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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.
Now let's go ahead and animate our scene in Flash. I am going to open up Flash CS4 and we are going to open up a file. It's in our Chap_07 folder and it's called Women_Stage_00. And this basically has our female character rigged and ready to go and she is on a stage backdrop. So we can have a full scene. Now, I have done a few little organizational things to this rig and one of the things I have done is I have added some folders here so that we can organize this by the upper and lower body.
Now, I also have the right-hand below the lower body because ultimately it's going to have to swing behind this body. So the right arm and hand are not in a folder. Now before we get started we do need to import our sound file. So let's go ahead and go File > Import and let's just Import to Library and the name of the file is called Welcome or Welcome.wav and it's just a wav file, just an audio file and you can see when I import it here, it comes up in the library. Now if I want this to show up on the Timeline, I need to just create a layer for it.
So I am going to go ahead to the Timeline, right-click, Insert Layer and then you have to do is drag that in. Now you are not going to see this until you have enough frames to actually see the waveform. Now, I know the waveform is about 80 frames long. So all I have to do is just add in those frames. So let's go ahead and open up all the folders. Click and drag to select all the layers and then just hit F5 and that will put in some blank frames that we can use to animate this scene. Now, once we do that you can see that here is the waveform.
So if we want to, we could actually play this. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the show.) So there is our dialogue. At this point I really don't need to hear the sound. So I am just going to go ahead and mute it by clicking on the Mute layer, and now we can just go ahead and start setting up our scene. Now the first thing I want to do is get the character in the proper position. Now, if we go to our storyboard here, you can see that she starts stage right, walks in and then stands center stage and starts acting and delivering her line.
So the first thing we are going to do is set up our first pose. So I am going to go ahead and select this arm and I am going to go ahead and take this pivot point, put it to the shoulder and then just rotate it down. Now the one thing I am noticing is that the thumb of the hand is on the wrong side. So all I have to do is take this hand and then just scale it in the opposite direction and again just put it in place. Now, I may need to zoom in here just to see if I have got everything lined up. Now, for this right hand I actually don't want this palm open hand.
So I am actually going to go ahead and delete this hand and drag in another symbol from the library. And the symbol that I am going to drag in is called L_HandSideA, so that's this one here. I am going to drag that into the library. Now, you can see it's actually the left hand because it's scaled the opposite direction. But we can just scale it the way that we want. Position that pivot point exactly where we want it, and make sure it's in place. So now that we have that, we can just go ahead and select all of these, again position that pivot point and rotate it down to her side.
So let's go ahead and take a look with this looks like in the window. So that's a good starting pose. Now the one thing we do want to do is actually put the foot the opposite direction as well. So I am going to go ahead and select the left shoe and just scale that so it's in the opposite direction. So there we go. So let's go ahead and grab all of these layers. I am just going to go ahead and click and drag and then put her off to the side where we want her to start walking in. Now that we have our first pose in place, we can start animating our scene.
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