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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.
Let's do one more mouth shape, just to be really thorough and this will be kind of a neutral shape. It doesn't have any particular emotional condition to it. So, same process as before, to begin with. Let's select the happy mouth, hold down the Alt or Option key, and drag those frames to the right of the timeline. And let's rename the happy label to neutral. And I am going to delete the b and the c mouths. Let's right-click and clear those keyframes. I am going to keep the d, the e, and the fs.
So first, let's just work with the inner mouth, and let's go in a little close. I will just padlock it off, grab the the corner, and just pull it down. We don't want him to look angry, so this has to be carefully done. I am going to temporarily move that point up so the lines don't cross over. Let's move that. He is looking a little bit like he might be upset. We don't want that. Again, pull these corners up just a little. That's better, bland.
And again, I like to check to make sure that we haven't accidentally merged. Ah! There, we did. So click on A or the Subselection tool, and let's find the trouble spot. And I am going to just remove that, go in really close. This is the one thing I wish I didn't have to do. It really gets tedious and that feels unnecessary. I wish the program didn't-- and it has done it again.
It would be very nice if I just didn't do this, but it does, so we just have to deal with it. So okay, I think that--there we go! And let's scrub forward a little bit, and same thing for the open mouth. Take those points and just pull them down. And always test as you go. Always do this, as you do each key, before you go too deeply into it. I get into the habit when I do this of going back and forward, like one frame, two frame, to make sure I haven't caused any strange tweening glitches to appear.
Pull the corners down on the e, same on the f. I am not going to worry about the end just yet. Let's keep that the way it is. Okay. Let's lock that, and now that this is working, don't forget that the mask will be the same as that. So the first thing we can do is select these frames, hold down the Alt or Option key, and drag them up to the mask layer. And if you feel like you are getting lost-- sometimes I find it hard to read across all these little dots--just move these a little further over.
That makes life easier. Okay, then let's be sure we're padlocked, and let's go to the upper lip, go to outline, and we simply repeat this. Making sure that the Snap to Object is on, we'll just drop that down. Again, the same issue will hit us here. The other thing that we could do is simply copy the mask layer to the upper lip and color it black, but I think this will be okay. Padlock that, same with the lower lip, again, working in outline, and let's move to the d.
And I find it helpful just to work on one at a time, so hide the other if you think it's becoming visually confusing, like that. Then let's do the upper, and let's see if I got too low. The danger is that these lines at this point cross and get too thin. So I am going to pull that out, pull that in, and then move that back up. So now as you have to do these little double steps to work around balancing this other line. And I just continue through the rest of these. I think we have to fix some of the blues.
Hide the green layer. Okay, so now let's switch them back to black so we can really see what's going on here. And I am moving through it frame by frame. You will see these little areas through the course. If I were doing this for a full production, I would spend a lot of time going in and really fine-tuning these lines. So don't feel like because you see shapes like these, these little bumps, believe me, they can be ironed out.
It's just a question of putting in a little bit of polishing on them. But even so, if you look at this in real time, it moves past so quickly that even those little bumps that need them go right pass the eye. Okay, so then I think we have pretty much everything taken care of here, apart from the teeth. Let's check them. They're looking pretty good. I will put the mask on. I am happy with that. So the next thing will be just to make the secondary keyframes for the c mouth. And I will pick the middle point between the a and the d, hit F6 to make those keys, drag it over. And I am going to pick something very close to the closed mouth and hit F6 to make those keys and drag that over.
And these are the ones that you have to watch very carefully to make sure that no little errors or additional points were created. And we're good! And now I am going to select the a mouth frames, hold down Alt or Option, and drag them, so we begin and end with the neutral mouth. Then right-click and remove the tweens. And again, we have the same issue with what looks like a synced keyframe here and here. As I said in the previous movie, don't worry about that. In older versions of Flash, this would have really bothered me, but now, if I were to make new keyframes here, they would not be synced to that automatically, so that's not really going to affect you.
So now we have three sets, and a quick demonstration of how you would be able to utilize these for a dialogue scene. These should be fairly interchangeable. So for example, let's select the c happy mouth, Alt or Option and drag it over here. And when I select and copy these, I always select the label as well so I can see what shape I am dealing with. So I am just going to randomly select different mouth shapes from the timeline, from each of these three states. And this is a great way to test as well; you should drag as many of these as possible to see.
You may have some transitions that simply are insoluble; it could happen. But if your geometry has been fairly stable and if it's been behaving for you up to this point, then it really should be pretty good. As you can see, here is our experimental line of dialogue. And the beauty of this, so much better using static shapes, this gives you so much power. It's the closest thing that I think Flash will ever come to blend shapes in 3D, and you're only limited by the number of proceeding mouth shapes that you've got.
And you can add customs as well; we'll be doing that later. But for now, these three clusters of three different dialogue scenes, they will give you a phenomenal amount of control, especially if somebody does a long drawn-out, like, "woo-hoo!" then you would simply pick that woo-hoo into here, the f to there, and you could make that for 400 frames long if you wanted to. So you could even do things by moving the teeth around. The teeth don't have to be, for example, in these positions. If you had a Clint-Eastwood-style line of dialogue, there is no reason why you couldn't stretch these down and have the guy talk through grinded teeth, like a cowboy or something.
So again, just to raise your ideas about what this system is capable of, it's very flexible. So with that, we're going to move on and do some unique mouth shapes.
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