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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.
So let's move on and we'll begin the process of fleshing out our walk, we have our contacts and passing position switched on. So, it's next keyframe to add in is the down position or the recoil position. So, we'll double-click on our stage, on our symbol or double-click on the bd walk symbol in the library and we are going to go a bit tighter and let's begin that. So, I am going to add keys for the recoil position. This orange layer has a bunch of keyframes I will delete it we doesn't need. Let's get rid of that.
That was our reference image. Let's clean it up. So, okay we are going from this to this and some little breaks on the legs and such, so let's correct that. So, we will just draw a box again and wrap the upper body and maybe the legs as well and click it down a couple. I am going to push it a bit more this time, see if we can go make it a little more eccentric. So this is the recoil and let's bring the head forward because we would imagine this would be like his impact with the ground.
If its motions are going to be a little more erratic then that's appropriate. The other thing to remember is on the recoil this is when the arms are at their most outstretched from the body because this is like an impact pose, bang! The other thing that would happen also is that the feet will hammer into the ground here. Let's hide the leg. It's getting the way that. Don't move the foot left or right, just move it up or down because we want the foot placement to be as consistent as possible across the screen. We have to imagine that we are moving by an equal increment by frame by frame.
We'll do this in more detail later but I want to make sure that if we are moving by 10 pixels from heel to heel on one frame to the other is the same on all of these frames. Before we start getting into too much detail that's one of the things I'll check and I'll show you how to do that in a way that's very straight forward. So, we have our contact and recoil position here. I am going to bring this foot up a little higher and I am deliberately trying to over animate this.
To give you an idea that we don't need to feel so constrained or trapped to these poses, it is possible to break them up and by playing with them you'll oops! Classic mistake I am working in the wrong frame, so we undo all that and let's make a keyframe. So, let's back track see how that happened. So, I am moving to the frame number 5, frame number 5 in the Property panel here too, tunnel into that the Flash booms you back to the first frame of your time.
So, be sure you always go to the equivalent frames. If you are working on frame 5 in the outer timeline and this is the frame 5 being called upon by the script and you tunnel into it. Be sure you do your work on frame 5, this is simplest mistake to make and it doesn't matter how much practice or how experienced you are. It's just natural to forget and overlook that one little step and because there is a lot of redos so here we go.
Let's check that other limb here. I want to tilt it out like this and make a keyframe here. So, again don't worry about these in- betweens we are just going from -- try to image this if we are snapping from passing pose to passing pose. I think something went wrong with this passing leg, so let's go into that and we can easily fix it just make a keyframe on the relevant pose. Its frame 9.
Just pull the foot back, done so no reason to ever get freaked out if you delete a shape or whatever, we have to recreate this recoil frame and want to repeat it on this frame here. So, again make a temporary layer, copy all these, F7 to make an empty layer, Ctrl+Shift+V or paste in place. Let's look at that in an outline and we can maybe break it apart just to keep it simpler.
So, let's make a stack of keys F6 here and make sure our reference layer is padlocked. Select all the layers we want to move down and bring it down to roughly match that. The ones that we want to rotate will primarily at first, the head and the neck and the torso and the lower torso maybe. So, I will rotate them to match the purple outline, close enough and then just slide the hands and position the upper legs first.
I am using the frame editing, my favorite extension and like a keyframe there that takes me into the exact frame we want to work on, minimizes mistakes too in case you end up drawing on the first frame of your symbol by mistake. There we go and the frame end on this. I have mapped the keyboard shortcut onto the question marquee. It's right beside the bracket keys that take me to the Timeline. It's pretty quick way to work.
Now the things got a bit weird there so let's just undo. If you think Flash has inserted any kind of weird lines or it's starting to make you shapes a little goofy look and then just hit undo, go back a few steps and start again. Okay, so let's see if we want the extra foot here and see what that's all about. These be position to match the purple, great and this foot. Again, be careful just rotate it, don't do left or right.
We may need to later on but I think for now we are okay and this is the right foot so this should go on the lower line. All right, let's see what this looks like. He is like doing some crazy jive walk and there is that little thing with the other passing legs so let's just go ahead and correct that, frame edited and make a new key bring that down.
Okay, so let's just quickly check again. I want to make sure all of major keys are at least connected, contact, recoil, passing and at the other contact seems to be broken as well so let's given there something I tweaked incorrectly. Now I am going to conceal this from you, this happens. It's just a part of the process you are working with symbols inside a symbol and inside a symbol and that's very easy to make an alteration to the wrong one.
So, that's where you go back and every time you had something like this happen test again from the beginning. Ah! So here we go there is the culprit. So there should be keyframe here. I was making adjustments to the wrong key. Again, I am going to go be thorough back to the beginning, contact, recoil, passing, high point, contact, recoil, contact, passing, contact.
Good, let's save this and we move on and at the high point. We can do something else that's a little crazy and see what this does to the walk.
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