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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 now we have our body pivoted and symbolized, and we will do the same thing to the head. Now I have already taken the liberty of going in and doing some of the basic pivoting on this. The hair, I will just go right into the head symbol here. We are all the way in or we can go to the Library and double-click on hd, the head symbol, and if I hit Ctrl+A you can see that the blue bounding boxes tell us which parts have already pivoted and named. So most of the hair levels are done and that will allow us to move them around. I have left out some parts that need a little more attention, and other parts we are not going to symbolize. The eyebrows so far anyway we'll leave them as not symbols. They're going to be shape tweened.
The eyes will need to be symbolized as well the mouth. So the jaw would be left without being symbolized because we want to be moving that around quite a bit, and shape tweening it, and shape tweening the eyebrows as well. So let me show you some things about the eyes. These are essentially positioned placeholders. They are going to be much more detailed in this, but for now we need to symbolize them and make them ready. Same with the mouth. So we just select the right eye. Hit F8 and symbolize, so that's eye right, Click OK and we need to be conscious of the pivot being placed where the corner of the eye would be. The eye blink will originate around this line here, and that's where we need that pivot to be.
So I am going to move that 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 by Shift with the Arrow key, and then back again the same amount 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and we'll do the same thing with this eye. I am going to animate an eye blink with this eye, and almost certainly copy it, back into this one, but for now I am just going to make our temporary symbol here, eye left, and do the same thing, and we can call that in the Library, eye Left TEMP.
So we know to delete it when we get around to fixing this properly. Now the same thing with the mouth. Select the mouth and the lower lip and we can pivot the mouth in the midpoint or the corner. We are going to be moving the mouth around. It will be shape tweening internally and motion tweening externally. So I think a nice pivot point usually is maybe the corner, but again, if we have to change just later we can do so. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 clicks over, and 12 clicks back, and shifting with the Arrow keys again, 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4, probably, the quickest way of doing it, rough and ready. So there we go.
And the skull is not really going to be animated a lot but it will be animated. So I am going to leave it without being symbolized either. I like it to be able to follow the eyebrows as they move up and down like this and we won't be able to do that very easily if it's a symbol. The nose is symbolized, pivoted around the top. Now there is one thing I did notice, and you notice very quickly when you begin to do even a couple of scenes. If you were to move a nose around or the facial features around to see if the nose is too low. It should be higher than the left eye. So let's just move it up a bit. Better.
And we may end up later on, as we do aggressive animation on the face, increasing this area to make sure that it properly can cover the eye area. It should have really crossed in front of it, because really it should be extending all the way up to here. But for now for this phase of the production process I think that is fine. So we can stand out, and we can also do a little more housekeeping by I think deleting the reference drawing finally. Get rid of that. And also all of our head symbols should go into the head parts folder and then as we work and expand our Library, they will be probably sorted.
So we have our body parts and our head parts. One thing I would do in addition to this, the mouth is going to be a pretty big comp and I would like to put that outside as well. So sort that inside the character folder and put a space before it. We can call it empty for mouth, and I am also going to make it look like a movie clip, and that way this is like a visual reminder to the animators that these are comps, and then we can make them play on the stage as a graphic. So if I want this to play as a graphical symbol, I just go play as a graphic. We don't have to have them be stuck as movie clips, but I like the MovieClip icon.
It's just like a little reminder to you when you are going through these libraries, which get enormous, that these are simple, small, or less important shapes in the hierarchy of things and these are critical. That's a personal preference. You might want to change these to graphical symbols. That's not really that important. You have your reference folder, your head parts folder, your body parts folder, and your body head and mouth symbols. And we are going to use these and expand upon them and in the next parts we will go forward and add eye blinks and open up the mouth and start doing some simple animations with those.
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