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Using commands and keyboard shortcuts

From: Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation

Video: Using commands and keyboard shortcuts

Sometimes, you'll find it very useful to make your own shortcuts or macro scripts basically. Many times in Flash, depending on your workflow, you'll find yourself doing the same repetitive click over and over and over again and it can really slow you down. So I want to show you how to make your own commands and it's fairly simple. So the big one, the one in animation, is setting tweens. I'm going to be having all kinds of different tweens. So here is how we do it. Go to File. Open our special commands project. Let's close that.

Using commands and keyboard shortcuts

Sometimes, you'll find it very useful to make your own shortcuts or macro scripts basically. Many times in Flash, depending on your workflow, you'll find yourself doing the same repetitive click over and over and over again and it can really slow you down. So I want to show you how to make your own commands and it's fairly simple. So the big one, the one in animation, is setting tweens. I'm going to be having all kinds of different tweens. So here is how we do it. Go to File. Open our special commands project. Let's close that.

So our friend and this will be a panel lot of people don't use. It's the History panel and this keeps a record of everything you do. So if you look at the panel, watch as I create different objects. This, as in Photoshop, keeps a little record of these actions and the cool thing is you can save these and play them back. So what we are going to do is set some tweens and save these commands and make our own. So the first thing we want to do is have a clean slate. So let's go up to the Timeline, make a new layer, get rid of the old one, and as you can see a lot of rubbish and junk here, so let's clear our history.

Yes, get rid of all of that. What I want is to create a command for a simple motion tween and we can already do it from up here. We can go Insert > Classic Tween. We'll be using Classic Tween a lot and Shape Tween a lot. The problem is every time you move from the Timeline up to Insert Tween, you're putting miles on your mouse and you really are slowing yourself down. It completely breaks the flow. So let's-- as I said we'll make our own. So we'll go to the Timeline, click on the frame, go Insert > Classic Tween and now that's a basic tween with no ease in and no ease out.

Now we select Create Classic Tween. Save As Command. I'm going to call it tween 0. Click OK. Now to test this tween, I'm going to make a new layer, select that, and go to Commands > tween 0 and as you can see that's done. The beauty of this is we can assign a keyboard shortcut to tween 0 and this can really speed up, as you can already imagine I'm sure, the workflow. So let's make a few of these. This is a generic tween with no ease- in or ease-out. You'll find this so you begin to move symbols around the screen.

Now you want some to favor one key or favor another to ease in or ease out. I like to delete this history every time because this can get confusing and we're going to be doing multiple steps here. So let's create a tween. And now I'm going to create an ease in, -50. Now we have a multiple series of actions. So these two, Create Classic Tween and setting the frame property or tween easing, -50, this is the command that we want to create. Right-click, Save As Command.

I'm going to call this tween -50 and again every time I do this, I like to test it. Go to Commands > tween -50 and perfect. I want to repeat this process again. Clear History. I'm going to create a tween, and ease out this time. Save the command, tween +50, and that should be it, let me do a -- No reason why it shouldn't work, but I'll just test these and there we go.

You can make your own. If you don't like 50, if you prefer 60 or 100, go for it, but this is the area that I like to work from and I can change it later on if I want to get fancy. So the next thing you would do would be to assign a keyboard shortcut. Again, all these commands are logged under the Commands menu and there we have them. Now at this point you'll find your keyboard is getting very, very cluttered. It can be extremely challenging to find a nice, simple-to-use keyboard shortcut.

I tend to be quite bogged down. So this is where the numeric keypad comes in. Now if you're working on a keyboard that's on a small laptop and you don't have the numeric keyboard, I would advise you to get an external keyboard with a numeric keypad. Very quickly see how advantageous this is. I can assign to the tween +50 to the 6 key, tween -50 to the 4 key and the regular tween, the generic one, to 5. Drop these shortcuts in very, very easily.

I would repeat the same process. Instead of making motion tweens now, we can make shape tweens. To do this, we need to create some shapes. I'm hitting F6 to create a second key and now Insert > Shape Tween and Window > Other Panels > History. And I didn't follow my advice of deleting the history and this is the result. But I think we can figure it out. Create Shape Tween.

Save As Command and call it tween shape 0, OK, and now we should be able to assign one of these. Commands > tween shape 0. I'm going to repeat the process for ease in 50 and ease out 50. And we'll have a complete set of short codes assigned to the numeric keypad for shape tweening and motion tweening, easing in on the 4 key and the 1 key, easing out on the 6 key and the 3 key.

So let's create the remaining two tweens. I want to keep this window open. Workspace. No, Other Panels > History and let's keep it clean, clear the history, yes. Let's get that square back, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V. This is just rough and ready. This doesn't have to be fancy. Do this on a completely clean layer, and F6. Again, you'll find yourself doing this a lot, clearing this history to keep it clean.

Now go Insert > Shape Tween and then pull it into -50. Save As Command, tween shape -50, repeat for the out, F6. Again, I'm going to clean this up. Insert > Shape Tween, ease out to 50, Save As Command and then we have our slate of shape tween shortcuts. Map them onto the keyboard shortcuts.

I'm using the 4, 5 and 6 numeric keypads for the motion tween. I'm going to use 1, 2 and 3 with +50, the 3 key, -50, the 1 key and the 0 key, set to 2. That looks good. So there is one more thing that I like to have easy access to. As you're setting tweens on the keyboard, sometimes you want to be able to switch it off and we're going to create a command to remove all the tweening information on the Timeline.

So let's just click onto one of the pre- existing timelines in the blue and again this is a big one so let's clear the history, yup. So first thing I like to do is make sure that there is no ease in or ease out information buried in the timeline. Go to Insert > Remove Tween and now select these two, Save As Command, and go tween remove and I need to test this to make sure it still works. Command > tween remove, and of course it's gone.

Let's make sure it works in the shape tween layer, yes. I want to make sure that it also has removed all of the ease in and ease out information and it has on this one. I'm just going to test it on a few of these to make sure that work. Yeah, it seems to be resetting it completely back to zero and we now have the ability to basically delete any tween information on the timeline with the stroke of a key. Map this onto the number 8 key on the numeric keypad.

Now you have complete control over classic tweening with one hand without ever having to move from the numeric keypad. As you can see the numeric keypad is your best friend. It's going to save you a lot of time when you start throwing motion tweens and shape tweens all over the place. I can't recommend that enough. You can still work without it. You can still do everything through running up here. Your mouse is going to be doing this a lot and you're going to start getting really tired of that and before the extensions came along, we had to do this. We were moving your mouse from here to there.

It's not fun and being able to assign tweens with moving of a single finger means you can focus on your work, your animation on being creative.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation
Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation

83 video lessons · 21817 viewers

Dermot O' Connor
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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