Make Fun Sliced Up Monster Character Animated Gifs With Affinity Designer and The Free Wick Editor | Nick Cave | Skillshare

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Make Fun Sliced Up Monster Character Animated Gifs With Affinity Designer and The Free Wick Editor

teacher avatar Nick Cave, Experimenting with creativity!

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

13 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Course Introduction

    • 2. Making Your Monster Project

    • 3. Making a Monster Head and Body in Affinity Designer

    • 4. Making Monster Legs and Arms in Affinity Designer

    • 5. Making The Monster Face in Affinity Designer

    • 6. Creating More Monsters in Affinity Designer

    • 7. Slicing and Exporting Monster Parts in Affinity Designer

    • 8. Overview of the Shapes Tool in The Wick Editor

    • 9. Overview of Clips and Timeline in The Wick Editor

    • 10. Setting Up Your Monster Game Characters

    • 11. Coding Your Random Monster Animation

    • 12. How to Export Your Monster Animation As An animated Gif

    • 13. Final Thoughts: Making a Game

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About This Class

Have you ever wanted to learn to create monster characters and have a little bit of fun with them. And have you secretly yearned to go one step further and experiment with them, separating out their heads, bodies and legs and then get truly creative with your character designs.

If you have, look no further because in this class you'll be creating and coding your own animated monster character gif using the free open sourced web browser based Wick Editor games and animation tool - together with the brilliant mobile illustration iPad app, Affinity Designer to create six monster character designs.


I was inspired to make this class after seeing and playing the popular children's mix and match styled card games. I thought you must be able do this digitally using software, or an app, to automatically jumble up all these picture parts and make an abonimable looking, but fun animated monster gif, or web game out of them.

I always like to check out image ideas first on websites like Pinterest, where I can see many different types of monster character design and games. It just gives me an idea of how I can assemble my designs and set them up, so that they're ready to be used as coded assets in The Wick Editor for an animated game.  


You'll learn how to use the Javascript coding features within The Wick Editor to make randomly generated animated gifs from your six monster characters, ones which you'll first create externally in the brilliant Affinity Designer app on your iPad.

And sometimes even getting started on a character can seem really hard, so I show you how I start making a monster by simply drawing a triangle in Affinity Designer and then challenging myself to only use that shape to make a character, really as a kickstart to get my creative juices going. I find this a great alternative to sketching lots of ideas out, as for me I prefer to work digitally, trying out experimenting with lots of ideas on my iPad first, using the brilliant range of creative apps you can now get for it.


Often as well, learning to code can seem a very tedious process, but in my class you'll learn that with just ten lines of Javascript code, you can easily make your monster character parts, such as the heads, bodies and legs, appear randomly at regular timed intervals and change each time you export it as an animated gif.

You could then go on to use the same code as a template with different creature designs and illustrations, or you could even use mixed up photos of friends and family to make funny looking animated gifs. So as you can see In the example below I've used a combination of Superhero, Alien and Robot character designs I created with exactly the same set up and code in The Wick Editor as your monster characters, to turn these into great looking animated gifs as well.


As well as this, the beauty of using Affinity Designer to create your monster pictures is that it's got a wide range of powerful drawing tools to make fun looking monster characters and illustrations. And because it's vector based, your designs can be scaled up or down without loss of quality, plus simple shapes can be manipulated and joined together with ease! Also, as this app is on your iPad, you have the freedom to create your monster characters almost anywhere!

Affinity Designer has some equally amazing export features as well, so turning your six monster designs into individual sliced head, body and leg picture parts is a breeze, ideal for importing and using in The Wick Editor to make your animated gifs.


If you've ever used Adobe Animate, then using The Wick Editor will be fairly intuitive to you, as it's got a familiar interface and interactive features, similar to Animate, such as a frame based timeline, the use of Clips (similar to Animate's movie clips and graphics symbols), interactive buttons and a range of great vector drawing shape and brush creation tools.

However, if you haven't used it before, then don't worry, as The Wick Editor has been designed to be fairly easy to get to grips with and shouldn't require a steep learning curve to create some fun looking animations and games in it without any prior knowledge.

The Wick Editor even has its own powerful drawing and brush tools, so you could create a game or animation exclusively inside it using these, its layers, and helpful functions, such as tweens! As well as this, being an open source tool, it has a thriving online community, so if you want to suggest new features, learn how to make, or code things, you'll find the community and creators of the tool will be on hand to help. 


Having created your monster character sliced up pictures, you'll learn how to import and use them in The Wick Editor as animated Clips. You'll go on to learn how to use them to make and code a monster character randomiser animation, one which can be then exported as an animated gif. Right, let's get started and have some fun along the way!


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Nick Cave

Experimenting with creativity!


Hi I'm Nick Cave, nope, not that one (the famous cult singer, formerly of The Bad Seeds) in case you're asking.

In the last few years I've loved playing around with quirky and interesting animation commissions I've been lucky enough to work on, which has meant being able to experiment and create with software like Adobe Animate, Photoshop, After Effects and now some great iPad apps, such as Assembly, Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, Core Animator, Alight Motion, DoInk and Procreate.

I'm even being called, 'The Animator' now, but unfortunately I don't have any cool catchphrases like, 'I'll be back!' Guess I could adopt one like, 'I like to snack' (umm.. probably needs some work!)  

I've tried my hand at game and mobile app development, create... See full profile

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1. Course Introduction: I am Nick on my code and I animate I just love using my iPad to create things which is one during this course, because I'm gonna use affinity designer on the iPad to create a lot of monsters. Six, in fact, that we can use in the free online week editor tools, which is really good because you could just do some simple code. Makes something like a randomizer, as you can see here. And then we can move on to take a little horrible sketches. So I start with something like a triangle man made out of triangles and move on to make a monster, too. Simple shapes. Eventually you'll make six months. Slice them up, ready for use in the free week. Editor. I've been using Adobe Flash and now animate for years to create simple animations and games . So it's really good to see this Free Alton, which is browser based. It's called The Wick editor, and you can do things like use clips, which actors movie clips. He can use buttons to code, and you can write things using simple Java script so I can't wait to get started and see your cool looking monster animated GIFs 2. Making Your Monster Project: So here comes the fun part. Yes, making your project. Of course, we're looking affinity designer on the iPad and make lots of months six, in fact, which will slice up into lots of different paths. Then I'll show you how to use these monster parts in the week. Editor In The Week editor, you'll be able to code a simple randomizer game. The monster randomizer works by mixing at the heads, legs and bodies. A great feature of the Week editor is that you can then take your animation on export to intern animated GIF. This will then become your project, which you can share with others on Scotia, and the beauty of it is that you can use many things to make your project. But whatever you choose to use, I'm sure your project will look just as great. 3. Making a Monster Head and Body in Affinity Designer: Yes, As you can see here, my sketches are a little bit ropey, so I prefer to work digitally from the off. So I'll open a finicky designer. Just take a simple triangle shape and make a monster out of that. You can see here that this whole monsters made out of lots of different triangles thin. I'll start moving on to make my main monsters, and I use art boards at 10. 80 by 10 80 pixels. So I got a reference picture of a monster that I want to use. I'm just gonna play set on the canvas and resize it accordingly. Theun, once I'm happy with its position, are going to the layer properties just reduced capacity and lock that so, in order to create my months, trump this using simple shapes here, up on the lips, under us bending and stretching it to fit the reference picture. But I use triangles to create spikes on the side and the top of the head. Why? Your jury can do things like use gestures as shortcuts. So if you capped two things on the screen with your other things, just drag the triangle. You'll see that it's copying and pasting it into different layers. Once I'm happy with my spikes for the left hand side could just copy those flip them and I've got the right hand side. Just keep repeating this process until you're happy with the positioning of the look of the spikes going to individual ones, bending ball shaped them, and then you can move them around just to get the ideal shape that you want. Once you're happy with all the shapes and the look and feel of the heading drawn, go into the layer. Slide your finger to the right to select a lot different shapes that you want to join together. Then go to the top of the screen and you'll see three little dots. If you press that you can then add them all together. This mergers and joint all shapes to get giving you both the head and body as one individual shape 4. Making Monster Legs and Arms in Affinity Designer: So now you've got your head and body ready. You can go on to create the legs, so I'm just gonna use the pen tool and just gradually trace over the leg that got as a reference picture. So once I've drawn the leg and closed the shape or color it green, using the colors from the color palette and I'll slowly refine the shape until I'm happy with it. So to make the clause, I changed the color to red and just use a triangle tool which have curved a little bit to give it more of a claw like quality. Then I duplicated it twice. And then you got three clause on the top of your leg, then, having finished, if you group clause in your leg together, you can then copy it, paste it and flip it, and you've got another leg. Now, if I was going to use this figure of a monster for animation, just keep the legs separate on different layers. But in this case, I'm gonna merge the legs together with bodies. Just rearrange some of the layers together so they can then select the legs and the body and make it into one shape. You can see that I'm joined them together just by adding it from the top menu. Let's make some arms. Now. I'm gonna use the rectangle to finish. Just bend it a little bit to get the basic shape of the arm that I use my circles trust stretch out to make the fingers that I can join them all together. That makes the hand in the arm. And then I can duplicate this. Flip it and you've got two arms. And then, finally, I'm going to select all the arms on the body that I created with the legs before use the top add menu and join them all together. 5. Making The Monster Face in Affinity Designer: So now let's make the face and we'll start with the eyes eyes a really easy to do because I can just use a circle, which I duplicate two or three times just changing the color and stretching it and twisting it. When you do this, you can see that you're gradually building up the inner eye, the outer I Onda pupil. And then when you color it red and put an outline on the outside, you got one eye. Then we need to do is group those shapes Copy and paste didn't flip it again. And then you've got yourself to eyes and to make the mouth, I'm gonna use a similar technique of using initially a couple of circles, which are duplicating and changing colors off. But then you'll need to have some teeth. The teeth. I'm just going to use a triangle shape, bend it a little bit, copy and paste it resize some of them on the look, a range of teeth inside the mouth, so during the tunnel is a little bit more fiddly. But I just use a circle shape again, which I put some curves on. You could see that I'm just bending in the middle. Just moving the pen tools a little bit at the top. Once you bent, it gradually got kind of heart shape, which you can then stretch, and it forms the tongue so you can see just by using simple shapes you've managed to create , although parts of your first monster. So you got the head in the body, which you joined together with the legs and the arms, and now you got the eyes, the mouth and tongue. 6. Creating More Monsters in Affinity Designer: now you created one months to be. You'll need to create some more for the game. In order to get some inspiration, I tend to go to sites like Pinterest Theun, an Infinity designer. I'll go through the similar process to how I created the Green Monster. So for the Brown one, I've got lots of shape. Same for the purple, the blue town. And so when you get the idea and for each one or create not border when you want to ride to Newark board, just use the menu options of the top. Then, at the bottom of the screen, you'll see a button that says, Insert dartboard. Press there and you got a new outboard canvas on from the layers men you can just go into. Choose the options and rename the art board whatever you want. In the next video, you learn how to export and slice it. The monsters into individual parts 7. Slicing and Exporting Monster Parts in Affinity Designer : when you're ready to export your monster designs. First of all, go into the alignment tool which confined on the right hand side and make sure they're centered vertically and horizontally and because we want to use all the picture, including all the backgrounds were first of all need to flatten them. So you were in the layers menu. You can look at the top on the second icon in is like a stack. Claire. If you choose that, you can rest arise each one in turn. Once the monster designs Airil flattened, we're gonna need them several times because we're going to slice them into top, middle and bottom. So when you're on one say, for instance, you got the monster just duplicated twice, never gonna rename it wants to one head monster, one body, a monster, one legs. I'm gonna repeat this, but each of the different designs that you've got eventually you'll have duplicates of all six designs. As you can see here now, you'll need to switch over to the export percentage from the top menu and choose the layers from the right hand side. So, for instance, once you're a monster head, you can create a slice for that, just resize it, so it's only showing the head and do the same for the body and the legs. Then you need to repeat the process for each of the different monster designs. Onda affinity designer makes this process a little easier because when you're creating each lives for the new picture, you want to just align it to the one that you don't before it snaps into place. So you'll find that all the head should be the same size, all the bodies and all the legs. Once you created all your slices, you'll want to choose what type of picture you want to export U. S. So I've chosen J Peg Best quality on the folder I'm going to export it to is the monster parts demo for purposes of this class, then you can just press export or a loyal slices will export into that folder. And if you open that folder, you can see them already a sliced parts. You got legs have got heads, bodies. All the different monsters have been sliced into individual parts, ready so that we can import them into the wick editor and make our game 8. Overview of the Shapes Tool in The Wick Editor: So now we're going to look at the actual wick editor itself by typing in wicked dot com into any browser, then just press on the great linked to open the editor itself. Pressing on the top right hand corner on the gear car brings up the second for the project , and you can change its name or frame rate or even canvas size. And if you look at the top left hand menu, you can see a range of drawing and shape tools that you confused makes a really good animations. You can start drawing on the canvas by using something like the brush tool, and you can manipulate its size and color and stroke. And then you got the pencil tool redid the pencil tools When you join lines, you can then fill it with a color, and that filled becomes its own shape and as well as the brush in the pencil tour, you've got shaped tools like the rectangle, and then you can circle tall. Then you got individual lines, and the great thing about the individual lines that once you've made them, you gotta shape manipulate a tool. You can just bend them out. But I mean, and then you can use the filter with the color of your choice to fill it to fill of red, and then you can use the arrow tool just to move it out. So the fill in the stroke remains two separate things. But of course it's great as well, because I conjoined different shapes up in a circle shape here, which are just manipulated. Then I'm gonna move the triangle. Laver just moved. It resized it. You can see immediately that's underneath. It's difficult to see, but on the top the same tools which mean you can bring it to the front. And then I can copy and paste. It not only continue shortcuts that you normally use in a windows keyboards such as control , see to copy, give him on a tablet, don't have that facility necessarily, So I can use to see in the pay of top just copy and paste it. And then I could also use these tools to flip it, and eventually I can then group them all together and join them together. So it becomes one shape that could be my monster head. Well, Christmas drill, some other kind of shape 9. Overview of Clips and Timeline in The Wick Editor: so all the shapes you drawn so far have been on the main timeline. But if you click on any shape and use the inspector, you can then make it and turn it into a clip of its own with its own timeline. And if you then edit that clip's timeline, you can do things like cutting paste it change its color, change its size to make a little animation of its own. Now, if you press play on the main timeline, you'll see by default that the clip that you just set up is playing automatically. You can change the settings of that from the right hand side, inspector. So if you play once, for instance, and then press the play again, it will only play that animation once. So what I like about the Week editor as well as its got a technique called Tween ing. Training is used when you want to make an animation but don't want to make it frame by frame. It means you can have a starting position, say it frame one, and another position of frame 12 on the computer will work out a way. The frame positions in between. If you then move that object up and down France's now on the squares layer, you can see some black diamonds. These indicate positions there are between the object and all that means is like a move it . I can rotate it on where the Tweens is showing. The computer will work out the positions in between, so I don't have to on each frame, change that position. I could just move it down, for instance, on the first dream or middle Tween, and the computer will work out the positions in between so you can see here on the first train. It starts, talk the middle, it rotates, and in the end it goes right down to the bottom. And just by playing around with the settings, say, Fritz of the frame rate, I could make the animation slower or fastest, have changed it to 12 which means animation is slightly slower. Now. When I'm playing now that the circles of clip I can click on the surf and then from the Inspector, I can go into the scripts and start Cody. You can see here that the coding editor window has popped up on the weekend. It is great because it allows you to code in a programming language called Java Script. This is a programming language that's used by modern Web browsers and games, and it means you're able to run your game in a Web browser. And on the left hand side of the code editor got a reference section, which should help you when you're trying to write some code for the first time. So, for instance, if we go to the timeline section on the left hand side, you see that you got lots of commands that you can just click on. So, for instance, if you use a go to in stock command and you put a number off the timeline in the brackets when you play the movie, the play head will just move to that position on the timeline. But if you then go back to the coding editor and you put the name of the green circle in front of the go to in Stock command, the main timeline will players normal. But the stock command will affect only the clip. So, for instance, the green circle here, as well as being able to draw on the main timeline, I can also import external images into the wick editor, and I can put these on the timeline. So here's a monster clip that great from the unity designer earlier have upload. It's a weekend it's now added it to the main timeline, and you can resize and reposition the monster picture as well. And you can put this on its own layer as well. This is really useful tool because when you're doing animation, you want to be able to separate out different elements on different layers, and this means you can get really creative with this. So, for instance, have drawn a monster directly in the week editor. And then I separated it into many different layers and made it go really mad with Tweens and lots of layers. 10. Setting Up Your Monster Game Characters: Let's have a look at what we need to create. In order to make our game. We're gonna set up a monster character clip, which comprised of three layers, the three being the monster head, the bodies and the legs. Inside each of these clips, there's going to be six frames of heads and in six frames of bodies and six frames of legs . Now open up the wick editor and change the project settings changed the name and then change the size of 10 80 square. There's a frame rate to 24 a background color blue. Let's no ideal monster picture parts using the upload assets to on the right hand side. Inspector Locator Your monsters not load into the week editor. Let's locate and that the monster one picture to the campus, and then we're gonna turn this into a clip on. This will become the places of our main character. Inside, this main character clip will need to add three layers heads, bodies and legs on each of these layers that have an individual clip. So here we've got the heads clip, and that's just comprised of six pictures that you put on the individual frames, so the six rains will be six pictures lined up to zero zeros at the guarantee. Send Theo and then back in the main character on the different layers. Created bodies. Clip each with six frames of bodies on the legs. Clip, also with six frames of legs. Make sure you've lined up all your three clips, so it looks as if it's one picture thing goes back to the main timeline on drag out the frame so you've got 72 in total, a 24 frames per second. This will be perfect for a three second animation, which will need to use for animated GIF when we want to export it. However, you notice that when we play the animation, the monster clips of going mad, that's because there's no code on them telling them to stop. So we learned that in the next few lessons 11. Coding Your Random Monster Animation: it's evil in that you can make fun animations within the week editor itself. And if coding seems a little bit daunting, don't worry. We're just gonna do it step by step and slowly. So the first thing we're gonna do is stop the monster parts from playing continuously. So we need to go into each clip, add a new layer and then go into the coding environment. And once the code window that threatens going to stop into timeline in the reference tap on it. And this as a stock come into that clip, this means when you play at the other, clips will continue. But that won't stop. Now. Go back into the main character, edit the timeline for the bodies. Click for instance at a stop command there and do the same for the legs. Then, when you're in the main timeline hit play, all of those individual clips will have stopped on the main timeline. It's worth creating another layer by using the plus button and calling your actions. That way, you can have your code separate from the rest of the game. Now tap on the first rain. With that, new actions opened the code window editor and start playing around with some of the commands in the reference section here. If you press, go to and stop 25 when you close the window and press the play button, you go to 25 on the main timeline. You can also use a go to in stock Command with individual clips. I'm typing in main character, Doctor. Go to and stop three here and it will try to go to frame three of the monster clip. So the reason you're seeing just Blue Square is because that monster kit only has one frame . So let's just make sure that the individual clips the head body in the legs within the main character all have names on them. That way we can access in the code. Now, if you go back to the main timeline, open the code window editor we can now use to go to and stop command with Heads clip nested within the main character. So this means when I press play again, only the Heads clip will move its own play head and to save time. When I'm Cody, I'm just gonna copy and paste a particular line, and then I'm gonna change the heads on the second line. Two bodies on the heads on the third line to lakes and then I'll just change the frame numbers in each and to go to and stop Commons. Now, in a press play, you'll see the heads, the bodies and the legs go to and stop different frame numbers. I'm gonna be using something called Variables now to make my coat more efficient. So you can see here typing C equals main character. This means See will now have a reference to the main wants to character. And then I can also do something like character parts again, this is another variable. I'm gonna turn this into a little list, so I'm gonna contain the heads, the bodies on the legs in that list. This means within code Aiken Reference and at a later stage. So at this stage, how many just declared the variables? It doesn't affect how the game's running at the moment. So I'm making uses something called a four loop. So loops three times to reference heads, bodies and legs from that character parts list or array, as it's known in Java script. So I'm playing this, but nothing's actually happening. Wonder why? So I'm gonna have to go back to the coded. Just do something called debugging to have a look at the code and inspect what's actually having a I can see on the character parts online. Five. I haven't got a reference to any of the things in their race. It's not actually able to access the heads, bodies and legs clips. So I just treat that character parts code in line five to work and equal bill to access on each loop. Heads, bodies and legs clips. Don't worry if you don't understand this because basically I provide the code and resources you can just copy and paste and put it in this particular part of the timeline. So now if I close the code window and play it should we have to see that allow the clips will go to frame three, and there they do. That's because I didn't go to in Stock Command in the loop, just a frame three. But wouldn't it be great if I could just randomize how those clips appear? And they don't just go to the same friend and breach time? Well, I can because on the left hand side, you see a random in the reference section. If I click on random interview, you see it goes to one comma. 10. If I changed it to one calmer, six will then randomize from one, as in frame one to frame six Onda. We can even wrap this code up. This four loop in a function functions a really good because thes air like self contained code, which we can call upon later stage, saves you having to repeat the same code over and over again. But your notice now when I press play again, nothing actually happens. The monsters not moving. Nothing's happening, and that's because I need to actually call the function. It's called Randomized Monster. So let's just typing randomized monsters with two brackets. And then when I play it again, it should work. It does. Sure enough, it's randomized, different parts of character. So you had probably spending there with all these coaching principles of introduced you two variables functions, random loops, etcetera. If you want to find out more, it's good to go to things like an external site like a website. Like every three schools we can lend, allow JavaScript commands and just use them. Copy and paste them, and then you can bring them back into the code editor. And this is exactly what I did with the set Interval Command. Basically, at the moment, you can only play the game months as innit? Randomize is once, and it'll keep minimizing only when you press play. But what wanted to do is to do it by itself so you could do something like set interval, which would basically call this function. It's randomized monsters every so often, and it doesn't milliseconds. 1000 is everyone in second. So we put the function in into the command like randomized monsters and set it at 1000 every time we play it. Now it's a randomized every second. This is a strange thing because when I played the actual animation, nothing's happening. So let's right click. We could do that on any website and inspect the elements. We concede there is a problem. It can't find the variable random. It's obviously thinking that the random function is a variable, and I can't find it because I'm declared it. So let's go back to our drawers page to to Ro Page and find a better example of a random command. So I go ahead now and I copied it. And I'm going back to the code editor window. And I'll never replace the random interview function with the new job, skip function of hand on the website and just tweak the settings a little bit so that the randomized work perfectly. And sure enough, when I play it, it's now doing every second sits randomize ing the character parts every second, and the beauty of animating in code is just change the settings from 1000 milliseconds to 500 and that will make my animation a lot faster. That's really good. And finally, I'm just going to assign a variable that random function. So here, I'm gonna call it random character parts to sign it, too. That math law function, which are copy and paste, go to stop inside the brackets. Once you've signed pasted in, I can then just copy the random character parts. Put that inside the brackets go to install. You don't actually need to do this because it will work without doing. This is just my preferred option to make it easier to read, and that's it. You created your monster character, random ionization, and you've done it using only 10 lines of code. Fantastic 12. How to Export Your Monster Animation As An animated Gif: So now you've done it. You created your six monsters and affinity designer, and now you've animated them with code in the week editor. Way you need to do is to exploit our animation is an animated GIF and using the Wick editor export functions. It's really easy to do. But first of all, let's change your settings to something like 500 by 500. Call it something that means something to you and then apply on. Then you just need to resize your monster character, your main character, just by selecting it and using handles around the edges, just resize it into the center off the canvas, top on the export function above the inspector and then choose advanced options to change the size to 505 100. And then all you need to do now is press the export gift and wait for the magic to happen on day after a short while, your animated GIF is created in your Downloads folder. Enjoy 13. Final Thoughts: Making a Game: So The Week editor is great for creating animated GIFs but can also create games and other animations on it, and you can use a multitude of devices, including an iPad. So in the project section of this skill share course, I've created a games fall. It's basically Sourcefire for this game, and I created it as a ZIP file so that you can have a look at it and analyse the code. And you can play on your iPad or your PC, and just to see how it's constructed And remember you confined code on timeline, frames, buttons and clips. You'll see also that the same animation on this game, the cards when you move on, go from right to left and is actually no Tweens or any frame animation going on. It's purely done in code, and a lot of the co commends have used the ones you've used before. So it's worth experimenting to see what different ones do and then have a play it making your own game. It's really good fun, and you can just experiment. Try it. Some animations, try us and code and enjoy it. It's great fun