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Creating secondary hand actions

From: Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation

Video: Creating secondary hand actions

So we've animated our body walking, we've animated the secondary action of the hair, and now we're going to put a bit of flexibility into the hands. So let's Open up our file in your Exercise Files Chapter 6 folder and it's the walk_10. Click in and let's just play through and look at the hands. So they're not horrendous or anything, but they're not really responding in a way that will be appropriate to such a fast action. Let's just focus on one of them. We'll hide the back one and just look at the right hand and if we go through this a little slower, you'll see what I mean.

Creating secondary hand actions

So we've animated our body walking, we've animated the secondary action of the hair, and now we're going to put a bit of flexibility into the hands. So let's Open up our file in your Exercise Files Chapter 6 folder and it's the walk_10. Click in and let's just play through and look at the hands. So they're not horrendous or anything, but they're not really responding in a way that will be appropriate to such a fast action. Let's just focus on one of them. We'll hide the back one and just look at the right hand and if we go through this a little slower, you'll see what I mean.

There is little join breaks and things we have to fine-tune. So for example, this is a pretty fast action. I would expect that hand to drag a little bit. As the arm moves down like this, we would expect a little bit of a break that way. So we'll just go out through this frame by frame. Let's go into that symbol. I'm going to add some keys. This is our hand layer here. So let's label that properly. You remember we nested the hand inside the arm symbol, which really simplifies the process of the arcs.

So okay, I'm going to just retransform and go back and always look at your symbols in context. This one is looking little disjointed. You don't notice it in the full scene because it's moving so fast, but now we can go in and fine-tune that and don't forget this is a cycle. So the first hand and the final hand should be at the same position. So one, two, three into the next position here. frameEdit in using our favorite extension.

More drag on there than we would expect. Again tunnel out and see what it looks like in context. So from here to here, the opposite should happen. It'd be nice if we saw the hands moving backwards a little. It's not floppy like a rag. It is a living thing and it has some strength in it, but a little bit of reaction to these very big broad movements would be more believable. So we'll keep going. Looking more that way, maybe pull the wrist out a little.

If you find the wrist is not to your liking, it's completely okay to alter the position a little. You'll begin to expose issues with the rig. You might think oh, you know, maybe you don't need that dark line here or maybe this should be a bit longer. If you want to make changes to make it suitable, just duplicate that symbol and then do whatever business you need to make it work inside. Okay, so we'll keep moving through this and this doesn't mean we slavishly have to make the hand always drag. Obviously it can move under its own steam, but in this case, I'm just going to see what this looks like first.

Then we can go back in and tighten it up if we have to. Okay, so at this point there is a little bit of direction change. The arm begins to move screen left and then slows down and begins to move to the right so there is a bit of overlap on the hand here. And I had a little alternate, strange little timing here where I didn't line up the key. Let's just put a slight piece of drag on the hand. We can change that back to here if we want. We don't have to do that.

It's just-- it's nice sometimes while your timing isn't slavishly aligned with the primary keyframes. If you want something to drag, to be in slightly different overlap timing, you can do that. This hand was dragging nicely. Tiny errors in here. These are the kind of things that take up a lot of time as you're animating in the studio, making sure that all these little gaps are properly closed off. So there's a little bit of break between here. You can see the hands overlapping with the wrist so that's because there is very big internal movement here too.

So this is a good spot where we can go in and correct that. Be sure it's okay on the in-betweens as well. So as you can see as I'm dragging the hand and moving it over this motion tween it's automatically creating keyframes, so just beware of that. You can create a lot of keyframes. If you had a lot of violent action going on here, you might end up having to keyframe quite a bit of this. So there we go. Let's have a look at that now in context again on the outside, and you can see it's got a bit more of a kick, especially here at the back end where we really put that overlapping.

I think that I could have probably put a bit more too. Let's see. On this point where the arm begins to move from this highest position up and to down, let's do something a little trickier. I'm going to go into that point. So on this frame, which would normally be an in-between frame, let's put a big overlap in there and just have a tween down from there and see what happens. That's a very strong transition. And you're really feeling that wrist flexing at that point.

That's making him a little more limp- wristed, but that's keeping in character with the rest of the walk, which is pretty deliberately over-animated. So we could repeat the process with the left hand, again just make a lot of keyframes on the cardinal positions of the contact, recoil, passing and high point, and let's hide the upper arm and we'll put the body into outline. So we're going to drag the hand a little. Again go back and fourth so you're -- and let's see the hand is like moving down.

So let's do something different and try get out this way. And here it's moving forward. Let's really drag that hand back. It's more comic little pose and same here. Maybe now that position might be okay.

Actually let's move the hand in a bit, since we're breaking a little and then drag it here as well. Okay, so here we have the same issue as we had on the other hand. So he's going to move down from here to here. First of all, we will drag this hand and fix that little joint error there. It will gap open up at the wrist.

So from here to here it would be nice if the hand snapped again. So I'm going to make a keyframe here, F6, and let's do a dramatic little snappy overlap. So as the hand goes up, wrist goes down and the hand is still moving up. Let's put some drag, now moving to his left, let's have the hand dragging the opposite direction. Okay, and have to make sure that our contact poses, the start and stop are the same. Let's see what that looks like.

And it's much nicer. So you're feeling that nice little kick. It's something that you really sense that rather than see blatantly because it's such a fast action. It's happening in one second. But all of these things add up and the overall effect, secondary action on the hair, these little overlaps on the hands, even things like the feet tweening like this. All of these things work together to help us fight the awful effect that is the Flash-y look when it comes to animation where we're just moving flat symbols around.

All these techniques are vital tools in our war against the dead empty motion tweening of just geometrical shapes. So this is all about the illusion and helping our little flat character look like he isn't a little flat character. So I think there's one more little pass I have to make over this to add some little squash and stretch on the torso level and maybe a couple of other little things here and there and then we have to really tie this down and save our file and move onto the next chapter.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

83 video lessons · 21266 viewers

Dermot O' Connor
Author

 
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  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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