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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.
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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