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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.
So I want to make one little final note. Not so much a warning but some good advice about your approach when it comes to dealing with the rig, especially the face because the face is by far the most important part. So let's open up our last file. 05. And let's just go right into the head. And I want the vertical timeline for this. So we will go Window > Workspace and then the Animation tool. So to make that a little bit bigger and let's-- I think we can get rid of Library panel. It's just getting in the way.
Great! Okay, so that's much better. We got a good looking face here. We worked very hard to make this face, so there would be a natural tendency to be precious about it, not want to be too bold. That would be unfortunate. So I am just going to do a very quick and dirty alteration to this guy, make a couple of different expressions. So let's take the closed eyes, for example, you can do weird things like pick this eye. It doesn't have to be this particular frame that can be open.
And by of course just changing the frame number in here, we're changing like if we had a single frame. So you can push these I think a lot further than you suspect. Let's go in tighter. You can take that up. If you want to, you can even create new layers. If you want to add a crease that would help match these two eyebrows together, no reason why you can't put a new layer in here and draw that in. And strong flash animators are very comfortable in making pretty bold additions, just like any animator should be, to their scene.
You can take this mouth, for example, if you want to make him more look like that he is doing some cheesy wink, you can do that. Your real issue to worry about will be volume and keeping things on model. Yes, it's important, but in reality people's faces do change quite dramatically and I think there's too much emphasis many times on being religious about staying on model. And if you're working on your own project and you don't have somebody breathing down your neck, then I strongly recommend that you really play around with your rigs and see how far they can go before they start looking too strange.
But that's as if you animate the character from one of the states into the other, the thing you will be worrying about will just keeping the eyes. The eyebrow should be physically similar but you can have one almost popping off the top of the head like in the old cartoons from the 40s. Okay that looks there will be one more pose we can make. Maybe this mouth hasn't opened quiet enough for some yell or scream. Just how far can we pull this? My advice, if you're not an experienced animator and this is maybe your first time playing around with this medium, overdo it, go far beyond what you think you should, and see at what point your scene breaks.
And it's better than being too conservative and constantly pushing out. I would rather go all the way out and then bring it in. So at what point, just how big can we make this guy yell? And I think you find yourself having a lot more fun. This is the payoff really, after all the hard work you have put in making a rig. I would actually for this particular guy, I would take these eye balls and bring them out on to the main timeline. They are not behaving very nicely as the eyes stretch. So you got to make some different decisions based on how far you want to distort your character.
And don't forget. A Free Transform tool is great to for making these big moves. If you don't like pulling little points around, you could maybe pull eyebrows off the head and have them up in the air. What happens if we bring this hair up? You might need to change his area. So do that transition. So obviously, way goofy, far too much but I think you get the idea that's a strong transition. So can you rein it in? Can you make it a little more believable? Don't forget. These are supposed to be really flesh and blood.
So as you can, in your real mouth, you can talk out one side of you face, the other. So now let me bring it in there. Bring these eyes down slightly. The eyebrows are too far, just a bit, and so forth. So all these elements can be changed. They can all be played with. And they can be thrown around pretty drastically from their original state, from state one, which is meant to look normal and quite blase, to cheesy.
"Hey! How it's going?" To "Noooo" or any other number of conditions that you want to create. And if you do it right, you will be able to tween between all of these and create some pretty cool stuff. So that's it and I hope that's just given you a teaser or a hint of some of the possibilities. And we will conclude the course and I hope you have enjoyed doing this.
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