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Flash CS4 Professional Tools for Character Animation
Illustration by John Hersey

Adding bones to shapes


From:

Flash CS4 Professional Tools for Character Animation

with Todd Perkins

Video: Adding bones to shapes

In Flash, you can not only create bones with movie clips but you can also add bones to shapes. In this movie we will take a look at how to do that. If you are following along, go ahead and open up Bone_Shapes.fla from the Chapter 3 folder. If you don't have access to the Exercise files, don't worry. You can just use any shape you would like. On the Stage here I am going to double-click the spider to enter in its Timeline. Then I am going to double- click the spider's body. Now that I am in the Body movie clip, there are two layers, Body and Eyes. I have actually already prepared three of the bone shape animation. So I will show you now by testing the movie with Command+ Return on the Mac or Ctrl+Enter on the PC.
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  1. 2m 44s
    1. Welcome
      42s
    2. Using the example files
      46s
    3. Getting into this course
      1m 16s
  2. 39m 5s
    1. Reviewing motion tweens
      2m 32s
    2. Adjusting motion tweens in the Property Inspector
      3m 55s
    3. Working property keyframes
      5m 18s
    4. Controlling easing in the Motion Editor
      3m 28s
    5. Creating custom easing in the Motion Editor
      4m 36s
    6. Squashing and stretching with custom easing
      5m 33s
    7. Adding shadows
      2m 6s
    8. Encapsulating animations
      2m 39s
    9. Randomizing animations with graphic symbols
      2m 16s
    10. Stretching animations
      1m 31s
    11. Saving for previous versions of Flash
      1m 50s
    12. Converting animations to ActionScript code
      3m 21s
  3. 19m 43s
    1. Adding a perspective shadow
      3m 40s
    2. Nesting animations
      4m 26s
    3. Syncing audio
      4m 8s
    4. Adding 3D rotation
      5m 38s
    5. Using 3D layers
      1m 51s
  4. 17m 9s
    1. Animating a bone system
      3m 22s
    2. Adding easing to an armature animation
      1m 39s
    3. Creating complex armature animations
      2m 25s
    4. Creating bounce
      2m 53s
    5. Adding bones to shapes
      3m 19s
    6. Adding 3D animation to a spider
      2m 19s
    7. Creating interactive bones
      1m 12s
  5. 19m 2s
    1. Animating masks
      4m 3s
    2. Animating masked content
      5m 7s
    3. Creating shadows with masks
      4m 29s
    4. Creating an iris effect using masks
      5m 23s
  6. 7m 30s
    1. Saving motion presets
      1m 43s
    2. Exporting and importing motion presets
      3m 19s
    3. Applying and adjusting motion presets
      2m 28s
  7. 11m 40s
    1. Understanding walk cycles
      2m 45s
    2. Creating a walk cycle
      5m 16s
    3. Adding body movement
      3m 39s
  8. 19s
    1. Goodbye
      19s

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Flash CS4 Professional Tools for Character Animation
1h 57m Intermediate Oct 28, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

The animation tools have been greatly enhanced in Flash CS4, and Todd Perkins teaches their advanced capabilities in Flash CS4 Professional Tools for Character Animation. He shows how to master the new Motion Tween model and the Motion Editor to control easing and effects such as Squash and Stretch. He demonstrates how to use the new 3D tools to add rotation, perspective shadows, and layered animations. Complex interactive animations and walk cycles are created without a line of code using bone systems. Todd also demonstrates the power of advanced masking, sound effect syncing, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Encapsulating and nesting animations
  • Randomizing movement with graphic symbols
  • Converting animations to ActionScript or previous Flash versions
  • Creating an iris effect
  • Saving, adjusting, and applying motion presets
  • Adding body movement to walk cycles
Subjects:
3D + Animation Web Animation Character Animation
Software:
Flash Professional
Author:
Todd Perkins

Adding bones to shapes

In Flash, you can not only create bones with movie clips but you can also add bones to shapes. In this movie we will take a look at how to do that. If you are following along, go ahead and open up Bone_Shapes.fla from the Chapter 3 folder. If you don't have access to the Exercise files, don't worry. You can just use any shape you would like. On the Stage here I am going to double-click the spider to enter in its Timeline. Then I am going to double- click the spider's body. Now that I am in the Body movie clip, there are two layers, Body and Eyes. I have actually already prepared three of the bone shape animation. So I will show you now by testing the movie with Command+ Return on the Mac or Ctrl+Enter on the PC.

One thing you may notice in this animation, other than that it's unbelievably lovable, is that the shapes are very simple. So if I zoom in, I will use the Zoom tool here, you will notice that there aren't any shadows or anything on these shapes like there were in the previous movies. I had to remove those in order to pull off the bone shapes. Another thing you want to look out for when you are creating bone shapes is using a shape that's very complex. See the body here has many different colors and many different vector shapes as part of it. If I were to use bone shapes with that object, Flash would give me a warning message.

So I am not going to do that. I am going to double-click the Eye here on the right to enter its Timeline and add bone shapes to it. Inside of the far right eye, I will select the Bone tool and then click and drag to add bones to the shape, just like it added bones to any movie clip. With my bone system set up, I can move the system around by clicking and dragging just like any other bone system. I will put it back to its original place and now we'll create an animation. Before we create the animation, I am going to delete Layer 1, which is some leftover vector artwork that didn't make the bone system. So I am going to extend the Timeline to frame 10 by selecting frame 10 and then pressing F5 on my keyboard. Then I am going to insert a pose here. Remember that inserting a pose is like inserting a keyframe with a motion tween.

So I am going to right-click or Crtl- click frame 10 and then choose Insert Pose. Now I'll go to frame 5 and then I will move my bone system. So I will select it and then click and drag the top bone up a little bit and have it kind of bend in. I want this effect to be pretty subtle and that looks good. Now I will test the movie to preview the bone system in action. It's important to note that when you create bone shapes, that sometimes Flash doesn't give you the exact results that you need. That's when the Bind tool comes in handy. The Bind tool is hidden in a fly-out menu beneath the Bone tool. With the Bind tool, you can see control points for your shapes and what bones they're connected to. For example, if I use the Bind tool in the selected bone, the associated control points highlight in yellow. To change a control point associated with a shape, you can click and drag from that control point to the bone.

Now when I click the middle bone, the control point I just connected shows up in yellow. That's all there is to creating bone shapes in Flash. You use the Bone tool just like when you create any other bone system and you could refine the bone shapes using the Bind tool.

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