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All animators must learn to walk before they can run. In 2D Character Animation, industry expert George Maestri teaches the basic principles every animator must know to build a foundation for more complex work. These principles are relevant regardless of software used or animation style. George explains how good animation depends on a firm knowledge of the laws of motion, which inform the principles of animation. He teaches the basics of creating characters, squash and stretch, pose-to-pose animation, walking and running, track reading, and dialogue animation. He also shows how to use After Effects and Flash to apply the tools learned in the course. Exercise files accompany this course.
Replacement animation in Flash is a little bit different than After Effects, but it actually follows the same simple theory in that you create an animation that has all of the different replacement parts, such as the replacement mouths, and then in your main composition or your main animation you just reference the different frames of that sub-animation. In this case, it's going to be inside of a symbol. I am just going to select this head symbol here and we are going to create replacement animation for the mouth.
So all I have to do is double-click on this and then everything else grays out and we can see we are inside that head symbol and let's just go ahead and zoom in there so we can actually see the head itself. In order to create this animation, I need to insert the frames and then replace the mouths one per frame. So first thing I am going to do is I am actually going to create a new layer. So let's go to Insert Layer here and I am just going to rename it Mouths, and this is just going to be my layer where I keep the mouths and it's actually going to make it much easier for me organizing.
So I am just going to delete the mouth off of this lower layer and select the upper layer where we have the mouths. Then I am just going to select my first mouth, which is Mouth_mm or Mouth mmmm, which is for the close mouth sounds, and then I am just going to position that and then I am just going to go ahead and make sure I insert a keyframe here. Now I have a keyframe for this one here and all I have to do now is delete this off and for the keyframe, I am just going to go ahead and replace that other mouth.
It goes from on frame 1, it's that mm mouth and on frame 2, it's this Mouth_A and then all I have to do is just keep doing that for each mouth. So I have just insert another keyframe, delete out the old mouth and put in whichever one I want to replace. So in this case, the Mouth_Ee. So you can see how now I have got 1, 2, 3 and let's just keep doing that. Keyframe. Now when I do this, I'd like to actually have the mouths in an order, so that goes from open mouth to closed mouth and then maybe the consonants here.
So this is one more closed mouth for consonants sounds. So now we are going to just go ahead and insert another keyframe. So for example, I have consonant sounds and now we can go into some of the more specialty mouth such as the shape for the F, and then delete that out on the next frame, and then insert the mouth for the L shape, which has the tongue visible, and again you can just scrub through these. You can see how they work. Now I am not really aligning these as I work, but when you actually get into production, you are going to go ahead and make sure that these all line up, so that they all animate quite well.
We are just kind of blowing these into show you theoretically how to do this. I think this is the last one, the oooo sound for oooo. So now I have eight different mouths. Now each one is on a different frame. So when I double-click off of this and go back into my main composition, what I have is I have-- let's go ahead and zoom out just a little bit, there we go. This head symbol here and if I will go over to my Properties panel, you will notice that this is brought in as a Graphic symbol.
Make sure that it is a Graphic symbol, not a Movie Clip or a Button. So once you are in your Properties panel and you have that head symbol selected, I can go over to the Properties panel and make sure that I have this set as a Graphic symbol. Let's go ahead and change it to for example a Movie Clip, a Button. When we go to Graphic symbol, you will notice that you have a panel here called Looping and what this does is this will allow us to select what frame we want. All we have to do is use this pull- down menu here and it says Loop, Play Once, Single Frame.
Single Frame is what we want, so let's go ahead and select that. Now all I have to do is just select the frame. So for example, if I want the mouth that is on frame 3, just hit frame 3 and it goes to the Ee mouth. The mouth on frame 2 is the A mouth. The mouth on frame 8 is the oooo mouth. And all I have to do is keyframe that and then I can do replacement animation.
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