Hand-Drawn Animation in Flash
Illustration by John Hersey

Comparing cleanup styles


Hand-Drawn Animation in Flash

with Dermot O' Connor

Video: Comparing cleanup styles

So now we're ready to begin the long grind of cleaning up the entire scene. And you can see even at a distance, hopefully you can see this on your screen.
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  1. 2m 8s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. What you should know before watching this course
      1m 0s
  2. 5m 51s
    1. Recognizing the Flash style
      4m 2s
    2. Customizing Flash for a hand-drawn workflow
      1m 49s
  3. 20m 47s
    1. Creating thumbnails
      5m 46s
    2. Creating rough keys and pose tests
      3m 8s
    3. Plotting head arcs
      4m 24s
    4. Fixing timing charts
      4m 36s
    5. Plotting arm arcs
      2m 53s
  4. 36m 36s
    1. Creating tie-downs of the keys
      9m 16s
    2. Adding the secondary keys
      3m 59s
    3. Challenge: Clean up the final keyframe
    4. Solution: Clean up the final keyframe
      1m 21s
    5. Symbolizing body parts
      4m 39s
    6. Setting up the light table
      7m 14s
    7. Creating loose breakdowns
      5m 6s
    8. Cutting or adding frames
      4m 10s
  5. 16m 6s
    1. Tying down the breakdown drawings
      3m 10s
    2. Using the shift-and-trace trick to control volumes
      5m 21s
    3. Creating the in-betweens
      4m 19s
    4. Adding a final breakdown
      3m 16s
  6. 14m 45s
    1. Coloring the character
      4m 55s
    2. Fine-tuning the colors
      5m 22s
    3. Retiming the animation
      4m 28s
  7. 54m 56s
    1. Demonstrating an acting scene
      3m 31s
    2. Breaking a frame into a rig
      6m 53s
    3. Rigging a head and dialog
      5m 2s
    4. Comparing cleanup styles
      4m 13s
    5. Cleaning up a keyframe
      7m 52s
    6. Fixing animation in cleanup
      3m 19s
    7. Cleaning up the Flash rig
      3m 36s
    8. Cleaning up the breakdowns
      6m 45s
    9. Cleaning up the in-betweens
      4m 46s
    10. Coloring the keys
      2m 48s
    11. Fine-tuning the scene
      2m 37s
    12. Comparing line treatments
      3m 34s
  8. 19m 19s
    1. Drawing a difficult transition
      7m 25s
    2. Creating the tie-downs using the hybrid method
      6m 37s
    3. Retiming with Timewarp in After Effects
      5m 17s
  9. 1m 16s
    1. Next steps
      1m 16s

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Watch the Online Video Course Hand-Drawn Animation in Flash
2h 54m Intermediate Apr 22, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Looking for a richer, more dynamic look for your Flash-based animation? Hand-drawn animation is an alternative to a strict symbol-based technique, which combines the looseness of line drawing with the efficiency of Flash features like tweening. Dermot O' Connor introduces this technique, starting with how to create thumbnails and pose tests, refine your timing, and lock down keyframes. He shows how to add breakdown drawings to smooth out the animation and add the in-betweens that complete the "traditional" look and feel. The final chapters are dedicated to cleanup and a couple of hybrid approaches: one using hand-drawn in-between frames to transition a difficult character turn in Flash, and the other taking advantage of Timewarp effect in After Effects to retime an animation.

Topics include:
  • Creating thumbnails
  • Building rough keys and pose tests
  • Adding secondary keys
  • Symbolizing body parts
  • Creating loose breakdowns
  • Drawing in-betweens
  • Coloring the character
  • Cleaning up the animation
3D + Animation
Flash Professional
Dermot O' Connor

Comparing cleanup styles

So now we're ready to begin the long grind of cleaning up the entire scene. So let me give you some options, because we have three basic choices of style. And the one on the left is quickest and I call it the brush style and that's essentially continuing the way we've already done. And I've made time estimates on each layer, cleaned up style one simple or brush. That's taking about five minutes to go through a single frame to get it to this level of cleanliness. I may go in a little closer on that so you can see.

So let me compare that to the original layer and you can see there's little jaggies and things. So you essentially go through what the brush and the Eraser tool and take off those edges. And you can get the character to a much higher level of cleanliness, but it still has the basic look I mean, it still looks more or less like the same style. And the second look to go for is the Line tool. And that's this tool here. And if we click on that layer and then we just draw with that, we clean up our layer with the Line tool. And this is, I think, the fastest, beyond the Cleanup simple tool, because it's a single vector line.

And the third style is the most time consuming and certainly the most illustrative look. The most arty look because it uses the fill and essentially it means we create an inside line and an outside line, let me show you what that looks like. Just make a quick temporary layer. And what we would do is create one vector line for say, this crease. And then another and then close it off and then fill this area, and use the same process for every part of the character.

And as you can see, I'm having to manually draw the inside and the outside line and it's quite time consuming. Takes quite a bit of effort and finesse. Because you have lines overlapping with one another. So you have to be quite patient with it. And it's easily the slowest. I would only do this for something that was a super high quality project that had a very good deadline to it. That wasn't like a mad rush. So, my recommendation at least for the moment, is that you avoid Cleanup Style Three. My favorite one, for the purpose of this course, is to use the Line tool.

So let me switch everything off, and let's just look at that Line tool. And you might notice that because it's a single vector line, it looks a little bit, well flat, maybe a little dull. The nice thing about it is that Flash does come with certain options available to customize it. So, for example, if you select the Ink Bottle tool. And in the Properties panel you have options for different lines, dashed or dotted, ragged, stipple and hatched. And each of these have secondary settings.

It's not an enormous selection but it's certainly more that just this basic line here. So let me show you some examples and we can compare them one after the other. Zoom out just a little here so we can see more of it. So here is the basic line Hairline width. Here is one where I thickened the silhouette and I used a slightly thicker line for the interiors. And here is one where I applied a nice stipple brush effect. On this one a wavy line, and here we have a dotted blotty line. So you have these options and I'm actually starting to like this one.

Let's zoom out a little bit. And you can see even at a distance, hopefully you can see this on your screen. It has a pen drawn or a pencil drawn feel to it. And the beauty of this is, you can change the line weight. So, if you think later on, I think it's a little too light. Let's make it thicker than that. Why, certainly, we can. So, we've already made it much heavier here, maybe too heavy. So, perhaps you want it thinner. And there it's so thin, it almost looks like the hairline again. So you get the idea. And the fact that you can make these changes very, very quickly, is a lot of power to have.

So I'm deciding for the clean up section of the course, I'm going to not use this simple style for the simple reason, it's too simple. And I want a little bit of a challenge, but certainly I don't want to go this extreme that would take too long. But I think Cleanup Style number two, using the Line tool I think that's a pretty good look and I'm going to go with that.

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