Designing and Animating the Flower Head
Now you’ll create the head of the flower, which will bloom as the stalk grows. This process is pretty simple—you’ll animate the flower head to follow the growth of the stalk and scale accordingly as the stalk rises until you have a fully matured flower.
Drawing the flower head
To draw the head of your flower, you’ll use the Oval Primitive tool. But you’ll need to do a little setup before you start drawing.
Create a new layer directly above the pot layer and name it flower.
Lock all the other layers and move the playhead to the 1-second mark at frame 24 (Figure 4.33).
Figure 4.33 Playhead at frame 24
This is where your flower will first appear.
Choose Insert > Timeline > Blank Keyframe to create a blank keyframe.
Now you’ll use this new keyframe to contain the vector content that forms your flower head.
Select the Oval Primitive tool and draw a small circle by holding Shift as you click and drag. The resulting circle shape should be about 40px to 44px in diameter.
Choose the same color for both the fill and the stroke. I’m using #B96D01 in this example.
To roughen the stroke a bit, click the Brush Library button with the object still selected and browse the various brushes.
In this example, I’ve chosen Artistic > Chalk Charcoal > Charcoal - Tapered as my vector brush and adjusted the stroke width to a value of 8. This is the center of your flower.
To draw the petals, once again use the Oval Primitive tool and draw an oval that is roughly 25px wide and 65px tall. Change the color of the fill to something floral, like #FFFF99, and change the stroke to None.
Duplicate this petal by making seven copies, resulting in eight complete petals.
Using the Free Transform tool, rotate each petal to a different angle around its transform point (Figure 4.34). Holding the Shift key will allow you to rotate each petal with mathematical precision.
Figure 4.34 Petals arranged
Select all the petals and choose Modify > Group. All of the petals are now grouped together, making them easier to manage.
Using the Selection tool, position the petals above the center of the flower head atop the stalk. It will obscure the center, but we’ll fix this next.
Right-click the new group and choose Arrange > Send To Back so that the center shape appears in front. You may need to adjust the portion of the petals a bit so that everything is centered.
Animating the flower head along the stalk
Even though the flower head is made entirely out of shapes, you can’t use a shape tween to animate it because it is too complex. Instead, you’ll create a movie clip symbol and apply a motion tween to the instance that results.
Select all the parts of the flower head—the petal group and the center portion—and choose Modify > Convert To Symbol.
In the dialog box that appears, name the symbol Bud. For the type, choose Movie Clip (Figure 4.35).
Figure 4.35 Completing the flower head by creating a movie clip symbol
The movie clip symbol itself will now be in your project library, and an instance of that symbol is added to the Stage.
Now that you have your completed flower head as a movie clip symbol instance on the Stage, all you need to do is tween it along with the growth of your stalk to complete the flower animation. To do this, you’ll adjust the scale and position of the instance with a motion tween.
Select any frame or span of frames on the Flower layer after the 1-second mark, right-click the frame(s), and choose Create Motion Tween from the menu.
The background of the entire frame span should turn blue, and the layer icon should change to a small box in motion, indicating the motion tween has been created (Figure 4.36).
Figure 4.36 A motion tween is created.
Now all you need to do is adjust the scale and position of the movie clip instance on both keyframes.
At the 3-second mark, right-click the frame and choose Insert Keyframe > All from the menu that appears. The movie clip instance should be at full size and positioned at the top center of the fully extended stalk.
At the 1-second mark, scale down the Bud symbol using the Free Transform tool or the Properties panel so that it measures about the same width as the stalk.
Reposition it at the top of the stalk wherever it is at this point in the animation.
That should be it!
Having the flower emerge from a bud
If you preview the animation right now, the flower just sort of pops in at the 1- second mark. To make things progress more naturally, we’ll create a green bud for the formed flower to emerge from, based on the movie clip we’ve already created.
Create a new layer and name it flowerbud.
Drag the new layer so that it is directly below the flower layer.
Copy the Bud movie clip symbol instance from the keyframe at the 1-second mark of the flower layer.
Select the flowerbud layer again, and right-click the Stage. Choose Paste In Place from the menu that appears. A copy of the Bud instance now exists on the flowerbud layer.
Because we are using a copy of the already-created Bud movie clip symbol, we are able to add all sorts of transformations, effects, and filters to the instance. We will be using a simple Tint effect in this case.
Okay, now that we have a copy of the movie clip symbol created on a new layer, we can use some color effects on this instance to turn it as green as the stalk it emerges from.
Select the movie clip instance on the flowerbud layer on frame 1 and look at the Properties panel.
In the Color Effect section, choose Tint from the Style menu.
Click the Tint Color box and choose the green color used for the stalk. You can use the color picker to sample directly from the Stage to match the color perfectly.
Bring the Tint value to 100% using the slider (Figure 4.37). That is all for the Properties panel.
Figure 4.37 Our Bud instance is now tinted green.
The last thing we need to do to complete our fresh bud is to animate its position across time. We’ll use a simple Motion Tween for this.
At the 1-second mark of the Bud layer, insert a blank keyframe by selecting the frame and pressing F7.
Right-click any frame between frame 1 and frame 23 on the Bud layer and choose Create Motion Tween from the menu that appears.
Select frame 23 on the Bud layer and right-click. From the menu, choose Insert Keyframe > All.
Move the playhead back to frame 1 and reposition the instance so that it aligns with the top of the stalk at this frame (Figure 4.38).
Figure 4.38 The timeline expressing fresh bud to full flower
Preview the animation once again to see the transition from green bud to full flower.
All right! That’s all for the flower animation. It should look pretty good but feel free to tweak the motion or any visual elements before we move on to the next step in our project.