Prowlies at the River

by Adam Phillips

www.biteycastle.com ©2004 Adam Phillips

click the above images to vote for Prowlies!

software used in the creation of Prowlies at the River :

Artwork and Animation: Macromedia Flash, Sound Effects: sound-effects-library.com

3D tree: Swift3D, Music: Sonar 3

Prowlies at the River - FAQ

How long did it take you to make this movie?

- Approximately 12 weeks from start to finish. 8 of those weeks were kinda slow and not working too hard... probably between 4 and 6 hours per day after work. Then the final 4 weeks were really intense. I was doing about 6 - 8 hours each weekday after work, and then on weekends, 12 - 18 hours per day on average.

Will there be any more stories with Bitey?

- Definitely! We haven't even scratched the surface :)

What software did you use to make the water effects?

- All the water was hand-drawn. There are no shortcuts, but I am an effects animator by profession, so it's something I'm passionate about. It's the same with lighting effects. I know it's important so I spend a lot of time getting it right.

Some of the tree-jumping sequence looks 3D. What software did you use?

- I've been a fan of Swift3D since version 1.0. I needed the camera to swing around one of the trees so I built the tree and animated the camera in Swift3D (version 4) and imported it into the movie. The other trees and backgrounds are all hand-drawn directly into Flash.

You use a virtual camera in this movie. What does that mean?

- Usually, a camera move in Flash involves tweening all the elements of the scene to simulate pan, truck, zoom, etc. The virtual camera, or vCam was built for the movie by well-known actionScript author Sham Bhangal. He has written an online article on the camera, and included scenes and files from the Prowlies movie. You can download the component free of charge from that article, and you can use it in your projects, personal or commercial as stated by Sham here. Sham has also kindly converted the code for use in earlier versions of Flash.

What did you use to make the music?

- There are a lot of tunes flying around in my head and they've been there for years. Whenever I'm animating a scene or a movie, one of those tunes usually comes to the front of the queue so I build on it. I have a MIDI keyboard hooked up to my computer (a midiman Oxygen8) and I play the music into a program called Cakewalk Sonar 3 - Producer and Studio Edition. I edit and add effects to the music and sound effects with Adobe Audition 1.0 (formerly Cool Edit Pro)

How can I learn to use Flash?

The best place to start is the tutorials in Flash's Help menu. They may not be exactly what you want to learn, but just do them. They will give you a good grounding in the program and give you a decent idea of just what Flash is capable. The next thing I highly recommend is joining an online Flash community where you can ask questions and have them answered usually within minutes. My forum is one of those communities, and another Flash animator, Dan Paladin who I respect highly also has a successful forum with Animation lessons. Check them out: Bitey Castle Forum and the Synj forum