Move the new version to the next place of motion you want.  Repeat the process as much as you want.  You will end up with one frame with many versions of the cast member in different positions.  Go to score window.  Select all the channels in that frame.  Select "Space to Time" in Modify menu.  Director will take each version and put it into the same channel to create an animation.

* Cast to time (Modify Menu).  Create a sequence of several cast members which each introduce distortions or motion to be animated. go to the score window.  Select the frame in which you want the sequence to start. Go to the cast menu.  Select the whole sequence of cast members.  Select the "Cast to Time" option from the Modify menu.  Director will create a series of frames by taking each cast member and placing it in the next frame.

* Auto Distort- Cast to time (Modify Menu): Create a cast member using the paint menu.  Use the marquee tool to select the drawn item. (Be sure to use the shrink option within the marquee tool - you get to that option by pointing at the marquee tool and holding down the mouse.)  Repeatedly chose distortions from the effects tools at the top of the paint window (rotate, or scale) .  Director will be unobtrusively storing this set of distortions.  Go to the X-tras menu and pick "Auto-Distort" .  Director will automatically create a set of cast members which represent the set of distortions you have created.  Select the set of cast members and then pick the "Cast to Time" option in the Modify menu.  (Rotation only works with certain kinds of cast members.)

*Paste relative:  Create an animation sequence by any of the other methods.  Copy the sequence of cells.  Select the last cell in the first sequence.  Go to the edit menu.  Chose the "Paste Relative" option.  Director will adjust all positions in pasted sequence relative to first sequence so that it seems to be a continuation.

More information about the course exploring the artisitic use of these capabilities is available at the description of the Art 412 Conceptual Information Arts: Introduction to Art & Technology.
Stephen Wilson, Professor, Art, Conceptual/Information Arts Program, San Francisco State University 
Information about the Conceptual/Information Arts program    (415) 338-2291  Wilson web page 
Copyright, Stephen Wilson, 1999 - You are free to use the text as long as you attribute source and do not use it commercially.