A Brick falling from a Shelf: Animating with Key Frames

Symbols, Pivot Points, Transform Tool, keyframes and Onion Skins can make a very intersting animation!  So, how do we do this?  In this tutorial we are going to show an object that is rectangular fall off a surface.  Let’s imagine that this object is a brick.  Your surface can be a shelf, a table or any other surface that you can think of.

Step 1:  Create your first layer.  In this layer create the background for your animation.  This first layer will be static.  Make sure to extend the layer to match the amount of frames that are in your animation.  Lock your first layer.

Step 2:  Create your second layer.  This layer will hold the animation.  Add the rectangle (brick) to this layer to be animated.  Turn the object into a Symbol.  For this animation project let’s make the Symbol a Movie Clip.

Step 3:  Place the rectangle on the surface from which it will fall.  Grab the free transform tool.  Let’s start this object’s motion!  Grab a corner and start rotating.  The object will rotate from its pivot point in the center.  Let’s move the pivot point to the bottom right corner to make the object rotate from this point.  Continue to work with the rotation.  Everytime that you make a change to the motion of the object add a keyframe.  Keyframes can be added with the F6 key.

Step 4:  Continue working with keyframes and rotating the object.  Turn on the Onion Skin tool to view the rotation.  Work on making the way your object falls reflect gravity.

As you animate think about gravity and centrifical force and how a brick would drop and torque around.

Here is a video tutorial to help you out:

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