Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation
Illustration by Petra Stefankova

Rigging the shoes


Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation

with Dermot O' Connor

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Video: Rigging the shoes

The final step of the basic pass of our walk cycle is going to be fixing the feet. So let us open the previous file and it's number 14. So click on here and again just to look at the feet action on the reference image. Let's just watch this light colored foot, just see it bends and twists and adopt different positions in the curves around the ground and obviously we think a Flash symbol probably wouldn't be able to do that because it's one big static shape.
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  1. 3m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
    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
    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

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Watch the Online Video Course 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
3D + Animation Web
Flash Professional
Dermot O' Connor

Rigging the shoes

The final step of the basic pass of our walk cycle is going to be fixing the feet. So let us open the previous file and it's number 14. So click on here and again just to look at the feet action on the reference image. Let's just watch this light colored foot, just see it bends and twists and adopt different positions in the curves around the ground and obviously we think a Flash symbol probably wouldn't be able to do that because it's one big static shape.

I am going to show you how to do that and how to make this look like it's made of leather or something flexible. So the first thing I'd like to do is right-click, just go right into the symbol. I don't know if you remember our creation of this but we took an earlier three quarters foot and used the Distort tool to create this image and with the Subselection tool I'll show you what happens. You end up with a couple of extra points that you don't need. It's still pretty clean but I would never want an image to have a point there. This curve could probably be made with one line but preferably just two to bend here.

So let me see what happens if I try to bend this shoe to make it look like it's wrapping onto the ground. So let's see second point here is already misbehaving, twisting into weird shapes. So now I've got to pull this other weird point here, pull this up. It may work, okay that worked, but as we begin to pull this thing, I'm not having much fun pulling this line. Adopting these weird little curvy S-shapes.

It's very annoying and at some point in the process of doing this I guarantee you this thing will break and you will pull it into a shape that the program doesn't like. You've already seen shape tweening acting up with very simple forms. This kind of thing will happen. It will drive you bonkers. So even just to do like a small move. Let's undo all that. The solution to this isn't too difficult. All we want is to give shape tweening every chance of doing its job.

So having everything for one first problem is we have too many points and we are going to redraw this and remove this point and we are going to remove this symbol here and the other thing we are going to do is to create this object not on one layer but on 3. One for the dark area, one for this one, one for that one. There are a couple of different approaches we can use for this, so let's try to find the one that's going to be the most stable and Flash friendly. So let's make three layers and the lower layer will be our reference layer, which I'd like to color something like this.

So our choice now is how to split up this shape onto three separate layers. What we could do is one strategy is have a single black shape, that's this outline color, and then have simply the brown layer on top of that and this layer on top of that. So that we would have a three pointed light brown layer, a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 pointed dark brown layer and about same number of points, seven points, for the black layer. The only problem with that might be that the black would overlap on this. So I think we should definitely have the light brown layer on the top and I am going to pick this dark brown layer as the largest part of the shoe.

So let me show you how we begin this. So I am going to pick the Rectangle tool and click that line off. I am going to work in Outline mode and may be pick a brighter color so we can see the outline. Better. So I am now going to put Snap on because I want Snap to work exactly to these points. Hold on Alt/Option to snap to this point. Actually I am going to go a little beyond. I am going to have black sole be an overlay. I am going to actually go over this, so we can move a little outside that but keep this point alive. We don't want this point to be disappeared by Flash, so you can keep that as a sharp point somewhere in this black area.

This area here is going to be covered up by that light brown. Hold on Alt/Option again to make this curve and don't make too many of these curves in here. These should be as few as possible. Okay, so that's going to be that area. Now I am going to make the three pointed light sole of the shoe. Let's click the Eyedropper, padlock that off, eyedropper to there, and same thing. We are going to outline the lower layer so we could see this better and create our shape in here.

Double-click the line. We don't need that, delete it. Snap on again and this time I am going to keep the lower layer on too. So this point will come exactly to here, to there, make this a triangle, then map that to this. Go in to outline for a second, let's see what that looks like. So that's it and then the final phase would be the sole of the shoe. Again, I think the rectangle shape will be good for that. I am going to get rid of that outline.

That's a dark gray, so we paint that dark gray. Just put on all our previous layers in outline and lock them. Outline the upper layer. Make sure Snap is on so we line to these points precisely and I want to Alt+Click, Option+Click so that we make an extra point here, because we only want to bend the foot roughly around this point. So it matches this curve of the front of the shoe and then wrap these curves and the last step will be to reactivate all our layers and check and make sure that they clearly overlap, because obviously if you pull this too far you might start seeing white caps like this.

So this is really-- you can never quite get this exactly the first time so sometimes you have to add little areas of overlap so that you have a bit of give. Now we can get rid of the earlier layer and if you look at this in the Subselection tool it will show you the geometry. So for example, here we have six points. That's a very clean shape and on the front of the shoe, three points. That will be much easier to tween and this is a tricky one.

Let's go one two three four five six seven points. So that is pretty good, so let's first of all save this and I'm going to try a quick experiment and we will see how much easier it is. We are going to have to twist the shape of this foot to match the ground plane for example and already you remember how difficult it was to manipulate this foot shape and now it's just two points. And I have already disappeared the line break here, so that happened during the creation process.

Easily fixed. We could actually redraw it. There is still a point there. So what I want to do is re-create that. I really want to have easy access to that. So I want to draw a box over that and hit X to delete it. Make sure Snap is on, pull that point back to where we want it, and now we have it again. This time I am going to keep a slight break there and that will help to work with. So now if I wanted to for example put a break on the shoe, you see how easy it's going to be at this point to create radically different shoe shapes.

So imagine this rotated a few degrees and we are going to be able to do amazing stuff with that and we'll look at that the tweens. So little piece sticking out there but that's easy to fix and that's going to be fun. So let's undo all that for a second or actually just delete these. Clear Keyframe. That's a really great stable shoe. Like I said, a lot of fun with this one. So let's save this again and we will now move on to actually animating and shape tweening the foot to fit the walk cycle.

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