Home Products Contests Training Support News About Us Navigation
Curriculum
Making a Path Animation
Grade: 4-12
Subject(s): Animation
Required products: MultiMedia Lab V
Materials
  • MultiMedia Lab V
    Overview
    Animate a graphics by giving it a path around the screen. This can be used for a photo montage where pictures fly around the screen. It can also be used to give a character a motion path.
    Instructions
    To create a path animation, there are 3 steps:
    1) Insert an image.
    2) Give it a path.
    3) Run and tweak.
    Let's look at each step carefully.

    INSERTING AN IMAGE
    1) Open MultiMedia Lab V.
    2) Click "Start the Program Directly".
    3) Click the "Gallery" icon in the top toolbar.
    4) Click the "Standard" tab.
    5) Select and animal.
    6) Click "Insert".
    7) X out of the Gallery.
    You now have an animal on the empty page, so let's give it a path.

    GIVE IT A PATH
    1) Go to the object toolbar down the right side of the screen. Click on the third to bottom icon. It looks like a man running.
    2) A submenu of icons appears. Click on the very last one on the left. It looks like a snake path. If you roll your mouse over it, the word "Path" appears.
    3) Click on the page to drop it off. A window called "Select Object to Move" appears on the screen.
    4) THIS IS THE STEP YOU WILL MISS! Click on "Picture 1" in the list of available objects. (Note- you have to assign your path to a specific object on the page. If we had entered 2 animal pictures you would see "Picture1" and "Picture2" in the Available Objects list. The program needs to know which object you want to assign the path to!)
    5) Click OK.
    Congratulations, you have assigned a path to your graphic. Now let's see it run.

    RUN THE ANIMATION
    1) Click on the run button in the top toolbar on the left side. A browser opens and your animal runs across the screen. Mine ran backwards, so let's tweak.
    2) Hit the "Esc" key to return to construction mode.
    Notice the path line has fat dots on the end and skinny dots in between. Each dot shows the next place your character will appear on the path.

    CHANGING DIRECTION OF THE PATH
    1) Roll your mouse over a fat dot. It turns into a hand. Fat dots are grab-able.
    2) Click and hold down the mouse, over a fat dot. The hand grabs the character and you can now drag it to a new position on the screen.
    3) Drag one end of the line to the opposite side of the screen.
    4) Now grab and drag the other end, until you have reversed the path into the opposite direction.
    5) Click the RUN icon in the top toolbar. Your character now runs in the opposite direction.

    MAKE THE PATH LONGER
    Now let's make the character run around the screen.
    1) At the bottom of the screen you will see a little icon with a green plus on it. Click on it. (It's called "Add Control Point")
    2) Click on the page (anywhere in the blank white area).
    You will see your path grow.
    3)Repeat. Click the green plus, click on the page. Click the green plus, click on the page. Click the green plus, click on the page.....Now your path is really long!
    4) Click Run.
    Your character runs around the screen!
    5) Hit the "Esc" key to return to construction mode.

    MOVE A PATH
    1) Roll your mouse over a fat dot. It turns into a hand. Remember...fat dots are grab-able.
    2) Click and hold down the mouse, over a fat dot. The hand grabs the character and you can now drag it to a new position on the screen.

    A COOL TRICK
    1) Hold the CTRL key down.
    2) Click the green plus (to Add Control Point.)
    3) Click on the page 5 times in a row.
    That lets you add multiple points to your path quickly.

    SPEEDING IT UP, SLOWING IT DOWN
    1) There are slider bars to the right of the green plus icon (Add Control Point). Just drag them left or right.
    2) Run.








    Downloadable Worksheets
    Mac users: To download, ctrl-click on the worksheet and choose "save link to disk"
  • See the project on the internet.
  • Download the project and install it on your own computer.
    Weblinks
  • Post your project on the internet.
  • Make a CD-ROM with your project