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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've created our dialogue with the internal mouth symbol. And now what we're going to do is have some fun and integrate it into some work that we've done in a previous chapter, which is the head turn animation. I've already cleaned that file up and placed it inside your exercise files folder. So let's open that first. It is called dialog_turn_01. Let's have a look at that and double- click on it, so we can go inside it. That's it.
So the other thing we want to do now is to import and combine this with the mouth animation that we did in the other project. Let's open that and that's on dialog_ 02 in your Chapter7 dialog exercise files folder. And we just tunnel into the symbol. (Audio recording: What's happening now?) So we have our two tabs open. There are a couple of different ways of copying files from one Flash project into another. You could open two different Library panels and move the files in that way if you prefer.
But in this particular case I'm going to show you I think what is the simpler of the two. And that would be simply copying the mouth timeline from our original Flash file and duplicating that into our head turn scene. So let's go into the head turn first. This is our head turn scene. Clicking in here. And you remember I've said many times, you want to duplicate the symbols. Don't wreck the one that's already there. So in this case we have a mouth head turn symbol, which isn't doing anything at all. So that's good. We can work on this. Just make sure that you're not going to be making any drastic alterations to the master rig.
So let's open the library panel, have a look at that again. So, there is our original mouth rig, and we don't want to mess with that. As long as we work inside here are good. So really all we want to do is copy these frames and labels. We can right-click and go Copy Frames. Go in to our head turn scene, we are in here. Let's just select from the shapes to the lip shadow and paste those frames in there.
So we will just activate the masks. Okay, that's good. And then we'll just copy the sound file, same thing. I click to paste them in here. (Audio recording: What's happening now?) Okay let's I see what that looks like on the outer symbol. So we will go back out to the body level. I'm going to drop the sound file on the top of this layer. (Audio recording: What's happening now?) Undo that. (Audio recording: What's happening now? What's happening now? What's happening now?) You might find it maybe it's happening at the wrong frame. You might delay it a little bit.
So to make that change let's say we have him speaking a little later, because he is anticipating the move. I would like to see a move a little bit before that. (Audio recording: What's happening now?) Try to ignore the mouth at this point. (Audio recording: What's happening now?) It's a little bit better, so then a couple more little changes to make that work. We've moved the sound to happen on frame six. So let's go into the mouth. Now since we have moved our sound file to happen on frame six, we should do the same thing with the other layers. Just try on them.
We've opened up a hole here so that's just pull the b mouth back a bit. And Alt+Option+Click to keep it there. I'm going to switch off tweening for the beginning so we just have it held. So now we've just moved the entire dialog forward to match the physical action, okay. (Audio recording: What's happening now? What's happening now?) I've noticed one little thing to in the dialogue. This happens a lot. The p mouth, the closed mouth, It's little hard to see. There is a very weak shape actually, graphically, because it's so thin.
So one thing that we can do to help it is just to duplicate it, Alt+Option+Click again. (Audio recording: What's happening now?) It's amazing the difference that one little frame will make. So let look at-- (What's happening now?) There we go. (Audio recording: What's happening now? What's happening now?) So there we have our character with easily integrated dialog. (Audio recording: What's happening now?) So it's yet another example of the beauty of nesting the mouth symbol, inside the head symbol, inside the body symbol.
(Audio recording: What's happening now? What's happening now?) And we can control not just the animation itself, but the timing relative to the body move. If we wanted, of course you can do the opposite. We could retime the outer body layer. Move these positions around, but again more engineering than we can cover in this small scope of this section of the course. So there is one more thing that I want to play with. If we look at the head with the mouth. We've have the head turn. There is a lot of stuff happening here, but the jaw really should be moving to follow that some of the other shapes.
If you look at them in slower speeds, you'll see that looks little odd. I like to see this chin moving to help track that mouth shape. So next what we're going to do is to animate the jaw and make some of the shapes look a lot more structured and coherent and realistic.
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