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Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation

Posing the rig


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Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation

with Dermot O' Connor

Video: Posing the rig

So, we have our character rigged and all of his symbols and comps have been named and set up. So now let's pose him into a nice position. So let's open our file, character_head _turn_03 in your Exercise folder, and let's move into the symbol. So here are our rough thumbnails. What we are going to be doing is more or less keep his feet planted. Trying to start him in a much more interesting position than this generic vertical uninteresting pose. That's where our model sheet pose or a zero pose is supposed to be, but we want to find something a little more fun.
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  1. 3m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
    3. Prerequisites
      1m 37s
  2. 34m 58s
    1. Creating Flash-friendly character design
      4m 57s
    2. Animation rendering: SWF or AVI
      2m 24s
    3. Understanding line tool drawbacks when animating
      7m 7s
    4. Using uniform project scales in Flash
      3m 40s
    5. Finding helpful extensions for Flash
      2m 46s
    6. Using commands and keyboard shortcuts
      9m 53s
    7. Setting up your workspaces
      4m 11s
  3. 1h 35m
    1. Understanding character rigging
      2m 0s
    2. Exploring underlying structure in character rigging
      4m 27s
    3. Vectorizing the character body
      6m 22s
    4. Outlining colors in an animated character
      6m 15s
    5. Vectorizing the hands
      6m 43s
    6. Vectorizing the head
      4m 47s
    7. Outlining the head
      8m 20s
    8. Adding finishing touches with hair
      2m 11s
    9. Colorizing the character head
      7m 28s
    10. Colorizing the body
      5m 33s
    11. Applying gradients
      6m 18s
    12. Symbolizing and pivoting the body parts
      10m 47s
    13. Pivoting the head
      4m 42s
    14. Rigging the mouth
      10m 49s
    15. Rigging the eye
      8m 33s
  4. 52m 22s
    1. Tween types: Shape vs. motion
      5m 41s
    2. Combining motion and shape tweening
      4m 31s
    3. Animating an eye blink using shape tweening
      10m 2s
    4. Rigging a mouth in Flash for dialogue and expressions
      5m 30s
    5. Creating a D mouth
      12m 29s
    6. Creating an F mouth
      6m 58s
    7. Getting the polished look
      7m 11s
  5. 1h 2m
    1. Overview of the head turn
      2m 13s
    2. Preparing the rig
      8m 15s
    3. Posing the rig
      7m 17s
    4. Animating the head movement
      11m 5s
    5. Animating the body movement
      12m 9s
    6. Animating the head turn
      11m 28s
    7. Adding finesse to the head turn
      9m 34s
  6. 2h 44m
    1. Introducing the walk
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a profile view
      8m 30s
    3. Creating the head in profile
      10m 10s
    4. Creating the hand
      6m 57s
    5. Creating hand symbols
      8m 32s
    6. Reviewing the walk
      3m 6s
    7. Prepping the walk
      8m 33s
    8. Setting up the contact poses
      6m 45s
    9. Creating secondary contact poses
      9m 38s
    10. Finishing up the contact poses
      6m 48s
    11. Creating the passing poses
      9m 39s
    12. Finishing the passing pose
      5m 56s
    13. Animating the recoil position
      10m 9s
    14. Animating the high point of the walk
      9m 24s
    15. Adding in-betweens
      8m 31s
    16. Rigging the shoes
      8m 27s
    17. Animating the shoes
      11m 58s
    18. Animating the character's head movements
      8m 29s
    19. Fine-tuning the animation
      9m 0s
    20. Nesting the hand symbols
      8m 39s
    21. Repositioning the walk
      4m 11s
  7. 1h 32m
    1. Introducing the walk in place
      1m 30s
    2. Setting up contact poses
      10m 4s
    3. Creating the passing poses
      7m 14s
    4. Creating the recoil positions
      8m 11s
    5. Animating the head's high point
      4m 9s
    6. Tweening the legs
      5m 11s
    7. Tweening the arms
      10m 27s
    8. Setting the placement of the foot
      9m 9s
    9. Animating the shoes
      7m 52s
    10. Animating the hair
      6m 9s
    11. Creating secondary hand actions
      8m 48s
    12. Animating the torso
      6m 27s
    13. Repositioning the walk
      7m 17s
  8. 54m 9s
    1. Understanding dialogue
      49s
    2. Using the A-F system of six set mouth shapes
      4m 23s
    3. Animating dialogue using the mouth rig
      14m 30s
    4. Integrating the dialogue with the head turn
      5m 35s
    5. Animating the jaw
      6m 59s
    6. Creating an angry dialogue mouth
      7m 43s
    7. Finishing the angry dialogue mouth
      6m 38s
    8. Integrating acting techniques
      1m 51s
    9. Tips on facial expressions
      5m 41s
  9. 36s
    1. Goodbye
      36s

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Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation
9h 19m Intermediate Nov 17, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Rendering in SWF or AVI
  • Creating vectors for the the character body
  • Coloring the body
  • Rigging a mouth in Flash
  • Posing the rig
  • Animating head and body movement
  • Creating hands
  • Understanding facial expressions
  • Making the contact poses
  • Creating passing poses
  • Animating in-betweens
Subjects:
3D + Animation Web Animation Character Animation
Software:
Flash Professional
Author:
Dermot O' Connor

Posing the rig

So, we have our character rigged and all of his symbols and comps have been named and set up. So now let's pose him into a nice position. So let's open our file, character_head _turn_03 in your Exercise folder, and let's move into the symbol. So here are our rough thumbnails. What we are going to be doing is more or less keep his feet planted. Trying to start him in a much more interesting position than this generic vertical uninteresting pose. That's where our model sheet pose or a zero pose is supposed to be, but we want to find something a little more fun.

The other thing would be to make the head closer to the start position, because imagine his upper body looking off somewhere here. So let's do that. Some of this is pretty easy. Let's go into the foot and Modify > Transform > Flip Horizontal. That's a slightly better pose. More balance maybe. So, lots of things that we can do here. But be sure if you are going to be moving the torso,and the head that we select everything and use the Free Transform. I am using the Shift key to select multiple objects and maybe the lower torso.

Let's pivot it around here. Let's give him a little more attitude perhaps. Let me grab the leg, and the other tool I like to use other than just rotating objects, that can be kind of unforgiving, is to use the Skew tool. Oops! If you hold down the Alt or Option key, you can skew from the other direction, where as if I just grab it like this, it skews around the pivot, the circle here. So Alt or Option is a very good tool to have, if you are going to be making your character skewed from side-to-side for example. So Alt or Option here again.

In the head, he is looking the wrong way for one. So let's go in here. I wanted to reverse the angle of the head, so around this pivot. But I also want to respect the center of mass of the head. There is an easier way of doing it. I am going to Edit, just by itself, or I could double-click on the head in the library. I'll copy all of the layers, and paste them into a single layer. Ctrl+Shift+V in place. Padlock that.

Now select all the layers beneath, Modify > Transform > Flip Horizontal and as you can see they're kind of off-center. So let's just pull it back in a little bit. There we go. Sow now if you compare with the other layer, they should be more of less occupying the same space. I think I like to move this layer over a little bit. I am using the arrow keys here. Good! So you might want to fine- tune the position of the head. Maybe tilt it back of it. We can do all the things like playing with the neck, skew that, and stretch it out a bit.

If you even had to make bigger changes for example, if I was going to make a huge change to this neck to really work with the new position, duplicate all, just duplicate. Again, call this headturn like all the other dupe symbols in the scene. The big change I'd like to make here would be just to make it work with this new angle a little bit better. If you wanted to, you can curve the neck a little bit. Everything is too geometrical there. Or if your angle changed, if you tilt it down, things like that. You can be quite flexible with this. Now let's move this arm a little bit. So let's rotate it and let's go in a little bit closer for that.

Now I did something when I set up this rig, and guess what happened? I have never done a rig where I didn't make a change once I began animating, and in retrospect this is a silly mistake. I've rigged the wrists on the hand layer and that's going to look bad when we start rotating this thing around the place. So what I should do really is have the wrist be part of the arm layer and completely separated from the hand. Look at this. That's not going to be fun. Let's very quickly go in here. I'll show you how to make this kind of change. This is the point.

Every time you do a rig, you'll do a couple of test animations with the rig and that's when you'll find "Oh yeah, yeah, I shouldn't have done that, and that was probably not the best choice." So let's make that outline. We'll go into the arm layer. We'll make a new layer, paste that, and just position it where you want the replacement to be. I am going to put it on the lower level, and let's put some lines in to break this up, Snap, and make the cut about there. Now we can delete the wrist. Let's try that.

Now we go into the hand layer and we do the opposite. We get rid of it. Maybe bring that point down to here. See what that looks like. Of course, we also have to check the pivot. Now the pivot might be-- or I think that should be fixed. There we go. I'll repeat that process over here. But let's say for now, I would like to tilt that hand. By layering that, we can make the forgiveness of the coverage a little more.

Okay, you might want to move these feet little further apart. Alt or Option to skew from the base into opposite side, because this is a bigger negative shape. Okay, so now he looks like he is a little more alert and more attentive. And these are the issues with, for example, correcting the rig on the wrist. Don't forget you have to map them onto any other symbol. So the corrections I made, I made to a duplicate symbol, the bd headturn symbol. So we'll have to copy them, and that's actually pretty easy.

Going to the body library, and so any changes you make on the fly that you want to duplicate onto the other. There is the arm, the arm right, and the arm right. There is the corrected one. So let's go into arm right headturn and copy this. That's the new wrist. Go to the original arm right and Ctrl+Shift+V. There it is. So one now matches the other, and make sure that the hand has been corrected. That we used the same hand for both. So that's just one small thing to keep in mind.

So now we have the body and better start position and ready to be moving. I am going to make the change to the other hand. I am going to correct that in the rig. You'll have that asset in your Exercise Files, and any other errors that I see creeping up in the process as we begin to animate I'll flag them. I'll explain them to you, what the corrections will be. So with that done, I think we are ready to go to the next step, which will be actually animating and posing out the other three keyframes and then beginning the process of animating our character from keyframe number 1 to keyframe number 4.

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