Upon hearing about Adobe coming out with Creative Suite 5 from Matt’s blog, I decided to check out what cool new features Flash might have. I read about Creative Suite 4 when that came out too and I know it had some features like IK handles and some new 3D effects for shapes and text. I had only heard of IK handles in 3D animation programs. They essentially act as a skeleton structure to help easily animate the joints of a character. Now flash had that same capability and it sounded like a useful addition to an animation program. The 3D additions looked a little gimmicky to me, but I can’t speak from experience since I haven’t used them. I did once have to make a simple animation in Papervision 3D because Flash couldn’t do it alone so this might have changed that, which would have been nice.
The demo video I watched on Flash Creative Suite 5 was really cool. It has added its own physics engine to the mix. Now you could add properties to those IK handles to make them react different ways to your animation or the surroundings. Flash calculates the physics itself and pans out the animation accordingly. The same can be done with all movie clips. Enable physics on them and hit calculate and you’ll see how they would interact in real life with the virtual environment around them. It looked pretty cool, though seeing as I don’t really do any complex flash animations and seem to just end up doing flash programming I wanted to see what programming changes they might have had. Well it mentioned something about integrating with Flash builder, which could be nice for database interaction. It also mentioned providing more pre-made code snippets to speed up on development time. It also had something about a feature to help cut down on the learning curve from AS2 to AS3, which is a little bit late if you ask me. Most people have already taken a trip down that alley and made the switch.
So while I don’t know how much any of this would really help me, the new animation physics features really looked cool and I’m excited to see what animators will be able to do with it in the future. The demo video had a pinball game that was easily made with the new features, but would have been a programming migraine in the past. As with DDA, Adobe keeps bringing the innovations and improvements as time goes on.