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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.
In the last section, we went from the profile pose to the three quarter rear, and you may remember that I mentioned that some of the fringe was looking a little weird. So let me go in really close very quickly and I'll show you how I fix that, rather than show you me messing around with it for a good number of minutes. So essentially this was the troublemaker and it wasn't quite matching the green hair area. Oops! I'll fix that, and let's go through frame by frame. So it's a bit of a cheat, it's--let me hide this as well, it's kind of hard to see there.
So what I did was make a shape that it could blend into and then hopefully on the next frame pop off, and just get us to where it doesn't catch your eye. So not the most beautiful piece of animation there, but it works, and then when you look at it with the hair on top, it will go past so fast you can't notice it. So let's move on and do the actual back view now. And then I'm going to again hide everything. Whenever I get lost in the maze of layers I just switch everything off, and start from something simple and I work my way back into complicated things.
So let's look at the rear view reference image and if you want it a bit dark you can switch off the little white shaded area. Now the process that we'll be doing is moving the shapes back into match that and the layers should be pretty similar for this I think. So let's begin anyway with the neck, and first things first we'll make a new series of keyframes right beneath the E, and just start doing the familiar process now, pulling the neck into the right shape and that's pretty good.
And then once again, we padlock that, and the jaw will be on this lower level, and there is a nice little cheat we can do for this rather than twist the jaw back into the shape. This jaw shape would be pretty much the same one as we began with, so let's go to the jaw image on the first frame, and hold down the Alt+Option key and just drag it, and we're going to drag it to here. And switch tweens off just to keep things clean, and there we go. So padlock that, the nose will be invisible, but if you want we can still have it under there.
So it tweens itself off smoothly because we still see it here and I want to do have Flash take care of the tweening to get this off screen, and we certainly wouldn't need the nose after that, so we can blank out after that. The hair on the top layer, we'll be going from this three-quarter view and this is this area here, to again, this point. So let's use the Free Transform tool just to stretch it out a little bit. Again, padlock that. The left ear will now be coming back into view, and this is where we get into a little tricky area, but for now, bear with this as it will look strange for a couple of sections.
But I just want to get the physical ear in the right physical location, and let's join it pretty much here at the top of the neck. Let's pull it out, Snap on, and just put it there, and we will create a new internal ear graphic that will actually look exactly like this but not right now. Right now we're just getting everything to move. And if it bothers you that it looks so strange, just hide that ear level. Now the skull, again, another little cheat that we can do here to speed things up.
The skull will actually be the same as the skull from the very first, because it's rotating back around into the same general direction so that's just Alt+Option+drag that to here, right-click, remove that tween. And there is a little bit of asymmetry on the neck, let's have a look at it, so let's go and fix that. Close enough I think, padlock that again. So now I like where the skull is, so padlock that. The left hair is now going to be I think pretty much gone, so I think the last we see of that will be here, and again, we are looking at this area, so let's F7 to get rid of it and delete it from this.
And the next will be the right hair, and even though we call it the right hair it's now basically working as the entire area of the hair that we are seeing. So let's see if we can do some magic and have this thing adopt that shape. Zoom in a little bit and now I'm just going use the Selection tool. This may end up being something of a challenge for shape tweening. So I'm kind of confused now about where the points are, so let's hit the Subselection tool, click on this, and we have maybe some more points than absolutely necessary, but we've to keep them all here so that this thing Shape Tweens more efficiently.
So I'm going to try to move this point a little bit over to this direction and see if that works. It's good. Let's pull that in. You can pull the neck down. Flash is being really tricky, very sensitive about selecting my lines for some reason. So if that happens to you, try not to get frustrated, but it definitely is a little annoying. So now I'm going to padlock these, padlock that, and all these are empty layers, that's good, and then the last one would be the right ear.
And once again the right ear has the same problem as the left ear, it's the wrong shape for what we wanted to achieve. So for now again, let's just move it out and I'm going to put Snap on, and make sure that this point here snaps to where the neck joins the skull. You may have picked up on that I'm very picky. For good reason, it really helps. So what I'm going to do is to make sure that the neck, let's make it color, lines up with that point there, so that the jaw, the skull and the neck all have that point of origin.
Let's unpadlock the ear now. We can make that point of origin the same point of origin that's where the ear attaches to the skull. That won't always be possible, but it's really nice if it can be done. I think I've moved the timeline there, let me get it back. Let's do the same thing at this side too. So again, padlock everything except the neck, okay. So again, select that and now we've three points of origin, all connecting right there. And I think let's put the ear there as well.
Super! Now let's zoom out. Go to color, and we have some mad ear weirdness, but again, don't worry about it, we'll fix that. But first things first. So let's activate Shape Tweens and Classic Tweens as needed, and look at how few layers were actually working in right now. As you go to the rear view, you'll find that there are fewer and fewer layers that are actually needed as the eyes disappear, and the mouth disappears. Let's see what this looks like.
Once again, we have a couple of rogues, so let's fix that. The neck is being bold so I'm going to show him, and once again, let's select the timeline and go into Properties, and under Label make a blank space, enter that, and then we've our little red marker. I'm going to go Ctrl+Shift+H, let's drag our Shape Hints and I'm going to go A, B, C, and D.
Again, backup your file before you do this. Shape Hints are the one thing that can crash Flash very, very quickly I found. And the jaw is doing a something a little flaky. So let's have a look at that. Okay, so once again, add Shape Hints. I think two Shape Hints would probably enough for this. Lovely, it's beautiful.
And the skull is acting up, so let's hit him and again, pull a little marker in just to let us know; A, B, and C, because I can see once I activated hints, it flagged the hints that were on the previous keyframe, that went forward and connected with this one, so that means all we have to do is really follow the previous pattern, will work for the next one I find. So let's add them in, and be sure we add them to the second, and that works, yeah.
A little bit of air appearing. See right here where the hair isn't quite matching? So a couple of things we can do. Let's just bring that down a bit lower and that covers it. We could also push the hair up a little bit. So the big outstanding issue at this point, are the ears. They are turning around in 360 degrees, and obviously you can't do that with one static symbol. In the next movie, I'm going to show you how we can fix this and really, really sell the illusion that we're dealing with a dimensional object here.
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