Character Animation: Design and Animate Your Original Character | Siobhan Twomey | Skillshare

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Character Animation: Design and Animate Your Original Character

teacher avatar Siobhan Twomey, Artist, Illustrator, Instructor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

26 Lessons (2h 46m)
    • 1. Promo

    • 2. Introduction

    • 3. Drawing Your Sketch Part 1

    • 4. Drawing Your Sketch Part 2

    • 5. Preparing Your Drawing for Animate

    • 6. Setting Up Your Workspace in Animate

    • 7. Overview of the Drawing Tools

    • 8. Introduction to Symbols

    • 9. Pirate Build: Head and Face; working with gradients

    • 10. Pirate Build: Hat

    • 11. Pirate Build: Body; working with stripes

    • 12. Pirate Build: Legs and Boots; duplicating

    • 13. Turning Parts into Symbols

    • 14. Checking the Rig

    • 15. Animation Project 1: Jump Part 1

    • 16. Animation Project 1: Jump Part 2

    • 17. Anatomy of a Walk Cycle

    • 18. Animation Project 2: Animating a Walk

    • 19. Animation Project 3: Animating a Looped Cycle

    • 20. Adding Animation to a Scene

    • 21. Something is Missing!

    • 22. Adding a Mask to Your Animation

    • 23. Combining the Jump and the Walk

    • 24. Adding Music to Your Animation

    • 25. Animating the Doors Opening

    • 26. Exporting Your Animation

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About This Class

If you are ready to take your animation to the next level and start working on CHARACTER ANIMATION, this course is for you.

This workflow is based around character animation in Adobe Animate.

Here’s what’s you’ll achieve in this course:

  • how to come up with a concepts for characters, and how to draw rough drawings, and test poses

  • how to finalise your drawing to import into animation software

  • how to use Adobe Animate to design and build a fully working and animation ready character rig - this includes working with drawing tools, layers and symbols

  • how to animate a character frame by frame and with Aniamte's tween function

  • how to animate a jump; and how to animate a walk cycle

  • finally how to add your animation to a scene with a background, how to add music, camera moves and overlays.

This course covers a complete Animation Workflow - from concept all the way through to final movie clip - using Adobe Animate

The course is made up of 3 parts.

The first part is about how to draw your character from scratch and then how to import your sketch into Animate. From there, i’ll show you step by step how to make a build that is ready for animation. You can use your own drawing, or use one of my sketches to work on.

Likewise, in the second part of the course, you’ll have a choice of working with either my rig that I made as a demo, or using your own. The 2 projects in this section are the Jump and the walk. The walk cycle is one of the most important projects for any beginner animator. This is a crucial project to complete successfully and I will show you exactly how to do that. I’m going to show you a couple of ways to animate a walk, including animating a looped walk using tweens.

In the third and final section you will learn how to build an entire scene around this seemingly simple walk cycle. I am going to give you a background that you can use if you want, but if you have your own artwork you’ll learn exactly how to work with it so that your animation looks like it’s seamlessly part of the world you’ve created.

I’ll also show you how adding a short piece of music to your scene can suddenly elevate it and make it look like it’s part of a larger sequence or movie.

Meet Your Teacher

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Siobhan Twomey

Artist, Illustrator, Instructor

Top Teacher

Hello, I'm Siobhan :)

My background spans the disciplines of drawing, painting, filmmaking and animation. Starting out, I studied film in Dublin at UCD, also spent a semester on a scholarship at the Tisch School of the Arts, at NYU in New York. I later studied drawing and animation. Since 2005, I've worked in studios in Vancouver and Dublin as a professional Background and Environment Artist. I've also worked as a storyboard artist, concept artist, and I have directed a number of short animated films. My studio practice revolves around portrait painting and figure drawing, for commission and gallery exhibitions.

All in all, I've worked for 20 years as an Artist, Illustrator and Animation Professional. 

My passion is to teach others the whole spectrum of Ar... See full profile

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1. Promo: Hi there. I'm [inaudible]. I'm an artist and an animation professional, and this is a course on character design and character animation. This is the second in my series on learning how to animate from scratch. In this course, you'll go way beyond the basics of learning how to work with key how to move objects around the screen. Here, you're going to learn two of the most important processes in professional animation production: How to create a character for animation and how to animate that character within a scene. I'm going to take you step-by-step through every phase of coming up with a character, right away through to bringing that character to life. If you love animation and cartoons, and you want to know how to make your own characters, if you really want to learn the skills that could open doors to an actual career path in animation, or if you just want to learn how to make your own short films, this course will teach you exactly those skills. Here's what you'll achieve by the end of the course; you will know how to come up with a character design, how to make rough drawings and test poses, how to bring that rough drawing into a software like Adobe Animate and then start building an animatable rig. You'll know how to animate a character frame by frame, as well as with screens. Finally, you'll know how to add your animation to a scene with a background, how to add music, camera moves, and overlays. Character design and character animation are two distinct skill sets that are both highly marketable and really in demand in the animation industry right now. This course is going to teach you both, because every animator needs to know how to make an appealing and interesting character, and every designer needs to know how to build a rig that can be handed off to somebody else and animate it. With that in mind, I've designed the course so that the main outcome is to have a whole set of professional looking pieces for your portfolio. You'll be able to walk away from this course with some amazing work that you can show it to any studio when you're applying for jobs. But not only that, you'll walk away from this course with skills that you can apply to any animation that you want to do, whether it's 3D, 2D, or even stop motion. Because even though this course is project-based, what you'll be learning through these projects are core animation principles that you'll use from here on out if you do go on to working in the industry. After you enroll, you've got lifetime access to the material in this course. You'll also have access to the downloads and the files that I've left for each of the projects, and you'll be able to contact me directly if you've got any questions or if you want feedback on your work. I've made this course, it's finished, and now I'm here to monitor your progress and to support you in any way that I can. You can teach yourself animation, there's no doubt about that. You can start to build a really amazing looking animation portfolio today. Thanks for checking out this course. I hope you enroll and if you do, I look forward to working with you. 2. Introduction: In this introduction, I want to give you an overview of the course structure so that you know what to expect and also so that you know how to get the best out of this course. Then I want to tell you about the software that I'm using, and lastly, some pointers about how to contact me or how to share your work with the other students in the course. The course is made up of three parts. The first part is all about design, and I'll show you how to draw your rough sketch and then how to bring that sketch into something like Adobe Animate. From there, I'll show you step-by-step how to build your rig to get it ready for animation. For this part, you can use your own drawing or you can use one of my sketches if you want to work on that. Likewise, when we go to the second part, which is all about animation, you are welcome to use the rate that I built in the demo or use your own characteristic. The two projects in this course are the jump animation and the walk cycles. The walk cycle is probably one of the most important projects for any beginner animator to learn. It's a crucial project to complete successfully, and I'm going to show you exactly how to do that. I'm going to show you a couple of ways of animating a walk cycle, including how to do a looped walk, plus I'll show you how to animate using tweens. Then in the third and final section, you're going to take all of the animation and designs that you've done. I'll show you how to build up a scene using a background that I have. But if you want to use your own artwork and drop that in, that's totally fine. I'm going to show you how you can make sure that your character looks like it seamlessly part of the world that you're creating. You'll also learn how to add music and how to add camera moves at the stage. By the end of the course, you should have a project that looks a little bit something like this. The software that I'm using for this course is Adobe Animate. Now, you can use any other software that you like, because the principles that I cover here will apply to any animation software. There are quite a few free options out there. If you want to work alongside me in another program, that's totally fine. But I wanted to let you know why I favor Animate as my software of choice. In recent years, Animate has been used by major commercial studios to make TV shows with huge budgets and complicated production pipelines. If you present work that you've made an animate to any studio, they're going to immediately recognize that you've got experience working with professional-grade software. Secondly, Animate is actually a really straightforward program to learn animation. Once you get your head around symbols, everything else is very straightforward. You create a keyframe on your timeline, and you create a pose on the stage. That's it. There's no confusion around how you see your keyframes, how you make a blank stage for the next pose, the way you do in other programs, and you don't have to work with complicated graphs or graph editors. You can download a free trial if you want to just test it out even for the duration of this course and see how you get on, or as I say, you are welcome to work in a different program if you like. Just message me if you've got any questions. For the drawing part of the course, I will use Adobe Photoshop, but again, you can use any other drawing software. You can even make your sketch on paper and just scan it in as long as you've got a JPEG or a PNG as the final sketch to work with. Lastly, as I said before, if you have any questions in the course, just let me know. Don't hesitate to contact me. You can leave a question in the Q&A section or in the assignment section. Also, if you do have any feedback on the course, I'd love to hear it. This course is really important to me, and I want it to be the best course for you. Even if you just pop in a raging at the start, that would be hugely helpful, and you can change that leisure or even add a review if you like. But it does go a long way to helping me make this your best course plus, it helps other students to find the content. That's all of the housekeeping done, let's get to work on our animation projects. Up next, you'll learn about design principles and how to create awesome cool designs every time you sit down to draw. 3. Drawing Your Sketch Part 1: In this video, I'm going to start drawing my rough ideas or concepts for character design, which I'm then going to take through to final character rig and animation. In this stage of the process, it's really important to keep loose and rough and not really get bogged down into details. The other thing is that it's very important to actually give this part of the process a decent amount of time, like don't rush it. You want to be able to just draw as many ideas as you have and then choose the best one out of the lot. Don't just draw one kind of idea and then stop there. What I'll do is in Photoshop, I've created a new document. Now it doesn't really matter what the size of this document is since it's not going to be my final artwork, however just for good practice, I have made it at 1920 by 1080 pixels because I know that that's what my Adobe Animate document size is going to be when I do get to animation. So over my layer stack, I'm going to create a new layer. I'm going to take the color down to almost black and for the brush, I just really need a standard hard-edged brush. So what I might do is just adjust the opacity slightly. Starting off, I'm working with very basic shapes, that's how I always start a rough drawing, so big circle like this. I had the idea to do a big, like a round character and then I thought about a pirate character that I have drawn before, which I think I might try and recreate here. Really keeping it very loose, very messy even and just making basic shapes for the arms and legs. I'm trying to keep in mind that idea of contrast in design where I'll counterbalance a straight line with a curved line and also if this pirate character, let's say, if the main motif is this big round shape, I'm going to counterbalance that with small little legs and small feet. When I'm drawing like this quite fast and just trying to get my ideas out, I don't necessarily want to start erasing things out yet and adding things in, so if there's any time where you want to change your drawing or your line work, a good technique is to hit L on your keyboard and use the lasso tool just to manipulate your lines. You can shift them down by using the arrow keys or you can use Command or Control T if you wanted to rotate anything. For example, this arm could be holding a sword and I think what I'm going to do instead of redrawing it, because I want it to be up like that, I'll go up to transform, flip and flip it vertically. Saves me having to redo anything, keep the workflow going. That's actually my first attempt. It looks okay, to me anyway it reads pretty much what I had in mind and what I'm going do now is redraw this character in different poses. It's very important, especially for character design, to test your character drawing or to test your concept for animation in this rough stage, because we want to know if the design actually works. Will this guy be able to move around convincingly? So you just draw in as many dynamic poses as you can think of and really try to push the design if you can, and see if the drawing actually still reads as the same character that you drew in the first sketch. If it does, then you know you've got a good design and that it will likely work for animation. Now, since this is a very exploratory phase of the process, I'm not going to stop there. I think I'm going to do another couple of characters and that way I can have a bit of a choice and choose the one that I want. I think I'll just make a new layer, hide this first one and start over again. This time, go for something completely different. Maybe I'll just make an elongated shape like this for the body and a small, squashed head and actually immediately I'm starting to see this character as an animal-like character, so I'm not going to give him a human face. Maybe it's a cat, so little cat ears and animal-like limbs. That's actually a very nice silhouette. I could add a shirt and maybe a tail and now once again, I'll do some poses, see if I can draw this character in a dynamic action pose. When you are drawing action poses like this, try to think about the silhouette. You should be able to read the pose if it was totally blacked out and to do that, keep an eye on the arms. It's good to keep the arms outside of the main body shape as much as possible if you want a really strong silhouette that will read. I'll leave that there. Now, my last rough sketch, I think I'm going to just go for something completely different again and just draw a regular ordinary character, maybe a kid, a young boy or something like that, very generic normal. I'm just going to start out with blocky shapes. Once again, simple round circle for the head. These kinds of characters, like the generic normal sort character is great for animation because of the very simple and stylized design and also because a little kid like this is just so relatable and appealing. You can really start to build quite a lot of stories around a character like this. I'm already thinking maybe he's a stowaway on board the ship and the other two characters are part of the pirate group. Already there's a whole story coming together there. I'm now finally going to grab all of my three drawings, my three main rough drawings, and put them on one layer. I'm just copying and pasting and merging the layers together. Right-click and merge layers. Grab this guy, paste him in, and merge my layers. These now are my final three rough drawings. I'm going to decide which one of these I think is going to be good to bring through to the animation phase and then in the next video I'm going to just tidy my drawing up a little bit and get it ready for design. Not going to spend too much time in Photoshop, really cleaning up the line work or anything like that, I just want to refine it a little bit more and get the drawing to a bit more of a defined stage. I'll see you in the next video. 4. Drawing Your Sketch Part 2: In this video, I'm going to start the process for my final character design. In order to clean up these drawings, or at least take them to the next stage, I'm going to bring the opacity of this layer down. I'll create a new layer above it. Then I can start to draw the design out. I'm still using the same brush settings as before because I don't need to get detailed yet and I still want to work quite rough and loose. But now that I know, I've got a fair idea about the character and about what the whole design is going to look like, I can start to bring in some refinement and start to work on some details. For example, define the beard and the face a little bit better. This part of the process is the exact same as before, but I'm just trying to draw with less lines if that makes sense. As you can see when I turn off the rough layer, the drawing is starting to emerge a little bit better, and definitely the character is coming through. There are probably a lot of things that aren't quite right or they don't really fit, but remember we're going to be building this finally in Adobe Animate, and that's when we can really refine and clean things up. Of course, you don't want to have a completely unresolved drawing when you are trying to build it in Animate, so you need to make sure that everything is clear enough for you at this secondary rough stage. This guy definitely needs a pirate hat and I want that to be part of the overall design shape from the outset. It really needs to fit in with the other proportions. That's really more or less a finished drawing for me. I know he looks more like a character from the Lord of the Rings. One of the dwarves, especially if you flip them like that. I could make some fixes here. I'm going to fix his shoulder. You do see a lot of people flipping their drawings throughout the drawing process, from one side to the other. When you do that, what happens is you see the mirror image of the drawing, and that can really help for your eye to pick up things that might be off in your design or your drawing that you might not have noticed. That can really help you to spot mistakes or misaligned proportions or things like that. One thing I will say though, is if you're continually flipping your drawing back and forth throughout your drawing process, you know that it might not be as beneficial because you will start to get used to seeing it in the mirror image way as well. What I tend to do is just use that as a once or twice check throughout my process. I've decided that I'm definitely going to use this character for my animation. I like the design. I think the character himself has enough personality for my animation project, especially when we get to the walk cycle, I think this character might give a nice jaunty walk, so that could be fun to work on. I was a bit concerned that the cat character that his limbs weren't straightforward enough to demonstrate the walk cycle, so I decided to leave him aside. However, I am going to leave these drawings for you. If you wanted to take any one of these three drawings for yourself and practice building the rig, you're more than welcome to, or you can choose this pirate character and work alongside me step-by-step. Or, if you've got your own original character that you'd like to design and get it all ready for animation, that would be amazing. It's totally up to you. Meet me in the next video and I'm going to show you how to prepare your drawing to import it into Animate. Then I'll run through how to set up your workspace in Animate for specifically, character design and character builds. 5. Preparing Your Drawing for Animate: Before we go any further, you need to give your character a name. It helps you choose, just to flesh out the character, to give your character an identity and a personality, and will really help you then to develop the backstory. Whether you're using one of my sketches or you're using your own character, I want you to take some time now, and come up with a name, and write it down. I've decided that I'm going to call this character Captain Bones. His first mate over here is Tom, the pirate cat. This stowaway on board the ship is called Billy. Now, all three of these characters have a name, and they just start to feel a bit more real. I can start to develop their stories. You could also at this stage, write down on a piece of paper or on your Photoshop document, you could write down some attributes of their character or their personality. You don't have to write a big long paragraph or anything like that, but it really helps you to develop who your character is if you write down certain attributes or traits. Another thing is that if you do end up developing your character to the final stage, and you're really happy with it, and you want to put it in your portfolio, if you have a piece of text that goes along with that to describe who this character is, it'll make the whole presentation a lot stronger. I'm ready to save out my drawings for animates. What I'm going to do is hit C for crop. Then simply click and drag around the drawing like this. Then I'll go to File, Save As. You can save this out as a JPEG or a PNG. Then I'm going to undo the crop, so that the document goes back to the original with all my artwork still intact. That's it. I'm now ready to dive into Adobe Animates. What I want to do in the next couple of videos is introduce you to the workspace if you don't know it already, and help you to get set up for the design phase. When you're ready, meet me in the next video. 6. Setting Up Your Workspace in Animate: When you first open up Adobe Animate, you usually get this welcome screen and you can leave it on the character animation tab. You can leave it at full HD. You really don't need to worry about those things at the moment. You don't necessarily need to worry about the frame rate either, because we're just using this document for design. I suppose it's good practice to make sure that your document is set to 24 frames. So you can go ahead and change that if you want. By the way, if you're confused about the frame rates or you're not sure why we will be working in 24 frames, I covered that in depths in the first animation course. If you wanted to, you could pause this video and go check that out, and get caught up on the difference between the different frame rates for animation. Or if you want to just send me a message, if you've got any questions or you need clarification about that. If you're happy enough, then we can continue on. I'm going to click "Create". Now, I've got a brand new document to work in. What I usually do first off is set my stage area to fit into this window. I'm going to explain the layout briefly and I'll show you how I set things up for designing or drawing. If you come up here to this drop-down menu, there are a number of different layouts that you can choose from. Maybe your one looks like this. It's set to Essentials. Maybe it's set to Designer, or set to Animator. This one looks very overwhelming. I think this is for usually very complex animations and we're not going to work in as busier Workspaces. That's for sure. I think if you just choose Essentials, for now, that way we can start off on the same page, and what I'm going to do is show you how I customize things. I'm going to drag this timeline up because, basically, I don't need a timeline for designing a drawing. But what I do need is layers. I do need to have a lot of space for all of my layers. I'll drag that up there, and then I can move the tools over here in a little bit. Now I've got a really nice big space for creating my artwork. There are a couple of other windows though that I do need. One is the color window. I'll just drag it out, and if you don't have that over here, you can go up to Window and find it right there. When you drag it out, it just means that it will stay open, doesn't collapse back into the side there. The second window I need is properties. I'm holding down the space bar when I move my stage around like that. Now, I'm going to go up to File and I'll choose Import, and then I'm going to "Import to Stage". There it is, it's over. If you look over in the layer stack, you can see that the drawing is in that layer, that key frame is blacked out, so that means that the artwork is there. If you want to do you could change the layer name, which I'm going to do, I'm going to double-click and I'll call it Rough, and I can lock it. Now if you want to, you can always save this layout onto your workspace by clicking up, on the "Workspace" tab. You can name it whatever you want and then you're good to go. If anything changes, you can always come back up there and revert back to your saved layout. That's really all you need for creating artwork in Animate. You need your layers, you need your color window, and you need your Properties tab. In the next video, I'm going to go through in detail all of the drawing and painting tools that you'll need to know in order to start designing. 7. Overview of the Drawing Tools: If you're familiar with Photoshop or any other digital drawing application, then the tools in Adobe Animate will be very simple and straightforward. I'll walk you through each one of them in this video especially the ones that we're going to use for building our character. Just for clarity, I have turned on the radar on my cursor. Hopefully, that's not too annoying with the red circle thing going on. I did want you to see when I'm clicking on something because I think that's useful to see. First of all, I'll just move these over to the side and I'll drag these two panels here so there's two rows. Now, as you can see each section is divided up by these little lines. That's handy to note because it just means that similar tools are bunched together or grouped together. The first batch is all of the selection tools and the move tools. This is the regular selection tool. This one here is the sub-selection tool and that will allow you to see and manipulate individual vector points. I've never used a 3D one and we're certainly not going to use it in this course so you don't have to worry about that for now. The Free Transform tool I use a lot. The shortcut for that is Q on your keyboard. The Lasso tool I also use quite a lot but I only ever use the regular lasso or the polygon. The next batch down are your drawing and painting tools. B is for the brush tool. With that selected, you can change the dynamics over in the Properties tab. Here you can change the shape of the brush or the size. Also, make sure that you have this thing checked off, Zoom size with stage. Because that's really useful when you zoom in and out of the stage you want your brush size to remain consistent as you do so. Next up is the pencil tool. You can see how the pencil works only on the stroke color whereas the brushes aligned with the fill color. Similarly, with the brush, you can affect the change or shape of the pencil tool over in properties in the Properties tab. You can increase the stroke size or you can change the shape. Then this one is the Line tool which is also classified as a stroke. It'll always be aligned with the stroke color. Now, the main differences between all of these three options really comes down to the vectors that make them up. On a brush mark, if I use a sub-selection tool and click on it, you can see that the vector points actually make up the exterior boundaries of that mark. You can manipulate them, select them. By doing so, you can really change the shape of that mark whereas on a stroke element, the vector points just define the interior of that mark so you You really change the width of it. You can see that the pencil lines have many different vector points but the line tool will only have two vector points. Then lastly, for your drawing and painting tools, you've got this thing called the Paintbrush tool. That's actually totally different from the brush tool. This tool can be used as a stroke or a fill. You can see here that it's a stroke. But if I go over to the Properties tab, I can change it to draw as fill. Now it's going to draw like a fill. Then you've got your shape tools and those are very standard and straightforward. They each draw with a stroke and a fill. You can manipulate either element if you want. That's useful for a number of editing techniques. If you wanted to select a line around a fill element, make sure that you double-click that line so that that selects the entire line. Otherwise, if you just clicked at once, it will only select the area between two vector points. All of those tools are great but there's one tool that I probably worked with more than any of them. It's the one I will be working with in this course at large and that's the pen tool. The pen creates lines so it's aligned with the stroke, but it does allow you to control your vector points as you draw. That's what makes it such a powerful drawing tool. You just click on the stage to create your first vector point and then on the next one, click and drag out to extend these handles. These handles will determine the size of the curve. That's really nice. Then if you wanted to have a curve just on one side of the vector point, all you do is when you click and drag out then click back onto that vector point, that collapses the one side and you can then create a very nice point and curve. Then to close the shape off, you just click back onto that first vector point that you made. Now if you wanted to, you could fill that shape with any color that you like. Just a quick note about filling inside of lines. If your lines are not closed, for example, you've got lines like this and you tried to fill it, it won't fill unless all of the points are completely closed. To ensure that, make sure that this magnet icon over here is switched on and then things will snap into place. That'll be a lot easier to work with. Then you can just fill it like that. That's a brief overview. As we work through the character build, I'll definitely be explaining each of these tools in depth as I go and you'll be able to see the application of each one and have a much clearer and much more complete understanding of the drawing tools. If you have any questions at this point, make sure to send me a message. I'll be happy to clear things up. Or if there's anything that you think that I've left out, please let me know. One last thing that we need to cover before we get into designing and building, and that's Adobe Animate symbols. In the next video, I wanted to show you what symbols are, how to create symbols so that you're aware of that from the outset. 8. Introduction to Symbols: In this video, I'm going to give you an introduction to symbols in Adobe Animate. I'm going to explain what they are, how to create them, and how they work. It'll be a bit of an overview, but with some very important pointers that I want you to keep in mind for later on when we get to animating our character, what I would suggest is maybe bookmarking this lecture and come back to it later on if you need to, if you need to go over again all of the steps that I'm talking about in this video and don't worry if things do seem a little bit abstract at this stage. When you do start working with symbols and animating them, it'll all make much more sense. In the first animation course that I published, learn to animate, I taught you how to animate frame by frame. This is essentially a traditional way of animating. It's also known as hand-drawn animation and it's the absolute best way to learn how to animate. But once you know and understand animation principles, you'll want to be able to ramp up your work and start producing complex, fluid, and smooth animation. That's where symbols come in. You can use symbols for complex animation for a couple of reasons. Firstly, symbols mean that you don't have to redraw everything. That saves you tons of time. Secondly, symbols can be twinned, so you don't have to key-frame everything. Again, that saves you tons of time. For the question, what is a symbol, just think of a symbol as something that you don't have to redraw and something that you can animate with tweens. Now let's look at how to create a symbol. If I make a drawing on the stage, the easiest way to convert this to a symbol is to select the whole thing and then you can either right-click and choose "Convert to Symbol" or hit F8 on your keyboard. Either way that you do it, you'll get this dialog box. In this box, you can now name your symbol. I want to point out here, do not skip this step. Symbols live in what's called a library and it's essential that you name your symbols at the very beginning in order to keep your library organized. Well, it will keep your library organized, but more importantly, it will keep other animations that you work with very happy. Really, one of the most important things when you're working with other people is to keep all of your files and your assets named correctly. Once you've done that, this next option that you need to look at is the one which allows you to choose the type of symbol. We're animators. We will only really ever need to use graphic. The other options are for HTML and web stuff. Then the next thing is this box over here. This allows you to set the registration point of your symbol for rotation. Essentially, it's the anchor point that the symbols rotate around. I will be talking about this a little bit later on in this video. For now, just note, this is where you set that anchor point. Then you don't really need to worry about the rest. For now, you can hit "OK". What would happen is you'd see this blue box that shows you your asset on the stage is now a symbol. I can't directly edit it, I can't access the vector points like this or change the color. If I open up the library, here it is. This is where the symbol lives and this thing here on the stage is actually really just an instance of this symbol over here in the library. It's just referencing that library asset. That means I can drag it out onto the stage as many times as I want and it's still just one item sitting in the library. I can scale and rotate these other instances individually. If you wanted to edit or change a symbol, all you have to do is double-click on the icon on the stage. That effectively opens up the symbol. It reveals the original drawing. You can see up here at the very top, there's almost like a breadcrumb trail. You're inside the symbol right now. If I change the color of this, for example, there we can see all the other instances that are back out on my main stage have also changed color. As you can see, you also have a timeline inside the symbol, just exactly like the timeline on the layers on your main scene. If you're familiar with After Effects, you can think of a symbol as a comp. It means that I can now animate a whole timeline within the symbol. Let me just add in a few key frames here very quickly, just to demonstrate. Then when I go back out into my main timeline or the overall scene, I've got animation that I can now move around and scale. When you have a bunch of symbols on a stage like this, you can select them all. You can right-click and you can distribute them to layers. That is a really handy technique, especially if you've got a character with multiple parts on one layer and all of those parts are symbols. You can easily distribute them to layers just by one right click of the button. Now, what I want to show you is, all of these things are animated at the same rate. If I click on one symbol and go over to Properties. I'm just going to drag this out. You got a load of other options like Position and Size, Color Effect. But really just take a look at Looping for the moment. If I twirl this down, you'll see that the options under here are to loop, play once, or single frame. That means when you have a symbol that has animation, you can determine where you want the animation to start. Let's say on this one I wanted to just be on one frame. On this one, I wanted to play once and on the other two, I'll set them to loop. I'll just add a bunch more frames to extend the timeline. Now, you can see the top-left flower doesn't move. The top-right one moves once and then the other two are on a loop. That's a really handy way to vary out your animations as well. You can also change the frame at which the animation starts by clicking this button here. The next thing that I want to tell you about in this video is how to rotate symbols. Because there are a couple of quirks within Adobe Animate that I want you to be aware about, especially when down the line, we are animating our characters and we're using tweens and moving our character's arms around. There's something I want you to really be aware of at the moment. What I want to do is show you how to rotate symbols using this character as an example and I'm just going to rotate his arm. The rest of the character I'll just leave as is. I'm just going to move the arm. I'm going to select the arm. Then right-click and I'll come down to Distribute to Layers and that already has put each of those items onto a separate layer. Tom left arm upper, Tom left arm lower. If I come out to in my timeline and extend it a bit and then say about here, I want to make a couple of key-frames for the upper and lower arm, and I want to rotate them up, like he's putting his arm up in the air. If I grabbed the symbol and move the anchor point to the top in order to rotate it like you would naturally or normally, that's actually not going to work. I'll show you why in a minute. Let me go back down to the timeline, right-click and choose Create Classic Tween. You can see what happens there. Essentially the program when it creates the tweens isn't able to read the different registration points. The fact that I moved the registration point away from it's native position. That is a bit annoying because you instinctively want to be able to move the anchor point in order to rotate it. But if I undo all of that and go back to the beginning again, let me create two key-frames here. This time I'm going to move each arm individually without moving that anchor point. Making sure that that anchor point stays in the middle there and the lower arm rotate it and then move it up. Okay. Now, if I create a classic tween, there won't be the same issue at all. Adobe Animate is able to rotate it because there hasn't been any movement in either one of those anchor points. However, I am going to point out one thing. In the first course, I introduced you to the principle of arcs in animation. If I just left it to the software to tween, you can see that the Adobe Animate doesn't actually animate in arcs. All I have to do is basically create a breakdown drawing because you always want everything to move in arcs. It's a natural realistic movement. To do that, I'll come back to both the in-between point and create two key-frames there and just make an adjustment myself manually. Now, that's going to be a much better, much more realistic and natural-looking movement. Just to recap, when you're moving symbols individually and you rotate them by moving the anchor point between won't exactly work the way you want it to. Make sure to just leave the anchor point where it is. However, there is an exception to that and that is, if you select two or more symbols and then rotate them. I'll show you what I mean by this now. If I grab these two symbols together, hit Q on my keyboard, then move the anchor point and then I move it down. Then come down to the timeline, right-click and create a classic tween between those two. You'll see it's the same. It hasn't made that awful jumpy jumpy transition and all I need to do is adjust the breakdown drawing. So that's how to rotate symbols when you're using tweens inside animation. As I said, when we get to animating our character, feel free to bookmark this lecture and hop back here just to go over that again. If it's not clear or if you've got any questions, just send me a message. Up next, we're going to dive into creating our character inside Animate and start building the rig so that it's ready for animation. I'll see you in the next video. 9. Pirate Build: Head and Face; working with gradients: On a new layer, I'm going to start tracing out the shape of my character's face first. I'm using the pen tool and I'm going to just click and draw the points, and I'm going to create the shape as I go around. I'm doing this because I want to have the base color of the face first, and then on top of that, I'm going to add the nose, the eyes, all the features like dash, and I also like to do this on separate layers. For me, it's better, it's easier to draw things in Adobe Animate when I've got things on separate layers, but for the face, I'm actually then go to collapse them all into one layer afterwards. In some cases you'll need to keep everything on separate layers, especially for eyes and mouth. That's the base layer. I'm going to go up and double-click on this layer and rename this Captain bones face and then on the next layer up, I'm going to start drawing the mustache. As you can see, I'm not really sticking very close to the drawing. I'm simply using that as a guide. I don't have to worry about being super exact and then I want a really strong orange color for this guy beard. I think something like that will be good. Now in order to draw above the face layer, but yet still see my rough drawing underneath, I can change the entire layer to be just an outline by clicking this tiny icon here. That allows me to see through that layer to the rough drawing underneath. Now I'm going to move on to the beard. Remember when you want to create points, you can just click back onto the last vector point that you made and then curve it out again. Make your curve, click back onto it, and curve the other side that way. If you make a mistake when you're using the pen tool, all you do is hit Command or Control Z on your keyboard that will undo the last vector point and you can go again. Now as you can see, the mustache and beard are actually the same color. What I'm going to do is I want to try and offset the mustache a little bit. I'm going to turn the layer into an outline first and then using the lasso tool, I'm going to carve out some of the shadows on the beard layer. You'll see what I mean now in a moment. I'm just basically drawing a shadow shape of the mustache like this. Then if I turn the outline off, you can see that the whole area is selected under this mustache and now what I can do is change the color. We'll go up to the corner window and just make it ever so slightly darker, so it offsets. Very nice. Okay. Then I can do the same within the beard, just some shadow areas like that. It'll give it a bit of depth and texture. Onto the next layer, now I'm going to do the mouth. I'm going to keep that very simple, just a really basic shape. We're not doing any lips ink animation in this course. That's material for the next course. I don't need to worry about making complex math shapes, can just keep it very simple. All right, that's done. The next step of the eyes and for the eyes I'm going to use the circle shape tool and just click and drag out. If you wanted to, you could set the stroke to none by clicking on this little icon here with the red line going through it. That will ensure that you only draw a shape with fill, the fill color. Then I'll do the same for the pupil and change the fill to black and then drag it over to the eye. Now, I'm going to do the eyebrow and for this I'm actually going to paint the eyebrow on with the paint brush. I'll just sample the color of the beard and make a paint brush mark like that and there you go. That's a great eyebrow for a pirate and now for the nose. Going back to the pen tool, I'm going to trace the shape around and I'm actually going to close it off because I want it to be a different color to his face. Now the eye can be duplicated. That's very easy enough, but just make sure that when you adjust it into place, you adjust it slightly since it would look weird but with the exact same thing copied over and the same with the eyebrow. I'm actually going to flip it to make it look like it's on the other side and I'll change it ever so slightly so it's not the exact same. Here I'm using the eraser to tidy it up and I think actually I might do that on the other one. We're almost finished with the face. The one thing that I want to show you is how to add a gradient color. For example, on the nose, I would like if the nose was redder towards the tip. That's a good opportunity to show you how to make a gradient color. Now just a word of warning, use gradients sparingly. If you have a gradient dried your whole character design will look very weird but I'm only going to just do one or two little sections of gradients on this design. I'm going to select the whole color to start off with, then I'll come up here and choose linear gradient from this drop-down menu, then double-click into this tiny little tab to change the color and that's the starting color. Then double-click over here to change the ending color. For that, I will sample the skin tone because I want the gradient to fade into the regular skin tone. Then when you've got that done, come up to the transform tool, but click and hold down on this. That'll show you another option which is called the gradient transform tool. With that selected, you can rotate your gradient or move it around. That's looking very good except that it's getting a little bit lost in the overall skin tone. To make the nose a bit more defined, I'm going to put up the outline or the stroke back around the fill color. Now don't worry, you don't have to redraw it or anything. There's a really handy tool if you want to add an outline on to anything and that is the ink bottle tool. Click on dash and then come over to your fill and just click on the side with the edge of the film. Then you can select it, you can change the color, you can increase the size and then I'm going to delete dash line. That looks great and in fact, I think I might actually do little tiny gradient for his cheeks because I want him to have two rosy cheeks and rather than edit the base color of the face, I'm going to add two little cheeks on top. What I'll do is make this shape selected manipulation into place. Just note that that's on a layer above the face layer, and it's above the eyes, but it's underneath the mustache. That's the face done. All that I need to do next is just to the hat and pretty much this is my workflow for the whole rest of the design. There's nothing more complex or complicated than that. There are a couple of more techniques though that I do want to show you as we progress through the build. 10. Pirate Build: Hat: Before I go any further, now that I'm totally happy with the features of the face, I don't think I'm going to make any more changes. What I'll do is I'll collapse all of these layers into one layer just to make it a bit easier going forwards. If I was going to go ahead and animate different mouth shapes or have blinks for his eyes, then I would need to keep these items on separate layers. But since for this course, we're just doing the overall character animation, not the specific details. We can consolidate things a little bit. It just make life a lot easier. To do that, what you do is you click and drag through all of the keyframes in your timeline. Don't select the layers themselves. Make sure that you select the keyframes by just clicking and dragging all the way through. Then use Command or Control plus X to cut all of those contents. You don't want to delete or copy. You just simply cut, and then go to an empty keyframe, and go Command or Control V, and that pastes everything back into one layer. With that done, I can delete those layers and keep things tidy. Now onto the hat again with the trustee pen tool. I'm sure you're getting the idea by now of my workflow. I'm not really going to labor the point. You basically create smooth lines around the outside, tracing your rough drawing, and then you fill each of those with color. That's the basic workflow really. The lines help you to trace accurately and perfectly so that your shape is exactly how you want to it. Then all you need to do is use the bucket tool to add the color. There's no more editing really required beyond that. In this instance, I'm going to use the gradient fill. I always choose linear gradients for these kinds of things because it's a lot more straightforward than trying to work with the radial gradient. It's easier to move around. I want it to be darker on the bottom and just have a subtle color change go towards the top. Nothing drastic, just something like that. For the trim on the hat, you can treat that as lines. I'll just use the pen tool to create two lines. You could also painted on with the paintbrush. There we go, very easily done. We're moving along very quickly actually. We've actually only got about two or three more sections to go. The main body of the pirate, and then the legs, and feet. Moving on in the next video, I'll tackle the main body, the jacket, the shirt, and the arms. I'll also show you a couple of techniques that are very useful for creating stripes or any kinds of patterns on top of filled colors. 11. Pirate Build: Body; working with stripes: In this video, I'm going to show you a really easy technique that's very straightforward for adding stripes or indeed any kind of pattern to an area of fill. It's super simple and straightforward and it will save you hours of time. In this instance, I've moved on to creating the main body of Captain Bones. As in my previous demo, I'm just using the pen tool to trace the outline, and I'm using the bucket tool to fill those outlines of color. Then I delete the outside line and I've just got the flat color. But on this shirt, I actually want to have stripes. There are a few ways of adding stripes and some of them are way more messy and complicated than others. But here's the way that I do it. Create a new layer above that fill layer and switch to the line tool to draw some totally straight lines like this. Remember, the line tool only has two vector points. That means you can grab anywhere in the middle of this line and the curve will be nice and smooth and even. Once you've got your curved line, select Dash, hit Option or Alt on your keyboard. Or with that press down, I should say just drag the line down so you have duplicated it essentially then. You can select both of the lines and do the exact same thing, Alt and drag. Now, you might want to adjust the curve on the second set of lines just because the idea is that his belly is getting rounder and rounder. I would drag them out a bit more, and then rinse and repeat for the last two stripes. Because they're on a separate layer, you can adjust them freely without disturbing the fill color or making any mess. Once you're happy with exactly how you want them to be, select them all by clicking on the keyframe in the layer stack. Cut them, and go down to the layer below and paste them. If you want to paste anything in the exact same place that it was where you created it or where you cut it from, let's say, you have to hit or you have to hold Command or Control plus Shift plus V, and that will paste it into place. Now, they're embedded on the fill. What you can do now is just select different color and add that different color to those sections. Once you're done, simply double-click all of the lines and hit Backspace to delete. Very easy and very fast. You didn't have to make a mess with your back in your shapes. The next thing that I want to show you is how to make arms for animation. This is one of the most essential parts of building a character. The idea that you are thinking ahead towards the animation phase and thinking how to design your character for animation. In other words, how you can break up shapes like the arm and make them rotate smoothly without looking like they're disjointed. To do that, just draw the upper arm, first of all, separate from the rest, but make sure that the end of it is a bit rounded. If you do that, that's going to ensure that the lower arm when it rotates from the elbow, won't be sticking out or won't have corners that stick out. It'll be a nice smooth rotation, that'll make sure that the joint is hidden. Likewise, when you draw the lower arm, just round off that edge so that it matches up with the upper arm. The wrist doesn't have to be rounded because the hand, or in this case the hook is going to be on a layer underneath the cuff of the jacket. That's going to be nicely hidden anyway, and that's how you do arms. It's exact same for the other side. Just remember on the other side you've got to order your layers so that his left arm, but I'm going to call it the right arm because I'm looking at it. You'd have to ensure that the right arm is below the whole of the body, where in this case, the jacket. It can't be on top because it'll look very strange. You would do the same for legs if you had normal regular legs with a knee joint and an ankle joint and then the whole leg attaches at the hip. Our design is a little bit more stylized, and I'm going to talk about that in the next video when we make the legs and the boots. But for the last thing on this section, I'm going to make the hand. Hands can be very tricky. All I'm going to do really is just make a basic shape for the silhouette of the hand. Then I'll switch to a drawing tool to draw the inside lines to indicate fingers and things like that. In fact, for these lines, I'm going to sample the same color that I used for the nose. I find using a darker color like this is much nicer than using black, but that's my personal preference. If you wanted to use black lines, that's totally fine. That's the whole upper body done. All that's left are the legs. Well, the pelvis and the legs and the boots. That's where I'm going to tackle in the next video. 12. Pirate Build: Legs and Boots; duplicating: Much like the idea of having rounded edges to the ends of the upper arm and likewise the lower arm, for the pelvis, especially with this kind of a design, I want to have a nice rounded shape so that the legs can freely move around and we can hide the fact that they're very stylized, if that makes sense. Very simply for the pelvis, I'm just going to make a squashed round oval like this. Fill it with a dark brown color for his legs. Lastly, I just wanted to make sure that that layer is completely underneath everything else. Now, normally you would have an upper leg and the lower leg and a foot, much the same way you got the upper arm, lower arm, and then the hand. With this guy though, I'm only going to make the upper leg and the boot. I'm going to make the boot as kind of lower leg and foot all at the same time. It means that the movement of the legs is going to be a bit restricted. But I think that that really fits this stylized character and it's going to make it look very cartoony and fun, so hopefully it'll be okay. I'm going to make the upper leg just sort shape like this. That's one leg. Then on another layer, I'll do the other leg. The boots are easy enough, there's no details on them just the shape. In fact, all I really need to do for the other boot is simply copy it over and make sure that they're pointing in the same direction. Now, believe it or not, that's the entire rig completed. I've got everything drawn that I need. More importantly, everything's on separate layers and the layers are in order. In effect, the sky is almost ready to animate. There's only one very last step that we need to take in order to get him ready for animation, and that's to turn all of these parts into symbols. I'm going to hop over to the next video. I'm going to turn these into symbols. Then I think we'll be ready to move on to the two animation projects. If you've gotten this far in the course, congratulations, well done. A character build is a really, really important part of animation. It's an important part of your portfolio. Well done for getting this far. I'd love to see your work so please, if you can send me in a JPEG or post it into the discussion area, that will be awesome and I can give you some feedback. Also, if you've got any questions, make sure to send me a message. I'd really love to monitor your progress and help you out in any way that I can. Plus if you've done a design that's actually totally different to this character or to even the two rough drawings that I did, everyone else in this course would love to see your work because we can only learn more from each other. That'll be really inspiring to other students in this course. If you've taken all of these steps but created a brand new character so do consider sending it in. 13. Turning Parts into Symbols: In this video, I'm going to show you how to change everything that you've created throughout your design into symbols so that it's ready to animate. But before I do that, I have noticed something that I forgot to do and that's I forgot to do the belt on the character. I'm going to quickly create that belts and then move on to the symbols. I'll create it on a layer above his shirt, but then afterwards, I'll add it directly onto that shirt layer. As per usual, I'm using the pen tool to draw the shape and then the bucket tool to fill that with color. For the buckle itself, I'll just use a shape tool and keep it really simple. I think I want it to be a gold color. Maybe you'd like to trim on his jacket there. As you stroke, I'll make it a little bit lighter so as to give the impression of highlight or something like that. Now, select the whole belt, cut it from that layer, and paste it directly onto the shirt layer. Previously, I made the captain's face into a symbol that includes his beard, and his head, and everything. You can see that if I click on it, it's got that blue box around the edges, that indicates that it's a symbol. When I click on it, I can't directly select the actual fill or the vector points. If I needed to change anything on this, I'd have to double-click on this symbol and that will open it up for me to actually go inside and change it that way. For example, I'm going to actually add on a bit of hair at the back there, like a ponytail or something like that. Just using the brush tool again. Then when I'm done, I just double-click anywhere on the stage outside of the artwork, and that'll close up the symbol, and I'll be outside of it again. The way that I'm going to proceed for every single one of these parts is, since I went to the trouble of actually naming every layer, I'm going to use that name for the symbol itself. You just have to double-click on the layer name and that already highlights it. Then Command or Control plus C to copy the name. Since the asset is already selected on the stage by that same action, you can hover over it with your mouse and right-click, come down to the end or the second last option there, and choose Convert to Symbol. You could also hit FH on your keyboard, that will also bring up this dialog box. Then hit Command or Control V to paste that name into this field. Make sure now that your type is set to graphic and you can leave the registration points here in the center. But later on, we might move it around for different parts of the body. Again, put the jacket, I'll double-click on the name to copy it. Hover over that item, convert to symbol, and then paste the name. Click "OK". On the arms now, when I do this process, I am going to make sure that I set the registration point to the top, because that's where I want the rotation point to be. Since he'll be swinging his arms from the top. It just makes it easier when you're animating, when you've got a lot of key frames to animate. If you don't have to go moving the registration point around. Then when it comes to the feet, I'll set the registration point at the toe, but you could also set it at the heel, either one is fine. I click and drag over this whole area. You can actually see that everything is selected. Everything has a blue bounding box. If you're following along with me step-by-step and you've come to this point, well done. You're actually finished your design, you finished your character build, and you're ready to go on to animate. That's a huge achievement. That's a massive project to have completed. Building a character isn't easy. Character builds, especially for animation, are really important to know about. You need to know where and how to break up the character design for animation. You also need to know the hierarchy of your layers so that when you hand off your design to an animator, the entire rig is already set up, and ready to go, and the animator doesn't have to move layers around, and reorganize things. 14. Checking the Rig: In this video, I want to double-check that your rig is ready for animation before we go any further. I'm going to go through the layer orders and you can check that your rig has the exact same layer ordering as me. Then I'll do the final check for the registration points of each symbol. That's a really important step to do before we get into animation with tweens, which is what we'll be doing later on with the walk cycle. I've turned on my radar again just so that I want you to be really clear about when I'm clicking and things like that. Let's start the check. You want to make sure that you're ordering your layers like this. At the very top is the head and under that's the hat. Then it's the left arm upper, left arm lower and hook. Underneath that is the body. Then you've got the right arm, upper right arm lower, and the hand. Then under all of that is the pelvis and then the left foot. Under that is the left leg and then you've got the right foot and under that is the right leg. Hopefully yours matches the same as mine. If you're just using my rig, then hopefully you'll understand the layer orders and when you do go to make your own character rig down the line, you'll be able to know which order to put them in. Now I'm going to go through the whole thing and fix the registration points for any of the symbols that I'm going to be rotating later on, specifically the arms and the legs. I think those are really the only parts that I'm going to be rotating. The others, the body and the head and the hands don't need to move as much. If you click on a symbol like this, like the head, for example, make sure that the selection tool is active so you can see what I'm talking about. Just hit B on your keyboard. What you see is this circle with a cross on it. This is the registration point that you made when you created your symbol initially. If you hit "Q", that's effectively you're switching from selection to transform tool. Then what you see is this white dot. This is what you can drag around. It's different from the registration point of the symbol. This is the transform point or the pivot point. You can choose where you want it to be depending on how you want to rotate the symbol. This is really important because when you're working with tweens later on, you actually need to keep the rotation point or the pivot point, you need to keep it snapped back to the native registration point of the symbol. To do that, all you have to do is double-click on it. Now it's back in its native point, which is what we want. For the arms, you want to have the upper arm rotating from the shoulder, the lower arm rotating from the elbow, and the hand or the hook rotating from the wrist. What I want to do is just go through these now and move each of the symbols into the correct position in relation to the registration point because you can see here, this one is slightly off even though when I created this symbol, I put the registration point at the top. When I made the shape, it's not exactly where the top of the shoulder is. All you have to do to fix this is double-click and open up the symbol, switch to "V" on my keyboard. My drawing is actually already selected, and then I'm going to move the upper arm up to the registration point. Now that's exactly on the shoulder, that's where I want it. Perfect. Then I'm going to double-click, go back out to the main stage. It'll swing exactly from the shoulder which is where I want it to swing from. Now I'm going to do the exact same with the lower arm, double-click inside, switch to "V" on my keyboard. There I can see the rig point and I'll just move the asset back up. Now, it's going to swing from, effectively, the elbow and I can double-click on my transform or pivot point to snap that back into place. I'm going to do the same for the hook just to be consistent. Grab the drawing, move that down to where the registration point is. That's perfect. Move that into place and then I'll do the other arm. You can see there's the registration point, double-click to go back out and I can double-click on that transform point and snap it into place. Lower arm, switch to "V" on my keyboard, move the drawing up "Q" and double-click the transform point back into its original place. It's just a matter of working through systematically, through just a couple of these, couple more. I want to do the hand and then the legs and feet. That's perfect. Then put these back in. The upper leg, I can select it, hit "V" on my keyboard, nudge it up, I want it to rotate from about there and then double-click to go back out, hit "Q" on my keyboard, double-click on the transform points to get it back into place and then move it back. The feet are pretty okay actually. I don't think I need to move the pivot points for the feet too much or the registration point. Here we go. That's all finished. Now, I'm completely sure that all my entire rig is properly set up for animation. If I select the whole thing, you can see that the registration points of the arms are at the top and that's exactly what I want. Now I'm good to go. This might seem like a bit of a complicated procedure but when you do get to animating the walk cycle, you will really appreciate putting your rig in the proper order this way because it'll just make life a lot easier. Your animation will be smooth and seamless and you won't have those awful tween animations where the thing breaks and jumps from one keyframe to the next. Congratulations. That's a really, really important project to have completed. It's a highly valuable skillset to have to be able to not only design characters, but build them with animation in mind. I'm very proud of you for getting this far, well done. Now it's time to move into the next part of the course, which is going to be our animation projects. The first thing that I want to do is I want you to get used to this rig and I want you to practice moving this guy around with something that you might already be familiar with. If you remember in the first course we did a little stick figure doing a jump, that was one of our main projects in the first animation course. Now we're going to test out this rig with that same animation. You'll get confident animating with multiple layers but you'll see that it's not really anymore difficult or complicated than the stick figure jumping from one point to the other. I'll see you in the next video. 15. Animation Project 1: Jump Part 1: As I said since we've worked through this whole build from complete rough concept, right the way through to animatable rig, it's going to be really nice to test this out and see how it works for animation before we move into the final project of the walk cycles. If that sounds interesting to you, then watch next couple of videos and refresh yourself with animation principles. But if you want to move ahead to the walk cycle, then you can skip ahead and go and do that if you wish. But I think since you've spent the whole course up until now drawing and designing this character, it is a nice opportunity to review principles of animation and things like timing and spacing, squash and stretch your timing charts and keyframes, and in-betweens. Let's dive into making this character to a jump. Now, the first thing that you need to do, really it should be part of your process when you go to animate anything, you want to be able to draw thumbnails at first, just to plot out your animation and to just draw really rough, sketchy poses of where you want your animation to go. First of all, I'll put all of my layers into one folder and I'll lock it. I'll create a new layer on top, and I'm literally going to trace this guy. That's going to be his starting pose. He's going to be standing on a box for the jump. The next thing, is I'm going to make a sketch for the end pose for where he lands. Then the next pose that I'm going to draw is going to be his action pose. That's going to be when it jumps up into the air. Now, I know where he's going from landing into the air to landing on the ground, so I can draw my anticipation pose. The anticipation pose is where he anticipates down before he jumps up into the air. The third pose that he's going to do, is the stretch pose. That's when he's in mid-air leaping up into the action pose. Just to note, these are thumbnails. There's no way I'm going to be able to get the rig to do exactly these dynamic shapes, but I'm not really worried about that. I'm just plotting things out for myself. The next pose is the stretch on the other side, where he drops out of the jump and he's falling towards the earth. Then finally that overshoot pose where he crash lands and he's in a squashed pose like this. Then he's going to settle, he's going to stand up and into that final pose. Those are all my poses. I've gone ahead as well and done my timing chart, so I know that I've got say two drawings that I need going into the anticipation or two poses. I've got a slow into the jump, in a slow out of the jump, and then two more poses going into that final standing pose. For the first pose that I need to move them into, is the anticipation. To do this, I'm going to place my playhead at frame number 5, which according to my thumbnails is where the first pose is. By the way, I've just realized that actually means that I only have one in-between from standing to the anticipation. Anyway, so click and drag all the way through the layers, so you make sure that you've got everything on rig selected. Right-click. Create keyframe, or click that little keyframe button there, or hit F6 on your keyboard. Now, by dragging through all of those layers, you've made sure that everything gets keyframed for that frame. You've essentially got a brand new pose that you can now manipulate, change around, and move them exactly how you want. What I'm going to do, is click and drag around just the top half, making sure that I only select the top half and nudge that whole section of parts into place. I'll move the top half into position using Q on my keyboard. I might also move the head and the hat a little bit further out. Then I'm going to select the arms and move them individually outwards like this. Now, you can see the difference between the two poses. Simple enough. Moving ahead, I'll do the jump pose in the same way, click and drag through all of the layers to set your keyframes for that frame. Then move the whole ring into place where you want it. Now, start to move the legs or the arms. When you're animating something like this with multiple layers, just try to keep all of the moving parts to a minimum. I'm really just trying to stick to moving their arms and legs and maybe the head and trying to keep the main body as one unit. That's just a handy piece of advice. It will help you to not lose track of all of the moving parts. Now for the overshoot pose, I can actually copy the anticipation pose. To do that, just select all of the keyframes where that is, hold down Alt on your keyboard and then drag them through the timeline all the way over to frame 16. Similarly, for the last pose, I can copy all the frames over from the first pose, and then I'll go up to the stage and place the character correctly. Now, for that, you need to make absolutely sure that the feet match up with the contact position that was in the previous pose. Then you're done. Those are all of the key poses. You could tweak things here. At this point, I might change the position of the arms, this pose doesn't look right. I think I want him to have its arms thrown back. What I'm going to do, is actually flip them. That makes the arms look a lot better, just move them into place. Without forcing everything too much, I think I'll leave that there. In the next video, I'll just do the in-betweens and finalize, this piece of animation. 16. Animation Project 1: Jump Part 2: All I need to do now is make a few in-betweens, and this animation is complete. For the first one, that's going to be the pose that's in-between the starting pose and the anticipation. Now, I don't need to move to fit your legs, just the upper body. What I'm going to do is I'm going to favor that anticipation pose. That's fine. Now I'll move on to the stretch pose. At frame 7, I'll drag through all the layers, hit that key button. I'm also going to turn on the onion skin and move my entire rig up to about the halfway point there. I'm going to rotation around and then I'll just start to nudge the legs into position. So the thing to know about something like this is that in this position, things like the arms and the legs, things that are extending out from the main bulk of the body, these elements usually have what's called secondary action, or they represent secondary action. Secondary action is action that's dragging behind the main action of the animation or the pose. For example, they're going to drag behind his body, which is going forwards and the same goes for the arms. His head though will be definitely looking up to where he's headed. I hope that makes sense. It's a bit of an advanced principle. So if you've got characters with flowing hair or flowing garments, things like that, all of those things that are external or added on would be classed as secondary action. My second in-between is going to be a lot closer. Now the arms will be catching up to the main pose. That secondary action will be filtering off, and all of the parts will start to catch up to each other. So they're going to swing forward a bit. That's starting to look good. For my slow out of the action pose, I'm going to set my keyframes here at frame 13. This is going to be just a slight bit ahead. Again, the arms are going to drag or lag behind the main movement. The head and the hunch is going to lean back a little bit. But this time his feet can start to point where he's going. So that effectively is my stretch pose right there actually. Now the next stretch pose is going towards the contact position. What I'm going to do here is drag the whole pose down so that one force is actually already making contact with the ground. What that does is that it's going to reinforce the contact. When he hits the ground and he makes that impact of him hitting the ground it'll be all the more noticeable to our eye and it'll be forceful. So it'll give the impression that he's heavy, which is what we want it to look like. He's still in the stretch position, but his arms are going to start moving downwards. However, I'm keeping them flipped like this for now. They're going to flip over when he actually hits that landing pose. That's his landing pose. Now, just the slowing for the settle. I'm going to go back to frame 1. Actually, I'll switch the ground layer on again. That's a fairly decent jump. Nothing is totally off. What you could do now if you wanted to is go back in and tweak certain poses, if you felt like the arms needed to change or needed to lag behind a little bit more. But overall, I think those are all of the poses that are needed for this specific animation. So hopefully, that's been a really good refresher for you on how to create keyframes in-betweens, how to do your timing and spacing. I hope you've gotten a bit of practice working with a rig like this that has lots of layers. I'm going to leave this animation file for you. So if you want to open it up and dig into it, go back into it, and pick it apart, you're welcome to do so. But I'd love for you to have a go at animating your own jump with either this pirate character or the character that you've been working on yourself. 17. Anatomy of a Walk Cycle: This video is the introduction to our main project for this course, which is the walk cycle. I'll explain the basic anatomy of a walk cycle and teach you the four main poses. I can't stress enough the importance of learning how to animate a walk cycle really well. A walk is deceptively simple. It seems like a very ordinary, mundane action. But there are a couple of reasons why this project is really important to get right when you're learning how to animate and also why it's so important to have this as one of your core projects in your portfolio when you're applying for jobs. The reason why it's so important is even though it's just a simple action and it only takes about 12 frames really, for one step, it actually comprises a lot of complex processes; things move at different rates; you have to apply a lot of animation principles. All in all, it's not as straightforward as you might think. The second reason as well is that there's probably as many different types of walk cycles as there are types of personality. When someone's looking at your portfolio and they look at the walk cycle, they're looking to see how you have infused character and personality into that action. By understanding the fundamentals of a walk cycle, you can then adapt them and take that template really and tell the audience a lot about body language. Essentially, a walk reflects body language extremely well. In this video, I'm going to show you the anatomy of the walk cycle using this very simple stick figure. Then we'll take this template and I'll show you how to animate the pirate walk in the exact same way. Then after that I'm going to show you how you can loop a walk so that your character is walking on the spot. Then I'm going to show you the application of all of that or how to make a scene look cool. I've got this stick figure and I've made the legs and the arms different colors because I want to show you how the arms move in opposition to the legs. The red leg and arm represent the character's right side and the blue leg and arm represent the left side. Let's dive into it. This is my starting pose. A generic walk usually takes about 12 frames for one step, and then you'll add another 12 frames for the second step. I'll go ahead in the timeline and make my keyframe at frame 12. Then what I'm going to do is select everything, turn on "Onion Skin", and just drag my drawing forward to where that next step ends. Note that the foot needs to match up exactly with the previous drawing. If you don't do that, your animation will look like the character's sliding and it'll really jump out and look weird. Lining that up. Obviously, I've got to swap the legs and arms because the blue leg is now forward and the right leg will be be behind. The same with the arms. Let me just do that quickly. Now, the very next pose that you'll do is the middle pose. In-between these two extreme poses, you've got the middle pose, which is called the passing position. That's when the character is halfway through taking one step. It's called passing position because the back leg is now passing that standing leg in order to swing forward and land in front. There we go. The two things to note about this pose; in the passing position, this foot always stays flat on the ground. This is the pose where the arms are actually closest to the body. The next pose that you'll do is the down position, which is when the character is at its lowest within the whole cycle. What's happening here is that the front foot slaps down onto the ground like that. When that does so the knee bends and the back knee bends and that's the action that makes the whole body come down slightly. You could think of it like it's an anticipation pose before he goes up and propels himself forward. I know I'm making this sound really extreme and you probably think we don't go down in a walk cycle when we're walking, which you actually do. If you didn't have this down position, your walk would look very odd. It'll look like you're just gliding. Two things to note: in this position, both knees are bent and the head is lower than the rest of the pose within the cycle. Three things then. In this pose the arms are at their widest. That's very counterintuitive. You would think that the arms were on a normal swing from here through, but actually they go out in this pose. This is the pose where they're at their widest. Then the final pose in the walk cycle is called the up position that comes between the passing position and that final pose. This is where the character is being propelled forward and actually goes up onto the toes like this. The things to note in this pose is that this guy is on his toes, the arms now switch over; so they're crossing like that. This is the highest point for the character within the cycle. Just to recap, you've got the contact, you've got the down position, you've got the passing and the up. Those are the four main poses. Your contact position is simply an exact copy of your first contact position, but with the arms and legs switched over. I'm going to show you now what the arcs looked like because it's very important in a walk cycle to keep everything smooth and on an even trajectory. This is the arc that the head moves. The hips move in this kind of an arc, as do the knees. But the feet just move in small arcs like this. Those are the four main poses. If you wanted to finish out the animation for this step, there's really just two poses, two in-betweens to draw. This one, and I'm going to draw this one. That's our step completed. What I'm going to do now is focus on looking at the legs. You need to make sure that things are really evenly spaced. I'm just going to look at the red leg first from frame to frame as I go through. Now, I'm looking at the blue leg from frame to frame. Right there, I can see that this pose is not evenly spaced as an in-between so I'm going to select the leg, rotate it back a little bit. You really have to ensure that everything is even and smooth, otherwise it will not look great. Next I'm going to do the second step. Since I've got all the poses made, they're the exact same poses but with the other legs and arms. I'm going to copy them over my timeline and then I'm going to drag each drawing across, one at a time. If I hit Enter now, this is what a normal walk cycle looks like, taking one step and taking two steps. If you want to practice this, that will be great. I'll leave this stick figure for you and you can download the file and have a go at just practicing regular stick figure on one layer with no complexity really. See if you can get comfortable and familiar and confident with animating your character walking. But if you think you've got it and you're ready to move on, that's awesome. In the next video, we're going to start animating the pirate character. I'll show you how that works when you've got multiple layers and you need to animate a walk cycle. We're going to do a regular two-step animation. Then I'm going to teach you how to loop your animation so that he's walking on the spot. Finally, I'm going to add that loop to a scene with a background and even add in some music. Let's get ready for the final section of the course. 18. Animation Project 2: Animating a Walk: Now that you know or you have a fair idea, at least, of the basic template for a walk cycle, I'm going to show you in this video of my process for applying that template to a character like this one. The very first thing that I always do is I want to make guides for the ground plane so that his feet will be consistently on the ground. I don't want them sliding around or have him floating or anything like that. I'll also make a guide for the top of his head like this and then I can come down to the layers, I'll drag the guide layer to the bottom. I'm going to move the whole rig over here because he's going to actually be moving forward in this animation and once I have them in place, now I'm just going to put this character rig basically into a pose where he's taking a step, so I want to make my first contact position. Remember in the contact pose, both feet are on the ground and his arms are in opposition to the legs. The left-arm here is going to be going forwards because that left leg is going back. I just want them to look like he's basically taking a step, he's in mid-step if you'd like. At this point, I'm just realizing that I should have actually moved the whole of the right arm below all of the other layers, even the pelvis and the leg. I'm going to fix that really quick then it's done and I don't have to worry about it. That's fine. I'm going to continue, so that arm is actually swung back like that so that we don't actually see it because it's behind his body. Okay, great, that looks good. Next, I want to make my second contact position. I'm going to come forward in the timeline and at frame 13, literally, I'm going to click and drag my cursor all the way through the entire stack of layers. Then I'm going to come up and hit that keyframe button and now everything on this rig is key for Frame 13. I just need to simply drag everything over on the stage so that he's actually gone forwards, but I want to make sure obviously that his feet still match up, so I want that left foot there to match up with the first one. You can see that when I move anything, I'm selecting by just either clicking and dragging around the whole item and I either use V or Q on my keyboard and then I can change the position. I usually use V, which is the selection tool to select the item and then I'll hit "Q" to rotate it. Okay, so that arm goes back and this hidden arm goes forward. Here, I do need to actually select the keyframes and the timeline in order to move it because I can't grab it on the stage. That looks pretty good though, it's definitely moving forwards. So next is the passing pose, at Frame 7, I'm going to click and drag through all of the layers and then hit the keyframe button so that everything gets keyframed at that point. Then I'll turn onion skin on and I'm going to change the position into a passing pose. Remember that's where the standing leg is straight, the body is going to be slightly higher than the first contact position and his back leg is now going to be swinging forward. The arms are now down by his side, so I can change the shape of this and rotate that lower arm slightly. Then I'll move that hidden arm just slightly forwards into view. They're not wide at this point, I'm going to keep them still quite close in. Okay, the next pose I'm going to do is the second position that's the down and this pose after the contact pose is where the front foot slaps down on the ground. His knee is supposed to be bending, and his back leg is also bending. You can see with this very stylized character, I'm really doing the best I can to make it look like the legs are bending at the knees. It's a bit of a cheat, but that's okay, it's going to read perfectly fine when the final animation is finished. In this pose, the arms are at the widest and again, because of the limitations of the design, all I'm going to do is rotate the lower arm up ever so slightly like this. Nothing drastic, but it gives the impression that that arm is swinging forwards. Okay, that's awesome. The next pose is the up position, that comes after this middle passing pose. At Frame 9, click and drag through all of the my layers to make keyframes for that frame, for frame 9 and then go up to the stage and create the pose. Remember in the up position he needs to be almost on his toes as if on that standing leg. I can even rotate it like this and then move that back leg forwards. That's coming forwards, it's the one that's coming in to land in front of him. Then I'm going to grab the whole of his upper body and just nudge it slightly upwards to make sure that he's a little bit higher than the previous pose, and his arms are starting to swing outwards like this. Perfect. Those are all the poses, well, the main key poses, all I need to do is to create two in-betweens. I need an in-between at Frame 5 and one at Frame 11. By in-between, I mean, I'm not changing the trajectory or the timing of anything here, this is a straightforward pose that needs to be exactly halfway between the two poses on the other side. You will see that in a walk, because the arms and the legs are all moving at different timings, you do actually need all four main poses to be your key poses, and then after that, you really just need two in-between poses like this. The last one is at Frame 11, as he comes back into land for contact, so in this one has foot hasn't quite reached the ground yet. His upper body is still halfway between the passing pose and the contact, and I'm just nudging the arm ever so slightly. Hopefully, you can see with the onion skin turned on that you can see the before and after pose that's ghosted out there, that's very useful to find your halfway point. Now I've got one step and it looks great, there's nothing jumping out, nothing is hugely wrong or anything. I'm very happy with that, I will move on and animate the second step. The second step is no more complicated at all than the first, so hopefully, you have at least a clear understanding of, again, all those four main poses and also how to create keyframes and adjust the rig for each of those four positions. To start my second step, I'm going to copy the exact pose of the very first contact position and just drag the keyframes out to frame 25. That gives me the end pose of the second step and I can drag the character into position on my stage. I'm not going to copy any of the other poses, I'm going to animate each one since for the second step, each of the legs and arms are switched around. If I were to do a third and fourth step, then I could easily just copy each set of keyframes and move the rig over on the stage, if that makes sense. As I said, my workflow is the exact same. I'm going to do the passing pose first, since that's the middle position of the walk, so that's going to be at frame 19. Then I'm going to follow that with the down pose at frame number 15, creating keyframes in the exact same way and adjusting the rig into position for that pose. Then at frame 21, it's the opposition. At Frame 17, I can make the in-between pose between the down position and the passing position. The final pose is at frame 23, the in-between that goes between the up and the last contact, so great, everything's done. The very last thing that I'll do is select all of the frames at frame number 25, and just drag them back one frame in the timeline because I had too many frames there. I only actually needed to go as far as frame 24. Let's see how this looks. I'll go back to frame one, hit "Enter" and there's a great little pirate walk. It's a very jolly, jaunty walk. I think it works great, perfect. Why don't you pause this video and practice this method of making a walk. It's a really good way to learn the poses and the timing. In the next video, you'll learn how to animate a walk so that it loops and you'll learn how to animate dash with tweens. 19. Animation Project 3: Animating a Looped Cycle: To start off this animation, just as before, I'm going to create guides. For this one, I need a guide actually in the center of the character as well. Because he's going to be walking on the spot, so I want to make sure that he doesn't drift forwards. Then at Frame 13, just like before, I'll create a set of keyframes. This time though, I'm not going to move the character on the stage forwards, I'm simply going to swap the legs and the arms, but keep him in this exact same spot. Again, to select things, I'm using the selection tool, which is B on your keyboard, and then to adjust him, I switch to the free transform tool, which is Q. That's my second contact position. Now I'll go back to Frame 1. Click down through all of these keyframes, and then hold down Alt on my keyboard and drag them over through the timeline all the way to Frame 25. Now you can see that I've got all my contact poses, and what I'm going to do now is go ahead and create a classic tween in between them. I'll do one on this side and one on that side. Here, we've got a very smooth, if somewhat weird and floaty walk cycle, but it's working. The thing about this is that at any point in this tween, you can make a set of keyframes here that will lock that section of the tween into place, if that makes sense, and then because it's key then you can actually go back into the rig on the stage and adjust the pose. This spot here, for example, this is where the passing pose should be as normal, and as you can see, because it's got a tween, it's a passing pose. It's not quite, but it's more or less he's halfway, let's say between the two contact positions. I'm going to make a set of keyframes and then I'm going to adjust the pose so it's exactly like a passing pose. In other words, I'm going to shift the rig up a little bit. I'm going to make sure that the feet are on the ground properly. You might be wondering of the state, well, if you have to make poses, what's the point of making the tweens? Well, the tweens do a great job at making very smooth motion and they really help you to not worry about how to find your halfway points, everything is very smooth. Then the other thing is that when you do create keyframes on top of the tween like this, actually most of the work is done. You're really only just tweaking things into place. Essentially, you're relying on the software to create that nice smooth in between two poses, but then you are manually determining the timing. I'm going to go on to Frame 19, make another set of keyframes and do the same thing here. Now if I play back, it's already starting to have a little bit more of that bounce in the wall that you want and it's looking a lot better. I'll create keyframes and now jump down over here. Suddenly, it's definitely looking a lot better. The only thing that you do need to be aware of is that when I talk about things having different timing, I'm specifically thinking about the feet and the legs because they definitely need to stay on the ground for the first two poses. What I'm going to do is it can be tricky to see what you're doing when you've got your tween in place here. I'm going to select all of the area around the first two poses, right-click, and then I'm going to remove the tween. Then I will lock all of the other layers so that I can see exactly what I'm doing with the onion skin turned on. That way, I can adjust them so that the knees bend correctly, the feet are not floating up in the air, but they're still on the ground because I don't want this foot to move just yet. Then once that's done, I'll just put the tween back in again. The next pose to keyframe is the up position. I'm going to go along to Frame 9, create keyframes there and just simply nudge the leg up, modify the position of the feet, and that's fine. Then going along to the second step, I'm going to do the same process for the feet and the legs that I did before. I'll first of all remove the classic tween, and then I'll dial into the details and make the one-foot stay grounded on the ground and make sure that the knees bend a little bit. Then I'll add tween back in. The last pose is the opposition on this step, which is again, a matter of just adjusting the feet and nudging him up a bit like that. Now, if I play it back, it is indeed a really smooth walk cycle. It works just fine. The very last thing that I'm going to do is I need to delete the very last pose because that last contact position is the exact same as the first one. When you're looping an animation, you don't want to have the two poses be the exact same because it will look like the animation is being held slightly. What I'll do is just create a set of keyframes just before the very end, right here, and then click through the entire last set of keyframes, right-click, and choose Remove frames. Now if I go back to the start and click on this button to loop the playback, it's looking great. That's very cool, very simple walk cycle. It's very piroty, I think it works great. Now, let's hop over to the next video, because what I want to do now is show you how to turn this 24 frame loop into a symbol itself and then add it to a much larger scene with a background. 20. Adding Animation to a Scene: This next section is going to show you how to take your animation and add it to a scene. So far, all that we have is just a character walking. That might seem a little underwhelming to you. You might recognize that it took a lot of work just to get this very small results. But really, I want to show you the potential of what you've got here. If you add this simple walk cycle to a scene, if you add a little piece of music, for example, suddenly this is going to have so much life and so much interest. The first thing I want to do is just show you how to take the simple two-step loop and make it look like he's walking across the stage, and then I'll show you how to complete the whole thing by dropping in a background behind them. The first thing that you will need is to basically turn this entire animation into a symbol itself. That way, you can then animate that symbol. What you do is just click and drag all the way through your key frames, then right-click, choose Cut Frames. Go up to Insert and choose New Symbol. Here, you could call this whole thing, lets say, captain bones walk loop, and click "Okay". Now you can see that you are inside of your symbols, so paste the frames into your timeline and there's all your animation exactly as it was. Everything is named. Perfect. You can delete all of these layers. Then when you go back out, rename your layer, captain walk or animation. Now go over to your library, which is over here. If you open it up, there's your walk cycle right there. Just drag it out onto the stage. This is Frame 1. Let's extend our timeline, and now you can see that he's walking. Just all you have to do is make a second key frame and tween this animation itself. Now he's walking across the stage. You can also play around with your timing if you want him to go faster or slower, see what happens. There's usually a sweet spot where he's not looking like he's whizzing across weirdly or he's not walking on the spot either. Play around with that. When you get to the final key frame, click on that, come over to Properties and set this little thing here to Single Frame in the properties and that will stop the animation at that key frame. I'm going to clear this away because what I want to do is let's go over to Photoshop. I want to show you a background that I made a while ago. I've reworked it somewhat so it's a bit different now, but as you can see, it's a very layered document. But for our purposes, all we need really is just a JPEG. You can know at this point, if you wanted to, dive into a program or software like After Effects, and if you wanted to do that, then you would also have to export your animation from Adobe Animate. You'd have to export it out as a PNG sequence. That's not something that we're going to get into in this course. It's a bit fuzzy and complicated. Really, we just want a nice quick result for our animation, so we'll stick with working inside of Adobe Animate. Now I've saved this out as a JPEG and I'm going to go back into Adobe Animate and I'm going to import that image onto the stage, but obviously on a new layer. That's there. I'm going to scale down by character. That's another thing that you can do when you have transformed something into a symbol. You can change the size of your animation, which is great. I'm going to make a key frame over here and scale them up to give the impression that he's walking towards us. I'm going to create a tween. There you go. That looks awesome, doesn't it? I think that looks really good. But now, I want to have a finished scene. I don't really want him just to walk into the middle. What I would like for him to do is actually walk off the scene. If he just walked off-screen completely, that would give us a very nice start and end. The only problem with that, as you can see, is that the barrels and the boxes in the foreground will cause a problem. There's actually a really quick fix and if you're interested, then we'll just quickly do that. I'm going to grab these barrels basically from the Photoshop document, save them out as a PNG and bring them in here on a separate layer. Back in Photoshop, you can see that these barrels are actually already in a layer called overlay. Overlay is an animation term for anything that will be on top of the animation, so any background element that's going to be on top of your character animation. That's exactly what we need. I'm going to merge them and you can either right-click and choose Export As PNG or copy the whole layer into a new document and save that out as a PNG. But you definitely want to save it as a PNG because that will ensure that the alpha channel is included. Don't save it as a JPEG. Now back in Animate, create a new layer above the animation and import the overlay. It should be the exact same size, so you can just place it on top. But you might have to nudge it into place just a little bit. I think I scaled the background slightly, so that means I do have to adjust it. But that's easy. That was a lot of steps and a little bit fuzzy but I think it was worth it because we now have an awesome looking scene. That background just really adds to the animation. There's really only 24 frames of animation in that, plus the tween. But we've created almost a 5-second clip and it looks great. You could leave it there if you wanted to, if you think that's perfect and you're happy enough to stop there. But I wanted to show you two more things that I think are really useful to know, especially if you're enjoying this whole process of creating a character and building a scene around them. One thing is that I want to show you how to add a mask to your animation. It's a powerful thing to be able to incorporate into your animation because it'll help you to make it look as if the character is moving behind or in front of something. What I thought was, it would be amazing if we could have this guy coming out of the bar or tavern back there in the background. That way, it looks like he's really interacting with the background instead of just having him standing in the middle and walking off. It's so easy to do that I thought would really be worth it to take a few minutes. It's really just a one-step process. Then I want to show you, secondly, how you could add your jump animation to the same scene. Since we animated this pirate character jumping, why not bring him in and combine the two animations for a really awesome final clip. Actually, there's a third thing I also want to show you before the end of this course, and that's how to add music. All of that is in the next couple of videos and very straightforward, easy things to achieve and you will have accomplished something great by the end of it. 21. Something is Missing!: There's something missing, I don't know if you can spot it, but it looks fairly obvious to me and that's that the character doesn't have a shadow. Because of the lighting that's set up in the background, it's very obvious to me that he doesn't have a shadow. What that will do is just make the whole thing look like he's not part of the scene. It's a really small fix. It can be very easily added. So I'm going to jump over to Photoshop and on a new layer, I'll create a circle. Or I will just going to click and drag out an "Oval shape". Then I'll "Right-click" and rasterize that shape, "Rasterize layer" and then come up to "Filter" and come down to where it says "Blur" and choose something like "Gaussian Blur" and then you can affect the blur by dragging the "Slider" up and down. That looks fine. Then I'll drag the "Opacity" down. Again, save it out as a PNG, and then hop back over to "Adobe Animate" and go to "File", "Import to Library" this time. Shadow open and this PNG down here is the shadow that I made in Photoshop. So I'll "Drag" that out onto the stage and now scale it up a little bit. Put those windows back so we can see clearly. Now you can just tweak the shape and I'm actually thinking that it should really move a little bit with him because he's got this fancy jaunty walk. So I'm going to create a key-frame to just make or follow or mimic or copy that walk and then I can use my classic twins to twin the hole, to twin those key and let's see. There we go. So now if I go back out to the stage, come back to frame one, hit "Enter". I think that's much better now that he has a shadow, it's really integrated the whole thing a lot better and he looks like he's part of it. 22. Adding a Mask to Your Animation: For a mask, if you don't really know what that is, it's just a shape that blocks out part of your animation or part of your image. You can set your mask to exactly what you want it to block out, and also, if you've got layers, you can choose which layers that mask will affect. I'm going to show you how to add a mask to the scene, and it's only going to affect the animation, not the background. First of all, what I've done is, I was back in Photoshop. I just erased the doors out of the tavern. It's just easier to demonstrate this mask now. I've imported that edited background and I'm going to drag it out onto the stage, then I'm going to create a new layer above the animation layer. Grab the pen tool and draw a shape like this. Now, if I add a fill color, you can see that the shape takes up all the right-hand side of the screen. But it lines up exactly with the edge of the door of the tavern, and then I'll right-click on the layer and I'm going to choose mask. Animate automatically locks those layers once you've made it a mask, so the mask and the thing that you want to be masked have to be locked in order for the effect to take place or at least for the effect to be visible. If you wanted to edit this, but you unlock it, obviously you see the whole big shape, all you have to do is set that layer mode to outline, and that way you can edit away and see exactly what you're doing. I've moved the animation over, and now I'm going to lock the layer and the effect of the mask is enabled. There we go. That's way better. That really, really looks like he's actually walking out of the tavern. I just have to make a final adjustment, the matter of tweaking the mask layer so that you get it exactly right. I'm also going to scale them down. I might even add a keyframe here, slow the walk down as he comes out, that's looking much, much better. The last thing is that if you wanted to, you could adjust the tween itself in terms of making a slow in or an ease in and out. What you do is you click on the tween in the timeline, then go over to Properties. This was actually the properties for that tween. Here is where you can affect the easing. This little pencil here, if you click on that, it brings up this graph. Essentially, you just drag these cursors out to affect either the slow in or the slow out, because I want to try and slow him out of that tavern a bit. One thing I should mention that I want to do now, which you don't have to do if you don't want to, but just for myself, I really want to separate the shadow layer out from under the pirate and just add it on your new layer so that if I do rotate the character like I did just there, I don't have to worry about the shadow being also a bit rotated, because that just looks weird. It's a bit of an awkward fix, but in the end it will look good. As I say, you don't have to do this. But all I'm going to do is essentially take it out of that pirate's symbol or that animation symbol and make it a new layer completely on its own. You just need to tween it. As I say, you don't have to do that, but I think it looks much better now. Whereas before we just had the pirate walking from the middle of the background and then off the scene, and then off-screen, now he actually comes out of the tavern, and that just makes the whole thing look way more engaging. 23. Combining the Jump and the Walk: Remember the jump animation that we did earlier? Well, in this video, I'm going to see if we can incorporate this into our scene as well. That way hopefully, you'll start to see all the dots connect up from the initial jump that we did in the very first animation course of the stick figure, right the way through to the jump in this course, and now to the end, that's final animation piece. Here's my jump. There are no tweens added, it's just straightforward. I'm first of all going to export an image of the character from animate. That way, I'll be able to bring this image or a copy of this pose into Photoshop. Because I want to make something for him to stand on, and I want to do that in Photoshop. Go to File, Export Image, and then make sure that you choose PNG, and click "Save". Then in Photoshop, you can open up that file that you've exported. I'm going to use the Lasso tool just to grab him like that. Then go over to the background, and I'm going to just paste in there. Now, I'm going to choose the pen tool, and what I want to do is create a box or a crate or something for him to stand on. It can't be too tall because he doesn't really jump very far. This is how I do it. I'm going to use the pen tool just to draw the basic silhouette first. Something like that. It can be rough since the background is rough anyway, it has that feel to it. Now, I'll change the color by going over to my layer stack and double-clicking on that thumbnail icon. That allows me to change the color, so I'll sample this foreground item. Next, right-click on the layer and choose Rasterize Layer. What that does is it now allows me to make actual changes to the box or the crate. A very quick way to change up the colors of something like this ones it's rasterized, and what I usually do is I use the Lasso tool to select an area of color. This time I'm using the polygonal lasso. I want to establish a lighter tone and a mid-tone, so all I do is hit "Command M" on my keyboard. That brings up this editor here, which is called the curves editor. If I push the curve up like that, it'll brighten it up the selected area. I'll do the same on this side, but this time I'll drag the curve down. Very simple. Now, maybe just the same. Now I'm going to carve out still with the lasso to carve out some shapes just to indicate the size of the great. I'm going to do the same on the top. Now, for one to really set that off completely, I can just add a tiny touch of a highlight on the edge of the shadows. This is getting a bit detailed now, but it's just so easy to do it. It's very quick and it has a really good effect. That looks really good. As I say, you don't have to get so super detailed. I do tend to dwell into the details a bit too much. But I guess it does add up in the end, or maybe no one will notice it. But these are good techniques to know about anyway. Another little technique that I like to do is just to give it small mix, on the side there where the panels of the crate are. Now it looks a bit more effective. I'm going to export it the same way that I did with the overlay. Just export a PNG, copy it into a new document, delete the background layer, and then save that out as a PNG, and then back to animate. First of all, let's get this jump animation into a symbol. Selecting all the frames, cut them, insert new symbol, captain jump, paste the frames and there we go. Go back out to the timeline, go to the library and find the animation there, and just drag it onto the stage. Now, I'm going to go over to this file, which is my walk cycle. I'm going to go into the library of this file, copy the walk, come back to my new document and paste it into the library. What happens when you do that? Well, it might not happen for you, but this dialog box popped up because I earlier changed. I think I merged the jacket and the shirt together in an earlier version or at least in a version after I did the jump. I can't remember exactly. What I'm going to do is actually just choose this option. Thankfully, they give you this, put duplicate items in a separate folder, so now it won't matter. Cool. Now drag the first animation. If you haven't imported the crate, you can just go File Import to stage or important to library, and drag it out onto the stage. Now make a new layer, create a blank keyframe here on this last frame of the jump, create a blank keyframe, and then drag the walk cycle out and put that into place. On the lower layer, where the jump was, all I need to do is create a blank keyframe where that animation ends. That's looking good. I'll go into the jump animation and just put that shadow insert matches up. All I need to do is drag it out from the library on to the last frame. This time I'm going to use tweens to move it as he jumps because maybe it gets smaller as he jumps in the air and then bigger as he comes back down to land. Classic tween. There we go. Last step is to bring in the background. I'll create a new layer. Name it background, and import it to the stage. That's perfect. Now, you could have also put the background in first and then add your animation on top. Obviously totally fine. All that it means now is that I've got to really adjust my animation. I wanted to show you how you can edit multiple frames that are already animated. What you do is if you select this button here, that will allow you to do that. If you drag across the timeline and make sure that you've got everything selected on your timeline that you want to edit, and by edit I mean, scale or move. Hit "Q" on your keyboard and scale them into place. There you go. The very last final thing actually is to just import that overlay, just like we did in the last video. Once that's in place, this is going to look awesome. Import the overlay, and there's a very cool looking scene. If you've followed along with me, if you've gotten this far, or if you've just enjoyed watching all the steps in this process, I hope that you've found this useful and enjoyable. I'm really pleased with how this animation worked out, and I really, really hope that you have the same animation too. What I'm going to do for the final video in this course is show you how you can add music. Audio is just like almost 50 percent of your animation really. I know that's a bit harsh to think about after you've done all this work to animate and to build a scene. But really when you put in music or any kind of sound effects or anything like that, it gives your animation so much more and it's really worth going through the steps. You can actually do that inside of Adobe Animate. It's completely part of the whole process. It's very easy. I'll show you how to do that in the next video. 24. Adding Music to Your Animation: The very final thing that we're going to do in this course is add some music to our animation. It's actually very straightforward to do that in Adobe Animate, and it's something that I want you to be aware of and familiar with. When you do get to actually lip-syncing animation or animating a character talking, you'll be fairly okay with audio with inside of animation. What I did is I went onto Google and I googled pirate music, and I ended up going over in the end to this website which is called AudioJungle, where I get a lot of music from, especially for making my courses. I just put that search term in there and I was able to find a piece of pirating music that I thought would suit this piece very well. Unfortunately, I can't hand this music track out. The license around this music track was a bit restricted. What I would suggest you do is have a look for yourself online if you can find a piece of music. You want something just very short, you want a short music clip. With your music track saved to your desktop, inside of Animate you just need to import it like you would any other file. I'll go up to File, I'll import it to the library. Just to show you the whole thing, there's my track. I'm importing it as an MP3 because sometimes WAV or WAVE file doesn't show up inside of Animate. Over my library, there you go you can see that that is my audio clip. Just make sure that it's a.MP3 file that you want to import. Drag it and put it out on the stage and then it's going to show up in your layer stack in the timeline. If I scrub through there, you can actually hear it playing. If you scrub through and you cannot hear it playing back, what you need to do is check the properties. Just click on anywhere on that timeline, just click on the "Sound File" and open up your Properties tab. Down here you'll see a thing called Sync, just look at that drop-down menu and make sure it's checked to stream, and then you should be able to hear when you scrub through. Because this track is actually a bit longer than my animation, I'm going to drag it out. I think it's about maybe 12 or 13 seconds. I can see there that it's tapering off to the end. Now I'm going to go back to the beginning and I want the animation to start where the music comes in, so at that point there. It's around frame 105. I'll unlock these layers, drag through my entire animation, and then go to the first frame and just click and drag, the whole thing is one unit, over to there. Now it starts and it plays through there very nicely. Now I'm going to drag my background back to frame number 1. I'm just clicking those keyframes and dragging them back. Let me lock that again. I'll play it through one more time. That's pretty good. I just need to make sure that the background stays on screen till the end of the music. Now, what I want to do is just put a subtle really small camera move at the very beginning of the scene, because it's very static and the music is adding so much atmosphere and drama and tension. Well, so it'll be nice if we can also bring some of that into the actual scene itself by just giving a tiny little camera move. To do that, all you have to do is create a set of keyframes where I want to have a little tiny zoom-in. To make that effect, what you're going to do is just increase the size of the background ever so slightly. I'm going to create keyframes here, this is exactly how I want the background to be when the animation starts. So I'll create two keyframes there. Then I'll go back to my first keyframe and I'll scale it down a little bit. Now it looks like the background is zooming up or scaling up as we go in, and what that effect does is it feels like the camera is moving closer into the scene. Now of course, because I've made the background and the overlay somewhat bigger in relation to the rest of the scene, I have to go back and change my mask, but that's very easily done. You can see there now he's just walking in the middle of a yellow thing. I'm just going to unlock that layer and grab it, grab the corners, and move it so that it's covering the door exactly. Finally, that is the finished end product. Let's play it. Awesome, I think very good. I'm happy enough to leave it there and I hope that you've learned a lot from that process. The only final thing that I want to do is add my doors back in because I did say earlier that I was going to take out the doors of the tavern and then add them back-in. That's the last step. You certainly don't have to have that in your animation if you've even got this far and you've created a scene just like this, then that's brilliant. If you want to see the final step, meet me in the next video and I'll just show you how to animate those tavern doors swinging open. 25. Animating the Doors Opening: To add the doors, literally, I'm just going to draw them in Adobe Animate. I could go over to Photoshop and do it, but it's just simpler to do them here. I'm going to use the Pen Tool to redraw them. Can't even remember how they looked. They were just those Western-style saloon doors. Then I'll fill them with a color and just zoom in and modify the shape, get them exactly how I want. Using the Lasso Tool, I can just give them a little bit of definition for the look of the door. Now I can select the whole thing, right-click, convert it to a symbol. I shall call it just Door 1, because I'm going to duplicate it for the second door. I'm going to go inside, copy that drawing, if you want to call it. Make a new layer, paste it on top of that new layer. There we go. Then I just need to modify it and flip it horizontally. To do that, go up to Modify, Transform, Flip Horizontal. That'll give me the second half of the door. Then I can right-click, convert to symbol, call this Door 2, and nudge it into place. This one I can make slightly different from the second one. If I use the Queue or Transform tool, I'll just sort it and tweak it that way, transform it and queue it into place. Coming back out into my scene, now I've got my two doors. The first thing I need to do is make sure that they scale up in the correct proportion with the background, because remember, we added the camera move in the last video. So create key frames exactly where the background has scaled up and then drag them, and scale them, and put them into place like that. It might take a little bit of tweaking. I play back its slides a little bit. I just need to make it so that the twins match each other. That looks a lot better. Now, this is the point where captain walks out of the tavern. As soon as he appears, I want to have those doors to burst open. To do that, all I'm going to do is flip them the other way, flip them horizontally so they open very suddenly. Select each one, go Modify, Transform, Flip Horizontal, and then drag it over to the left, place it there. Do the same with the other one; flip that horizontal, but then drag it over. Now it looks like it's opened. But I can't just have it flip open, I've got to just add a few more key frames where it anticipates a little bit and then opens. Maybe I'll make two key frames before and have it just slightly opening, then it flips open. Then after he walks out, I'm going to have them swing back close behind him. At this point in the timeline, I'll just make a set of key frames and really just tweak them back. I think I've got about six frames there, and that should really do it. Then I'll just do the same for the other side. Now the moment of truth. Let's see what we have in terms of animation. Hit "Enter". That looks pretty awesome. Well, that's the final version, that's the final product, and the final scene. I'm going to leave it there. I think we've really gotten through a lot by creating all of that. That was a huge amount of work. I hope you enjoyed it. I think it's great. I think the animation looks awesome. It's really quirky and fun. That's it. In the next video, I'll just give you a couple of pointers for exporting your artwork and your animation. Then it will just be left for me to say thank you so much for sticking with me through this entire course. Just meet me in the next video for the final round-up. 26. Exporting Your Animation: In this video, I want to show you a couple of ways to export your work. I will preface it by saying, if you wanted to make this part of a larger piece, if you actually want to make a short film out of your animation, really the best way to make that would be in Adobe Aftereffects. I don't have to scope in this course to cover that. I'm definitely going to include Aftereffects in my next course, Level 3 animation. But if you've just got an animation scene that you want to show people, you want to put into your portfolio, whether that's online or whatever, then there are a couple of ways that you can export your animation from Adobe Animate. Before you do that, I just want to point out an important thing to check, an important setting is under Publish Settings. Go to "File" and come down to "Publish Settings." This is just really a pre-export check that you should do. All of these things are fine, but what you want to make sure is that this checkbox is switched on, which says include hidden layers. Sorry, I should say you want to make sure it's checked off. If you have it checked on, then obviously it's going to export all the layers that you've hidden. Say, for example, you've drawn your thumbnails on a different layer, or you've made guides for the feet or the way we did in the walk cycle. All of those things will export in your final movie, and that will look terrible, and you might wonder, how do I get rid of them without deleting them? Well, that's what you do. You just make sure that checkbox is switched off. The other thing to do is just to make sure that your layers are switched to guide. I did show you that previously for you, right-click on the layer and convert it to a guide. If it's a guide layer, it's not going to export out anyway. Just be aware of those two things. Once that's fine, that's checked off. You can hit "Okay". Then go to Export. Then when you get to your export options, you'll see there's a couple of different options. You've got Export Movie and Export Video. Export Movie really is going to export your movie out as something called as SWF, dot SWF or a swift file as people often call it. What that is is basically another Adobe Animate file. Whoever you want to send that too needs to be able to open Adobe Animate. It's a way of exporting your animation at a very, very low file size. As long as the person you're sending it to has Adobe Animate, they'll be able to view it. Also in this option, you can also export things out as a JPEG Sequence, GIF Sequence or PNG Sequence. What that will do is just basically export every image. Say your animation is 110 frames long, you will be able to export out 110 frames, and your JPEG or PNG Sequence is actually the way that you'll be able to bring your animation into Aftereffects if you did want to go that route. But if you wanted to export your animation the whole scene as a regular video file, then go down to "File", "Export" as video. It'll export a video file, but it's going to have to encode it within Adobe Media Encoder. If you click "Export", another program's going to open up. You can see it there, Adobe Media Encoder that just automatically pops up and it'll queue it up like a regular render queue. Then you click on the name. If it's ready, that'll say ready there, and then you just click this "Play" button here, this green Play button to process it. Clicking on that, and here you can see that the whole thing is processing out, and you're done. Now, you've got a very cool video file that you can share with other people. First of all, I want to say congratulations for getting to the end of the course. That in itself is a huge achievement. I know exactly how hard it is to learn anything online. Completely different to being in a class with other students and being with the teacher one on one. The fact that you've gotten through this whole course right to the very end in and of itself is a huge achievement. Well done. I tried to make the course as engaging as possible, and I'm sure there were times where it did lag a little bit. I apologize, but I'm delighted that you've got here and you've got all the way through to the end. I'm also really proud of you if you've followed the steps that I took to write the course, even if you just designed a character. But if you learn some animation techniques, that is really something to be proud of and it is actually a very big achievement. I really hope that this has given you an insight into number 1, how easy it can be to animate a character. I really want to demystify the process for you so that you're confident about creating your own animations and creating scenes. If you've gotten this far, if you've been able to animate a character using a mask, adding music, adding a background, seriously, that is something that you can show to a studio and they'll be ready and willing to listen to you or to take on board all of the skill set that you have. Simply by doing that, you've demonstrated that you can create a character from scratch. That's character design. You can build a character rig for animation plus you can confidently and effectively animate a character within a scene. Don't underestimate how marketable a skill set that is if you've gotten this far. Again, I'm really proud of you. Thank you so much for sticking with me in this course. Please send me a message at the end of the course and let me know how you enjoyed it. I love hearing feedback from my students. As I've been saying all along, if there's anything that wasn't clear or that you think I rushed over or anything like that, please let me know and I'll be sure to go back and include it into the videos. Thank you so much for being here, for being part of this course, and I look forward to seeing you in the next one.