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Looking for a richer, more dynamic look for your Flash-based animation? Hand-drawn animation is an alternative to a strict symbol-based technique, which combines the looseness of line drawing with the efficiency of Flash features like tweening. Dermot O' Connor introduces this technique, starting with how to create thumbnails and pose tests, refine your timing, and lock down keyframes. He shows how to add breakdown drawings to smooth out the animation and add the in-betweens that complete the "traditional" look and feel. The final chapters are dedicated to cleanup and a couple of hybrid approaches: one using hand-drawn in-between frames to transition a difficult character turn in Flash, and the other taking advantage of Timewarp effect in After Effects to retime an animation.
Once you've fixed the arced patterns of the body and the head, it's a good idea to spend a little bit of time looking at the arms or the legs, any limbs that move in a very extravagant way. And in this case we certainly have some that qualifies for that and that's the arms and the hands. They really move around a lot because of the spin. So, let's plot them first and see what we have to contend with. So, I already have plotted the arcs for the right arm and what I did was, and let me hide the character now for a moment. I've used a little black slug for the wrist joints and then I placed them on the same image and then just as we did with the head, I made estimates for where the different in betweens should go.
So let's look at the figure beneath. And as you can see, here really it's hard to see. This is a plot of his right arm. And for the first few key frames it, it's hidden behind the torso. So, we really don't have to see much of it until frame 23. And at this point here it pops out. Black dot for the wrist joint on frame 23, from 25, through let's see. Let's look at our timing charts. Frame 31 you see lining up here and we're on frame 37. This is the point here.
Through 41. Through 45 and ending, slowing in on 257. So, let's hide everything else now except our path. And what jumped out when looking at this was that to follow this beautiful curve, number 43 would have to move out quite a bit to this point here to create this arc pattern. Otherwise, we might get a jag in the arc. So, that was just a note so that when we come to do 43, which will be a breakdown frame, it's not even the primary key frame. That's going to be a major action that we have to deal with.
And the only other thing that I thought might be an issue and I really wasn't 100% if it was worth the effort or not would be to move frame 45 back just a little bit so that the slow end from 45 to 57 would be a little more gentle. But, it's one of those things that I file that under maybe if I have the time, but right now this is going to look pretty good. So, the right-hand was a gift. It was pretty straightforward. So then, I plotted the left one in blue. And you can see not such a pretty arc. It gets awfully straight here. It's like these fellows here are just moving in a perfectly straight line.
And so with a few little adjustments in the position of the key frames, by moving the wrist for example, from 37 from here to here, and from 25, not by a lot, from 41. We're talking about relatively small incremental movements. Your arc goes from something that's quite ugly looking actually to something that's looking a lot nicer and then when we correct it, that's our final arc pattern. It's also looking quite nice. I don't think anything on there would catch the eye. That's a very smooth looping action and it really fits with the scene.
So, once that's done we're ready to move on.
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