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In this course, author Dermot O' Connor offers experienced Flash designers a step-by-step guide for creating and animating a full-featured cartoon face in Adobe Flash Professional. The course begins with some best practices for setting up the rig and moves on to building facial features such as the mouth and eyes, sculpting the mouth to simulate dialogue, and creating a range of expressions. The course also shows how to rotate the head using poses, move the rig along multiple axes, and incorporate audio.
Now let's get started and move the profile face into the three-quarter view which is the view from which you'll do most of your animation. Most cartoons have the figure in a kind of side on, very rarely like a front on view like this. So let's go with the Library panel and open up the turnaround comp for a symbol, and this is the first one that we worked on when we began, and we more or less left it in place and now finally it's time to return to it to finish it. So if you recall from the earlier section, let me switch off this little fade out layer, so you can see it better.
We have eight directions, which we've called A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H, and we've done the A pretty thoroughly. And so what we're going to do is then map three-quarters view onto this. So the one thing to note is that we created this workspace for a different function, so let's go back to an earlier workspace, reset it, because if you've been playing around as I do myself a lot with these different settings, it's nice to reset it back to the default. So just nudge everything around to get it as efficient as possible, okay.
Now it's nice to have the Library active, because we're going to be cutting and pasting some work that we've done in the clock comp or symbol. If you recall, we created a bunch of these head turns. And as it turns out, by good luck, the number three pose is identical to the B pose as our standard three-quarter view. So let's unpadlock this, and carefully select this column, right-click, copy those frames and now we'll click on the hd 1 turnaround symbol, and before we actually paste it in there, I want to keyframe the end, because like with all these rigs too, and as I begin, so the first is the A pose and the end is the A pose.
Now let's go to the B column and carefully select all the way from nose to nose. Right-click and go Paste Frames. Now Flash does this thing which kind of bugs me a little bit where it automatically bumps whatever was already in place to this side. We don't need those, so select those and Clear Keyframe, right-click, and we also have a bunch of tweens here that we don't need. I think we have to do these individually. In the earlier versions of Flash you could simply select all these and go--there we go Remove Tween; it didn't like me going across the on tween layers for some reason. That's great.
And so now let's activate Classic Tween, and again, be careful that you select the right kind of tweening for the right symbol. If you have a shape, in other words if you see dots then it's a Shape Tween. If you click on this and see a blue box as with the ear, then it's a Classic Tween, and when they say Motion Tween, a Classic Tween is really the Classic Motion Tween. So these are both Motion Tween, but this is the new one, which I don't use, and this is the Classic Tween which I do. Now let's see what that looks like.
And we initially have a very quick issue with the ear, because the ear goes from one level to the other level, so let's fix that right off the bat, and I am just going to move this ear to the upper level, and let's switch off the Reference layer, and it's looking pretty good. Not bad for a very quick cut and paste. I can see off very quickly that the hair on this side is going wrong. So let's put a shape hint in there, so let's just click that to find the layer, there it is.
Hide everything else, so we can really see what we're doing. And as I've said in the previous chapter, every time you apply shape hints, it's a really good idea to make some little note of that. So I am just going to make a label by clicking on anywhere in this timeline, and then click on the label in the Properties panel and Enter just Space, Enter, and you see it creates a little red flag, so it warns us that we're about to put in a shape hint here. But we don't need Snap to Objects on. All shape hints are automatically snapped to the object on the stage, so let's make an A and a B, and just try those too.
And I'll remind you again, if anything will crash Flash, shape hints will, so be sure you backup your project before you go much further. Before I am about to embark on a big series of shape hints, I always backup the file. And oftentimes again, you'll find that one sequence of hints won't work. This won't work first time out, but sometimes you might have to put the A in a different position, and like I said before, it can be a bit of a puzzle, but this time it worked first time which is very nice.
Okay, so that is our A to B transition. Let's take another close look, make sure nothing strange is going on. I think we might need to make a slight change to the neck. Let's have a look at the reference for the neck, and I am going to just hide that. So from there we are going to here. So the neck should change a little bit. Let me lock that, I just want to have the neck area active, because don't forget the body will also be in a slightly different position, so when I designed this, I also made change to the shape of the neck to match the shape of the upper torso, which you can see very faintly here.
Okay, ah-ha! And the neck chooses to disobey. So very quickly we'll just apply some hints to that. Same process again, I am just going to select the keyframe, or one next to it, and in the Properties panel, in the Label field, type in a space, and there we have our little reminder to ourselves, Ctrl+Shift+H to apply some hints, and I think we'll put four down; A, B, C, and D. Go to the next and just copy them in the same places.
Perfect! So the nice thing about this and the reason why it's really worth doing, if you were to desire a very slow move, it can be as long as you like. I am going to just really expand this enormously now. So if you were to do, for example, a camera move orbiting around the character, this is the way to do it. It's great for faking a 3D effect, so let's undo that, get it back to the original timing.
It also gives you the option of picking all kinds of secondary keyframes, all you'd have to do is keyframe any of these positions along here. If you wanted to have a standard character with different poses, it's very handy. So that's the B taken care of, and we'll move onto the next most important one, which is our profile face, in the next movie.
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