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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.
We have two final major head directions left to do, the F and the G. The G is like a mirror image of the C profile, and the F will be a mirror image of the three-quarters rear on the other side. And I'd rather do the G first and work from this side back in towards the middle. It's the same workflow that we followed on the outward side of the project, so let's do that, and it's also better to have a profile than a three-quarters rear view I find. So let's create a little reference layer that we can use based on this.
So what I'm going to do is select all of these layers, make sure nothing is Padlocked, and go Ctrl+C for copy. Let's make a new layer down here, and I'm going to put in a blank keyframe on this layer, and go Ctrl+Shift+V to paste in place. Can't see much right now, so let's hide this, and let's put this layer in Outline Mode, and then let's flip it horizontally, Modify > Transform > Flip Horizontal, and let's check this against our reference image down here.
So I'll just nudge it using the arrows until it lines up, pretty close. So let's hide that again, and let's pick a better outline color, because pink is too hot, it's really overwhelming. So I'm going to go to like maybe a slightly darker gray, that will do, and then Padlock that, and now we're going to go through these layers and match them to this. And so let's make our G key--actually what we should do is copy the C--hold down the Alt/Option key, and drag it over to the G level, and there we go.
So we'll go through these one by one and build this up. So here is the neck level. Put Snap on so we get these points more accurately. It's good. Snap off to get that little closer, and go in really, really close to get that just right. Kind of hard to see where it should be ideally, but I'm thinking somewhere about there.
And notice there are two little circles, that's because if you look at the layer 2 reference image, they're on that, those are from the eyelids. They're really getting in the way, so let's delete them. They're creating these little circles that are really annoying, so good riddance to that, and let's continue. So we've got the neck done, and just Padlock an Outline as we go. I like that because then you can see you're making progress. Next one is done. The left ear, let's move the left ear, there it is.
So we'll work with this one instead, so let's ignore this layer for now and just keep going. I want to hide it and figure out later when we have everything else in color. Keep Padlocking and going if there's nothing to do on these layers. And next we have the skull. So let's go in really close on that. Put in an Outline, and now I'm just going to use the Selection tool, Snap to Objects, and line them up perfectly. Check on the other side. Great! And the back of the skull is really misbehaving here, so let's pull that down.
You know what, there's a quicker way of doing that. I'm going to hit undo for a bit, and just reverse that horizontally, Modify > Transform > Flip Horizontal, because that's a shape, not a problem to flip shapes. That gets us a little bit closer to where we want to be. And Snap back on, get those points lined up, and then Padlock that, the left hair level. Let's see. Right, because we're going from here to there.
So what I'm going to do actually is delete that and work from this one backwards. So let's hold down the Alt/Option key and drag that to here, because it's closer to the shape I want than the previous one, and let's just drag it to where we need it. There we go, and let's put Snap off for a moment. Okay.
And the right side hair, and again, this is being a flip of the other side, this is really wrong, so let's just delete that, and I think the left hair from this side will be closer to what we need, that was like this one. Let's Ctrl+Copy that, and Ctrl+V to bring it in here for the right side. And of course flip it horizontally, and I'm going to use the Free Transform to squish it a little closer to what we need, zoom in a little bit.
Be sure we have Snap to Objects on for this, and switch Snap off just to go for the fine-tuning. The really close work usually Snap is a little too aggressive for me. Okay, let's try that, Padlock these, keep going, jaw. And the jaw will probably click us again, Modify > Transform > Flip Horizontal, and then just drag it to where you need. Let's check that in Outline. Pretty good. And I'm going to zoom in, Snap on, and drag that in.
Click, Padlock, and the mouth. That's how I look at the mouth, not in Outline, so we can see it a little more clearly. Always be careful you don't slide out of the right column. The left eye will be, of course, the exact opposite now. Probably, I think the best way of doing the left eye, instead of working from the squished one, from the other side, it's simply too twisted. So let's just use the left eye that's in the H column, and the same with the right eye as well.
So what I'm going to do instead is go over and copy all of these here, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Alt/Option, and drag them to here, and let's now go into Outline so we can really see them, and zoom in tight, really a much better way of doing this. Let's do the right eye first. I'm just going to slide that out of the way for the moment, and then just select a big bounding box around all the blue, when we have all four levels high-lit.
Let's bring that over, Free Transform, and there we go. For the left eye, or the blue eye, go in really close and bring the pupil in. Notice I haven't even flipped the pupil horizontally. It's something that you're welcome to try. If you think that you can make flipping work horizontally, then give it a go, and sometimes you just do it in the course of creating the animation, but when rigging a character, I just find it so problematic.
So it gets confusing when you go inside and outside of symbols and one is flipped horizontally, and the one side that is not and the one side that is you end up really disoriented. There we go, the green eye is in place, let's move the pupil right out to the edge. Now, the eyebrow has become really twisted around, so let's just delete that, and I think the easiest way to get that back is to copy it from its cousin in the C column. So let's go over there, select that, Ctrl+C. If you have a problem selecting it in Outline Mode, which I just did, then just go back into Solid Color Mode, Ctrl+C, go back to the eye right brow level, Ctrl+V, Modify > Transform > Flip Horizontal, and you can track it back in there, and I think the right eye should be a bit thinner, so let's go in really close on that.
Let's go into Outline, and I'm going to just select those three layers, make them really close, actually skew it just a little bit. Let's try that. Then Padlock that, the hair on the top of the head, and that will also be a Modify > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Padlock an Outline.
Outline everything, the ear left, and I think on this one we should be seeing the left ear, and right now, I think it's down at this point. So let's delete that, it's really peculiar, and work with this ear up here. This is the right place for it. So hold down the Alt/Option key and drag it to here and pull it over, and Free Transform to skew, Padlock that, and Outline. And above that we have the right ear, which I don't think we need at all.
The right ear at this point should be completely invisible, so I'm just going to delete that, and Padlock, and now the nose should be the last element. Let's pull that over. Do not turn the nose around horizontally because it's a symbol, but we can certainly skew it like this. Okay, and now take a deep breath and hide the reference and see what this looks like.
That's pretty good, and we didn't have to think too much, most of that was simply be just grinding through, matching the reference layer. So all I have to do now is fix that neck, and I think the rest of it's looking pretty stable. So let's just select the neck layer that's there, and Ctrl+Shift+H to select some Shape Hints, and we'll just apply them.
Don't forget to backup your project first before you start applying these in case anything bad happens, like a crash. Don't forget that we should also add a Label here in the Properties panel just an empty blank space just to create that little red flag, and let's look at the whole thing again. There seems to be a slight--I'm not quite sure what this area here is doing, let's have a look at that. Now it's okay. It's certainly doing a little pop after, that's more to do with the position of the key here.
So let me go in and play with that for a second, kind of little eye-catching when that transition happens. That's better. Okay. Once more, fantastic! Okay, so we have one last head to do, and that's the F head, which is a duplicate and reversal of the D. So in the next movie I'll show you how to do that.
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