Rigging a Face in Flash Professional
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating the B mouth (3-quarter)


Rigging a Face in Flash Professional

with Dermot O' Connor

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Video: Creating the B mouth (3-quarter)

So now we have our character's head rigged. Let's click on the symbol to go inside the hd 1 turnaround symbol, and take a quick scrub through, still working, which is nice. So, we need to make some other alterations. If we look at the mouth, we have a nice mouth rig, and it works great in the front view. But obviously, as we turn the head around, the point will come somewhere around here to here where that might look weird. So at this point, let's hit the B pose.
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  1. 14m 16s
    1. Introduction
    2. What you should know
      2m 0s
    3. Setting up Flash
      8m 35s
    4. Dos and don'ts
      2m 59s
  2. 59m 26s
    1. Establishing the directions
      7m 9s
    2. Setting up layers for the head
      6m 58s
    3. Drawing the head
      19m 2s
    4. Creating the mouth
      11m 27s
    5. Drawing the eyes
      4m 31s
    6. Animating the eye blink
      10m 19s
  3. 48m 0s
    1. Creating happy mouth dialogue shapes, part one
      10m 24s
    2. Creating happy mouth dialogue shapes, part two
      7m 43s
    3. Creating mad or sad mouth dialogue shapes
      10m 7s
    4. Creating neutral mouth dialogue shapes
      7m 36s
    5. Building unique mouth shapes
      12m 10s
  4. 29m 27s
    1. Creating jubilant expressions
      11m 47s
    2. Creating furious expressions
      6m 4s
    3. Fine-tuning expressions
      11m 36s
  5. 1h 9m
    1. Clock rotation demonstration
      2m 23s
    2. Creating the twelve-o'clock pose
      9m 2s
    3. Creating the six-o'clock pose
      5m 19s
    4. Creating the three-o'clock pose
      10m 16s
    5. Creating the nine-o'clock pose
      9m 35s
    6. Creating the remaining poses
      13m 17s
    7. Fine-tuning the head rotation
      11m 54s
    8. Fixing layering issues
      7m 42s
  6. 2h 10m
    1. Introducing the turnaround
      2m 55s
    2. Creating the B head (3-quarter)
      6m 45s
    3. Creating the C head (profile)
      8m 51s
    4. Creating the D head (3-quarter rear)
      13m 2s
    5. Creating the E head (rear)
      8m 59s
    6. In-betweening symbols manually
      9m 58s
    7. Creating the H head
      6m 41s
    8. Creating the G head
      11m 33s
    9. Creating the F head
      19m 18s
    10. Creating the B mouth (3-quarter)
      13m 41s
    11. Creating the C mouth (profile)
      14m 33s
    12. Adding detail to the C mouth
      7m 42s
    13. Creating other mouths
      6m 28s
  7. 54m 24s
    1. Putting together a head rotation
      14m 29s
    2. Moving frames between symbols to make a rotation
      10m 23s
    3. Using the rig with audio
      14m 59s
    4. Adding expressions to the animation
      14m 33s
  8. 1m 0s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 0s

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Watch the Online Video Course Rigging a Face in Flash Professional
6h 46m Intermediate Sep 19, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Setting up layers for the head
  • Animating blinks
  • Fine-tuning expressions
  • Fixing layering issues
  • Adding expressions to the animation
3D + Animation
Flash Professional
Dermot O' Connor

Creating the B mouth (3-quarter)

So now we have our character's head rigged. Let's click on the symbol to go inside the hd 1 turnaround symbol, and take a quick scrub through, still working, which is nice. So, we need to make some other alterations. If we look at the mouth, we have a nice mouth rig, and it works great in the front view. But obviously, as we turn the head around, the point will come somewhere around here to here where that might look weird. So at this point, let's hit the B pose.

Let's see what that will look like, and if you scrub through, then you see how flat and odd that is. So, in your 05_10 exercise files, what I have done, I have taken the liberty of going into the head rig, and where before we had the mt A symbol, I right-clicked on that, and selected Duplicate Symbol, and made a new symbol called mt B. Let's look in the Library panel, and see what that looks like. It's identical to mt A for the moment, it's a duplicate, and inside mt B, let's just double-click on that, and go straight into it.

I've made on the reference layer, reference mouth shapes for the three-quarters mouth shapes. So let's see on top of that, currently what we have is the A mouth on top of this. So essentially what we have done is we have taken A, duplicated it, called it B, and now we have laid in the reference layer that we're going to use and repurpose the A mouth shapes into the B shape to go from the front view to the three-quarter view. So let's take another look outside just to again orient ourselves.

So, we have the A head with the A mouth, and now we have on the B direction, the B head with the B mouth. To do this, I think it's nice to just double-click on that and see it in place. If you see the head looking--not grayed out like this-but the normal color when you click inside the mouth, then go up to View > Preview Mode > Anti-Alias Text. If you want to see it as it looks with the true color, then it's full. So, let's go View > Preview Mode > Anti-Alias Text. This is a much nicer way to work because you can see the contrast between the level that you are working in and the one on the outside.

First thing that we should do is let's just hide everything for the moment, and we think we don't need the B mouth and the C mouth, let's get rid of them, Clear Keyframe, right-click again, and clear the keyframe for the E, and let's just work on the mouth inner level. I am just going to unhide that, and let's scroll through, and go to the D mouth, go to outline, and let's padlock the reference layer. And you can see the difference, the reference image shows us the curvature is quite different, but not wildly different. We're pretty close already.

So, it will be quicker to make these adjustments than it was to create the front on mouth the first time around. So, let's select the Selection tool, and start pulling these points, and again if you select the Subselection tool and click on one of the line areas, you will see we have 1, 2, 3, 4 points here and two in the bottom. So, as we work through this, let's just make sure that we don't accidentally generate extra points, or lose control over these ones. So, all I am going to do is pull this in.

If you feel that the reference line is too overpowering, maybe it's hard to see the lines that we are working with, let's unpadlock it, and give it a lighter shade of gray--maybe even lighter than that--padlock that again. That's a lot easier to work with. There we go. And let's just work through, we'll do the next one as well. Let's just do the F, quite different, it's a little bit over this way. I am going to pull that corner in. Now, I think for now, let's test this, see if it works.

It's a big move, and a little bit where you were going too far with this. So, let's go all the way now, and see if it misbehaves. It looks solid. So let's keep that. It's nice to have that strong forward movement, maybe we can push it a bit more. If we have problems with this later on with the upper lip and lower lip layer, maybe we can pull it back in. But you can always test to an extreme, see if that works. It's nice when that happens. We have the flexibility.

You can even make this change later on by moving this for different frames. But for now, let's keep it about here, padlock that, and don't forget that the ending point will be the same as the start. So we want to copy this, hold down Alt/Option and drag to there, and then just right-click to remove that tween just to keep this static here. And also, don't forget that the mask layer will be the same as the mouth inner layer. So hold down Alt/Option and drag that to the mask layer. We're also going to repurpose this shape for the lip upper and lip lower levels, so same thing, Alt/Option and drag to copy that to here and here. So that's great.

Let's switch off the reference layer now, and the next thing I am going to do is recolor the lip upper and the lip lower as black, because we want to see the difference in the line. So I am going to swap colors just to do a very quick recolor of these levels, same thing with the lower lip. We'll find, sometimes, it's just quicker to select the whole thing rather than messing with the Paint Bucket tool. Okay. Now let's do the upper lip, the A mouth is the same in both.

In the B, then we have to pull the corners up. And roughly try to match the points, so I am going to select the Subselection tool, take a quick peep at this. So, I like to make sure that these points are aligned properly. Let's do that again. There we go! Test that very quickly, wonderful. If you have problems that things start tweening strangely, always go back to the Selection tool, click, and make sure you have the same number of points on all your keys, and you can test that fairly quickly by doing that, and if it's 6 on each, or you see a 7th by mistake somewhere, then you simply redraw that area.

So now back to the Selection tool, and I think some of my points I've lost the fine level of control of them that I like to have. So let's select the Subselection tool, and that's a trouble one there, and we may have even lost this one too. So, what I am going to do is just draw a bounding box around these, and we have them back again. Now, I have six points that I can control and back to the Subselection tool, and let's try to match these points here and here. Nice! Pull this in, wonderful! That's it! I repeat the same process for the lower lip, more or less the same, in that we have to make sure that we maintain the attachment of the corner to here.

I am going to do that. And again, I am just going to have a little look at the points, so that I can align that to here. If you don't do that, then you can get some strange shapes, even if a tween is right, the thick and thin, this can undulate in a very unpleasant way. So, this should work. We are having a little line weirdness here. Let's see if there's a reason for that.

It might be because I moved that point, that's it! So that was simple to fix as that, I was just making sure that those two points here and here travel more or less in tandem. And also, I think we might have lost a little bit of control here. So, all I am going to do is draw a big bounding box around that, delete the dotted area, check to make sure we have 6 points. Excellent! So let's just bring these back in.

Again, checking to make sure that we have these points lining up, pull this in, there we go. So let's zoom out, so we can see the entire range of movement. I will unhide the upper lip and the lower lip, and I think we can unhide the lower lip level as well. That should still work fine. Well, no, needs a bit of tweaking. So let's go into the lower lip level, go to the D mouth, and just nudge it out, and nudge it out here, using the arrow keys, works fine, and I think we can probably pull the corner down here just to give it a little more volume. That's it! Now, let's check the inner mouth which we haven't done anything with, and it's probably a little too far over.

So, let's hide the mask layer, and just look at the teeth upper and the teeth lower on the A mouth, and I am going to put them into Outline Mode and they really are a little bit too far over. You will see it more clearly on the D mouth. So all I am going to do is hold down Shift, and push the arrow key to the left, and that will pull it in. I am going to pull it down one. Moving it around like this, you can get into a pretty decent looking space. So, I want to unpadlock the tongue. Let's move that as well. And on the A mouth, I am just going to move them over one, two, and see if that tween is all right. It's looking good.

I think the ooh mouth, maybe we can just move them a little bit. So, let's hit padlock again and put the mask on. So now we have everything visible and everything padlocked, and that's pretty good. That is no longer looking strange. So, then final step is to add our E mouth, so I am going to make this, or this here, so, we can choose any of these little tweens, the E mouth. I don't like to use the middle one, I usually find it's nicer to have something a little closer to the final ooh shape to play with.

So let's make my column, hit F6, move that into the E slot, and let's pick a wide-open mouth for C, this should do, and something much more close for the B mouth for the ee sound. There we have it! That is it! That's the process. What remains to be done is to convert the mad and the sad and the neutral mouths using the same process, and all you have to do is adjust the corners of the mouth.

I'll very quickly show you how to do one of these. So, in the event of doing the mad and the sad mouth, so that you have that in the B state as well, I think the quickest thing to do would simply be to copy, and what I am going to do is switch the Workspace under Window, and set it to I think rigging_face as a horizontal, that's better. So let's move this up. Let's just hold down Alt/Option and drag our A through F mouth shapes to here, and while we're at it, do this as well.

So now we have three sets of three quarters mouths, all happy, and what we want to do is take the mad and the sad, clear the keyframes for the C and the D as we did before, do it here as well, since we are doing this right now, and repeat the identical path of our process. So that would mean going into the wide open mouth, pull the corner down, do the same thing for the ooh mouth, and now we have the beginnings of our angry dialog, and don't forget too you can make other changes like you can pull the corner down here, great fun! Same thing for the A mouth, you'd might want to start, of course, with the corner, the mouth down, so we tween with a series of angry shapes.

And with the neutral mouth, do something that's not quite so extreme, maybe about to there. Don't forget to copy your A to the end, on the angry and the neutral. That is the basic process, then you simply repeat all the steps I showed you in this chapter. You can actually rewatch the beginning for the happy mouth and just follow it through for the mad and the neutral, and you will have it.

You make changes to the teeth where appropriate, and then the last step that you would have to contend with will be changing the custom expressions to match the three-quarter view as well. What I have done in the reference layer, I have sketched in, to help you out, the three-quarters view for the wide open mouth, for the furious mouth, and for the puzzled mouth. So take some time with this and have little fun with it. These shapes and the ones in the exercise files are pretty stable, I think you'd be able to push them around without getting into too much trouble. And by the time, you'll have all this done, you will have an identical copy of the A mouth now in three-quarters position.

In the next movie, we'll tackle the profile mouth which is slightly different from the A and the B mouth and has some issues that you need to be careful with.

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