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In this course, author Dermot O' Connor introduces a variety of real-world issues that animators commonly encounter and offers practical solutions to them in Flash. The course covers how to apply gradients to create subtle texture and light characters, reducing the flat look of most cartoons; how to simulate natural phenomenon such as wind, fire, and clouds; how to mimic 3D space; and how to add fades and transitions to create custom cuts between scenes. The course also includes a look at staggers, which can be used to create camera shake, tremor effects, and extreme character reactions.
So we have a fully functioning stagger. We have a couple of little things to do, that we can add to soften this up, but the big one really is the mouth. The mouth is just frozen in this smile. So let's double-click on the head to enter that symbol, and I'm going to keep tunneling in until I get inside of the mouth. And let's click off padlock. I'm going to set a couple of keys by hitting F6, and then let's add these little mouth shapes. So on this frame, Frame 7, we want to have the mouth beginning to close. So let's scrunch him a little bit; I'm just going to pull the corners of the mouth down a little bit.
And we want the opposite on the open mouth; this is where he's shocked. So let's use the Free Transform tool, or Q, to pull this into something resembling "I am not happy" mouth. I use this to get the shape roughly into where I want, and then I can start fine-tuning it by pulling the lines. I don't want to end in a happy mouth. So let's take this, hold Alt Option, and drag into the plus sign next to the cursor. And then use Free Transform to again push up as close as we can get with this particular tool. And don't forget, we can still make little changes like this.
So now let's select these frames, right-click, and Create Shape Tween. And now we have nice little action on the mouth. So you might want to add some ease in and ease out on this. The shape tweening easing is kind of limited, but it's there, so it's worth playing with. Okay, let's see what that looks on the other symbol; all the way out to man on the left. That's better. Now I want to add some easing here too. So I'm going to keep it simple. I'm just going to ease to, say, 80. And I also want to add a guide so that when we go from this frame to this frame, I want to arc in this form here.
So let's go down and make a new layer, and hit F7 for the layer. Don't make it a guide layer just yet. So with the N key select the Line tool, making sure that snap is on. And it's easy as to find the point. I want the snap to this point here; that's the pivot point of the head. So let's select a corner of the line and drag until you feel it snap to that. And let's go to the next key, and repeat that process. Click on the head so you see the outline, and then the other end of the line until you feel that connect, and let's get that arc working.
I'm going to zoom out, and next step, or last step really; right-click on that line layer, make it a guide, click on the head layer, and drag it to the guide, and you'll see the little arc symbol appear. And now when we press play you'll see it's a much smoother path. And the next thing that we'll actually do, just to really fine-tune this; right now, he is coming from this pose, right down into that one, in a straight line. Let's put a little F6 in here, and now I am going to go from this position down into this position. So this arc is actually the previous one. I'm going to just get rid of that.
The arc will now work fine from here to here, and I'll always test to make sure, but nothing should break with that, and now I can put a new line in. Oh! See what happens? It breaks it. This is a new behavior in later versions of Flash, and it's not one that I like. So let's make a new layer again. This is a workaround. So I'm going to make a new line, and repeat the process that we did for the first part. Snaps in there, and let's select the head layer and just pull that line in, and now we have our line. Hit Control+C and in the guide layer Control+Shift+V, and just delete that little workaround layer.
Now we have a complete arc all the way around that. We could add another one here, but time is short. So this is how a lot of us have been working around the problem of the arc issue in Flash. Now we have done this side, and the other thing to do is to make sure that we have our ease outs here; so 80, and 80. Excellent! And I'm going to repeat the process for this side. It's the identical process, so make sure that your easements are the same, so 80 here. And I'm going to add the guide layer; new layer, hit F7, use the N key for the Line tool, and just pop that in.
Go to the next key and shape it. And since we know now what happened with that guide issue we can just workaround that problem a little smarter this time, and just do all of our arcs ahead of time. Drag that line to here. Sometimes when I do this I'll accidentally draw the line on the wrong layer; seems to be something that just happens naturally when you work like this. So keep an eye out. You can always copy and paste it onto the right layer after the fact that. I think that's looking fine. So now we right-click on our guide line, and make it a guide, and drag head into there; carefully scrub through.
I think that's going to be fine. So now when we go to the main layer, let's just look at each one, one more time. Nice! And look at the other one; it's in the opposite, exactly right, like a mirror image. So when I go Control>Test Movie >Test, that looks good to me. Now there are a lot of little things that we could add, for example, when he tilts down -- and you'll see them actually on the sample animation. I originally animated his facial features moving to the left when he was doing the action on the left side. And you'll see his face slide to the right, and it creates a really nice feeling of three-dimensionality.
And now with his ears, for example; you'll see that they're moving in perspective. We just don't have time to get into that, but I'm sure you get the idea. And this set up, so simple and clean, I think there is a lot you can do with that. One last thing that I would show you that's kind of cool, and really simple actually; this little strand of hair, let's make some keys for that. Hitting F6, and to get an idea about what I want to do with it, let's just see where he is going. So when he tilts down like this, the same frame matching the outer number, so if we're on Frame 7, be sure you're on Frame 7 on the inside.
Try pulling that little angle down a little, and then he is going to move up like this. And I think it will be nice if we could, on that frame -- again making sure if I enter this symbol on Frame 20 that you're working on the internal Frame 20. Let's drag that down. See if we can get away with that. And now I'm going to select these hit Shape tween. Okay, let's see what that looks like. So, it's giving a little extra animation.
Again, there is a lot more I could do with that, and you'll see in the sample animation I've done a lot more than that. It's still a little more subtle, though, but there is a little drag on the hair. So it's nice, even within something as cartoony as this mouth stagger, you can still add little subtle touches like that to give your stagger a little more life. So that's the crazy side to side stagger animation taken care of.
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