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In Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation, Dermot O' Connor explains the process of character animation in Flash, using nested symbols and motion and shape tweening to create believable characters. The course covers the process from start to finish, from rigging a character to creating a walk cycle animation. Along the way, Dermot demonstrates techniques such as animating eye blinks, head turns, and mouth movements during dialogue. Exercise files accompany the course.
Okay so we've done the D mouth. Now we're going to move on and do the F mouth and the F mouth is the ooh shaped part of the mouth. So let's go into the Library palette, double -click on the head, double-click on the mouth and let's go in very close and have a look it this. So again a quick reminder of the shape that we are going to be creating is the F mouth or the ooh sound, the phonetic sound of this six mouth shapes. So I'm going to go back into Flash and we already have our A to D back to A cycle working. The F mouth is going to be a lot closer actually to the closed mouth. just with the little pursed shape here.
So let's just grab our vertical stack of A mouth, hold down the Alt+Option key and drag to the F position and let's go in a bit closer and now this point we'll just hide the layers we don't need. Now I'm going to select the upper and the lower, hide the crease, and use the Free Transform tool just to push this in a little bit, and actually what I'm going to do now is I have accrued very quick sketch using the mouse. I don't have a tablet or anything. What I'm going to do is just do a quick positional shape and this is where I want the ooh form to be, something like this.
I should do it so if you just look it at that by itself. So let's put out that in the outline, put it beneath here and let's put the lip upper back on and just look at that in outline mode and let's go ahead and make that shape. And you've heard me complain before about the importance of preventing Flash from joining these lines together into one continuous S- curve. I like having easy access to these points.
So without having to use the Sub- selection tool. It's nicer if I can access them with the simple Selection tool. So the other thing to be very watchful here, as we work, don't forget we're shape tweening as we worked. So constantly go back-and-forth to make sure you haven't done anything to break the shape tween and if you find that thing you are spinning around or clearly broken, we don't want to use shape hints for this. We want this to be hint free and it is quite doable. As long as your shapes are simple and as long as your structures have something like six points of geometry on the upper and lower lip, you will be safe enough.
There are various different kinds of mouth shapes, different problems, but you will be able to do it if you're careful. So same thing with the lower lip. As you can see its behaving itself, so let's pull this down up, snap to there, and do the same thing with the lower lip. Usually pulls into an ugly shape before you can get into a pretty one. I'll switch Snap off now. Snap is important for getting the corners lined up but after that it can be as much trouble.
So again we're trying to create some shape approaching that. Again use back and forward, using the comma key and the period key to scrub on your timeline. Corners are locked and there we go. So now the little things that we can do such as smoothing off some of these lines. This is obviously a very harsh join here. It looks a little bit mechanical. So there are things that we can do once we get the points happy and that is things like round of this corners a little bit.
It's a lot better and padlock that when you get it. Do the same thing with the bottom line. And don't forget to go back and forth in the timeline. Let's go out a little bit. There we go and you might see it clearer if you go into black. And that gives us our main lips anyway, the main four poses, the A mouth, the wide-open D mouth, and ooh shape, so let's padlock that. We get rid of that rough sketch. We don't need that. We get rid of this purple layer the outline sketch, pull the crease into match, you might want to rotate it a little bit using Free Transform. Padlock that when you're happy.
Keep padlocking as you go so you don't break anything. Now the inner mouth layer, that's the other tricky part. That's got to line up and basically cover this exact same area as the green and blue for the upper lip and the lower lip. So we can make this a little bit faster going to Free Transform tool, you know pull it reasonably close. You see the other points that you have to pull around the screen. Go back into the Snap, match your corners, nice, and then do the same thing as before. Just know pull your basic six pointed? If it breaks you can always draw completely new one. I just find it's a little quicker to work like this.
Okay, and then don't forget back-and- forth. Yeah, that's mapping very nicely. So zoom out and then as I said before, this shape here, this ooh shape for the mouth inner, that's call be the same as the one up here. This layer and the mask layer will be identical. So we'll keep making sure, as we progress, these are kept the same. So that's that and then the last thing we need to do is to set all the secondary, thankfully easier, layers. So let's look at the upper lip and the lower lip in outline and just position the teeth to where we think would be good.
It's a little bit of the movement so that there's a different mouth in between one another. You'll be able to see some motion and we can refine this later on, but we have got it reasonably close for now. Let's put those teeth into outline so I can see the tongue move. We bring it forward on the ooh. Think of the ooh as being pursed. If you can make the ooh sound yourself, your mouth pushes forward a little. So should your animation. And then the last thing would be the lip shadow.
This layer here. Right now the A mouth is not moving. So we wanted to sell that forward movement of the lip . And if it will let us, we will shape tween that as well. I think that works nicely. So let's zoom out. Take a long shot again. Excellent. So that's the main four keys. That's the hard part done. The A mouth to close mouth, the D mouth is wide open, the F for the ooh sounds, and back to the closed mouth.
In the next part we'll just finish off with easier stuff, just setting the in-betweens for this, for the B, C and E mouths, and I'll show you how we can have some fun with this shapes and play them in any number different sequences. So we're ready to move on.
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