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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.
Okay, so now it's time to add some structure to the eyes and takes the very simple symbols that we currently have as placeholders and add some eyelids and all the elements that will enable us to make the character blink in the next chapter. So, let's go on and do that. So we can either double click on the stage or we can double click on the head symbol in the library to tunnel in here and have a look at it. So, ideally if we get this right we'll be able to use the same one for the right as for the left. So let's go right into the eye and be sure you have the entire head area around it so you can see the work that you are doing in place.
So drop in some layers for the eyelid, the upper eyelid and the eyelashes. We are going to want separate layers for the pupil and the whites of the eye and maybe some lower lids as well. So first of all let's just padlock our lower layer and let's name these so we know what we are doing. So, this will be the upper lashes, the top layer, and then beneath them there will be the lid, which will help to cover the whites of the eyes when the blinks happen, and the lashes lower. You probably won't see them in the normal open state. They won't animate them now but they'll appear later on when the character blinks.
And then we'll have the lid lower and beneath that the mask for the pupil and then the pupil itself and then the white of the area. You could have more details like creases and things but this is a pretty good amount. Using the LayerColor, I'll make the upper levels green. Ctrl+Clicking to select more than one layer. LayerColor for the lower ones to make them blue and the mask I like to-- I will just keep the masks white or some other very eye-catching color. It could be red or white.
The pupil we make them black and the white of the eye I'll just make it normal fleshy color like red and we make the layer a little bit gray. First, of all we'll make the white of the eye, we'll just copy this and make sure it's all white, get rid of the pupil, and then I'll copy the pupil from this and paste that in here. Now, we can can get rid of the preference layer. It's done its job. So we have the while of the eye, the pupil.
Now, the pupil itself, it's very banal looking like just a big black bulb. Let's make it bit more life like. So to do that I'll like to make it a symbol in its own light first, so we call that eye pupil. Keep it centered properly like this. Now, we can double click on that because I want to make a couple of different layers in here. So, I am holding down the Alt key to copy that layer. Let's go into the lower one and make a blue, some bright blue color. Then we'll take the upper one, the black, using the Free Transform tool and holding down the Shift key, for the black of the eye.
Let's hold down the Alt key to copy again and we'll make this one white again using the Free Transform tool it's going a bit tighter, getting one eye line. You can do all that in one layer but the nice thing is you can go in and you can play around with these shapes if you want to make alterations, I love that. So, the next step would be the upper eyelashes and that's going to be a very simple shape and we'll start the up position something like this.
Let's make sure snap a switched off now and then we'll put it back on I want to join these corners properly and then back off again. There is lot of toggling back and forth between snap on and snap off. Check to make sure your lines are still intact. Flash likes to combine lines. We need to not let it do that. So there we go. So let's color that and let's give that a nice color more like this color like the dark color of the ear, drag that with the eyedropper, let's go in here. There we go.
I am going to get rid of that black line and I am going to be able to see this properly and then beneath this eyelid would be the eyelash layer that will be the darkest element. Let's go into this Preview mode and go Full and now we can see the eye in its proper color relative to the skin and the face around it. So the other color I would like for the lid upr will be the same color as the skin of the face. So, let's go into that and select that. Let's go back in here and we will assign that color to this layer.
So what that means is later on and we want to make the character blink or have a different shaped eye. We simply pull the lid layer down to match the lash layer. We now have complete control over the extent of the eye. [00:05:09.90 How opened it is? How closed it is? Let me do all that and Ctrl+Z . So that's the upper eyelid. We'll repeat this process for the lower eyelid in the later class but for now this is ideal.
So the next thing I want to do before we go any further is to make sure that we can copy this to replace the current placeholder for the left eye. So, that's this layer. So let's make a clean layer on top I am going to copy that, paste that on to here, flip it horizontally and let's go in to outline. That's better so we can match this up. Now hit Free Transform or Q, pretty good. Now, the one thing I am noticing is that the pupil is a little squished.
So, first thing let's unsquish it. Now, any change that we make in this symbol will be replicated here and that's not going to work. So, first thing we have to do is duplicate this symbol, give it it's own identity. So, let's duplicate that symbol and we are going to replace the R copy if not the right eye any more. It's going to be its own thing it's eye left now. Let's go into the left eye and look at the highlight and make sure that the highlights are both pointing the same direction. So, this should be Flipped Horizontally and I will stretch it out a bit.
That will lose that squished strange field that is called right now. Let's position that until it feels little closer. It's more natural and then get rid of the reference layer. Put the new eye in this correct layer now and get rid of the temporary layer. Now, there are some small additions you need to make, the Mask layer needs to be activated and that will identical to the white. So copy that, paste in place and activate the Mask.
What this means is you will be able to of course move the pupil outside of its area without having a bleed into the skin. So we are all set up ready for that and do the same thing here. Copy the eye, Ctrl+Shift+V, paste it in place, activate the Mask. Let's look at it again and that will move that pupil over just a little bit and may be stretch it just slightly. I think we've left some lines in there so let's erase them, Erase Lines and make sure everything is active.
Paint the whole area and repeat of course with the other eye. We are ready to proceed. So that's the character done. He is all set, he is ready to go, and in the next chapter we'll proceed to animate a full head turn and that will incorporate mouth movements, head movements, eye blinks. The eyebrows will move. Basically, the entire body will move standing in place. But he will little pivot and turn left, turn right and we'll begin the same thing. So, I'll hope you like that and hope to see you in the next chapter.
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