Flash Professional CS5: Animation Projects
Illustration by John Hersey

Animating character poses


From:

Flash Professional CS5: Animation Projects

with Paul Trani

Video: Animating character poses

Once you've added a bone structure to your character, you can then move on to animating that character. So let's take a look at my character, because right here, as I zoom in on this movie clip, this is actually my armstand movie clip. If I double-click on it, notice that it already has a structure in place. Again, I've just used the Bone tool to connect these different movie clips, and now I can actually move this character. But what I want to do next, as opposed to just moving them, is I want to build an animation, so this person actually animates.

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Watch the Online Video Course Flash Professional CS5: Animation Projects
2h 31m Intermediate Sep 15, 2010

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In Flash Professional CS5: Animation Projects, Paul Trani shows how to create dynamic and visually rich animations in Flash Professional CS5. This course demonstrates how to create and import assets, and then take those assets and bring them to life with dynamic motion. It also shows how to create more unique and natural movement by adding special effects, 3D, masks, and even bones to animate characters. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Creating graphics and reusable assets
  • Importing graphics
  • Making an object move
  • Animating a mask
  • Using and customizing motion presets
  • Morphing shapes
  • Animating in 3D
  • Adding bones to a character
  • Controlling the Timeline with ActionScript
  • Randomizing content
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Flash Professional Illustrator
Author:
Paul Trani

Animating character poses

Once you've added a bone structure to your character, you can then move on to animating that character. So let's take a look at my character, because right here, as I zoom in on this movie clip, this is actually my armstand movie clip. If I double-click on it, notice that it already has a structure in place. Again, I've just used the Bone tool to connect these different movie clips, and now I can actually move this character. But what I want to do next, as opposed to just moving them, is I want to build an animation, so this person actually animates.

So I am going to do this by adding separate poses. And so if you'll notice, in my timeline, there is Armature_14. So that is all of these graphics connected together. But I don't need these other layers. So I'll select layer 2 and delete it, and I'll select this armstand layer as well and delete it, because right in here, this is where I want to create my poses. But notice, there is actually a keyframe there already, and that defines this pose.

So what I want to do is I want to insert another pose at about frame 15. So I am going to just do a right-click to insert a pose. I've inserted a pose at frame 15. Now, what I can do is I can go ahead and manipulate this body to something like that. I will deselect it, and let's watch it move, frame 1 clear to frame 15, we see that nice motion. Very nice, how everything is linked together, everything moves very smooth, and I can continue to add more poses.

So let's go to frame 30 and again, I'll do a right-click, and I'll insert a pose, and again, I'll move this person's body maybe out to that direction, and I'll just kind of bend the knee. But really, I have a lot of control for manipulating this character. Again, the animation just gets built out. So that looks good like that, like that. Looks great! What I want to do next is I want this character to end up at the first pose this character started with.

So I am going to extend out the timeline. Let's go to frame 45, and I am just going to insert a frame. That extends out that timeline. Right down here, that's where I want to insert that pose. So let me go to my pose right here, and if I do a Command+Click or Ctrl+Click if you are on a PC, then I can select just that one pose. So with it selected, I'll just do a right-click, and I want to copy this pose. So, let's copy this pose.

Let's go down here, and I am going to select that last frame, right-click, and then go down to Paste Pose. Then there's that pose. So again, back to its original position. If I go to frame 1 and hit the Enter key, I can see that person do that sort of movement. Very nice! Lastly, I'm just going to insert some additional frames, just so the person stays at this angle for a little while.

Frame 60, Insert Frame again, just so there is a little bit of a pause at this angle. Let's click back on scene 1. Let's do a Control > Test Movie, just to watch this in action. There we go, just a really simple example of animating poses. Again, you've got to make sure your structure is in place, using your Bone tool, and then animating, as you just noticed, is really a breeze.

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