How is a cartoon made? Can anyone make one? Is it expensive? These are questions that many people who grew up with animation have asked themselves at some point. And, for a long time, the answers to the latter two questions were “no”, and “tremendously” in that order. Now, with the advent of technology of today, things have changed quite a bit. Now, anyone with some artistic skill, and a grasp of computer basics can in fact make a cartoon, the only expense is going to be time.
Ok, that’s not entirely true. It’ll still cost some money to produce a cartoon. But, where traditional animation studios (and modern massive studios) had expenses in staff and technical equipment, it’s more of an expense for the high-powered software and a decent computer to power it.
You have a myriad of choices for what software and techniques you use to animate your cartoon, and today we’re going to learn about classic flash animation, complete with implementing backgrounds, characters and audio. So, buckle your seat belt, put your tray in the full upright position, and prepare to land. Er, learn to animate!
There are a variety of versions of Flash available. This is because for a long time, Flash was a product of a now-defunct company called Macromedia. Adobe bought the rights to Flash and several other Macromedia products, and integrated them into their CS (creative suite) product line about ten years ago.
Let’s use Adobe Flash CS5, it’s the most powerful, and it’s less bulky than previous CS versions. Also, it takes full advantage of the Flash player modern browsers use. But, we also need another program to mix and sequence our voice clips. Let’s use Audacity, as it’s free and easy to pick up. Continue reading