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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 we're going to continue creating the angry and sad mouth shapes for our dialogue. So let's open up the previous file, dialog_turn_04, and let's just click on the head symbol and we're going to click on the mouth symbol, moving on that. We did previously create this reference sideline, this layer 4. If you have that, delete it. Okay, so now we have our six happy mouth shapes and we're beginning to create six angry or sad ones. So we've got the outer mouth shapes moving through the D mouth, the wide open one, and the F mouth with the ooh shape and now what remains to be done is to match the inner mouth shape. That's going to be the area of the inner mouth and the mask.
So let's line that up. So that's a simple process. Unpadlock that, grabbing the points and matching them. Let's hide the corner crease layer and just pull these points. So we want to make sure that the same points move in the same direction, corner for corner, and nothing is moving to the wrong place in the geometry. So I'm going to move in a bit closer and we don't want to use shape hints for this. We want this part of the shape tweening process to be without shape hints because that will really make the process of moving these mouths around very tedious, but these shapes are fairly simple forms.
They have 6 points. They're all hexagons and as long as we stick at that geometry in most instances we should be fine, just pulling these lines to match, making sure that they are all safely inside or between the blue and the green lines for the upper and lower lip. Not too far outside, not too much inside. It's good. So let's make sure we're still tweening. Very nice, same process for this.
We want Snap to be on, so that these corner points line up precisely. So again let's test that. Very nice and don't forget that the mouth inner also duplicates. Hold on Alt/Option. It's also a mask layer, so that when we start adding our teeth and the other parts of the inner mouth that it will line up. So the next part I would add would be the mouth shadow for the lower the lip area. That was the part here on the first six happy mouths.
Let's see what's that looks like, on the sad, angry. Slightly change probably this position here, from here to there. Maybe we'll bring that down a little and I'm going to make it a bit lower here. Again, bring that corner. Try to match it to this. Okay, let's make sure that tweens too. I'm going to zoom out a bit. Great! That's fine and let's put the other layers on full.
Everything looks very solid. So the last part would be simply to put the teeth in and they should be starting out roughly in the same position as they were on the first six happy mouths. So let's see what that looks like. That's the A mouth in the happy pose. Let's see what that's like in the angry. We might bring it down a bit lower than that. Let's take the padlock off and bring him down by Shift+click and numeric arrow down and I'm going to put him more-- just eyeball that. Let's see what that looks like.
Okay, and let's see how the tongue looks like. About the same. So that's good. So now we have our three angry mouths. I'm going through slow. I'm looking for things that are popping out. I don't want to be seen strange color areas or gaps opening up anywhere between where the layers align and that's looking pretty solid. There is no shape tweening weirdness going on, so all of our geometry looks solid.
Next step is, as we did the first time around, just make the secondary mouth shapes. I'm just going to copy our labels over. So we want a B mouth here and a C mouth and an E. So what I like to do is make the E mouth a little closer to the F. I don't use the E mouth very often but it's nice to have it. It's great for things like M-L shapes or other rolling sounds. So the C mouth, I'll make-- I think that's a fine C mouth where it is actually. And the D mouth, I like to be a little bit tighter close as you can see on the first one, something like that.
So I think this or this. If you want an even finer bunch of tweens to select your B mouth from, we can always open up this with the F5 key, just add a few more frames, and I have a much wider series of tweens. That looks pretty good. So I'm going to F6 to key that and let me just delete the gap and now we have our angry or sad mouth shapes. And they will be angry if you make the upper eyebrows angry or they'll be sad or as you can see here a little bit confused looking. What is going on? Then if you want to make the guy really sad, you'd fold the eyebrows down.
Certainly nice to have these and you can make different sets of mouth shapes and I think if we-- let me just move a few of these around it random-- you'll see that we can move from angry to happy. So you can create by putting more time into this, you can create all kinds of different sets of mouth shapes. You can make different mouth shapes. You're not limited to the six shapes that I'm using here. You can make weird and wonderful ones and with a bit of work you can make them all tween into one another. You could even do custom ones if you don't want to invest time in the tweening.
You could make unique shapes that you snap into for a single use, but this will definitely be more than enough I think to get you started with experimenting with some pretty sophisticated mouth rigs. So we're going to save this. I think this would be the ultimate saved state of our project and we've got a very nice rig already. You can hopefully play with and do some tests and scenes of your own. So I'll move on and conclude the course with just one last little note about some things to bear in mind about the rig of the mouth and other ways of using it.
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