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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.
Flash CS5 comes with a series of Workspace layouts that are designed to help with your production process and they have several of them depending on design , that are aimed at animators, programmers, and so forth. The Animator layout, I really don't like at all, funnily enough. I think it's extremely cluttered. You'd have to have a huge monitor for this to be good. So let's go with something closer to the classic look. This is cleaner and it gives us a nice long Timeline and I still want to make some tweaks to it and the issues I have with this are that these fly-out windows here cover your Timeline. It really bugs me the way they get in the way.
So let's change that and if we take one of these and tear it off, grab the little gray area and slide it, then we can grab this over here and I am going to drag it down to the bottom of the Properties panel until I see a little blue line there, then release, and it springs into place very nicely. So I'm going to repeat that up here. And this little arrow, this double arrow, will expand the panel. That's going to be your library and tear this off as well, and same thing there. That's our Color and our Swatch panel.
So let's select this gray bar again. I'm going to drag that here, drop it and we can collapse these. We don't have to have them open all the time. Let's move our Library panel over. I'm going to stack this one vertically to the left of the other column and way down until we see blue vertical line and release and there we go. Now you can keep the Timeline on the top or the bottom and either is good and I've used both. For this class I've done on the bottom of the screen. So let's drag it down there until we see the blue line, release that, okay.
That's really nice. So anytime we need to access our other areas, we just click over here, and I want to keep these compressed so I see the Properties panel more clearly. This works for me. If you have a different way that you are comfortable with and you don't mind being on a slightly different layout than me, that's totally fine, but this is how I'd be working just so you know where everything is and where all the windows went. So let's save this layout. I'm going to call it lynda_character_animation. If you want to call it something more descriptive like horizontal timeline or whatever then that's fine.
So the other thing that I want to do now is create a second layout, almost the same as this, but one big difference and that is I want this Timeline to be tall and thin on this side of the screen, because when we're designing characters we need lots of layers and as you can see we can't see many layers in the space here. So let's tear this off. I'll tell you this is a little bit tricky and I found this quite quirky. Let's try to do this in a way that's as safe as possible. So tear away the Tool menu, so we have our Timeline floating around here and the Tools over on this side and then let's grab this, slide them in, and drop it.
That's exactly what I want. Now you might find, I'm not sure what your setup will be, but if you see this Collapse to Icons, this is not good. So you want to be sure you're set to Expand Panels and it's worth playing around if you have issues with that because we really want to have this Timeline tall and thin, and then we grab the tools. Let's drag them over there and drop them in. So we have a nice tall, thin Tools panel and our Timeline and I want to save this and call this one lynda_character_animation_2.
We'll be toggling back and forth between each of these. That's a much quicker way of doing it than having to mess with the layout every time. If I was doing this on an actual commercial production, I'd set keyboard shortcuts for each these and do it without even thinking about it. You might also find sometimes that you want to grab more room and collapse your library. So this little arrow is very handy for that. You'd have to do like that. For some reason I just seemed to prefer having these fellows over here and then hide them when they are not needed.
So that's the workspace layout taken care of and we're ready to continue.
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