Friday, 25 April 2014

Where can you learn Flash online for free?

Hexjibber - home of Andy Sykes - and awesome Flash tutorials

Animation Apprentice is primarily a 3D animation course, focusing on character and creature animation in Maya, training our students in 30 weeks to reach a professional level at which they can start to take on freelance jobs and find work in the animation industry. What we don't have (yet) is a course in 2D animation, using Flash or Toonboom to create sophisticated traditional-style animation. Fortunately, the skills learned in 3D animation are highly transferable to 2D. A good animator must master timing and spacing, and must be able to give a performance. After all, we animators are entertainers, not robots. Like actors, our job is to entertain an audience.

Fortunately, students today are blessed with an astonishing variety and breadth of web content, including free tutorials in just about anything one could ever want to learn. Flash is no exception to this rule. Below is a link to an excellent website which hosts a series of excellent - and highly recommended - free tutorials in Flash. was built by Andy Sykes and is a superb resource for students. It won't surprise you to learn that Andy is not just an experienced animator but he teaches Flash at Universities around the UK.  All the videos are completely free and can be found here.

As with any online content, you should start with the simple stuff and build up. Andy teaches the basics, layering in more advanced material like walk cycles, lipsync, and other animation skills.

There is also a YouTube channel here where you can watch the videos.

Andy has even created a whole series of tutorials showing how to create special effects in Flash; stuff like fire, smoke and water - even allowing you to make a Hokusai-style wave. 

Here at Animation Apprentice we're doing a growing number of small commercial projects, which by their very nature tend to be done in 2D, since there isn't time to build complex 3D assets. We've been using Flash for these paid projects, as a way of giving our students real-world experience, polished professional work for their demo reels - and a bit of extra cash.
To find out more, visit, or you can read all about Nano Films, and see the work our students have done, here.


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