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In Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation, Dermot O' Connor explains the process of character animation in Flash, using nested symbols and motion and shape tweening to create believable characters. The course covers the process from start to finish, from rigging a character to creating a walk cycle animation. Along the way, Dermot demonstrates techniques such as animating eye blinks, head turns, and mouth movements during dialogue. Exercise files accompany the course.
So we've proceeded with our in-place walk cycle. We're going to add the high point, so we have to finish this one before we can proceed. So let's open our walk_04 file from the Exercise folder. Click on this. And we still have to do a lot of internal patching and all these shapes and I have deliberately made this walk very strange, just to break us out of the conventional student-oriented walk cycle to show you that we can do something that's completely off-the-wall and goofy.
So let's go and select our high point to make it into a key. Let's find the layers that we want to push up first, and that would be pretty much actually all of them apart from the feet. So I'll just Shift+click to deselect them and move that rest of the body up by holding down the Shift key and the numeric arrow key. One click should do it. And let's see what that does. This is a very extreme walk. So we're going to raise all kind of interesting issues. So let's see here.
Well, we need to close off the gaps that are opened here. Let's see his foot. We can keep carrying up higher to here. It'll be a much more interesting step. Let's bring it forward a bit more than that. It seems to be sticking there a little bit. Now it's better. Now we can fix some of the elements, so let's stretch this leg out.
The beauty of the shape tweening is that it enables us to do things to the graphical form, like pull the leg if you wanted to stretch the different parts. It'll allow us to do that. In this case I wouldn't want to over to do it, but we can give the impression of the muscles been pulled in and create quite different shapes and graphical forms. For the most part I've been working with these selected parallelogram shapes. Nothing is stopping you from going in and making them curves against curves. Or all kinds of cool things. It is okay that's our high point on that side.
Right, so I'm going to make another temporary guide layer here, or a guide pose. I'm going to create the second high point, match the first. So I'm going to copy these, paste them in here, Ctrl+B to break them apart, padlock that, and then just go in and again select everything. I think on this keyframe first and select everything and then just deselect the feet. There we go.
And then Shift+Arrow key, up one, or another amount. It doesn't have to be that, but that's the amount I'm going for. Hands look all right, so let's delete that layer now. Oops! Let's not. So I'm going to bring that back. That's a good idea to use his foot position. So first, I'll turn it. Now is the right foot position, so we'll match the left foot to that and same with the leg. Otherwise there is a chance that the walk could look a little bit like a limp. That's not what we're looking for.
So let's go in here, make a key, move that. There we go. We need to make a change to stretch out this one. We could motion scale it on the outer timeline or we could be a little more adventurous. And let's try shape tweening this, okay. Let's delete that purple layer now, so now we have a slightly more fleshed out goofy walk.
As you can see the legs are popping, so as the next pass we're going to tunnel in to all of these, arm and leg symbols, activate the internal shape tweens, and see if it smoothes this out sufficiently where it becomes a believable goofy walk cycle.
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