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In this course, author Dermot O' Connor offers experienced Flash designers a step-by-step guide for creating and animating a full-featured cartoon face in Adobe Flash Professional. The course begins with some best practices for setting up the rig and moves on to building facial features such as the mouth and eyes, sculpting the mouth to simulate dialogue, and creating a range of expressions. The course also shows how to rotate the head using poses, move the rig along multiple axes, and incorporate audio.
In another course, Flash Professional CS5: Character Animation, here in the lynda.com online training library, I demonstrated how to rig a character in Flash and animated a dialog scene, walk cycles, and a head turn. This course focuses specifically on the head and goes into much more detail. We will see how to create the head rig in eight different directions and how to set it up to allow practical and dynamic facial expressions. If you followed the earlier course, some of the material here will be familiar, but this course introduces important new concepts and techniques, giving you great new options in your personal projects.
In order to follow this course, you should be reasonably proficient in Flash. You won't need any ActionScript knowledge though, as we will be dealing entirely with the artistic side of the program. You will need to know about how to create symbols and how to set their properties, how to set them as a graphic or a movie clip, and how to set them to single frame, play once, or loop. You will need to know how to nest symbols inside other symbols. You will need to know how to fill areas with colors. You need be proficient with tweening, how to set a classic motion tween for our symbol or a shape tween for an object on the stage.
You will need to know how to use shape hints to control the animation of shape tweens. You will also need to know how to use Ease In and Ease Out in the Properties panel. You will have to know about the library, how to create folders there and how to move symbols in the library and to name them. We will have to be comfortable with the toolbar, how to use the Free Transform tool, the Line tool, how to draw shapes on the stage and how to convert them into symbols. You will have to know how to duplicate symbols and how to swap symbol instances on the stage. Finally, you will have to know how to navigate the Timeline and to create layers and how to change those layers into guide layers if you need to.
Also, you will have to be comfortable with copying and pasting frames. So if this describes you, if you are pretty much ticking all these boxes, then I think you are ready to go.
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