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Rigging with the Bone tool in Flash

From: 2D Character Animation

Video: Rigging with the Bone tool in Flash

For those people who are using Flash CS4 and higher, you can also set up what's called an armature or a bone- chain to help you animate complicated joints such as arms and legs. Now this is done using the Bone tool. And the Bone tool is over here in the palette, and it looks like a little bone and what we can do is we can use this to set up a relationship between all of the symbols in a layer. In other words, tie them together in a hierarchy that can be animated.

Rigging with the Bone tool in Flash

For those people who are using Flash CS4 and higher, you can also set up what's called an armature or a bone- chain to help you animate complicated joints such as arms and legs. Now this is done using the Bone tool. And the Bone tool is over here in the palette, and it looks like a little bone and what we can do is we can use this to set up a relationship between all of the symbols in a layer. In other words, tie them together in a hierarchy that can be animated.

So let's go ahead and zoom in on this woman's arm and we're going to set up a bone-chain. Now what happens is when you select this Bone tool, it brings up kind of like a Drawing tool. So what we're going to do is we're going to set down the first point of this bone. Now, this is very important that we set this down at the right place. This has to be at the center of this kind of joined circle here, where everything is rotating around. The center point of this upper arm or the shoulder is going to be right around here.

So I am just going to go ahead and click-and- drag and you can see now I am drawing a bone. It looks very much like the bones that you'd see in a 3D package. I am still holding down my mouse button and now I am going to ahead and set this point to the middle of that elbow and again, I really need to position this right at the center so that I get a good rotation of that arm. So this is my best guess as to where that is at and then I can let go and what that does is it creates a bone. If I click-and-drag again, I can create a second joint in that chain and again, I am just going to set it down in the middle of this wrist right here and let go.

Now once I have this, I have a joint chain which now can be manipulated. So if I select one of these joints, for example, this forearm here, I can go over to my Properties panel and I can see all the different things I could do with it. The first thing we could do with it is affect the rotation. So for example, I can turn on and off rotation, so that I can just keep that arm so it is locked, so it's always straight, or I can constrain it so that it only rotates through very specific ranges.

So I can just say it goes from -45 degrees to positive or I can make it even bigger than that so that way the joint doesn't turn around on itself. Now, I also can do things such as enable translation, in case you want to move this joint along left or right or something like that, actually move it off of its axis. Now that can be really helpful if you are doing something like animation for a walk cycle or something like that. Now, once you have all of these, you can start to animate it. Let me show you very quickly how to animate such an armature.

Well, first thing I am going to do is I am just going to go ahead and insert some keyframes here. I am just going to select these frames and hit F5. Now if you notice the armature itself is created on its own layer and that layer actually has a different way of in-betweening. It's not the standard in- between that you would have in Flash. In fact, all you have to do is once you have the frames in place is just move the arm and it'll automatically animate. If you notice here, a little dot appeared and now it's just going to automatically in-between.

Now this is very handy. It makes it much easier to animate these sorts of things within Flash. So as you set up your characters and get them ready to animate, be sure to consider using bones and armatures in your Flash characters.

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This video is part of

Image for 2D Character Animation
2D Character Animation

73 video lessons · 22228 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 2m 18s
    1. Introduction
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 16s
  2. 48m 21s
    1. Designing characters
      3m 22s
    2. Tracing characters
      4m 32s
    3. Creating joints that work
      3m 53s
    4. Working with outlines
      4m 0s
    5. Accessorizing your characters
      2m 21s
    6. Creating parts for replacement animation
      1m 41s
    7. Rigging hierarchies in After Effects
      5m 33s
    8. Rigging replacement animation in After Effects
      5m 52s
    9. Rigging with the Puppet tool in After Effects
      3m 16s
    10. Rigging Flash characters
      5m 50s
    11. Rigging replacement animation in Flash
      4m 25s
    12. Rigging with the Bone tool in Flash
      3m 36s
  3. 55m 29s
    1. The first law of motion
      3m 3s
    2. The second law of motion
      3m 45s
    3. The third law of motion
      3m 19s
    4. Using slow in and slow out
      5m 34s
    5. Arcs and smooth motion
      5m 4s
    6. Understanding overlap and follow-through
      5m 16s
    7. Animating overlap and follow-through
      5m 46s
    8. Understanding squash and stretch
      3m 10s
    9. Animating squash and stretch
      4m 40s
    10. Squashing and stretching characters
      5m 16s
    11. Understanding weight
      3m 27s
    12. Understanding anticipation
      4m 54s
    13. Animating anticipation and weight
      2m 15s
  4. 45m 50s
    1. Internal vs. external forces
      4m 45s
    2. Bringing characters to life
      4m 57s
    3. Animating blinks
      4m 37s
    4. Animating changes in eye direction
      2m 43s
    5. Animating head turns
      8m 1s
    6. Creating a strong line of action
      4m 16s
    7. Creating strong silhouettes
      2m 19s
    8. Pose-to-pose animation: Blocking
      4m 32s
    9. Pose-to-pose animation: Animating
      4m 21s
    10. Pose-to-pose animation: Finalizing
      5m 19s
  5. 46m 53s
    1. A walk in four poses
      2m 27s
    2. Motion of the head and body
      1m 32s
    3. Walk cycles and backgrounds
      1m 40s
    4. Skeleton motion and walking
      4m 2s
    5. Animating a walk: Contact position
      3m 0s
    6. Animating a walk: The feet
      9m 10s
    7. Animating a walk: The body
      5m 19s
    8. Animating a walk: The legs
      8m 21s
    9. Animating a walk: The upper body and arms
      3m 46s
    10. Animating a walk: The head
      2m 50s
    11. Animating a walk: Squash and stretch
      4m 46s
  6. 26m 52s
    1. A run in four poses
      4m 10s
    2. Animating a run: First pose
      4m 39s
    3. Animating a run: Second pose
      3m 45s
    4. Animating a run: Third pose
      3m 27s
    5. Animating a run: Fourth pose
      5m 1s
    6. Animating a run: Upper body
      5m 50s
  7. 37m 6s
    1. The basics of dialogue animation
      4m 35s
    2. Reading tracks and assigning mouth shapes
      5m 33s
    3. Phonemes and lip-syncing
      8m 36s
    4. Animating dialogue: Animating the body
      6m 27s
    5. Animating dialogue: Assigning mouth shapes
      4m 10s
    6. Animating dialogue: Finalizing
      7m 45s
  8. 1h 27m
    1. Animating a scene
      2m 0s
    2. Setting up the scene in After Effects
      3m 2s
    3. Animating the feet in After Effects
      10m 40s
    4. Animating the legs in After Effects
      4m 21s
    5. Animating the upper body in After Effects
      9m 44s
    6. Animating the mouth and blinks in After Effects
      7m 5s
    7. Setting up the scene in Flash
      4m 6s
    8. Animating the feet in Flash
      9m 0s
    9. Animating the body in Flash
      5m 23s
    10. Animating the legs in Flash
      7m 24s
    11. Animating the hands in Flash
      11m 54s
    12. Animating the mouth in Flash
      12m 26s
  9. 33s
    1. Goodbye
      33s

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