Learn an innovative workflow for exporting, rendering, and publishing data and creative techniques to seamlessly integrate Flash and Maya when presenting 3D assets and animations on the web. Software required: Flash CS3, Maya 2008 and up, ColladaMaya plugin and PaperVision3D component (both free).
Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, Sunder has made great headway in both the interactive game design and 3D animation worlds.
Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts
Introduction and Project Overview Hello, and welcome to Flash and Maya Integration presented by Digital-Tutors an Autodesk Authorized Publisher and an Adobe Authorized Training Center. My name is Sunder, and I will guide you through the different workflows of getting your Maya assets into Flash for web deployment. Over the years, Flash has established itself as the premiere solution for animation and interactivity on the web. Digital content creation software like Maya have the ability to render out vector and raster image sequences for use with Flash. And with this, we can get impressive 3-D visuals on the net. With the advent of third party tools like PaperVision and Sandy 3D, it's actually possible now to render 3-D data from Maya in Flash itself. During this training course, we're going to take a look at many different ways of integrating Maya with Flash such as rendering optimal bitmap sequences, rendering vector data using Maya's vector renderer, and exporting Collada files and drawing them in Flash using the PaperVision 3D component. We're also going to review both Flash and Maya for users that are familiar with one app but not the other. So, we have much to do and much to learn, so let's get started by reviewing Flash CS3. If you are already familiar with Flash, you may skip this refresher. So essentially, whenever you open a new instance of Flash CS3, you're going to be confronted with a dialog box that can help you execute some options. So, for example, you can open up recently activated or recently used Flash documents, or you can create brand-new ones. For the purpose of this lesson, we're going to create an empty Flash file so we can learn about the navigation and drawing tools it has to offer. So with that, create a new Flash file. If you have "Don't show again" checked on or if you've had it checked on before, this is not going to pop up. So you'll need to use the File, New menu instead. Either way is fine. Just open a new Flash file, and let's talk about navigating in the interface. Navigating in Flash is fairly simple. We only have two tools in two dimensions to deal with. Click on the hand tool here to activate the hand tool, and this can help us move from side to side in our workspace here. So we are basically just moving around our workspace. You can think of this like moving in the X and Y direction. We have the zoom tool, and with the zoom tool, we can zoom into our workspace and we can also zoom out based on the toggle or the magnification option that we have activated. So zooming in and zooming out. Now, the workspace is basically a container for what all is going to be displayed in our Flash file once we deploy it. So here's where we can draw some interesting shapes and export them or visualize them on the web. So, most of the drawing tools are here on the side. We have a line tool, text tool, a rectangle tool which is more or less a shape tool. If you left-click and hold it, you have access to other shapes like oval and so on. We also have a pencil tool, and this one's good for drawing free-form lines. And we have a brush tool that can create some very nice shapes for us. Let's explore the line tool for a second. We can draw lines easily by just left-clicking and dragging like so. The properties of the line as well as all of the other tools can be changed in the properties panel by simply changing any one of these attributes. So if we wanted maybe dotted lines, we could just select that and draw it, and now our lines here are dotted. Now, if we wanted to zoom in to take a better look at these lines, we would have to go back in here and activate the zoom tool and then activate the right toggle mode, pull in as many times as we want and then reactivate the line tool. As opposed to working like this where we're jumping from the toolbox to the workspace back to the toolbox, it's better to use the Space shortcut keys. So if you have your line tool activated and you press the Space key, you will have access to the panning tools or the hand tool. And now we can just pan around and look specifically at a certain region of our workspace. With the Space key released, we'll go back to our line tool and we can continue drawing our lines like so. So this way, we don't have to jump from one part to the other. With the Space key pressed and if you also press the Control key, we'll have access to the zoom in tool. So Space and Control on the keyboard will let us zoom in but Space-Control and then Alt will let us pull out. So this way, we can move around our scene very easily but still have a desired tool activated. And we can use that to draw all around quickly in Flash, and that way, we'll be more efficient and our performance will increase drastically. So Space to pan, Space-Control to zoom in, Space-Control-Alt to zoom out. And this can all be pressed with the help of your thumb, index finger, and pinkie finger, for example. So you can use your left hand to move around and your right hand to draw very easily. Now one of the cool things about Flash is we have strokes and we have fills. The lines are basically strokes, and if strokes ever intersect, the gaps between them can be filled up to create a new shape. Let's access the paint bucket tool here. And now, we can just left-click in here to create or to fill this area up with a shape. The cool thing is that this shape can now be moved around. If you access the selection tool, you can not only select the shape, but you can also left-click and drag to pull it out. And now we have our stand-alone shape here which is created from the intersection of these three strokes. And the great thing is this shape can be changed easily. So we can change the color. There are a few ways of doing it. You can take the paint bucket tool, select a different color in here, maybe orange, for example, and then we can just left-click the shape here to fill it up with a new color. Or alternatively, what we can do is we can select the shape and then using any of the color panels, we can select new shading types. So we can maybe change the color, and I'll choose dark green. So with the shape selected and once it has the color change, it's going to change the color of the shape. But Flash's crazy abilities don't stop there. The great thing is, with the help of the selection tool, we can manipulate the strokes that we have available to get some very unique or very beautiful shapes. As an example, if you move your mouse really close to a shape, you will notice that underneath the line here a squiggly or a rounded icon appears. What this means is now we can modify either the shape or the stroke by left-clicking and dragging. And now we'll be able to pull it out and change its shape like that. If you have a little perpendicular line here, you can move a corner point like that. Same thing here, we can move the corner very easily like so. And with this, we can create or modify our shapes and create some very interesting results like that, as so. We can also just left-click a line or left-click a region to just move it around like so. So we can maybe come in here and very conveniently start moving all of these points around. So Flash is very powerful and it's got some amazing drawing tools in that regard. We can also add points to the shapes with the help of the selection tool as well. Instead of just left-clicking and dragging, if you Control left-click and drag, you'll add a point. And now you can make changes with this point here. So Flash's drawing tools are pretty unrivaled, and it's one of the reasons why the IDE is still popular even though there's a lot of open source solutions for creating Flash files. These drawing tools are great, and once you get the hang of them, you can create some very interesting shapes with very little hassle. So that's it for this lesson and a look at navigation and drawing inside of Flash. In the next one, we'll take a review of a very important Flash feature which is the symbols or essentially movie clips.