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Creating hand symbols

From: Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation

Video: Creating hand symbols

So, we are in character_rig_profile_ 04. This is where we left off from the previous section. So, we have our line arc created for the hand in its profile position, and the next step will be to help to differentiate between these different layers. Some of this is more easily done than others, so the thumb for example, let's just make sure we have selected the right color for that. In the Color panel, go and make sure you have H selected and just drag the color down and you can see you can -- you'll watch on the stage where I'm going crazy with the color. So, let's just bring it down to something that's a little easier on the eye, just by making that one color change to the thumb.

Creating hand symbols

So, we are in character_rig_profile_ 04. This is where we left off from the previous section. So, we have our line arc created for the hand in its profile position, and the next step will be to help to differentiate between these different layers. Some of this is more easily done than others, so the thumb for example, let's just make sure we have selected the right color for that. In the Color panel, go and make sure you have H selected and just drag the color down and you can see you can -- you'll watch on the stage where I'm going crazy with the color. So, let's just bring it down to something that's a little easier on the eye, just by making that one color change to the thumb.

That's the simplest way of making this alteration. If we can do it like this, it's also advisable to just do it with simple change in tone. The next thing is how it will help differentiate these fingers and this can be done quite so easily because obviously this is a continuous shape and if we were to do that, then this could look quite peculiar. So, the solution here should be to add a little highlight area. Like imagine there is light coming from the top-right and we are going to see a lighter tone.

Let's start with the small finger first, Snap on, and thenSnap off again because I want to make a very thin, narrow shape here and make it fine. Let's put the color back on so we can separate this area now. So, I want to go back into that original skin color, select the area that we've just closed off, and brighten this. Let's double-click in that line. Ctrl+X to delete it.

Now, sometimes how readable this is could depend on the brightness of the color you've chosen or the size of the area. It usually depends on the combination of two. So, if you think it's not a strong enough separation, you might want to punch it up a little bit or make the space a bit bigger. So let's go into outline on the middle finger. We'll Snap on, same process here, and Eyedropper to make sure we're using the same color. Double-click on that line, delete it, and there we are.

That's probably the simplest way of doing it. We could also add, as we did on the previous hand, this shadow area on this side. I don't think it's strictly necessary on this one. It's a good idea to keep things as simple as possible and not add too much complexity if it's not required. So, I'd be conservative with this and just keep it like this. I am going to drag all these keyframes of the new hand and just drag them over by one. Layer 1, I am just going to call hand all to differentiate that between this. So now, we can move from this to that.

Definitely a slight style change because of the absence of that dark area. So, I am actually going to add it because that'll help keep it consistent. Okay, just make sure we're working in the right layer here, yeah. And if you look in Outline mode again, I have just a slight slippage there. We need those points to line up properly. Okay, so now, if we go into the earlier frame, let's use the Eyedropper again and select that dark area, because I want these colors to match exactly. Hit the Fill tool.

Now, in this case we are kind of limited by the geometry of the shape. So I am pulling the shadow into a point here, and we'll do the same thing on this layer. Again, notice how I select that layer by clicking on the outline, and you can tell with the different layer colors too that you're working in the correct layer. So now let's create that line and fill this. Now, we can do that back and forth test again. It's a little better. We're not seeing that kind of pop quite so bad. I'll also add the shadow area onto the other two fingers.

We need to hide this one first, because we're working beneath it. This way if and when this finger rotates and moves, you'll be able to see that color area beneath. I am now going to add it in here too, outer lining, the outlining. Again, see the advantage of working in your own outline colors, because you can tell at a glance which level you're working on. So, there we go. Again, don't forget. Get rid of these lines. Just click and remove the lines that you've created the spaces with.

It's looking better. It's stronger to have the dark on one side and light on the other, and now we go back. Okay, that's not going to catch the eye. Good! Now that we have lined the shadows of the different layers, we will now pivot the areas of the symbols. One important aspect of this is to name it so that it lives in the right area in your Library. So let's call it arm right and it'll be finger 3. So, F8, arm right hand will be better.

Now, when we drag that into the correct part, you'll see that's really nice. Whereas if I call that finger 3, it'll be down here somewhere and as your Library gets bigger, it gets hard to find things. This'll be arm right hand finger 2, arm right hand finger 1. We'll again do the housekeeping and just drag these new symbols into the body parts folder, and there they are, very nicely sorted. I think we'll keep the palm as a flat image right now.

Now, I am not sure that we need to symbolize the thumb. We might be able to shape between the thumb, and that might give us more flexibility. So for now, let's not bother with that. So the next thing I want to do is to correct the pivots on this. The quick and dirty way is Free Transform and drag to there, but as you know, I like to make it a little more rugged than that. So what I am going to do is make a temporary layer, Shift and click, copy these layers, Ctrl+C, put them into a blank layer up here, break them apart, put them into Outline mode, and then this will be our reference layer. So then as we go into each of these symbols, double-click on them, I want this finger to pivot around here.

View > Snapping > Snap to Grid. Great! And now as you can see, that's our primary pivot. That's by far the strongest ways of doing this. So there we go. That finger is now corrected pivoted and can rotate. We can fix these gaps and breaks later on as we begin to animate the form. So let's repeat this process. The middle finger will pivot around this point instead. If it pivots around the other, it'll not be as strong I think.

Let's correct the pivot on this symbol here. Great! And that snapped in there very nicely. So delete the guide layer and there we go. That's out three-quarter hand on one layer. We could separate this onto layers like the other one, and that's the beauty of Flash. You can do that later on, you can create everything on one layer as a first pass, and then begin animating with it, and then later on, if you think, I want to break this into multiple layers so that I can do really cool stuff with the hand and splay out the different fingers and get more expressive with it, then you can do that too.

You're not padlocked into one, especially on a smaller project where it's not going to be duplicated a thousand times. So, that's the right hand. Okay, so that's it. There's one last thing I want to do and we did this earlier too. This is right now, if you look in our Properties panel-- dDouble-click on that to move that down so we can see it more clearly. The Properties panel is currently calling on frame 1, and we did our new hand on frame 2. So we'll set this hand not from Loop, put to Single Frame, and we'll say you are now on frame 2, hit Enter, there we go.

Let's just do a little quick check on the left hand. I am going to go into Outline mode and see if we need to make any changes to the left hand, because again this is going to be a profile hand. Even though we made that hand in our three-quarters position, it looks really good in the profile position as well. That's nice and natural looking. Like the other hand, it's all in one level. If we do need to, we can break these fingers up, but I think for now we are good. So let's go back into our outer layer, and we will switch everything to full color, and we'll save this as 05, and then we will move on and we will begin doing the walk cycle.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation
Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation

83 video lessons · 21713 viewers

Dermot O' Connor
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
    3. Prerequisites
      1m 37s
  2. 34m 58s
    1. Creating Flash-friendly character design
      4m 57s
    2. Animation rendering: SWF or AVI
      2m 24s
    3. Understanding line tool drawbacks when animating
      7m 7s
    4. Using uniform project scales in Flash
      3m 40s
    5. Finding helpful extensions for Flash
      2m 46s
    6. Using commands and keyboard shortcuts
      9m 53s
    7. Setting up your workspaces
      4m 11s
  3. 1h 35m
    1. Understanding character rigging
      2m 0s
    2. Exploring underlying structure in character rigging
      4m 27s
    3. Vectorizing the character body
      6m 22s
    4. Outlining colors in an animated character
      6m 15s
    5. Vectorizing the hands
      6m 43s
    6. Vectorizing the head
      4m 47s
    7. Outlining the head
      8m 20s
    8. Adding finishing touches with hair
      2m 11s
    9. Colorizing the character head
      7m 28s
    10. Colorizing the body
      5m 33s
    11. Applying gradients
      6m 18s
    12. Symbolizing and pivoting the body parts
      10m 47s
    13. Pivoting the head
      4m 42s
    14. Rigging the mouth
      10m 49s
    15. Rigging the eye
      8m 33s
  4. 52m 22s
    1. Tween types: Shape vs. motion
      5m 41s
    2. Combining motion and shape tweening
      4m 31s
    3. Animating an eye blink using shape tweening
      10m 2s
    4. Rigging a mouth in Flash for dialogue and expressions
      5m 30s
    5. Creating a D mouth
      12m 29s
    6. Creating an F mouth
      6m 58s
    7. Getting the polished look
      7m 11s
  5. 1h 2m
    1. Overview of the head turn
      2m 13s
    2. Preparing the rig
      8m 15s
    3. Posing the rig
      7m 17s
    4. Animating the head movement
      11m 5s
    5. Animating the body movement
      12m 9s
    6. Animating the head turn
      11m 28s
    7. Adding finesse to the head turn
      9m 34s
  6. 2h 44m
    1. Introducing the walk
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a profile view
      8m 30s
    3. Creating the head in profile
      10m 10s
    4. Creating the hand
      6m 57s
    5. Creating hand symbols
      8m 32s
    6. Reviewing the walk
      3m 6s
    7. Prepping the walk
      8m 33s
    8. Setting up the contact poses
      6m 45s
    9. Creating secondary contact poses
      9m 38s
    10. Finishing up the contact poses
      6m 48s
    11. Creating the passing poses
      9m 39s
    12. Finishing the passing pose
      5m 56s
    13. Animating the recoil position
      10m 9s
    14. Animating the high point of the walk
      9m 24s
    15. Adding in-betweens
      8m 31s
    16. Rigging the shoes
      8m 27s
    17. Animating the shoes
      11m 58s
    18. Animating the character's head movements
      8m 29s
    19. Fine-tuning the animation
      9m 0s
    20. Nesting the hand symbols
      8m 39s
    21. Repositioning the walk
      4m 11s
  7. 1h 32m
    1. Introducing the walk in place
      1m 30s
    2. Setting up contact poses
      10m 4s
    3. Creating the passing poses
      7m 14s
    4. Creating the recoil positions
      8m 11s
    5. Animating the head's high point
      4m 9s
    6. Tweening the legs
      5m 11s
    7. Tweening the arms
      10m 27s
    8. Setting the placement of the foot
      9m 9s
    9. Animating the shoes
      7m 52s
    10. Animating the hair
      6m 9s
    11. Creating secondary hand actions
      8m 48s
    12. Animating the torso
      6m 27s
    13. Repositioning the walk
      7m 17s
  8. 54m 9s
    1. Understanding dialogue
      49s
    2. Using the A-F system of six set mouth shapes
      4m 23s
    3. Animating dialogue using the mouth rig
      14m 30s
    4. Integrating the dialogue with the head turn
      5m 35s
    5. Animating the jaw
      6m 59s
    6. Creating an angry dialogue mouth
      7m 43s
    7. Finishing the angry dialogue mouth
      6m 38s
    8. Integrating acting techniques
      1m 51s
    9. Tips on facial expressions
      5m 41s
  9. 36s
    1. Goodbye
      36s

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