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Bring a cast of characters to life. By following the basics principles of animation, you can build characters that interact naturally with their environments, convey realistic emotion, and talk and walk convincingly. In this course, Dermot O' Connor shows how to design a solid character and stage and storyboard your animation before you begin. He'll examine principles like anticipation and squash and stretch, which provide characters with a sense of weight and flexibility, and show you how to animate walk cycles and dialogue. Finally, learn how to thumbnail scenes from start to finish, so you can sketch out the action before you commit to fully rendering it.
These lessons are designed with Flash in mind, but work just as well with any other 2D animation program.
One popular technique, when animating dialogue, is to have a library of mouth shapes. Now, in 3D, you can do this very easily, and then create blend shapes or morph shapes between each key frame mouth shape. So, in Flash, I've done something quite similar to this. And, I've used the old technique calling them A, B, C, D, E, and F. And these labels do not refer to the phonetic sounds that come out of the mouths. These are simply labels, that make it easier to track the shapes in the program. So, the A mouth of course, is the closed mouth.
And this refers to the M's and B sounds. You've got the wide open D mouth, and the ooh mouth, which is labeled F. Let's have a look at what that looks like, when we play that through in Flash. So as you can see, I've got these twins between each one of these keys. And I can play this in pretty much any sequence. It's qui, it's quite flexible. Now, if you're following along in Flash, and you want to know how to do this in Flash, it's far beyond the scope of this lesson. But fortunately, I've already covered this topic in great detail in the previous course. And, let me show you that.
It's called, Rigging a Face in Flash Professional, and, like I said, it goes into quite a bit of detail and all the nuts and bolts. So, back to the current project, and so, we have the A, F mouth. And, let's see how I built the dialogue scene, and the strength of Flash in this case, and also, you could do this in 3D, is that you can slug out the dialogue independently of the overall body animation, so in this case. >> This is way too much for me. >> There's our line. And you'll see I've put my standard stock library shapes, here at the end of the timeline, just for safekeeping if I ever want to use any of them again, they're nicely laid out there.
They won't actually appear in the final animation, all that we'll see in the final clip, is this sequence here. So, how do you approach this? The most important mouth shapes to nail, that you really have to get, as precise as possible, are the closed mouths. They're really going to catch the eye. So let's hide the animation, and just play the audio. >> This is way too much for me. >> You'll notice that I put down some blank key frames, just some labels on the timeline, at exactly the points where I hear that closed mouth shape. There's also on here, for the ooh shape. These are the ooh shape after the closed mouth shape, is by far the most important.
So let's listen again, and watch where these hit. >> This is way too much for me. >> So you'll see as you hear for way, and much, and then me, you'll see they, the little timeline, move over this. >> This is way too much for me. >> So, that tells me, that this is where you put the closed mouth. So, I drag my A, my closed mouth shape, and I put it over here. You'll notice that the closed mouth is held for two frames. This is because if you hold a closed mouth for just one frame, often it doesn't read. The eye just doesn't see it. So you really want to try to find a way to hold your closed mouth, for at least two frames.
>> This is way too much for me. >> Great, so once you have these done, the next thing to do, is to do the chewing action. And that, basically means you've got a closed mouth in this instance and, alright, an ooh shape here, and a closed mouth here. The mouth has to open and close, does it open and close once, or twice? Can you get away with one chew, or do you have to do two? And how wide open does the mouth move? The widest open mouth shape I've got in the library, is the D mouth, the next is the C, and the Medium one is the B mouth. I I can also make intermediate mouth shapes, and, drag these over, but the path to follow in general would be, the louder and the broader the line of dialogue, the more open the mouth should be, so try to follow along with that accent.
>> This is way too much for me. >> Since the biggest accent was way. Both in the character animation, and the dialog, that makes sense that the most wide open mouth would be on this point. And, as you can see from here, I've done one chew, and then a slight second chew, leading into the ooh shape. >> This is way too much for me. >> If your animation's looking strange, it's probably because you've got too many chewing movements between these bigger blocks, or not enough. The other thing to watch out for, is the E sounds. E sounds will correspond to the, to this shape usually, the, what I call the B mouth.
So whenever you hear somebody saying, we, you can usually hit this B shape, and hold it for quite some time, and you'll see, my B mouths are all over the place here, they're, more than one, and we actually end on a B mouth, slowing into that. >> This is way too much. >> Okay, so let's move out. And now, the next step, is to drop that mouth into the character scene from the previous section, and let's see what it looks like. >> This is way too much for me. This is way too much for me. >> And as you can see, we're following, our eye actually follows the body action more than the mouth, which goes to prove, that the mouth action is secondary.
It's the body action that's really more important. It's critical the mouth doesn't do, anything wrong, of course, because I could conceivably catch the eye. So, when you have a mouth action, or a dialogue animation that's well done, corresponding with a body animation that's well done, it's very difficult to go wrong.
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