Join Dermot O' Connor for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating rough keys and pose tests, part of Hand-Drawn Animation in Flash.
The next step is to take the thumb nail image, and to separate it into each separate pose in Photoshop. Which I've done here and I've brought these into the flash library and as you can see I've cleaned them up quite a bit because they were a bit noodley, they've got lines and notes all over them. So to see this animate on the stage I want them to be a little cleaner, easily done. And then I place them on the stage, using the feet as the placement point. And then as you can see here, his physical right foot is more or less in the same position.
And then I position them on the timeline using the timing charts. So let's play it first, see what this looks like, has a nice feel to it. And I'm not seeing anything popping out as being completely wrong at this point. So, we're pretty much in the very good zone with this, and I put that down to the fact that the thumbnails were so carefully drawn. So, you begin to see the importance of a very, very, good thumbnail pass. It's a great send off when you begin to do the post test. This is what we're doing now. We're setting up a poles test. So on the layer below I've actually just brought in my thumbnails as reference if I ever need to double check anything.
And here we have our timing charts which I have translated on their own level to the top right. So for example, frame one, this timing chart which is image if this had been a sheet of paper back in the traditional era, this is where the timing chart would often have gone. And I haven't bothered writing in the numbers for the smaller frames, but it's enough to see one, three, five, seven, nine, 11, 13 which corresponds to this timing chart here. So once we've synchronized everything up, one last little thing that I would do is to make sure that you keep the timing chart level and the pose test level, and later the animation level, close together.
Because these frames must travel in tandem. You wouldn't want your timing chart to slip out of synchronization with the frame that it's meant to be living with. So let's make that a little easier to do. I'm going to go into the properties panel and do a little cheat that I've developed. Which is to select each key frame, and in the properties panel under label just hit space. I'll move on and that puts a little red flag. So what I'm going to do is put a label. Just an empty label, just with a space in it and that will flag every key frame because what's going to happen is later on as we create more of these, the time line can get a little confusing.
So I love to have this little red flag, and that flag means key frame. Be careful. You will also notice that at the bottom that I have made an odds even level and this is very simple, it's just as a visual cue. All the blue, which I have right clicked and I have put classic tweens in all of them. That simply symbolizes the odd numbers and the white ones are even numbers. So since we are animating on twos. It's just easier to be sure that we haven't slipped. As long as my key frame appears over a blue then it's on an odd number. So I know I haven't fallen out of alignment.
And as I put in the in betweens they're going to go over the blue, if they're on twos. So it's just a little visual helper. All right, time to move on.
- Creating thumbnails
- Building rough keys and pose tests
- Adding secondary keys
- Symbolizing body parts
- Creating loose breakdowns
- Drawing in-betweens
- Coloring the character
- Cleaning up the animation