Moving camera on a 2D surface?

I’m trying to achieve this effect where you have a “camera” zoom in and out and reposition over different parts of a flat surface.

If you know what I’m talking about…The camera first starts at one location then zooms out slightly and flies over to another location and zooms in. This would happen several times. This isn’t interactive so it’s going to be a video for a website with lots of typography and a few animations that will play out wherever it lands.

I know After Effects would be good for this but I don’t have AE nor know how to use it. I’ve got to make this in Flash.

How can I make it look like a moving camera rather than just scaling things down, then sliding them over and scaling them up again? I’m afraid this won’t look all too great. Though, this may be the way I’ll have to do it.

Can I bring a huge flat “plane” into Flash and work with that anyway? I know the canvas limits aren’t huge (I think). Not too huge though, probably a 1:30-2 minute video with about 6-8 parts (landing areas).

I’m an intermediate Flash user with no scripting skills. I have Flash CS5 which I know has the Z coordinate now but every time I shift something in Z it gets blurry and looks bad.

Can anyone help me and point me in the right direction??

Sounds like you need the Virtual Camera. Which is really easy to do and extremely easy to use. I used it for zooming in a recent assignment and my friend used it exactly how you describe. Check out it requires actionscript but that is easily downloaded from the link above or from the Internet.

The good thing about the virtual camera is that you only have to copy and paste the actionscript once and then to manipulate it its just a rectangle. move/resize whereever, add a classic tween and you are done.

Thanks for the advice. Scripting makes my brain hurt. I’ve actually gotten the After Effects trial and am now learning it. I love it and it’s everything I wish Flash was animation-wise. Now to convince my boss to buy it…

There are a number of ways you could achieve this - there are quite a few 3d libraries available for flash e.g away3d, papervision, sandy, all of which will cater for camera movement.

You could also easily scale clips according to a simple 3d calculation to emulate camera movement, the maths isn’t too complicated, but the ground plane would need to emulate perspective so would need to use e.g distortimage class to achieve this.

If your video is a few minutes long, the distance covered while panning the camera across the ground plane might be quite large - rather than create a massive plane (which may tax memory/cpu), I’d consider a static plane where the assigned pattern is dynamically scrolled to reduce overhead.