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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 there are some things that we can do that are going to make our lives a lot easier when it comes to working in Flash and the biggie are extensions and these are programs or little applications written by third parties, other artists and animators, that will speed things up for us and here is a fantastic website called toonmonkey.com. And if you go to toonmonkey.com and click on the Extensions link, you'll find an entire page of these things. They're really great. They're well worth looking at. So there are two in particular that you should really try to get and one is called LayerColor and then the other one is called frameEDIT and that's the biggie.
LayerColor will let you recolor 10 layers at a time. If you have like a bunch of ugly randomized layer colors and you're in outline mode then you can go use LayerColor and make them all green or blue or black or whatever that looks nicer. And frameEDIT will allow you to go to frame 20 of a symbol, click on frameEDIT, and you'll go into the internal point frame 20 on that symbol and if that has another symbol inside then you can go into frame 20 on that, and that's going to be critical when we begin animating later on. So I've already downloaded these to the Desktop and if you have never downloaded an extension, here is how you do it.
Simply go into Flash, click on Help, go to Manage Extensions and this will open the Extensions Manager. Okay, now we click on Install and go to wherever it is you've saved your extensions. In this case, it's just the Desktop. Click Open and Accept. It's installed and just repeat this process for as many of these extensions as you like and we're done and Flash recommends that we restart the program. So let's do that.
Okay, so let's make a new project first, so we can activate the Commands menu and there they are, frameEdit and LayerColor, and the other thing I like to do, since I'm going to be activating these quite a lot, is to assign some nice shortcuts to them. So let's get this out of the way. So we go to Keyboard Shortcuts and let's select LayerColor. You'll find it quite difficult to find a shortcut that hasn't already been taken. So play with it a little bit to find something that's comfortable for you. Ctrl+Shift+Q is free for-- I can use that for the LayerColor.
Click Change and frameEdit and it's very important actually that you use this particular key. Because if you look at your keyboard, you'll see the brackets going backwards and forwards and they move us on the Timeline and then by having our shortcut mapped, you can access all of these three with your three adjacent fingers and we're good. Now we're ready to move on to a assigning a few more shortcuts and creating some custom commands of our own.
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