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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.
In the previous movie, we created the 3 o'clock position, or another way of describing it is the three-quarter view; looking to the right of the monitor. This time we are going to do the 9 o'clock, or the head turning to look at the left side, and we want this to be really as close as we can to have a mirror image of the other. So there's obviously a simple approach we can take to doing this pretty accurately. So I am just going to make a new layer, put a blank keyframe here, and select the entire stack of images for the head in the 3 o'clock position, Ctrl+C, and then in the single frame of the 9 o'clock in the blank keyframe, Ctrl+Shift+V. Let's switch to outline so you can really see what's going on here.
Then Modify > Transform > Flip Horizontal, and let's hide the head layer for the moment. And as you can see, now we can position this to match precisely our reference artwork, and that just happens to be in the right place. If it wasn't, if you did it differently and it came out differently, you just reposition it to match that, and there you go! So what we're not going to do is to flip anything horizontally, this is purely for reference. So let's padlock that so we don't mess with it any further than we have to. I am just going to drag it down into the Reference folder to get it out of the way, and now we can begin to one by one go thorough our layers and to line them up.
Let's work from our end state or our start state, so let's get the final frame, hold Alt+Option and drag to our 9 o'clock position, and then we'll find that a much faster way to do this. So there is the nose. As we do each one, we get them finished. Let's just switch them to outline and padlock them. Now the ear left, this is his physical left here, not the screen left or screen right, but his physical left ear.
That's now going to be on the top. So whatever artwork we have for the left ear, that's here, that should go from whatever layer it's on, and I am going to Ctrl+C, Ctrl+X, and I am going to bump that up to here and then paste it there. I can just go Ctrl+V and then drag it, and let's use the Selection tool, Snap to Objects, drag it into place. And now I am going to use the Free Transform tool, and you can feel it, it's very satisfying when you feel that's really snapping up the right size, there we go! Let's go to outline for those two layers and padlock them.
And the next layer will be the top of the hair, so let's flip this horizontally. My injunction against flipping horizontally does not apply to shapes. It's strictly applying to symbols. The eyes are next. So let's go and type for this. A big stack. The hidden layers and locked layers won't move, so we can go a little bit more aggressive with them. And this time let's go in and get these from the beginning, because we have the reference image beneath.
So I am going to just select the eyebrow for the right eye, and Snap to Objects, click, same here. So the next thing we want to do is to be very careful, so I am going to padlock everything. I just want to move the right lid and the right ball, and let's hit Free Transform or Q on the keyboard; the eye right lid, and the eye right ball.
There is the little symbol for the right eyelid, and here's the symbol for the ball or the artwork for it rather. And if I select these, now I am seeing the little cross, and let's use the arrow keys to cut that. It doesn't have to be 100% accurate, but that's as close as we need to worry about. Now I am going to move the pupil. Let's change in the layers that are padlocked, and if I hold down the Alt+Option key, I can again drag from one side, and get this pretty close.
And on the left eye or the blue eye, the pupil needs to be brought in a little bit to here. I am going to hold down the Alt+Option key just to pull from one direction, and I am not sure if--but yeah, I think we should probably just be a bit picky. Okay, let's move that, Free Transform, Alt+Option. There we go! You see how close we are working.
Any slight drifts like this are not really going to matter at all. Okay, so it's done. Let's padlock these, the mouth, and I am going to skew that slightly, Alt+Option, Free Transform, and skew again. Great! This time, let's do the skull first, that was the order that I worked on on the other side, and make sure Snap to Object is on, then off once you get the point connected.
Okay, that will do for now and don't forget, padlock it. Next, the jaw. So we'll take that to outline as well, Snap to Objects are on, so we can get that point here really precise, and actually I think we need to move the edge over this way. Back to Selection tool, Snap to Objects on again, and just make sure that this hasn't drifted even by a pixel. Okay, so now match the opposite, and again, I am switching Snap to Objects on and off all the time, so there is no reason for me to call it out.
You build up your own muscle memory with this process depending on your level of comfort with the Snap tool, but it's just something that you almost begin to do without thinking. Okay, that's done here. And the hair for the right side is on this side, it's disappearing, and we probably want to again have the midpoint track down the center of the forehead.
Again, notice how it's easier to keep your place in three-dimensional space with the consistent color of green on one side and blue on the other, and I picked random colors or arbitrary colors. This part of the process will be very, very confusing. It's never going to be not confusing, but this is one way at least of minimizing some of that. So again, I am snapping to fix to those points there, and I think I like to keep Snap on, so I can help to really keep this as close as I can possibly do to the opposite on the other side.
Done! No need for these, they are empty. The ear right, well there is no ear right on this one, so let's just get rid of that. There is no ear left, it's an empty layer. The hair on the top is empty, the neck is the last one that we need. So let's make sure Snap is on for this, and let's go to outline so we can see what we are doing, and switch it off now.
Okay, and that's it! So now we have the 9 o'clock, or the H position, which you can see labeled on the original reference art. So now we have our A pose, our three-quarters facing right, our three-quarters facing left, we have him looking down, we have him looking up; some tweens already in place where we can get away with them. The final step in the process is to start dropping in the intermediate positions; the 1 o'clock and the 2 o'clock between the 12 and the 3.
To give you a quick idea about what this will look like even without some of the ones that are already here, if I delete this, you can see some things need to be fixed. That will give you an idea about the range of motion that the final effect is going to have, even in this state with the options of needed shape hints and some layers popping, I think you can get the idea of why this is really worth doing. So I will put them back in. I am very happy I think with what we have so far. Let's just get rid of the Reference layer. We don't need that anymore. Keep things clean.
And one last little check, looks good. One little detail I might want to tweak on the hair and we give it a bit of a better edge up there. That's good to go! So let's save this out and in the next section we will move on to deal with some of these intermediate positions and soften out the arcs on them.
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