Masking The Words
I tried several methods to get this to work right...but found that using a simple one frame movie clip containing a specially shaped white mask to cover the text one piece at a time worked the best for a small file size and smooth animation. The problem is that it makes the fla run very slowly, but the swf runs great.
Here is the shape i made. It works well:
Now, the time consuming part. What needs to be done now is to cover the entire word backwards, in the reverse order that the lines are drawn. Create a new layer above the text layer for these mask pieces. Try getting some scrap paper and writing it several times backwards and forward for reference...carefully looking at your movements. You should try and orient the open 'mouth' end of the mask movie clip to the opposite direction the pen will move. This will give a smoothing effect when the text is written. Here is an example of what it looks like.
Long and tedious i know, but this is the only way to keep file sizes small. Notice the flow of the masks in the picture above. A few tips:
1. No shortcuts. Make sure to place them in small increments. The objective here is not to quickly cover it, but to use short even segments. The closer and more presisely these are laid out, the better the animation will be in the end.
2. To save some time here, instead of using your transform panel or going to rotate from the menu....use the custom quick key editor that flash has and assign one for rotate and one to scale...as you will need to quickly and repeatedly transform the mask shape...as in the picture above.
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