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Rigging a Face in Flash Professional
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating furious expressions


From:

Rigging a Face in Flash Professional

with Dermot O' Connor

Video: Creating furious expressions

So, we've begun the process of bringing the face to life. Let's go through this just a few frames at a time to see where we are. So you've got the mouth tweening into the wide-open happy expression, and the eyebrows are moving accordingly. And the next thing we want to do is to take the mouth, which is currently moving, and we have the face moving into a more furious-- I want this to be angry, not concerned. And if you look at our reference image on the bottom layer, now you can see that the eyebrows are coming down into a really like mean expression. So let's see if we can do that, because right now the face is in the default happy position or pose. It doesn't really match; it doesn't go well with the mouth.
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  1. 14m 16s
    1. Introduction
      42s
    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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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
Subjects:
3D + Animation Character Animation
Software:
Flash Professional
Author:
Dermot O' Connor

Creating furious expressions

So, we've begun the process of bringing the face to life. Let's go through this just a few frames at a time to see where we are. So you've got the mouth tweening into the wide-open happy expression, and the eyebrows are moving accordingly. And the next thing we want to do is to take the mouth, which is currently moving, and we have the face moving into a more furious-- I want this to be angry, not concerned. And if you look at our reference image on the bottom layer, now you can see that the eyebrows are coming down into a really like mean expression. So let's see if we can do that, because right now the face is in the default happy position or pose. It doesn't really match; it doesn't go well with the mouth.

So again, let's zoom in. And switch everything off. Let's just work with the eyebrows for the moment. And they're not too far away from where I want them to be, but we are going to really see if we can twist them. And again, go through frame by frame when you are doing something really big like this, to make sure that nothing breaks. And as I go back and forward and toggling, you can see that the shape tweening is holding up. The second the shape tweening starts to spin or do anything weird, then stop and go back and head undo and try something else.

That's pretty much as I wanted. Shape tweening is great fun when it behaves itself, when it works like this. If it doesn't, if it spins, usually it's because one of your points has moved too forward to the left or the right. Let's go into outline, and we are working on the green one now. And next will be the nose. It helps to do that in outline as well. Oops! Back to the furious face. I am going to scrunch this one up.

And let's also scrunch up the volume a little bit. Now, if you're going to do this, like move the nose up a little, then don't forget to widen it also. And now we will do the eyes. So, padlock all the layers that we're happy with, and the layers that we are going to be moving now are the right eye, the right eyelid, and the right eyeball. And remember from the previous movie, that you need to move these together so that the eye blink always matches the area covered by the eyeball. There we go! Padlock those, and now do the pupil by itself.

It's pretty close to where we want it. Same process for the left eye, and always easiest in Outline mode. Now, to see exactly where it's going to be, let's put the left eyebrow into outline as well. And I am going to select. And again, don't forget, it helps if this point here is on the same line or latitude as the other one.

Okay, that's good. Padlock those. And I think the eye is very close. Okay, now I am just going to show everything, and let's hide the reference layer, and see what this looks like. So now you have an idea of how we go from our starting pose, which is happy, to our wide- up jubilant, to angry.

And let's just test by unhiding the reference layer, and let's hide the head layer, and now we can toggle, oh! I forgot the jaw. I thought there was something. So, let's just look at the jaw layer. And I am going to pull these points, scrunch it up. And I am pulling these lines in so I can target the exact point that I want for the edge. Oops! Something broke there, so you see it's going a little bit spinny.

So I am going to hit undo a few times. You see, it happened around here. That's still okay. So what I am going to do now, I am going to change one thing very slowly at a time, and that will be fine. It's still working. That's good! So I think instead of moving that point any further, let's do that. That's exactly how you deal with a spin without having to deal with a shape hint, which we do try to avoid.

We will apply shape hints in the later chapter, but for most of these morphed mouth shapes and morphed faces, or tweened rather, it's really important to try to avoid shape hints, just for simplicity. I like to be able to freely copy between one of these expressions into another. So, with that done, let's hide the reference layer, unhide the rest. There are other things you could do. I mean you can always, for example, bring the hair down a little bit.

If you wanted to try to look like it's maybe sweaty, and it's tracking his forehead down a little, maybe pull in the volume a little. Lots of things that you can do to try to add as much life as possible. So, there we have it! I am going to leave the puzzle face for you as an exercise. So essentially, what you would be trying to do is to match this expression from this face. So, in Outline mode, as you can see, maybe be trying to move the eyebrow into this up position, and the other eyebrow into that position, and stretching the right eye, the green eye, into this wide-open point that's up here. And it's a fairly straightforward exercise I think. I don't think you'll have too many problems with it.

So, in the next section, we will move on and add some creases and extra layers to this that will really finish it off.

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