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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.
We've animated the dialogue scene and we've also copied it into the head turn scene from chapter 3. And now we need to go in and fine-tune the jaw animation inside the head symbol to make it work more smoothly, so let's do that. Open up in our Chapter 7 Exercise Folder, dialog_turn_02. We'll open that, and let's jump in. And one thing you'll notice is what happened to our sound? Wnd what happened to our sound is I think almost certainly a bug and this is been a long-standing problem I've been having with Flash for quite a while now.
For the sound sometimes will be dropped out when you save the file-- and that as you can imagine could be annoying. So just watch out for that, and if it happens that's why I recommend saving multiple versions, versions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. And also don't worry. It'll still be in your library. Watch out for it. If something went wrong like that, it's probably not your fault. So just drop it back in eased to, here we go. So let's have a look at the body animation. (Audio recording: What's happening now? What's happening now?) So it looks fine in broad outline. Let's go a little closer.
I'm going to go through it frame by frame, and let's watch this area here. And to make more room what I'm going to do is click on the top right of the Timeline, this little widget here, and select Short, and it squashes the layers of the Timeline a little more. I want to have as much room as possible to see this. So now we're tracking through again and looking at the space of how much area we have for the chin. And that's looking pretty strange, and that's not too happy either.
So let's just add a little piece of shape tween to that jaw, so that it matches up a little better. So let's right-click on the head, go Edit, and we just work internally inside the jaw. So what we need to do is to match this jaw area, which is this layer here. We want this to match the animation that's happening on the mouth layer. You might find it helps just to hide everything, but the areas that we're going to be looking at, and maybe let's keep the nose too, okay. So let's double-click on the mouth and really what we need to have happen is these general positions. Remember that the C and the D mouths are of the widest open.
So we can definitely use this. Here is a wide-open mouth too. That was an in-between frame between the C and the D. So I'm going to put in a little marker there. And let's just select that layer, copy the frames, and let's paste them into this layer here, and we are going to use these as little notes just to remind us, these are the different positions. And so for example I can see immediately on this frame the D position. That's the wide open mouth. See that there too. So we're going to want a keyframe right there for we've pulled the jaw area down a bit.
So this is really going to be between nose and the jaw layer. I'm going to padlock the mouth and the nose, so we don't change them by mistake. So let's begin. So the first thing we'll see is the animation happens on the mouth at this point, but we don't have any animation on the Jaw happening here, so let's add a keyframe and let's just go through and add keyframes for all the positions here where we have animation happening on the mouth. If there is one off maybe put one in, maybe not, I'm not quite sure yet.
So let's just make sure that have shape tween activated in all of these. So working from the first mouth animation here from B to C, clearly that jaw should be moving or otherwise it looks like we're slightly detached from it, so let's just pull it down a little bit. There we go. Then we're working into the ooh mouth. The head, the nose, but we have the nose visible. We can see that the head is actually turning now. So maybe this chin should move a little bit over as well as down. Maybe out.
It's a matter of judgment really; there is no alternate right or wrong way to do this, but you're down to your own personal taste. Okay, this is a big one, so let's move this down. I do remember that things may look a little wacky in here, but this symbol is going to be animated on the outer clip, so all these things that we're moving here are also moving on the outside. So we do have a lot of forgiveness and transitions that might look a little awkward in here will probably not be eye-catching at all on the outside.
So, before you sink too much time in here, we're just going to make a very rough pass, and then we'll look at it in context. That's definitely too close, so we'll give them a bit more room. And we should definitely go for a more open mouth. That's the C mouth, so that's-- I think it's a bit more space. Okay, between this mouth the B and the next one, the D, the jaw should definitely be moving here. So let's give it a good bit of room, maybe even move this point down a bit.
And possibly even the cheek, nice. So like I said I'm not going to sink a huge amount of time into this until we test that on the outer clip. Because as I said before-- (Audio recording: What's happening now?) That's a very broad action. Spend too much time on them, if they were looking really grotesque in motion here. We've already taken away, I think-- (Audio recording: What's happening now?) Any danger of any of these shapes being eye-catching now is pretty much removed.
(Audio recording: What's happening now?) Now you can definitely go in and fine-tune this a lot more, add more keyframes all of the way along here, and push the jaw around. You could bring it forward. So for example, if you had the time to let the ooh shape, you could take this frame, bring the whole mass of the mouth forward a bit. You could tween the nose forward and that you could create some very extreme mouth shapes.
Now I think you've got the idea. So let's save this and we will move on. In the next section, I'm going to show you how to take the existing happy A, F mouth and make a quick but effective change to that, so that in addition to our happy mouth, we're also going to have an angry mouth state, which could even be used for sad and other emotional states. And that's a pretty quick change, but extremely effective. So we'll continue with that.
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