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Flash Animation 5: Creating a Complex Character of Movable Parts

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Introduction
Flash Animation 5: Creating a Complex Character of Movable Parts
In this lesson, we're going to learn how to "cheat' on making detailed animated characters in Flash without actually drawing every frame. In past lessons we've animated basic shapes; while a bouncing ball with a face is easy to do and can be entertaining with the right script, we're going to go for something a bit more complex, using techniques we've already learned in more advanced ways, along with a few new tricks on importing files into Flash.

With that in mind, meet Lex; I've created him just for this lesson. You should create your own character for this lesson, but don't get too detailed. You'll notice with Lex that I started off with basic shapes, and then retraced to clean line art; you'll need that. In this lesson, clean, crisp line edges will be very important, as we'll be breaking our characters apart into different pieces. We'll also be coloring them much more simply than the colored version of Lex in the above image, but I went ahead and did a detailed version just to get an idea of my colors.

Note: In the preliminary stages of drawing, before importing into Flash, I'm working with pencil on white copy paper, retracing using an Artograph light desk, and then scanning into Photoshop for color and file exporting. I prefer it this way, but you can also draw directly in Flash, using your mouse or tablet. The principles covered still apply; just use the previous lessons on drawing in Flash, and make sure to make a symbol of each part.

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