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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.
We've created our character rig from our pencil drawing. We've vectorized it, pivoted the points. He is ready to be animated. So this is going to involve the creation of several nested symbols. All these symbols are going to be working in tandem, just like imagine a series of Russian dolls, one inside the other. And this will create the illusion of motion and acting. Rather than talk anymore, I am actually just going to show you the final result. This is what we are going to be shooting for. So in your Chapter 4 - head turn folder, there is a SWF file and this is the previously animated scene.
So as you can see, he starts looking left. There is a little anticipation with an eye blink. He looks right, but it's a pretty fast action. The legs bend, their shape tweening, the arms bend, the body squashes a little bit. You'll see the hands are jointed. There is a little tiny amount of squash and stretch on the feet, and if you look carefully at the head, I am going to zoom in on the head a little bit. You will see there is actually quite a bit of, I'll call it parallax. What I mean by that is that you can see the facial features moving relative to one another.
They are not just snapping from one side to the other; they are actually tweening. So in the final version we made we slowed this action down so it's a little bit easier to see that. So let's go into our project file. So if you go into Open in your Chapter 4 - head turn folder, here is our starting position. Let's open that. And first of all, he is very big on the stage, so let's Ctrl+Alt+S. Let's make him 50% size, fit him on the stage a little better.
And our Modify > Transform > Scale and Rotate. On your Mac, it will be a different shortcut. So that will stop him from bleeding off the stage quite so much. It didn't matter when you were rigging him, but now I wanted to have this guy fit a little more naturally. So the first thing that we have to do before we proceed any further is have an idea about how many elements within the rig are going to be animating and they all have to be duplicated. We'll also have to have an idea about the type of animation that we are going to do.
So we'll cover all that in the next lesson.
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