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In Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation, Dermot O' Connor explains the process of character animation in Flash, using nested symbols and motion and shape tweening to create believable characters. The course covers the process from start to finish, from rigging a character to creating a walk cycle animation. Along the way, Dermot demonstrates techniques such as animating eye blinks, head turns, and mouth movements during dialogue. Exercise files accompany the course.
We have our walk cycle simply set up. We have our contact pose done. And we want to move onto do the passing position. So let's open our project from 02. Let's see what we have so far. So just the feet sliding, the arms sliding back and forth, and lots of popping of course, because we have to add in the rest of the frames. But what I want to do, if you remember what we did in the previous chapter, we created a passing position where our character did something very simple. He just leaned forward a little bit into the walk to get him a bit of flexibility.
I want to do something a little more experimental now. I will show you the power of making changes to the passing position. You can make things like sneaks and all kinds of different attitudes with your walk. We'll not go too insane with this, but we will try to do something a little more adventurous. So I am going to draw our bounding box. And again, I repeat this, make sure that you're set to switch off Context-sensitive selection and you are on Object-level Undo. And that'll make the selection of these areas a little easier.
So let's use the Free Transform tool and rotate the character back a little bit. And what would happen if we do this? And I of course tilt the head forward perhaps. I am going to give him a dizzy walk. So now he needs to-- even though in this he will be a little off balance. We still need to make sure that the limbs are behaving and counteracting the forward lunge. And the other thing I like to do, if the legs seem to overlap and get a bit messy here, I am going to switch one of them off. Oops! Let's go back to color.
Let's go with the left leg. It seems to be in the better position. So I am switching up the right leg and that should be a bit lower than that. This is the left foot. So that should be on the upper line. So I am going to just play around and find a goofy pose, something a little more, a little less conventional. Now, the thing to watch out for, when we created this keyframe over the passing position, it created a pose for this foot and one of the most important aspects that you want to remember with the animation cycle in place is the position of this foot.
Once that heel contacts the ground, on each subsequent frame the foot must move by a fixed number of pixels. If this number drifts, if you start changing the position so that these frames are closer than these frames, then you're going to find it impossible to have your character walk across the screen without his feet slipping and sliding. It looks awful. Just be careful when you make these keyframes that you respect the horizontal placement that the computer gave you.
You can move the foot up and down to align it on this line, but never move it left and right unless you're doing it deliberately to really make it a precise placement. We'll do this in much greater detail later on, but you should know about it now. So anyway, that's our position. Let's see if we can do something with the rear foot. This one is now moving through. So I am going to put it somewhere a little more interesting. Let's move it to here. I am going to alter this leg a little to make it join there or it'll make this hard to follow.
Let's make a duplicate over here as a repositioned guy. Copy them, paste here. If you remember from the previous one where we happened to these duplicates around, we don't have to do it now because they're all occupying the same vertical space. Break that apart. Ctrl+B. And let's make a vertical stake of keys. And let's line up the upper body to that. And again sometimes it's good to pull the entire selected area out and make sure nothing's been left behind.
Sometimes Flash doesn't select everything properly. So you have to be conscious of these little errors. Okay, let's take the head back. I think, we can -- Oops! Let's be careful with the feet. We need to use this is repo- guide for the feet as well. Just look at this for now. So the foot that is going to go into this up position will be the trailing foot that's here, this one. Okay, and then this foot is the right foot and that should be a bit lower, and the tweening processes has moved it up a little bit.
We need to correct the vertical position, but not the horizontal. This is as much as I would like to do. Even that might be a little risky, but we will check this out later. And then the other thing to do would be to correct the legs. Let's move this up a little bit. Close enough for now. And let's frameEdit on the keyboard into this, make another key, F6, and then just line up this leg here. So now all of our internal symbols are working with that.
So let's hide the purple reference layer. See what this looks like. So we are going from this contact pose to this passing position to this contact pose to this passing position. This passing position should be an opposite of that one. So where the left hand is on this pose, the right hand should be on that, and vice versa, same with the legs. There we go. So I am going to delete that purple layer and that was just the temporary. Let's save this as and then we will move on and add the recoil.
As you can see we are moving a little faster now than the first one. So it should be interesting to see if this walk comes together and is in any way respectable, goofy or crazy. The real intent of this is to show you the difference it makes just by making a single alteration, in this case one alteration to the passing position and now we're going to follow through on that and see what it does to the rest of the walk.
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