Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation
Illustration by Petra Stefankova

Tweening the arms


Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation

with Dermot O' Connor

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Video: Tweening the arms

In the previous clip, we shape tweened and fine-tuned slightly at the animation of our legs of our character, so now the legs are completely smooth to the entire walk. So, now we are going to go in and do the same to the arms so character walk_06, open that and let's double click on our guy on the stage, have a look. The legs are smooth; the arms are still doing little bit of popping. So, let's go into one of these let's just move through arms and see if we can add some motion.
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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

Tweening the arms

In the previous clip, we shape tweened and fine-tuned slightly at the animation of our legs of our character, so now the legs are completely smooth to the entire walk. So, now we are going to go in and do the same to the arms so character walk_06, open that and let's double click on our guy on the stage, have a look. The legs are smooth; the arms are still doing little bit of popping. So, let's go into one of these let's just move through arms and see if we can add some motion.

So the arms now have a look at them, they are actually in a pretty simple form. Let's take the right arm. It begins in this crooked position and in the backend of the walk it's in the straight position and then it works back into this crooked position. That's a simple way to animate as possible. The only thing is not doing is actually blending into that. So the thing to remember about an arm in a walk and we saw that before is that on the recoil position it's at its most outward pose from the body. So, I would think that on the front recoil we should probably differentiate from the one on the back, which is here.

So on the front recoil, I think this guy might bend his arm a little bit more, so let's go in and do that and hand might bend up a little bit. So, now if we compare key to key we get this effect, maybe we need to fine-tune the position of the hand on that recoil. Okay, so then the hand is going to swing. Let's switch this one off so we can on just one then the hand is going to swing down and some where around the position to this position, the other contact pose.

It maybe, out of its straightest position and swing it back around until it walks right back into this. So, then the art comes in and trying to figure out what's the best point to bend this. So, let's do something as simple as we can. Let's just, I am going to insert motion tweens here and shape tweens there just make so we have that one working. Then we are going to save this will bend into that position without going crazy.

So, let's see add some hints again. If you are going to add hints, save your projects first. So, let's do that. Ctrl+Shift+H to add a shape hint and just that one hint alone is locked down the shoulder at least. So let's add a couple more. Ctrl+Shift+H, second one. Let's do one more from now.

Okay, now there is still a bit of wiggling at the other corner but I don't let that go for the moment. So, I just want to test this and see if it's doing right. So what kinds of other things we could do, for example as the arm moves back into position across the body like this. We could lead with the elbow on this frame that will be interesting. So let's try that, let's make a keyframe here. When I say lead by the elbow what I mean is we can break the joint and have the elbow move first, do something almost on anatomical. That's going to be something that happens in motion so fast you might not even notice it.

Let's see what it looks like. I am going to have to tween this however. Okay, it's working this way and I need to add some shape hints here. Again, we show your back up your file first and let's go in a bit tighter. Here we go.

Now, you might find you will have like a transition or a shape that almost defies tweening. Well, that the case you could just pull these all out by one for such a small number 1, 2, 3, 4 be with your while to not worry about it. But I like to play with it and take as a challenge. So, let's see we swing the empty hair and it's leading too soon. So let's change timing of that very easy to do. So, what I am going to do is duplicate this key and then drag it to here, switch that tweening off. So, what I've done is hold this keyframe for this duration and then just be going that elbow leading action to here so that it only happens very, briefly.

So, let's try that and it's still a bit abrupt. I might be overdoing that a bit. Let me go in and make it a little more subtle. Again, I check back and forth to make sure our tweening still works. If I pull these keys back a little bit like I could slow down that and then we also want to make sure that the hand is following. So, let's activate motion tweening on that layer and activate motion tweening here.

As you can see that happens so quickly. The goal is to convince the eye consciously or unconsciously that the character is not comprised a little flat planes but he has dimension outside of this program. So, the other thing that we can do going to this hand let's drag that a little bit and let's go in and twist that wrist, and see if that works.

That's looking really goofy and a good one. Okay, let's see. So, it's looking a bit stiff from the backend, but I think we should do something push this out a little more and on that key. I am going to add a key here again, I am going to push this back a bit and put in motion tween and shape tweening here and maybe just do something just to change that. Oops! I can't adjust a moment I've add tweening here to if I want to change that.

Okay, so for now I am going to leave that at that and I am going to move on and hide this arm. Going to move on to the other one, do the same thing here, so the same process, the click at it in place. So, this is our contact position at the other end and this at this end.

So I am going to push the arm out as if we are looking at it in three dimensions a little bit and make that a shape tween, make these a classic motion tween. If we go from here to here let's imagine this is the impact, so we want that hand to flair out just a little bit. Then as he goes into this passing position actually that hand should come down, sort of swing lower and into the contact position.

I can't change the contact position here; I have to change it here. So, I don't mess with that just yet so let's go to the contact and then flair it out a little bit and then we are going to come back this way. Let's see if that swings nice. I am going to looking for things that we are little stiff. Now, some of that stiffness could be because of internal reasons inside the clip. We are moving from one and we have a couple of states, here we have the low hanging state and then we have the pointy elbow.

So, when we snap from one of these to the other you are going to see that jilt. So, let's have that and try to be intelligent as with the other hand we have to make the breaks. So, the down point of which the hand will be at its most straight should be on this contact position. So, from here to here I would imagine this entire shape. Here we go. That's nice. So, now when we go from to here that should be a completely smooth action which guesses to here at the beginning and begins to move back snapping back into this crook.

So, I think we can just simply activate shape tweening here and motion tweening. Let's see how that looks like. I am going to put the body in outline so we can see the hand and then a little bit to the right hand. We can do something little more extravagant as he comes back through here. Maybe, do another leading action or at least break this line of the arm, which makes it look a little more organic, something little more extreme.

Okay, see what it looks like. We won't really know until you see it in place. Okay, let's put the body back on and let's look at the other arm. See, how the whole thing works together. This is a pretty goofy walk so he has had too much coffee. Okay, so those are four keys much more cartoony extroverted walk than the other one and the kind of walk that you would do if you were doing a more realistic character. Now, in the next step we'll be just to go in and do so more fine-tuning, things we can do on the head that suited in the previous chapter, put some drag on the hair and I also want to correct the feet.

You can see that the feet are sliding, they should be in contacting the ground and the big one is the foot placement. So, we are going to move forward and keep solving these issues. I think, next the most important thing it will be to correct the shoes and make sure that they're consistently placed. So we can begin to move this guy across the screen without foot slippage. So, let's move on.

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