Dec 092017
 
The Autodesk Animator Player program is a flic "projector" program that lets you play your animations or display your pictures.
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The Autodesk Animator Player program is a flic “projector” program that lets you play your animations or display your pictures.
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Contents of the AAPLAY.DOC file




APPENDIX E: THE AUTODESK ANIMATOR PLAYER PROGRAM

The Autodesk Animator Player program (aaplay.exe)is a flic
"projector" program that lets you play your animations or display
your pictures. You can freely distribute this program, along with
the aaplay.doc file, and your animations to friends and business
associates. The aaplay.doc file contains instructions for using
the Autodesk Animator Player program.

The Autodesk Animator Player can be used either interactively,
with mouse or keyboard, or through scripted control. Scripted
control uses an ASCII text file to instruct Autodesk Animator
Player to display a sequence of animations or pictures in any
order, with assigned individual speeds and other special effects.


INTERACTIVE CONTROL

The Autodesk Animator Player program is in the directory in which
you installed Autodesk Animator.

To run Autodesk Animator Player in interactive mode:

1. Go to the directory containing Autodesk Animator Player.

2. Enter the following at the DOS prompt:

aaplay

A black screen appears with a menu bar at the top and
control sliders at the bottom.

You can use Autodesk Animator Player with a Microsoft-compatible
mouse or by keyboard. (Be sure to copy the appropriate mouse
driver to the directory containing Autodesk Animator.) This
appendix describes mouse input first then keyboard input. If
you do not have a mouse device, skip ahead to the section on
keyboard input.



MOUSE INPUT

This section describes how to use a mouse to load a flic, play a
flic, view individual frames, and change a flic's speed.


Loading a Flic

Use the following steps to load a flic using a mouse:

1. Select Fli Load from the File menu.


The file selector appears. If desired, you can exit the file
selector (and take no further action) by right-clicking on
the viewing screen.






AUTODESK ANIMATOR PLAYER (08/31/89) Page 1



2. If the flic you want is listed in the file window at the
left, double-click on the flic's name to select and load the
flic. Another method is to click once on the flic name (which
will appear in the File field), then click on OK.

The flic files (extension .fli) are listed in the window at
the left of the file selector. If there are more flics than
will fit in the window display, scroll through the window by
clicking on the up and down arrows in the slider bar to the
left of the window or by dragging the slider bar up and down.
(To drag, point the mouse at the slider, hold down the left
mouse button, and move the mouse. Release the button to
release the slider.)

If the flic is located in another drive or directory, click
on the following icons:

A: D: to go to another drive. Each drive you have is
represented by a drive button.

\ to go to the root directory of the current drive.

.. to go up a directory.

You can enter any directory listed in the file window by
clicking on that directory's name. (Directories are listed in
the window preceded by a slash (\) mark, for example,
\FLICS.)

Note: Autodesk Animator flics are designed to be played from
a hard disk or a RAM disk. If they are played from a floppy
disk drive, the animation speed will be very slow.

After you have loaded a flic, it will appear on the screen
with menu displays that let you view individual frames, play
the flic, change the flic's speed, load another flic, and
exit Autodesk Animator Player. You can toggle the menu
displays by right-clicking on the viewing screen.


Playing a Flic

The slider bar at the bottom of the screen is the playback bar,
which lets you view individual frames or play the entire flic.

To play the entire flic, do this:

1. Click on the double-arrows:

The menus disappear and the flic plays through.

2. To stop the flic, right-click on the viewing screen.

The flic stops and the menus reappear.







AUTODESK ANIMATOR PLAYER (08/31/89) Page 2



Viewing Individual Frames

The slider bar at the bottom left of the screen also lets you view
individual frames of a flic. Click on these icons to perform the
following actions:

up arrow moves to first frame.
left arrow moves back one frame.
right arrow moves forward one frame.
down arrow moves to last frame.
slider bar drags to desired frame.

Click within the numbered bar to jump to another frame in the
animation. For example, clicking on the right side of the numbered
bar takes you to a frame near the end of the flic.


Changing a Flic's Speed

The slider bar at the bottom right of the screen controls the
flic's playback speed. The numbered bar represents the duration of
pause for each frame. A lower speed setting plays the flic faster,
a higher speed setting slows the flic down. To change a flic's
speed, click on the left or right arrows to adjust the speed by
single increments or drag the bar to a desired speed.

The speed you set is temporary. After you exit the flic, the
original speed settings return.

The following section describes keyboard input. If you have a
mouse device, see "Further Keyboard Input," later on in this
appendix, for keyboard controls available during flic playback.



KEYBOARD INPUT

This section describes how to use the keyboard to load a flic,
play a flic, view individual frames, and change a flic's speed.
You can use the keyboard for these functions even if you have a
mouse.


Selecting Menu Items

Select any item in the menu bar by first pressing the key on your
keyboard corresponding to the first letter of the menu title, and
then pressing the key corresponding to the first letter of the
menu item. For example, to select GIF Load from the File menu,
press the F key (to select File), then the G key (to select GIF
Load).










AUTODESK ANIMATOR PLAYER (08/31/89) Page 3



How Keyboard Entry Works in the File Selector

There are two modes of keyboard entry when the file selector is on
screen: keyboard entry mode, and keyboard alternate mode.

Keyboard entry mode lets you enter text. When the cursor in any
one keyboard entry box (such as the File or Dir) is a solid box,
you are in keyboard entry mode, and keys you press will enter text
in the keyboard entry box in which the cursor appears.

Keyboard alternate mode lets you enter commands. When the cursor
in all keyboard entry boxes is a thin vertical line, you are in
keyboard alternate mode, and keys you press perform selections on
the file selector-in much the same way as pointing with a mouse.

When the file selector is displayed, press the following keys as
needed:

KEY: FUNCTION:

TAB Toggles the keyboard entry mode (as well
as the cursor display) and to move from
field to field

ESC Clears a field

left arrow key Moves the cursor left

right arrow key Moves the cursor right

up arrow key Scrolls up the list of files in the file
selection window

down arrow key Scrolls down the list of files in the
file selection window

BACKSPACE Deletes characters left of the cursor

A B C etc. Selects another disk drive. Each drive
you have is represented by an
alphabetical key.

\ Moves to the root directory of the
current drive

. (period) Moves up a directory

ENTER Selects OK


Loading a Flic

To load a flic using the keyboard:

1. Press the F key (to select File), and then press the F key
again (to select Fli Load).The file selector appears. If





AUTODESK ANIMATOR PLAYER (08/31/89) Page 4



desired, you can exit the file selector (and take no further
action) by pressing Tab followed by the spacebar.

2. Press TAB until the block cursor is active in the File
keyboard entry box.

3. Press ESC to clear the field, then type in the name of your
flic. (You don't have to type in the .fli extension, which is
assumed.)

4. Press ENTER to load the flic.

The first frame of the flic appears on screen to indicate
that it is ready to be played.

If the flic is located in another drive, do this:

1. Press TAB until the cursor is in the Dir field.

2. Press ESC to clear the field.

3. Enter the flic's pathname (e.g., c:\directory\filename).

After you have loaded a flic, it will appear on the screen with
menu displays that let you view individual frames, play the flic,
change the flic's speed, load another flic, and exit Autodesk
Animator Player. You can toggle the menu displays by pressing the
spacebar.


Playing a Flic

The slider bar at the bottom of the screen is the playback bar,
which lets you view individual frames or play the entire flic.

To play the entire flic:

1. Press ENTER.

The menus disappear and the flic plays through.

2. To stop the flic, press the spacebar.

The flic stops and the menus reappear.


Viewing Individual Frames

The slider bar at the bottom left of the screen also lets you view
individual frames of a flic. Press the following keys as needed:

KEY: FUNCTION:

up arrow key Moves to first frame







AUTODESK ANIMATOR PLAYER (08/31/89) Page 5



left arrow key Moves back one frame

right arrow key Moves forward one frame

ENTER Plays flic

down arrow key Moves to last frame


Changing a Flic's Speed

The slider bar at the bottom right of the screen controls the
flic's playback speed. The numbered bar represents the duration of
pause between frames. For example, a high setting will slow the
flic down, not speed it up. Press the - (hyphen) key to increase
the speed by single increments; press the + key to decrease the
speed by single increments.

The speed you set is temporary. After you exit the flic, the
original settings return.

To enter a specific speed (e.g., a setting of 4), see "Further
Keyboard Input," below.


FURTHER KEYBOARD INPUT

The following keys, which can be used by both mouse and keyboard
users, affect the flic during playback.

KEY: FUNCTION:

BACKSPACE Freezes current frame (press any key to
continue playback
+ Increases speed setting by single
increments. The flic is slowed down.
- Decreases speed setting by single
increments. The flic is sped up.
F1 Speed 0
F2 Speed 3
F3 Speed 6
F4 Speed 9
F5 Speed 12
F6 Speed 18
F7 Speed 24
F8 Speed 36
F9 Speed 48
F10 Returns to original speed (speed loaded
with flic)
ESC Breaks loop (only during script playback)


Locking the Keyboard During a Playback

A "keyboard lock" is a command you enter to render the keyboard
inactive until the next time you enter the keyboard command. You





AUTODESK ANIMATOR PLAYER (08/31/89) Page 6



can use a keyboard lock any time an animation or a script of
animations is running. It is designed to keep curious fingers from
halting your demonstrations.

To lock the keyboard, do this:

1. Hold down the CTRL key and press any alphabetical key (A
through Z).

Note: For an 80286 machine, hold down the CTRL key and press
the M key.

Be sure to remember which key you pressed! If you forget, the
only way to exit is to reset your computer by pressing CTRL-
ALT-DEL simultaneously. (Or you could try every letter in the
alphabet while holding down the CTRL key.)

2. To unlock the keyboard, hold down CTRL and press the same
key.



SCRIPT FILE CONTROL

A script file is simply a text script containing a list of flics
and/or GIF pictures to display in succession. GIF files are single
pictures, which you can load and display individually by selecting
GIF Load from the Files menu. In script mode, you can display a
GIF file and leave it on the screen for a specified number of
seconds.

Note: Autodesk Animator GIF files are 320X200 resolution only. Use
the Converter utility to translate other resolution .gif files
prior to using Autodesk Animator Player.

You can write a script file with any text editor or word processor
that produces a standard ASCII (or DOS text) file. Script files
can be created in Autodesk Animator itself, if desired. To do so,
use the Text tool to enter the script text. It is recommended that
you create the text using the System (default) font, since it
creates the dash necessary to specify parameters (e.g., -S). After
you exit Autodesk Animator, the script text is saved in a .txt
file (e.g., myscript.txt), which then can be loaded in Autodesk
Animator Player as a script file.

Caution: The native file format of most word processors is not
ASCII and does not work as a script file. However, most word
processors have the ability to save text in ASCII format.

At its simplest level, a script file that plays three flics and a
picture in sequence looks like this:

D:cartoon.fli
C:\flic\astonish.fli
C:\pics\portrait.gif
D:bounce.fli





AUTODESK ANIMATOR PLAYER (08/31/89) Page 7



Notice that you must specify the full filename and extension for
each flick or GIF picture. However, you need to specify the drive
path only if the file is not in the same path as Autodesk Animator
Player.

Note: You can use any mixture of upper- or lowercase letters to
create a script file.



PLAYING A SCRIPT FILE

You can give the script file any filename and/or extension.
Assuming the above script file is named myscript, you can invoke
it in one of two ways:

o From the DOS prompt, enter the following command:

aaplay myscript

o From within the Autodesk Animator Player, select Script Load
from the Files menu, and then select myscript from the file
selector.

In the four-file script example described earlier, the first two
listed animations each play through once, the GIF picture is
displayed for 5 seconds, and then the last animation plays through
once. At the end of the last animation, you are returned to the
DOS prompt if you start myscript from the DOS prompt or to the
Autodesk Animator Player screen if you started myscript from the
Autodesk Animator Player.

Note: Because of the time taken to decompress GIF files, GIF
pictures display relatively slowly, sweeping down the screen as
they appear. We recommend that you make your GIF pictures frames
in a flic then load the flic from the script file. (If desired,
use a slow playback speed for a slide-projector effect.)


Additional Script Options

In addition to its function specifying which flics or pics to
play, the script file can include these parameters and options:

o Special parameters describing how to play the flic (such as
its playback speed).

o Special options describing how may loops (or cycles) that
each flic (or script file) plays through, and choosing
whether to return to DOS or the Autodesk Animator Player at
the end.










AUTODESK ANIMATOR PLAYER (08/31/89) Page 8



Script Parameters

Script parameters consist of a hyphen followed by a single code
letter specifying the speed, the number of loops, and the type of
transition between the flics. The parameter letters and a control
number or word are listed behind the flic filename in the script
file.

Parameters you can set are listed in the table below:

PARAMETER: CONTROL EFFECT DEFAULT

-L 0..999 Loops 0
-S 0..120 Speed File speed
-T FADEIN..FADEOUT..CUT Transition Cut
-P 0..14400 (14400=4 hours) Pause FLI=0, GIF-5

You can list one, two, all three, or no parameters behind each
listed filename in your script file. If no parameters are listed
after a filename, the default flic playback is a single loop at
the speed specified by the file with no transition (a clean cut).

Loop, speed, or pause parameters are simply a matter of listing
the parameter letter followed by its control:

fli1.fli -L3 -S6
fli2.fli -S3
fli3.fli -L2
pic1.gif -P10
fli4.fli -P20

In the above example, fli1 plays through three times at a speed of
6; fli2 plays once at a speed of 3, and fli3 plays twice at the
speed at which it was originally saved. pic1.gif remains on screen
for 10 seconds. The last frame of fli4 remains on screen 20
seconds.

Note: Loop (-L) and speed (-S) have no effect on GIF files.

Transitions are fades to or from a white screen, and they require
one or two control words following the parameter to describe the
type of transition at the beginning and end of the flic playback.
If one control word is omitted or if both are, a straight cut is
assumed for the transition:

fli1.fli -t fadein fadeout
fli2.fli -t cut fadeout
fli3.fli -t fadein cut
fli4.fli -t fadeout
fli5.fli -t fadein
fli6.fli

In the above example, fli1 fades in from a white screen, and fades
out to a white screen; fli2 cuts in, and fades out to a white
screen; fli3 fades in from a white screen and ends with a cut;






AUTODESK ANIMATOR PLAYER (08/31/89) Page 9



fli4 works like fli2; fli5 works like fli3; and fli6 cuts in and
out. As you can see, the control word cut may be left out in all
cases.

Here are some other examples:

fli1.fli -L3 -S6 -t fadein fadeout
fli2.fli -S3 -t fadein
fli3.fli -L2 -t fadeout

In the above example, fli1 fades in, loops through three playbacks
at speed 6, and fades out; fli2 then fades in, plays once at speed
3, and cuts; fli3 cuts in, loops twice at its file speed, and then
fades out.


Script Options

You can affect the playback of the entire script by using the
following option commands:

OPTION: EFFECT:

LINK FILENAME Loads and plays the specified script file

LOOP 0..999 Loops through the statements above this
statement (999 means loop infinitely)

EXITTOPLAYER Exits to the Autodesk Animator Player
after playing the script file

EXITTODOS Exits to DOS after playing the script
file

Note: You can enter the above option words in any combination of
upper- or lowercase, but you can't include spaces between the
letters (for example, ExitToPlayer is fine but Exit To Player
isn't).

These are examples of script options:

fli1.fli
fli2.fli -l2 -s5
fli3.fli -t fadein
loop 3

Fli1 plays once; fli2 loops twice at a speed of 5; fli3 fades in
from white and plays once; this entire combination repeats three
times before ending.

Another example:

fli1.fli
fli2.fli
loop 999
fli3.fli





AUTODESK ANIMATOR PLAYER (08/31/89) Page 10



Fli1 and fli2 alternately play through once in an infinite loop,
which you can halt by pressing ESC. Fli3 never plays since it
follows the loop command.

Here is yet another example:

fli3.fli
fli2.fli
fli3.fli
loop 2
link d:\flic\script1

Fli3 followed by fli2 followed by fli3 loops through twice,
followed by the combination of flics described by the script1
script file plays.


Scriptfile Formatting

The Autodesk Animator Player lets you arrange the text in your
script files in a very free fashion. As mentioned earlier, letters
can be either upper- or lowercase. In addition, you can list
parameters after the flic filenames in any order, and you can use
any number of white spaces, tabs, and carriage returns:

fli1.fli -s 2 -l 3 -t fadein

is exactly the same as the culmination of upper- and lower-case:

FLI1.FLI -l3 -T FADEin -S2


Keystrokes During Script Playback

Unless the keyboard is locked, the keystrokes described in the
"Further Keyboard Input" section earlier affect only the flic
currently playing. Thus if a keystroke breaks out of the current
flic's loop, the next flic listed in the Script file immediately
begins playback. If the speed is altered by the keyboard during
the cycle of one flic, the following flic in the script file
reverts to its programmed speed.

If a script loop (as opposed to a flic loop) is in effect, only
the ESC key breaks out of that loop.

When you have locked the keyboard by pressing CTRL and another
key, all keyboard activity is inactive until you repeat that same
CTRL key combination.


Error Messages

If you have made a typing mistake in your script file or included
an instruction the Autodesk Animator Player does not understand, a
message similar to the following one appears:






AUTODESK ANIMATOR PLAYER (08/31/89) Page 11



ERROR NEAR LINE 5 IN SCRIPT1.TXT
ERROR IN PROCESSING SCRIPT FILE

[4] FLI1.FLI -L3 -S5
[5] FLI2.FLI S7
[6] FLI3.FLI -L2

The first two lines of the message might change, depending on the
error. The line most probably containing the error is displayed
between the preceding and subsequent lines of the script file.
Examine the lines closely for an error. (In the above example, the
hyphen was left out before the speed parameter in line 5.)

Note: In some cases the error might have occurred somewhere other
than in the indicated line. If you can't find an error in the
noted line, examine your entire script file carefully for a
mistake. If you still can't find it, use a process of elimination
by first making a backup copy of the script file, and then
deleting certain lines until the script file works.



EXAMPLES OF SCRIPT FILES

The following are some example of valid script files:

Example 1

\fli\astonish.fli
\fli\frogger.fli
\fli\bounce.fli
\gif\boats.gif
\fli\cartoon.fli
\fli\redbaby.fli
\fli\starring.fli
\fli\test_jet.fli

Example 2
\fli\astonish.fli
\fli\bounce.fli
\fli\cartoon.fli
\fli\test_jet.fli
\fli\frogger.fli
\gif\boats.gif
\fli\edbaby.fli
\fli\starring.fli
\gif\oldman.gif

Example 3
\fli\astonish.fli -l 10
\fli\frogger.fli
\fli\bounce.fli -l 2
\gif\boats.gif
\fli\cartoon.fli







AUTODESK ANIMATOR PLAYER (08/31/89) Page 12



\fli\redbaby.fli
\gif\oldman.gif
\fli\starring.fli
\fli\test_jet.fli
loop 999

Example 4
\fli\astonish.fli -l 10
\fli\frogger.fli -p2
\fli\bounce.fli -l 2
\gif\boats.gif -t fadein fadeout
\fli\cartoon.fli -l 4 -p10 -t fadein
\fli\redbaby.fli
\gif\oldman.gif -p 30
\fli\starring.fli -l999
\fli\test_jet.fli
loop 3
link a:\script3.txt

Example 5
ExitToPlayer
\fli\astonish.fli
-l 10
\fli\frogger.fli
-p2
\fli\bounce.fli
-l 2
\gif\boats.gif
-t fadein fadeout
\fli\cartoon.fli
-l 4
-p10
-t fadein
\fli\redbaby.fli
\gif\oldman.gif
-p 30
\fli\starring.fli
-l999
\fli\test_jet.fli
loop 3 link a:script3.txt





















AUTODESK ANIMATOR PLAYER (08/31/89) Page 13



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