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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.
Before we go any further, let's set up our interface so that we have the most possible real estate available, because obviously the timeline is getting pretty big now and we need to have as much of the timeline visible as possible for this to be doable; quick walk-through as well. I've set up this project so that the clock reference is all in place for this head turnaround. I'll show you that too. Right now as you can see, we're really cramped here. Let's set this up a little better, I'm going to rip this. Let's grab the top of this gray area here, pop that back. I'm going to grab the Library and Motion Presets and just dock them into there.
And this little arrow on the top right, we'll collapse that, and I think I would like the Timeline to be vertical, and let's stretch it out, so that we see the entire Timeline. You may have a bigger monitor than me or a higher resolution, in which case you will have a little more legroom. Okay, so there we go! Now if you want to access the Properties panel, you can do so by clicking here, and the same with the Library panel, but it's nice just to get them out of the way, we won't need them that much. So let's do this.
So I think this is looking pretty good. So let's save this. I like this setup. Go Workspace > New Workspace, and let's call this rigging_face_pivotclock. Let's do that, as long as we know what it is, okay. So as you can see, I've created a series of labels and they are separated I think about yes, one, two, three frames apart. And the nice thing about this is it gives you an in-between frame that's exactly halfway between the two keys and one on either side. So it splits up nicely into halves and quarters.
So this is the process; 12, 1, 2, 3, so forth. Beginning under the A head which is identical to the hd 1 turnaround. This is all happening inside a new symbol called hd 3 clock with a space at the beginning as well. So what you want to do if you don't have access to the exercise files is take the hd 1 turnaround, duplicate that symbol to create hd 3 clock, and then you would be able to construct it to look just like this. Again, with a three in-between frame gap between all the key poses.
Okay, and the very rough reference artwork, you don't really need too high a resolution for this. The clock image--I'm going to zoom in on that for the moment, is basically based on the position of the nose roughly. It doesn't have to be exact, it's a rough guide, and it shows you the direction that we will be moving the nose into, roughly around the 12, 1, 2, and so forth. That's the range of motion that we want. And what I did was I created very rough sketches, let me play through.
You'll notice that there's two of them are pretty clean, and that's this one, the 3 o'clock, which is identical to one of our turnaround poses. So essentially, what we're going to do is, as part of our rotation around in a complete circle, we're going to hit the three-quarters position. This will function for both. So it's a bit of a freebie. I'm going to hit it again on the other side here. And so, if we spin around slowly, we go up to 12, 1 o'clock, 2 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 o'clock which will be the H position of our turnaround; 9, 10, 11, and 12.
That's it! Notice how rough these are. I really did not need to have anything more than a very crude outline. You don't need to be a master draftsman to do this. And I put a layer of white on top here, so that the reference image is the clock, and the sketches for the face are faded out a little bit. Now that done, let's take this from the beginning. So we have the A pose at the beginning which we're going to work into at the end. So let's put a keyframe in, F6 at the end, just pretty easy.
I'm going to create the 12 o'clock position here, right under the 12 o'clock label. And once again we have the issue of where to begin, and what's the easiest place to start with this. I think--let's find that the components are probably aren't going to move first, and the skull clearly is pretty much in place. That's locked in. The neck might not move very much at all. So let's padlock as we go. Now let's find something that does move.
Although the nose bear in mind will be on different levels for later scenes, so we don't have to worry about these. And anything that's got an empty level, we don't have to worry about them either. And as you can see, as we go up it becomes a little clearer as to just exactly what levels we have to focus on. So at the top we have the nose. Let's move that up, Shift and the arrow keys. Let's padlock that, put it to Outline, and we can take the eyes for example of one side.
Let's put them into Outline as well, otherwise they are quite hard to see. I'm going to select those layers and move them all up together. You'll see the difference between how crude my sketches are. They really are meant to be the very almost basic of guides. I wouldn't expect anybody to be able to draw anything more than a very rough outline sketch for this. We'll select the left eye. Let's put them into Outline as well. Bring them up to match. You can be quite rough on this on your first pass, don't feel like it has to be perfect.
You'll probably have to do this a few times before you can really visualize it. The mouth is done, let's outline that, and let's padlock all of these as well as we go; the jaw, and let's see him in Outline as well. I think if the character is looking up from here to here, then that jaw should be moving up as well. So I'm going to hit the Free Transform tool, rather than messing with the individual points. I think we would--might break something if we did that.
The other thing I would like to do to really sell the idea that we are looking up at the the jaw is widening it up a little bit at the base so that we do get a sense that the direction is changing, and let's padlock that. The right side of the hair will be tilted down just a little bit, and the left side, same thing. Padlock that.
The ear, the right, and the left, I think these would move down a little bit relative to the head, and that will sell the idea of the head tilting back. You'll notice too that suggests that the hair should probably also be moving down a little bit at this point. So let's unlock that. Now I think we can lock them again. The hair top, there is nothing on there, so that we only have the hair, upper layer left here. Put that in the outline. I think if we go to Free Transform tool we can probably scrunch that up a little bit.
That maybe too subtle, but we'll find out when we activate the tweens. Now we can switch off the reference, and unpadlock because I want to see. If when we click on each of these layers, we have the choice of either making it a Motion Tween or a Shape Tween. By clicking on this, if you see a blue box around your artwork, then you know it's a symbol, and that needs to be Classic Motion Tween. Let's make them all color, it's nicer. Now the hair top, that will be a Shape Tween because it's dotted, and so forth.
So I'm just going to go through, and assign the right one for each. If it's not a shape, the Shape Tween will be shaded out. So it makes a bit easier to select the right one. So now we have a pre-created, a nice little head tilt. There is a little bit of a problem here at the ear. I'm going to go in and see what that is. Go into Outline. I think it's just a layering issue with the hair. So I'm going to pull that to here, maybe that will fix it, and something similar here, and a slight little gap there on the hair, bring it down.
Excellent! I'm very happy with that. So that will be our first of the 12 positions, and let's duplicate it. We're going to go around the clock and back into it. So let's make a keyframe here, and then just simply apply the correct tweens on the reverse side. Okay, so in the next section, we'll proceed to do the 6 o'clock.
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