Thursday, 23 January 2014

Learn Flash with Andy Sykes - free online video tutorials!

Andy's in the house
Right now our first year students at Bucks are learning how to use Adobe Flash, creating 2D animation as part of their first Introduction to Animation Module. As with all of our classes (and with higher education in general), the formal instruction is just the starting point for an in-depth understanding of the subject. Animation is a complex craft that takes time and patience to master, and we encourage our students to make use of all the resources available.

Fortunately, students today are blessed with an astonishing variety and breadth of web content, including free tutorials in just about anything one could ever want to learn. Flash is no exception to this rule. Below is a link to an excellent website which hosts a series of excellent - and highly recommended - free tutorials in Flash.

The site was built by Andy Sykes and is a superb resource for students. It won't surprise you to learn that Andy is not just an experienced animator but he teaches Flash at Universities around the UK.  All the videos are completely free and can be found here.

As with any online content, you should start with the simple stuff and build up. At Andy teaches the basics, layering in more advanced material like walk cycles, lipsync, and other animation skills.

There is also a YouTube channel here where you can watch the videos.

Here at Bucks we believe that a good animator will have mastered the skills involved in doing both 2D and 3D digital animation. Most of the skills involved are highly transferable from one to another. A good animator must master timing and spacing, and must be able to give a performance. After all, we are entertainers, not robots. The software we learn is just a tool, not an end in itself.

On top of this, we're doing a growing number of small commercial projects, which by their very nature tend to be done in 2D, since there isn't time to build complex 3D assets. We've been using Flash for these paid projects, as a way of giving our students real-world experience, polished professional work for their demo reels - and a bit of extra cash.

All made in Flash
You can see our first film, for a global aid agency, here, and our second film, made for the tech company Rocketseed, here



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