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Old 10-10-2008, 08:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation How to Animate Themes

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Ok, so, there's no doubt some that will not appreciate this.

BUT....I think everyone should have a crack at it. I've seen some god awful animations and themes before, but with some tweaking and advice, they can actually be pretty awesome and it gives people that little bit of pride on the net

so, here goes a REALLY basic guide to doing animated themes. Please bear in mind since about 8.00pm GMT I had no clue, and here I am writing a guide, so it can;t be that hard right? ;)

Step 1 - The Animation Background - Easy Version

1. Find an animated GIF file that you like and you want to make into an animated background. Download this file and remember where you put it

2. Open up PLAZMIC COMPOSER.

3. Import the animated gif you found.
As you will see, once it's imported as a layer, it will have a RED border area, with little squares in the corners, and in the middle of the vertical/side borders. This allows you to stretch the image / gif to the size of your desired working area (dependant on the device you pick).

See Arrow A for the points you can move.
See Arrow B so you can see the size you need to make the background picture

4. Now set the frame rate and number of frames in the animation

This is easy. When you load up the animated gif, the software figures out the number of frames in the animation. Just change the the "100" to the number of frames in the animation (which are shown on the time line below) and click REAL TIME. Then, adjust the Frames Per Second (FPS) to make it the speed you want.

Finally, check the section with D on it, and make sure that the "Infinite loop" buton is clicked.



(I'm using the Bold size, 480x320 with the matrix gif I found)

Hey Presto, you should have a basic animation sorted. Now, click the PLAY button to make sure it does what you want If not, fix it, if so, continue

Finally, you need to set the CANVAS size. You will see that your animated background is probably larger than the CANVAS (The white area you can work in and see in the animation - the grey area, you WILL NOT see in the animation....

So, you need to RIGHT CLICK on the image, and this will allow you to select "Canvas Properties" at the bottom, as shown here:



Make sure you click on the TOP LEFT arrow and then tell it how big the area should be: i.e. 480x320 for a BB Bold!

STEP 2 - Saving and importing your new animated background.

So, you're happy with what you have. Now, the next stage is to save 2 formats of what you have created. The first, is the SVG file. This is vital for the animation to work.

So, save you SVG file, via the EXPORT command, and remember where you placed it. Now, open up that file, the xxxxxxxxxxx.svg file, into note pad.

You need to enter the following command to it: repeatCount="indefinite"

This goes in front of the command KEYTIMES=.......

This is in the [animateTransform] tag. As seen in the highlighted blue area here:



Save the file once you've changed it

Now, you need to save in COMPOSER and ANIMATED GIF file - I'm not sure if this is crucial, but I did it this way and it works. Remember the name of the file you saved

STEP 3 - Confirmation

Ok, so at this point, you should have 2 files that you have created, edited and saved. The first is the YOUR_FILE.GIF - The animated gif file you exported and the YOUR_FILE.SVG, which you exported and edited, then saved with the minor amendment we mentioned above.

Now it's time to load them into the main Theme Builder.

STEP4 - Final Stage

Now, we want them into the Theme Builder. So, look at the image below and it should be fairly obvious



Arrow A - This is where you load your new ANIMATED GIF FILE (Background) as mentioned above.

Arrow B - THIS IS IMPORTANT - This is where you load your edited SVG file.


And that's it. Go about the theme building process as you normally do.


Now, for the HARD VERSION!

Welp, it's to late to get into that. If you have a play with the COMPOSER supplied in Plazmic, you'll see on the right there are easier ways to create your own animation from scratch.

If you can master the above fairly quickly, then start REALLY playing. There's a lot of versatility to this software and quite frankly it's BLOODY GOOD!.

I hope this helps people. Leave me comments, thoughts and feedback, and I'll do what I can to assist

Happy Animated Theme Building!

Cheers
Matt
Attached Thumbnails
How to Animate Themes-theme-ani1.gif  How to Animate Themes-theme-ani2.gif  How to Animate Themes-theme-ani3.gif  How to Animate Themes-theme-ani4.gif  
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Last edited by TroyDBrown : 10-11-2008 at 08:34 PM. Reason: Edited Screenshots and Hosted Images Here
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