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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 animated our character and the major step is to correct the shoes, so that they twist and flex as the feet touch and leave the ground. So let's do that. So we open file number 8. Click in the symbol. And let's pick one of the two feet. So we'll try this one first. So hide the other, so we can concentrate on this. We can focus a little better.
The foot contacts the ground. We'll continue to see little matching issues. If the pants don't quite fit the foot placement and go ahead and correct that. Very easy to do. If the anamoly happens on say frame 9, be sure you tunnel in and make your changes on the inner frame 9. Okay, little bit of a tweening ledge there, but we'll fix that later.
Okay, so what you are seeing now is that foot should begin to bend and that'll reach to its maximum bend on the contact frame. That's when it's going to twist and turn up. So let's move into that frame and set a keyframe and let's set an out keyframe here, back to its normal position. So the bending begins to happen on the passing position, so let me show you the reference image. So the foot to follow up the dark shaded foot here, it's perfectly straight. It impacts the ground, holds there flat on the passing position, begins to bend just slightly on the high point, reaches its maximum bend on the contact, and then we're off the ground on the recoil.
So what we're going to do is begin this foot bending, the shoe twisting on the passing pose, and it'll peak on the contact and then it'll snap back into its normal position on the recoil. So let's go into this shoe symbol. So it'll start here, maximum bend here, and then back to normal somewhere in here. So let's just make all this a shape tween, and what I want to do is find the pose that we want to work as reference is this one.
This is the contact pose of maximum twist. So let's work on the sole level. And then we have to change the lower leg area to better match this and see how far we can push the shoe and check back and forth. The tweening is looking really good, lock that, and let's work with the other blue. The bulk of the shoe area is this brown section. So let's push that up inside the foot, making sure Snap is on so all your points join properly.
I don't think we can really push the geometry too far this direction. I think the foot will start gaining too much volume or too much mass, so let's just do it to here for now. And that's now are very stable. No reason to do shape tweens at the moment, and then the other level is the front of the shoe and if we're feeling fancy, we might just squash that just a little bit. Okay, so this is the animation that we're looking at on the outer layer. So let's zoom out so we can get a better look at it.
So I think we can correct some of the mismatches by pulling the leg back in a bit and then may be altering the shoe as well slightly. It's a little more contained movement and it's tweening okay. Okay, let's zoom out again. Make sure that that's reasonably stable looking. Okay, not too bad. Now as you can see the foot has planted and I want to make sure that it's following along this line, that it's not dipping below this line.
It seems to be a little bit of slippage south. I'm not sure if it's an illusion caused by the guidelines. I'll go in a little closer and let's go frame by frame. Let's go and make sure that these are -- the corner of the foot is closely aligned to that. Do not under any circumstances intend to move the foot left or right because that will really mess the position of pan when we begin to move the walk cycle across the screen.
Okay, I think that's all right. That's pretty good. So now we can repeat this process for the other foot. The next thing you want to do is copy the frames under Edit > Timeline > Copy Frames or Ctrl+Alt+C and then Alt+V. So let's do that. Go into the other foot, I have to find that place have maximum twist on that, which is our frame number one contact position. So let's make a keyframe with the other position here and I'm going to paste those frames in.
This creates sometimes a second dot here. Let's get rid of that. Now let's check our contact pose. It's good. And don't forget we have to apply the same thing to the final frame because this is a cycle. Frame 1 and frame 33 have to have the same graphic and then we need to tween from our second passing position, which is here.
Let's tunnel into that, keyframe these, add a shape tween, here is our second tilt, and that is -- the shoe now properly animated. So now I'm going to actually hide the guides. We can hide the sample screen. So that's all the outstanding large-scale movements. Other thing I want to test is to make sure that the start and the stop are identical.
There are no little motions or glitches in there. That's very important. There are still things that we can play with. That I think we'll buy us a little more entertainment value. So in the next section I am going to show you how to push and pull some of these shapes to just to give it a little extra. And we also probably should add a very quick little drag on the hair. That will be little different from what we did in the walk on the previous chapter, simply because to look at the difference in the movement with the head.
He is dipping and moving backwards and then up and down. We still have a couple of things to do and also a bit more drag. I think we're going to push some of the animation on the hands and give it a bit more swing and I'll show you some of the fun things that you can do and really start squeezing some more tricks out of this nested animation method. So that's it. Hope to see you in the next one.
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