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Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation

Setting up the contact poses


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Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation

with Dermot O' Connor

Video: Setting up the contact poses

Now it's time to set up our character's contact position to begin the process of posing out the walk cycle. So let's open up our previous file, number 6, zoom out a bit, and what I want to do is to just so we have a visual reference, I think you'll find that helpful if we can bring in some of our reference images. I'll go Import to Library. Let's just bring in all of these three so we have them, and that just kindly symbolizes them all. So let's just drop the images into our reference folder and let's rename this as 1, 2 and 3, and drop them into the reference folder as well. Keep our library nice and clean.
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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

Setting up the contact poses

Now it's time to set up our character's contact position to begin the process of posing out the walk cycle. So let's open up our previous file, number 6, zoom out a bit, and what I want to do is to just so we have a visual reference, I think you'll find that helpful if we can bring in some of our reference images. I'll go Import to Library. Let's just bring in all of these three so we have them, and that just kindly symbolizes them all. So let's just drop the images into our reference folder and let's rename this as 1, 2 and 3, and drop them into the reference folder as well. Keep our library nice and clean.

One thing I want to do actually is size our guy on the stage a little more. This will be important to make him fit on the stage and just set up the stage for the animation. So right now he is at 100% and he's a bit too big. So let's bring him down to 50%, so Ctrl+Alt+S, and that's half his size and maybe even a bit smaller. I'll just do it in freestyle, just what I think looks good. He's going to do a complete step from here to here. So we can change this later, but this would be a better fit. Now we can zoom in, making sure that we are working inside the bd walk symbol.

So let's double-click on that and we have all of our layers and we have beneath that our old reference image. I think we can now actually get rid of this now. I don't think we need that here. So we have our character. I want to change the timeline. I want to go into Animation. I am not rigging anymore. I like to have a horizontal timeline. So we have our Workspace layout. Let's go to the other one. I've made two of these, one with a longer timeline and one with a vertical one. So let's see the rulers. I want to make guidelines now for the feet. This is very important.

We go View > Rulers and just click and drag. Make sure we don't have snapping on. I thought Snap to Grid was there and felt snappy, so let's get that off and just make two lines, go in nice and close, and I would line them up with the heel or the toe of the foot. As long as you are consistent in, okay, this is the one that the heel will always be planted whenever he is on the ground, that's the position point that we are going to lock the heel to for each of these. Then let's get rid of the rulers. They take up screen's space you don't need to worry about, okay.

So the lower line will be the placement for the right foot and the upper will be for the left. So the next thing I would like to do would be to bring in some reference images. This will really help you if you haven't done a walk before and it is very hard sometimes to keep all this new information in your head. So let's grab the reference frame of the first one, make it a bit bigger, not too big, but big enough so that you can see it right above the stage or whatever works for you. You might have a second monitor and maybe drop it over there.

So what we are going to do is converting our chap into the contact pose. That's the first one that we have to do. You might find that's easier if you have it positioned here, and maybe bring it in a bit tight. We are going to spreading the legs so that they are occupying about this space here, so we have a better room to play with. Actually I think we can go back to the vertical timeline now. Let's do that. Because we're only working on this contact pose. That's better. I think we are going to move the left leg forward. That will in the leading position.

Just selecting and using the Free Transform tool. At this point don't worry about bending the leg so much. That will be part of a later step. The other thing to remember the physical left side of his body is shaded out. That's because when you do a walk cycle you counter pose. In words, when your left leg is forward, your left arm is backwards and vice versa. So you don't move with the same limb and the same direction at the same time. The body is in a constant state of opposition to maintain its balance.

So in this case we have the left leg forward, so that means that the left arm will be moving backwards, and here you'll begin to appreciate the advantage of having a color-coded structure that we set up earlier. So you can see if it's green on one end, then it'll be moving out of the other. So you can see in an instant that my right foot is out here; my right arm must be out in this direction. Let's just move that up there and lock it in, so we are not selecting that by mistake. You can see that there is a little issue here with the arm kind of being lost against the gradient, so we can expand this gradient.

I am going to play with that a little bit later on to help define that arm area. So this is the left shoe and that should be contacting this line exactly. Also, the leading limb will be thrusting forward, so it will be, if you imagine the hip is pivoted, the left hip is further forward. So we can move this leg forward as well. And let's just use the Free Transform tool to stretch out the leg a little bit to make up the gap.

Okay, now as you can see this right foot has to bend and tilt. So what we are going to is I find this as your first pass, we have to get okay before we get pretty. So I am going to act like the foot can slice through the ground plain and I am going got let the position of the foot be determined by the anatomy of the leg. So let's bring this in a little. I want to see a little bit of that and let's keep that foot like that. It's asking us simply too much to stop bending the foot, so again we have to imagine that this is what is going to crease here.

We are going to add this detail to this inner foot comp later on. Imagine the left hip thrust forward. We counter pose, so that means the right arm is going to move further forward than the left, so let's push that out a little bit. We're going to have to make some changes to the internal structure of the left arm. But for now, again, this is our first pass, so we just want this thing to do the major, the gross moves.

Let's have a look at that. Okay, that's a contact pose. So there are obviously many things that we can improve and fix. Okay, so this is a really great place to save our project, because this is a good block of work. So let's save this and in the next one we'll move on and start tweaking and fine-tuning our contact position.

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