Free Materials For Teachers
Image©2012 ABS Design Layers Create Depth
Design Layers Create Depth

Among the frame animations included with IntelliTools Classroom Suite® are sets of kids facing forward, facing back, and from the side. Maybe you’ve used some of these animated figures. But, have you tried stringing these animations together?

By connecting these frame animations, you can produce amazingly complex IntelliMations. For example, you could have a kid go off into the distance, turn, pass behind an object, turn again and come back. All it takes are some simple tricks with Design Layers, and this workshop will show you how!

The Power Of Design Layers

Design Layers let you treat an activity page as a three-dimensional stage. When you bring in an object like clip art or a frame animation, it has a default Design Layer of 0. If you add a second frame animation, it will go in front of the one you added earlier, by default. But you can assign Design Layer numbers greater than or less than 0, to specify what will be displayed on top when the two objects interact.

For example, if you added the second object and set its Design Layer to -1, it would go behind the first object you added, which would still be on the default Design Layer 0. If the first object is scenery like a tree or furniture, and the second is a frame animation of a walking figure, the effect is as if the page had depth, and the walking figure is farther away than the scenery.

In this workshop, participants learn to use Design Layers to create complex animation effects. Besides learning new techniques step by step, quite a bit of time is devoted to learning to analyze a complex IntelliMation in order to understand how the effects were achieved.

Workshop Dynamics

Image©2012 ABS Diagram 1 Page From Above At 0
Diagram Of Page From Above

The general strategy for each section of the workshop is to analyze finished animation by looking into the Properties of the objects on the page at various timepoints, and then either make changes or build a similar animation hands-on. Much of the hands-on part of the workshop has step-by-step instructions, but there are also Challenge assignments for participants to tackle on their own, starting with a blank page.

Those who are familiar with IntelliMation and have experimented a bit with Design Layers can probably do this entire workshop in a day. Experienced students could be encouraged to do the Challenge assignments while the rest of the participants are completing the main parts of the workshop. Those who don’t do the Challenges during the workshop should try them later.

For those who have never heard of or worked with Design Layers, this should be a two day workshop. On the first day, these beginning students would work through the Design Layers I tip you can download from elsewhere on this website, then work through the first half of Design Layers II. On the second day, they would do the second half of Design Layers II at a slower pace.

Behind The Tree

Besides the tutorial, I’ve included three Classroom Suite activities. Behind The Tree is the main activity, and is used as an example by the tutorial. Participants analyze a very simple animation on the first page, working with a single animated figure and clip art scenery of a tree. Their final goal is to add a second piece of clip art scenery and a second animated figure to the scene.

Image©2012 ABS Full-Page Picture Used As A Stage Set
Full-Page Picture Used As A Stage Set

On the second page of Behind The Tree, participants analyze a more complex IntelliMation in which differing poses for the animated figure are strung together to create a single animation.

This part of the workshop also introduces the idea of using a full-page, floating picture as a stage set, behind which animated figures and clip art can be hidden until needed onstage. After analyzing the complex animation on the second page of Behind The Tree, workshop participants make a new page, and are guided step by step in building a similar animation using a stage set and several frame animations strung together

Reference Activities

The other two included activities are for reference. School’s Out is a finished version of the animation participants build step by step in the second half of the workshop. Around The Corner is a finished version of the final Challenge assignment. The last two activities should be consulted only if a participant is really stuck at some point in constructing these animations. You’ll also see a copy of the tutorial PDF in the folder along with the three activities. This can be opened from within Classroom Suite, if you have Acrobat Reader or some other PDF reader installed.

Image©2012 ABS Let IntelliMation Calculate The Tweens!
Let IntelliMation Calculate The Tweens!

IntelliMation Tips

Finally, throughout the tutorial there are tips suggested by specific parts of this workshop, but applicable to IntelliMation in general. Within the tutorial, these are presented in separate blue panels, so as to be handy but not interfering with the flow of the workshop. There are thirteen of these tips, and I’ve included them as a separate PDF file you can download. This Tips sheet makes a nice handout for this workshop, but could also be used in any other IntelliMation workshop.

Online Tutorials

In addition to download links, you will find two links to online tutorials, the main workshop tutorial and the tip sheet. These can be used as previews or as part of the workshop presentation. They are in a finished format that works well with a large group, and also may be a reference for workshop participants in days to come.

I believe this workshop will be lots of fun. Surprise yourself with how much you can do with Design Layers in IntelliMation!

Application needed: IntelliTools Classroom Suite, Acrobat Reader
Subject area: IntelliMation.
Level: Author, Teacher Tip.


Printable Materials

DesignLayersIITutorial.pdf (2.1 MB) Design Layers II tutorial to print. Acrobat Reader.

TipsDesignLayersII.pdf (50 KB) 13 IntelliMation Tips from Design Layers II to print. Acrobat Reader.

Online Links-Tutorials

Design Layers II Tutorial Online Design Layers II tutorial online, ready to present to groups.

Design Layers II tip sheet online 13 IntelliMation Tips from Design Layers II online, ready to present to groups.

Classroom Suite Activities 5.3 MB) Design Layers II activities and tutorial in Classroom Suite v.3 or later.

May 19th, 2012 at 6:33 pm


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