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Help and tips!

Posted by Exedor - February 19th, 2013

I've been quite busy sending tips to various users around Newgrounds. It bugs me when someone submits something, and the quality of content just isn't there. Often times, it's spam, and the author doesn't care anyway. This post ISN'T for those people.

My heart goes out to those who have comments like, "I know it's not good, but if you have any tips or suggestions, please help." Those are the ones I want to help, after all, you can't help anyone who doesn't want help. (<3 RC ;) I've sent out this message over and over, and I've finally decided to make this a news post so I don't have to send the same message over and over and over. Although, most of my fans and friends have happened because of these tips.

Here are some tips on how to improve your art, animation, understanding of Flash.

I'm just getting started too. I got a copy of Flash MX and two training manuals on ebay for $5. Yup, $5. I was the only bidder. It helps when things close at 2am. I recommend this type of manual: Hands-On Training. It came with the stuff I got in the auction. It has a CDROM with it that has exercises to practice what you learn. It's a quick and easy read, too. I'm not ready to submit anything yet, but this book has really helped. Just find the same manual for whatever version of Flash you have. And be sure it has the CDROM with it. For CS6, there's no manual as of this writing, but here's the site by the same people who created the book, www.lynda.com.

The benefits of the book over video/youtube tutorials is that the books cover all the things a 5 minute tutorial doesn't. Most video tutorials cover just the basics so someone who knows nothing can know just enough to be dangerous, but not enough to be good, by the end. There are a lot of things that aren't taught that can really help: like, how to shrink your file size, shortcuts that make things easier or quicker, that sort of thing. The book has these things. Case in point: I saw a video come thru that had a stickman getting hit in the head and falling over, and music. It was 22 seconds with no color, and it was 14.3 Mb in size! That's bad.

Now, despite all that I said about youtube tutorials, some are better than others...

If you're not familiar with Jazza yet, you will/should be. Jazza is one of the greats around here, and he's got great tutorials on youtube. The default is "Featured videos" but click on "Browse videos" to make it show more. I've been watching them as I learn flash and they've been VERY helpful, not only with flash but with my drawing as well. I've also had people recommend tutorials by Spazkid and Oney, but Jazza has a lot more tutorials available.

Also, this one is by Ricepirate, another of the greats around here, and it deals with sound and voice recording. It's short, fun, and when he compares things at the end, you'll see he knows what he's talking about. If you ever decide to add voice, that'll help you sound better right away. Here's Hnilmik in action using the same principles and her magical polka-dot box of power!

As for tablets, most people go with some form of Wacom tablet. I have a Bamboo Pen I got for $26 on ebay. Tom uses a Bamboo...something. I think it's a Bamboo Fun. The newest and best(?) are Intuos, with Intuous 5 being newest (and most expensive). However, I've seen Graphire tablets new in box for $20 +/-, but it's an older tablet. I don't know much about them. Actually, the bestest and most expensivest-est are Wacom Cintiq tablets. They have the monitor built in and you draw straight onto the monitor. They're cool. They're expensive. They're sweet. (I have not tasted one...however...) I will allow any of you to buy me one. It's ok with me. Really. Anyway, tablets take a bit of getting used to, though. So practice a bit ...or a lot, and don't expect to draw well at all at first. Yes, they draw, but they also work like a mouse, so they can be confusing at first. I still switch between my pen and mouse.

Newgrounds has resources to help as well. They're under 'Site Help' at the bottom of any screen, and then go to Creator Resources. You'll find info, preloaders, suggestions, and tutorials there.

I hope something here is helpful. It can be hard at first, but these have really helped me, and hopefully, they'll help you.

Good luck! :)





Well, hi Willie D! You're welcome. :)


You're welcome! :)

Ooh, I have Flash MX as well and you're free to review anything I have made.

Sure thing! ...except you've submitted the same number of Flash animations as I have! xD We'll have to change that. Someday.

Great read, exedor.
Goodluck on your future flash projects!

Thanks! :D

Being one of the recipients of your tips, i am thankful!

I'm glad I was able to help! :D

Thanks for taking the time to point out mistakes and areas to improve. Really helped!

I hope to actually help people, rather than just dogging on them and offering nothing, so comments like this bring me joy. I'm glad something here was helpful. :)

Well, I'm doing writing at the moment, working on two story ideas at the same time. And I like to draw too. Maybe some advice for doing sketches? (Look at my user page for art.)
This was helpful though, I prefer not to use the computer to draw the things I want.

Thanks for the tips man (on my page and here). It's really helpful. Much appreciated :D

damn, you are a soldier amigo.

i only ever buy from amazon, because the quality on ebay sometimes is just not there....and living in the middle of the desert like I do, I don't really have the luxury of waiting 2 weeks for something to arrive via camel....and then have to send it back via carrier pigeon...at a premium rate....wait two more weeks....pray that the seller honors my return....then wait another 2 weeks for the Post Sandworm to arrive.

It is a shame that GIMP actually sucks and even old versions of the Creative Suite still ship for $100+. Flash MX isn't really worth the time, due to the general instability. It also is more time consuming, and the long-term value is minimal when ya remember that you don't get paid in the precious sands of time.

Paying for software like the Adobe products instills integrity into an artist, I think, and encourages dedication....because you freakin' paid for it.

One product I can reccomend over others is BLENDER! Blender rocks, it's as versatile as it is intimidating. I was able to learn enough to start having fun in an afternoon. It might feel like the uncool choice, but it's not like driving a car. It's not a status symbol. It is a tool, and any lack of confidence in the program is a lack of confidence in yourself.

GOOGLE is always my best friend, you can ask it anything. If you are going into a professional environment you'll want formal books, which also have a higher retention value than digital reads, but I don't actually have $50 to drop on last years copy of &quot;Teach Yourself C++&quot;.

I also don't understand how and why someone feels it's alright to undermine the liberty a program like Blender stands for by selling &quot;courses&quot; for it online...

my final rambling comment is that I learned the hard way that it's better to drop $50 on a very nice keyboard than constantly play &quot;keyboard lottery&quot; with 5 different $10 keyboards, hoping one of them rocks.

Thanks for the amazing tips! I got a question, is a pen/tablet really neccesary?

The comment was appreciated.... albeit dripping with sarcasm.
I believe I already had a range of things posted up that covered demo reels as opposed to the single voice test the submission you had commented on had been.

Thanks for all the links in here however, I follow an love the works I find from those guys a bunch, so will check out those tutorials when I get a chance to.

This post is so comprehensive, I might just send noobs here, instead of scrambling around for the appropriate links! How's things in the EGB, still competing for stats?

I purposely went back to check on this one kids animation http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/630619 , who was trolling for YT subs... because I had written a slightly harsher version of your own review, but I just got frustrated and let it go :p Glad to see you had the balls to hit Submit.

Balls. I gots them. :3

Hey Exedor -- by any chance, would you happen to have links or tutorials for Stencyl?

Let's just say, coding a shooter, let alone a bullet hell, is proving difficult. I know how to change backgrounds and textures and load in music and fonts, but know nothing about the actual coding. &gt;_&lt;

oh wow, yeah its been a while since I watched an oney tutorial, I just kindof watched all his stuff even though I wasn't even doing animation hahaha, but yeah thanks man I bookmarked your post

Check out Jazza's and tell me what you think. :)

&quot;you can't help anyone who doesn't want help&quot;
So true. And some people pretend they want help but don't.
Like people in art school who can't take constructive criticism.

-John Mark

Did you just level up or am I just not paying attention?

Either way, you're almost to level 60, man!

Yup, I'm like a day or two into my trek toward the last level! :)

thank you for the review on my animation
and thanks for this information
i ll look into it
and would like to know why havent you tryed to upload an animation
or maybe help someone
i saw some of you pics and your backgrounds are amazing
you could easly colaborate if you show how good you are


Actually, I would love to get some of my ideas out for the world to see. The last several years have been brutal, and all of my free time has been taken up just trying to survive. I'm mostly thru training on my new job, so hopefully, I can have the freedom now to start getting my ideas back up and running. :)

you put alot of time into this thank you for the tips

Exedor is UOTD? Awesome

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