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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.
In the last section we did the passing position. We actually went in and fixed the positions of the feet and the hands. So now we are going to go in and make the arms work with them. So let's see that. It's in your Chapter 5 Exercise Files folder, file 10. Let's tunnel in here. We can hide the reference image. Quick through, so you can see the walk is starting to get a little better. But we still got some broken parts and that's where the limbs are intersecting and not quite working.
So, one way of doing this, if you don't like the layer horrors, is simply hide everything except the arm or the leg that you are working on. So we treat the hand position as the more stable and permanent. So let's keep that. Make sure that you are set to work in Preview Mode > Anti-Alias, so it shades out the other level. I find that's helpful. And critical always when you work, you select your frame number. You are going to be working on whatever frame this is, frame 9 in this case. Check that you set the frame 9 in the Properties panel and when you are going to your symbol, make sure that you are working on frame 9, so that everything matches up. Otherwise you'll start seeing crazy glitches.
If you see glitches and things popping, it's a pretty good sign that you have one of your numbers set incorrectly somewhere. So let's pull this. Try not be too crazy with moving the upper part. I like to keep that as close to the same axis as possible. And it's that simple. So we take a quick peep at the overall body. Okay. So then we can pick another part. The leg left, the leg foot, same thing there, so a couple of ways we can do this.
I am going to again, don't forget, keyframe. You can squash the entire thing or I prefer do a little bend if I can. That makes it feel more anatomical and much richer. In this case we might be able to get it through just rotating the outer symbol. Do as much as you can by working in the outer symbol. And now the leg right and the leg right foot, this is the big one so that's, it's a big change. So if you remember, we were having to lift that foot into this position here.
That means the leg has to bend quite a bit. Go into outline. Except for the right foot and the right leg, so we can may be lift the leg up a little bit. Don't forget to keyframe. Let's see what we can do there. We did something the other side, but it's feeling a little more extreme here. So the other solution is if you feel like you're hitting a limb as to how far you can deform this, then you can always go back into your foot and put it down a little bit.
This time there is reason to be close to the, I will turn them to the other side. Okay. So now let's take a good look in outline. It looks clean. Put in a different color, looks good. So that's our first passing position, and of course the in-between frames are still a little disjointed. So we will do them next, but for now we are just taking care of this guy and this guy, so repeat the process over here.
Same thing if you feel the layers are too much. Just hide what you don't need. Hit F6. And I am working inside the internal arm comp or composite frame. Ultimately we are going to tween many of these spaces, so we won't be popping from one shape to another. This whole thing will blend into itself very nicely. Don't be surprised when you start doing this, if you forget to make a keyframe and you start making changes here, but then you realize, "Oh no, I've been making the changes to the wrong frame." It happens.
That's why you like to have undo available. And also save your files, save them often. There is the other big one, so let's fix this too. I think on the other we brought the foot down a little bit, make this a bit easier, and also set the key. And on this one, we need to straighten up the arm. That gives a nice swing on the arm too. Okay, let's have a look at that. Much better. So right now I am trying to focus on the best of the work and ignore the bits that don't. The things we are watching out for are our foot placement. The feet should be solid.
Even though they are at the moment, as you can see, sliding. In this case, this foot here is sliding to the ground. We'll fix that later. There is no reason to worry about that right now. We are looking at the overall larger movement. As you can see even without the recoil on the high points added, we have a nice feeling of a walk. So when they go in, that's really going to start coming to life. That will also tie down these ugly little gaps and breaks. So let's save this and we will move onto the walk cycle where we impact this character into the ground and really give him some weight.
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