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In this course, author Dermot O' Connor introduces a variety of real-world issues that animators commonly encounter and offers practical solutions to them in Flash. The course covers how to apply gradients to create subtle texture and light characters, reducing the flat look of most cartoons; how to simulate natural phenomenon such as wind, fire, and clouds; how to mimic 3D space; and how to add fades and transitions to create custom cuts between scenes. The course also includes a look at staggers, which can be used to create camera shake, tremor effects, and extreme character reactions.
There is another really cool effect that I use to wonder, how the heck do people do it? And that's a little shake or a stagger; the very tiny little tremors that people do sometimes, like very old people, or if you are leaning into the wind. So let's have a look at what this is. You may remember this little walking magic carpet, dollar bill fellow from a previous section of the course. This could either be he's very old and he is shaking, or there is a gale force wind blowing right at him. So let's see how this was done again. And as you can imagine if you have done the previous section, we animated a very simple walk; normally I have many more poses in this walk, but to keep things really easy for us I removed the squish and the highpoint poses.
So what we have is just the contact positions where his feet are touching the ground, and then the passing position, and then the contact, and that's it. It's a passable walk. I made a second one, so there is two of these, and this is the second one. And all I did was I went into the shoulders; I just pulled slightly out of position from the first one. And then on the outer Timeline, if you have seen the animation of the plank, we just go back and forth between one and the other.
So what I am going to do is just simply hide and guide out the original Exercise file, and let's see if you can put one of these things together in not too much time. So what I am going to do is throw down, first, a couple of guides just for the feet. It's going to be walking along a line, like that. Parallel lines, let's say, and let's just padlock that, and make that a guide layer, because I don't want to be exporting it. And with a green color for the fill, and the black for the outline, I am going to use the Rectangle tool, and let's make a little pose.
So the first things first; let's hit F8, and we will call this walk 1, and I am going to put the pivot down closer to there. So we'll do a full walk first in this one. So I'm going to hit F5 to stretch this Timeline out, select these frames, hold down Alt key, and just copy over. And I will get rid of the surplus frames. So this makes it clear that exactly the right number of frames to make that cycle. So I am going to hit F6 here, so that we have our contact position at the Frame 1, and our contact position at Frame 29 are exactly the same. And on this frame in the middle, Frame 15, I am going to hit F6 to make new keyframe, and let's just push this into the other contact position.
So now he goes from here to here, and we probably want to put a bit of a twist on the shoulders as well. Okay, so I now I am going to activate shape tweening. The big problem we have here right now is that the feet are stuck on the ground. So we need to put in a passing position, and making F7 here as a little note for the correct position, and I often do this so that I can line up my frames properly on each side of the walk.
I am selecting these frames, holding down the Alt or Option key, and dragging. So I am going to the first passing position, hitting F6 on this one; the leg that's moving forward, well that should be off the ground. There we go, and same with this one; hit F6, and the leg moving forward would be this one. Lift it off the ground, and I have been lucky here; I am not having to use any shape hints. If you find you do, I'll say it again, don't forget to back up your scene before you start applying shape hints.
Now we have our first walk, and, simple process now, we duplicate it. And I probably don't need to see this guide layer anymore. So we will call this walk 1; it's always nice to label everything when you start doing the stuff, because you can get lost very easily. So I am going to hold down the Alt, Option key, and drag to here, and I will put the walk 2 on the bottom. So let's name that, hide the top one, click this walk, which is walk 1, right-click, and duplicate, and we'll call it walk 2. So we have Layer 1, walk 1 containing symbol walk 1; we have Layer 2, walk 2 containing symbol walk 2.
So let's go into walk 2, and what I am going to do is just pull these points a little bit. And like I said before, we don't want to change the feet too much. We can actually change the foot of the passing position, becaus it pushes off the ground, so that could give us a little bit of extra shimmying. And I think we can pull these shoulders a little bit. And you don't want to go crazy with this. Just keep it pretty subtle, because we are trying to have a little tiny, very minor effect here. It could be wild if you want it to be, of course, but the kind of effect that we are looking for is a little lighter than that. And don't forget, our end should be the same.
So rather than making changes to this, I am going to go Control+X, Control+C, Control+Shift+V to paste that in place. So now we have two walks, and they should be slightly different. Let's test that by looking at them in outline. And that green is hard to see, so let's make that red. And let's make that purple a dark green. I like to have these play once, but this is a walk cycle, so looping is good. So they both loop, and they're both set to loop from Frame 1 onwards.
So let's just hit all these layers, and hit F6, and we will make a little checkerboard pattern by hitting Control+X, and deleting every alternate frame. That's it. That's how you do it. You could also make walk 3, and pull that into a slightly different position, and you can go 1, 2, 3; 1, 2, 3, instead of as I have done here: 1, 2; 1, 2; 1, 2. You could have four of them if you are afraid that this looks a little mechanical, and you have seen how easy it is to make more of these states if your character is reasonably simple.
Even with a slightly more complex character I could do this. I don't think it would that difficult to duplicate a walk cycle, and just pull every alternate position slightly out of place, and then toggle between them. Just don't start doing it to all your characters.
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