a Simple 3D Animation
      by kirupa

You want to create an animation. But wait! You don't want just any animation - you want an animation that is in 3D, spins, flips, and does your exams for you. Well, you are in luck because Swift 3D is the program you need that solves all your problems (including your exams if you want to a low grade).

In this tutorial, I (Kirupa Chinnathambi), will help you to use Swift 3D to animate an object such as a square. Because this is an introductory tutorial, you will use the custom animations that come configured with Swift 3D itself. As always, the final source file will be provided near the end of this tutorial.

Your final Swift 3D project will look like the following animation:

Creating the Animation:
In this half of the tutorial, you will create the animation that you see above. In the second half, we will export the animation you create into the Flash format viewable on the Internet.

  1. Launch Swift 3D and create a new document.
  2. Press the Create Box button from your main toolbar:

[ create box button ]

  1. Once you click the 'Create Box' button, a square should be displayed in your main work area (Front and Top panels).
  2. Select the square that is drawn by clicking on it. If the square is taking up too much space in your work area, right click on the square and drag back.
  3. Make sure the square is selected and press the Show Animations button on your bottom right:

[ show animation button ]

  1. You will see the Regular Spins tab selected, and you will also see pictures with text under them such as "Horizontal Left" or "Horizontal Right".
  2. Use the scrollbar on the bottom right and scroll down till you see Zig Zag 360 on the bottom row.

[ zig zag 360 animation option ]

  1. Click the picture (the one with the blue shape and checkerboard background) directly above Zig Zag 360 to see a representation of how the animation looks. Now, drag the picture above Zig Zag 360 and drop it on the square in your work area.
  2. You will notice that your timeline now has 'keyframes'. That means the square does 'something' at the intervals in your timeline. Click the Red dragger in your timeline and drag it to your right to see your square move:

[ the timeline and the red dragger ]

Exporting Animation
Now that the animation portion of the square is complete, let's export it to the Flash 5 format:

  1. Click the Preview and Export editor tab near the top of the Swift 3D window:

[ preview and export editor tab]

  1. Once you have clicked the Preview and Export Editor tab, you will see a section labeled Render Preview. More importantly, you should see four buttons near the left of that section. Click the Render Entire Animation button. Your animations will begin to be rendered in the Flash format:

[ rendering the frames of your animation]

  1. After a short while, your animation will be fully rendered. After your animation has rendered, the Export Entire Animation button on the right will be enabled. Press the Export Entire Animation button and save your SWF file to a location.
  2. You should be able to view the animation by double-clicking on it.
Square (Swift Source)

As always, I have provided the source file above for you to download. Notice that my square was colored; I have not discussed how to change the color of the square in this tutorial, so do not fear!

Just a final word before we wrap up. If you have a question and/or want to be part of a friendly, collaborative community of over 220k other developers like yourself, post on the forums for a quick response!

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