Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Rigging a Face in Flash Professional
Illustration by John Hersey

Setting up Flash


From:

Rigging a Face in Flash Professional

with Dermot O' Connor

Video: Setting up Flash

First, let's take a look at Flash and set it up so that it closely matches the way I like to work. And if you have your own way that you set the program up that you are comfortable with, then please go with that, but I think it's important that you see the way I configure it, because there might be ways that the program behaves given my personal preferences. So let's just take a look at that. Everybody has access to this. It's the 0003 file. This comes with a default color. This is the palette that I work with all the time. It's a lot different from the usual one, so I just like to set this up as the default by going Save as Default, and then just click Yes.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 14m 16s
    1. Introduction
      42s
    2. What you should know
      2m 0s
    3. Setting up Flash
      8m 35s
    4. Dos and don'ts
      2m 59s
  2. 59m 26s
    1. Establishing the directions
      7m 9s
    2. Setting up layers for the head
      6m 58s
    3. Drawing the head
      19m 2s
    4. Creating the mouth
      11m 27s
    5. Drawing the eyes
      4m 31s
    6. Animating the eye blink
      10m 19s
  3. 48m 0s
    1. Creating happy mouth dialogue shapes, part one
      10m 24s
    2. Creating happy mouth dialogue shapes, part two
      7m 43s
    3. Creating mad or sad mouth dialogue shapes
      10m 7s
    4. Creating neutral mouth dialogue shapes
      7m 36s
    5. Building unique mouth shapes
      12m 10s
  4. 29m 27s
    1. Creating jubilant expressions
      11m 47s
    2. Creating furious expressions
      6m 4s
    3. Fine-tuning expressions
      11m 36s
  5. 1h 9m
    1. Clock rotation demonstration
      2m 23s
    2. Creating the twelve-o'clock pose
      9m 2s
    3. Creating the six-o'clock pose
      5m 19s
    4. Creating the three-o'clock pose
      10m 16s
    5. Creating the nine-o'clock pose
      9m 35s
    6. Creating the remaining poses
      13m 17s
    7. Fine-tuning the head rotation
      11m 54s
    8. Fixing layering issues
      7m 42s
  6. 2h 10m
    1. Introducing the turnaround
      2m 55s
    2. Creating the B head (3-quarter)
      6m 45s
    3. Creating the C head (profile)
      8m 51s
    4. Creating the D head (3-quarter rear)
      13m 2s
    5. Creating the E head (rear)
      8m 59s
    6. In-betweening symbols manually
      9m 58s
    7. Creating the H head
      6m 41s
    8. Creating the G head
      11m 33s
    9. Creating the F head
      19m 18s
    10. Creating the B mouth (3-quarter)
      13m 41s
    11. Creating the C mouth (profile)
      14m 33s
    12. Adding detail to the C mouth
      7m 42s
    13. Creating other mouths
      6m 28s
  7. 54m 24s
    1. Putting together a head rotation
      14m 29s
    2. Moving frames between symbols to make a rotation
      10m 23s
    3. Using the rig with audio
      14m 59s
    4. Adding expressions to the animation
      14m 33s
  8. 1m 0s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 0s

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
Please wait...
Rigging a Face in Flash Professional
6h 46m Intermediate Sep 19, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author Dermot O' Connor offers experienced Flash designers a step-by-step guide for creating and animating a full-featured cartoon face in Adobe Flash Professional. The course begins with some best practices for setting up the rig and moves on to building facial features such as the mouth and eyes, sculpting the mouth to simulate dialogue, and creating a range of expressions. The course also shows how to rotate the head using poses, move the rig along multiple axes, and incorporate audio.

Topics include:
  • Setting up layers for the head
  • Animating blinks
  • Fine-tuning expressions
  • Fixing layering issues
  • Adding expressions to the animation
Subjects:
3D + Animation Character Animation
Software:
Flash Professional
Author:
Dermot O' Connor

Setting up Flash

First, let's take a look at Flash and set it up so that it closely matches the way I like to work. And if you have your own way that you set the program up that you are comfortable with, then please go with that, but I think it's important that you see the way I configure it, because there might be ways that the program behaves given my personal preferences. So let's just take a look at that. Everybody has access to this. It's the 0003 file. This comes with a default color. This is the palette that I work with all the time. It's a lot different from the usual one, so I just like to set this up as the default by going Save as Default, and then just click Yes.

So now every time you open a new Flash project in the future, you will see this instead of the old one. If you want the old color palette back, go to Web 216 and you will have the old familiar back, so now you have both. But let's go back to Load Default Colors and now you have this nicer selection. These colors at the top where you see these little three color sections of green, blue, yellow, and turquoise, and so forth, I will use these for good purposes later on when we begin to assign outline colors to the different layers. So they are not arbitrary. These will be important.

So the next thing to do is to set up the workspace because this workspace that we see here is fine, but probably not the most efficient for rigging a character, so let's click on the Window and go to Workspace and let's select Classic. I find this right out of the box is a much efficient way for me to model a character, but we can still improve it a little bit. So first thing is go to the toolbar and let's drag it over a little bit, so I see two rows, because we were losing a bit of real estate down here on the screen. The next thing we need to do is to open the Library panel, so let's go to Window > Library.

Now, I would like the Library panel to be as vertical as possible, because it's going to fill up pretty quickly. So let's grab this little empty gray space here and drag until you see a vertical blue line, and release, and now we have a nice tall Library column. I have given a good chunk of screen to the Properties panel and a good chunk to the Library, and we can then access these swatches here and here. Now the next thing I would like to do is to save this layout, because during the course of working oftentimes you might accidentally move panels around or get lost a little bit, So let's save this, now that we have one that we like for ourselves. Go back to Window > Workspace, and let's click New Workspace. And we will call this rigging_face. And now when you go back to Window > Workspace, you will see you have the options of selecting back to that. So you can toggle back and forth from Classic or any of the other layouts that suit, you, and you can create as many of these as you like.

The next thing to do is to adjust some of the preference settings, because some of these can be problematic. So the first thing to do is to switch Document-level Undo to Object-level Undo. And let's click OK there. What this means is that if you click Undo, each symbol that you create has its own dedicated Undo history, whereas if you have Document- level Undo, you going to have these very wild paths back through multiple symbols. Your entire Undo history is external to your symbol. That can be quite confusing.

So Object-level Undo helps you to keep track much, much more easily. It's much more forgiving of mistakes I find. The next thing to do is Contact- sensitive Selection and Lasso tools. Un-tick that. What this means is that you can select a symbol by drawing a box around the entire symbol, whereas with Contact-sensitive, you simply have to just cover a tiny little corner of it. I find it's too sensitive for my tastes. You may prefer the other, but I like to switch that off. And finally, you don't need to do this, but I will, because it will interfere with the recording.

I am going to click off Auto-Recovery, but I think you should probably keep it on if you like to have backups of your work, so click OK. The next thing to do will be to set some adjustments to the Snapping settings, and oftentimes you will find Snap Align and Snap to Guides are selected by the program. You don't need any of these; go up to Snap to Objects to begin with. Sometimes Snap to Grid, but there is no reason to have Snap Align or Snap to Guides or Snap to Pixels set on; they will only interfere with your work. Okay, so now let's adjust the stage a little bit.

I am going to zoom back out. Let's go to the Properties panel. Make sure that you've set it to 640 x 480 and your Frame rate is 30 and that way you will match my project. Another thing that I like to do is to have the grid visible. So right-click on the stage, go to Grid > Show Grid. And your grid color may vary from mine, but let's go to Grid and Edit the Grid now. I will make sure that each grid unit is 20 x 20 pixels and your Color, maybe this is a little bit too light, so let's pick one of the darker grays. Click OK.

The reason why I do this is I like to have just a visual cue that there is empty space, and it's a bit like the black-and-white checker square on Photoshop if you have a transparent level, rather than just having an empty, blank white screen. It's very easy I find to get lost so, you may like it 20 x 20 or 40 x 40, or maybe you don't need the grid at all, but that's why you will be seeing me with the grid. That's something that I do deliberately. One more recent change that might not be familiar, if you remember the older versions of Flash, the Work Area setting is now called Pasteboard, and Pasteboard is just a change in name.

This constricts that work area to what you are working on. And if you like that then you can activate it there or switch it off as you need. So now I am going to go to some third-party extensions that I like very much. So let's go to Firefox, or your favorite browser, and the main site that I use for extensions is toomonkey.com. And these are free, easy to download and install. So let's click on his extensions link, and you will see a big collection of them here. I am not going to go through many of these because there are simply too many, but the one that I find very useful for me is called FrameEDIT.

So you download that. And then the next big link that I will be using is from animator davelogan.com, and the extension that you want here is called Keyframe Jumper. So we download that. What Keyframe Jumper does is instead of just moving forward on the timeline by one frame at a time, it takes you back and forth to the next or the previous keyframe, and this makes it much, much easier if you are animating to go from key to key rather than having to scrub through every single in-between frame; it's a wonderful plug-in.

If you are not sure how to install them, it's very simple. First of all, I suspect we are probably going to have to switch off Flash, so let's just go over to that. And in search field type in Adobe Extension, and that's the Adobe Extension Manager. Or you can usually just double-click on the extensions that you have downloaded to your computer. And let's double-click on the other. Click Accept and now we have them, so now we can close this, and let's restart Flash.

So I will start a new empty project, just to get rid of this area here. To find the commands you just installed, click on Commands on the menu bar, and there is frameEdit, and the Keyframe extension has come in as Next Keyframe and Previous Keyframe. This is how they will appear onto the Commands menu, and this is where all your commands will go. So let's map these onto keys for our keyboard shortcut. That's easy to use. So go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts, and you will find them under the Commands menu. frameEdit is the first one to apply.

We are not allowed to mess with the Adobe standard, so first of all, we have to duplicate this, and let's call it the rigging shortcut. You can name it what you like. And now, any key that I press here will be automatically detected by the program, so I am going to pick the bracket key, or the question mark, and hit Change. Now the next one to map is Next Keyframe, then the shortcut, and click on the apostrophe key. Hit Change. Next, select Previous Keyframe. Hit the Plus key and select the semicolon key and hit Change, and now we click OK.

To show you what this looks like on the graphic of the keyboard, these are built-in shortcuts to go back 1 frame and forward 1 frame on the timeline. You don't need to mess with them. They are already there. Frame edit in has now be mapped on to the question mark. And to go back one keyframe and forward one keyframe, you simply have to push your fingers up and over by one and a half keys, so it's a very quick and easy way to toggle your way around the Timeline. That covers us and hopefully gets you more less onto the same page that I will on as I proceed through the rest of the course.

There are currently no FAQs about Rigging a Face in Flash Professional.

Share a link to this course
Please wait... Please wait...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Rigging a Face in Flash Professional.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Welcome to the redesigned course page.

We’ve moved some things around, and now you can



Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked