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Animating the torso

From: Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation

Video: Animating the torso

So now we have our character walking and all of his joints are moving nicely, so let's proceed. And we will now do a little squashing on the body, a very simple thing. Definitely, I think, worth a little bit of time. Let's click on our character. Let's get in there. So I think we can get rid of our little reference image up at the top now, unless you still think you need it. I think we're well advanced at this point. So let's look at the walk.

Animating the torso

So now we have our character walking and all of his joints are moving nicely, so let's proceed. And we will now do a little squashing on the body, a very simple thing. Definitely, I think, worth a little bit of time. Let's click on our character. Let's get in there. So I think we can get rid of our little reference image up at the top now, unless you still think you need it. I think we're well advanced at this point. So let's look at the walk.

One thing that isn't really doing anything drastic is the torso. So again, we want to keep things looking as lifelike as possible. So I'm going to put some keys in here, hitting F6 for all this, this just duplicates the first. Let's switch this entire layer to shape tween. Let's look outside first to see exactly where we are, where we're going to. So here is our recoil, before our little fellow hits the ground, so let's just squash him out a little bit.

And we might even consider trying to change this curve at that line, maybe move it down a bit rather than up. Now he is leaning through the passing position into the high-point. That's more or less one continuous action, so let's delete the passing position keyframe. I'm just going to try to stretch him on the high-point. And don't forget what a material is made of. This could be like a light fabric for a shirt, in which case it will billow and be more prone to react into the air.

The other thing that you can do is even more drastic, we can try to put a little reversal on the back. Use this to completely change the angle of his body. Don't forget we're in motion. Some of these frames could look a little odd by themselves. One of the cool things about animation is that it's possible to have a frame that looks weird as a static image, but looks fantastic when you see it in motion. I'm just going to pull the body up behind him. So now we have a more natural line of action on his back.

I'm just going to pull this in a little, so we see a little bit of negative space between the shirt and his arm. I think we might be seeing the lower torso through that, so let's move that back a little. And again, anytime you like these changes, you want to zoom out a little to make sure that you haven't broken anything or made anything else look strange. So that's good! So now that I've done that. We could be a little bolder on this down position.

Push out his chest a little bit. See what that looks like. Still in place, looks fine. It's shape tweening very stable. But that will also give us a stronger transition into this pose here. And the other thing we can do also if we want to move faster into this up position is take our Ease and do an ease out, and that will move us much quicker from here into here. It's much snappier.

Let's see what that feels like. And this is also one of those things that it's happening pretty fast, but it's a sensation more than anything. You'll feel it in the walk. So I want to copy these frames, hold down Alt+ Option, just drag the second part of the walk. Don't forget to make sure that all of your keys are behaving and one matches the other side, because we want it to be symmetrical on each step. That's really great! So I'm noticing the lower torso.

Always watch out for symbols that are sliding under one another, so the torso lower area. That's this one. It's misbehaving slightly, so I'm just going to padlock everything except the lower torso. Let's go ahead a bit closer. Maybe rotate it, position it, so that it's inside the upper body, and let's scrub through the timeline. Just maybe rotate it around and over. Same here. You see it's peeping out and that's going to catch the eye. Okay. So now we're all safely inside.

You might want to, if you're really doing this very carefully, you might want to just switch off the arms. Great! So let's move out. Much better! Simple thing, but it's made a hell of a difference. I'm noticing a couple of little breaks, as you will, right until the bitter end. Now that we've moved the body, that's exposed some of the shoulder area up here. So let's just select that. Maybe pull the arm back in.

Find any of these points that are now misbehaving and just use your numeric arrow key to pull them over. Again, go through frame by frame. I am noticing a little piece of air now appearing on this arm, the right one, so either we can make a change inside that symbol. It will be on this frame. It's shape tweening anyway, so we can do things like that to cover those little gaps. Beautiful! Okay.

And those little alterations don't seem to have caused the arm to get stuck or affect the overall flow of the scene. So I think we are good. The final step will be to show you how to use our finished walk cycle to walk across the screen, how we reposition him, and that's a very simple process and we'll cover that next.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation
Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation

83 video lessons · 21273 viewers

Dermot O' Connor
Author

 
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  1. 3m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
    3. Prerequisites
      1m 37s
  2. 34m 58s
    1. Creating Flash-friendly character design
      4m 57s
    2. Animation rendering: SWF or AVI
      2m 24s
    3. Understanding line tool drawbacks when animating
      7m 7s
    4. Using uniform project scales in Flash
      3m 40s
    5. Finding helpful extensions for Flash
      2m 46s
    6. Using commands and keyboard shortcuts
      9m 53s
    7. Setting up your workspaces
      4m 11s
  3. 1h 35m
    1. Understanding character rigging
      2m 0s
    2. Exploring underlying structure in character rigging
      4m 27s
    3. Vectorizing the character body
      6m 22s
    4. Outlining colors in an animated character
      6m 15s
    5. Vectorizing the hands
      6m 43s
    6. Vectorizing the head
      4m 47s
    7. Outlining the head
      8m 20s
    8. Adding finishing touches with hair
      2m 11s
    9. Colorizing the character head
      7m 28s
    10. Colorizing the body
      5m 33s
    11. Applying gradients
      6m 18s
    12. Symbolizing and pivoting the body parts
      10m 47s
    13. Pivoting the head
      4m 42s
    14. Rigging the mouth
      10m 49s
    15. Rigging the eye
      8m 33s
  4. 52m 22s
    1. Tween types: Shape vs. motion
      5m 41s
    2. Combining motion and shape tweening
      4m 31s
    3. Animating an eye blink using shape tweening
      10m 2s
    4. Rigging a mouth in Flash for dialogue and expressions
      5m 30s
    5. Creating a D mouth
      12m 29s
    6. Creating an F mouth
      6m 58s
    7. Getting the polished look
      7m 11s
  5. 1h 2m
    1. Overview of the head turn
      2m 13s
    2. Preparing the rig
      8m 15s
    3. Posing the rig
      7m 17s
    4. Animating the head movement
      11m 5s
    5. Animating the body movement
      12m 9s
    6. Animating the head turn
      11m 28s
    7. Adding finesse to the head turn
      9m 34s
  6. 2h 44m
    1. Introducing the walk
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a profile view
      8m 30s
    3. Creating the head in profile
      10m 10s
    4. Creating the hand
      6m 57s
    5. Creating hand symbols
      8m 32s
    6. Reviewing the walk
      3m 6s
    7. Prepping the walk
      8m 33s
    8. Setting up the contact poses
      6m 45s
    9. Creating secondary contact poses
      9m 38s
    10. Finishing up the contact poses
      6m 48s
    11. Creating the passing poses
      9m 39s
    12. Finishing the passing pose
      5m 56s
    13. Animating the recoil position
      10m 9s
    14. Animating the high point of the walk
      9m 24s
    15. Adding in-betweens
      8m 31s
    16. Rigging the shoes
      8m 27s
    17. Animating the shoes
      11m 58s
    18. Animating the character's head movements
      8m 29s
    19. Fine-tuning the animation
      9m 0s
    20. Nesting the hand symbols
      8m 39s
    21. Repositioning the walk
      4m 11s
  7. 1h 32m
    1. Introducing the walk in place
      1m 30s
    2. Setting up contact poses
      10m 4s
    3. Creating the passing poses
      7m 14s
    4. Creating the recoil positions
      8m 11s
    5. Animating the head's high point
      4m 9s
    6. Tweening the legs
      5m 11s
    7. Tweening the arms
      10m 27s
    8. Setting the placement of the foot
      9m 9s
    9. Animating the shoes
      7m 52s
    10. Animating the hair
      6m 9s
    11. Creating secondary hand actions
      8m 48s
    12. Animating the torso
      6m 27s
    13. Repositioning the walk
      7m 17s
  8. 54m 9s
    1. Understanding dialogue
      49s
    2. Using the A-F system of six set mouth shapes
      4m 23s
    3. Animating dialogue using the mouth rig
      14m 30s
    4. Integrating the dialogue with the head turn
      5m 35s
    5. Animating the jaw
      6m 59s
    6. Creating an angry dialogue mouth
      7m 43s
    7. Finishing the angry dialogue mouth
      6m 38s
    8. Integrating acting techniques
      1m 51s
    9. Tips on facial expressions
      5m 41s
  9. 36s
    1. Goodbye
      36s

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