Computer Arts (October 2004)

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12 9 When lip-syncing within the head symbol, bring in the sound file as you did in the main stage. But before you drag the mouth shapes from the library onto the head, make sure the mouth layer is selected and remember to set the sound object in the Properties box to “stream”. Whatever expressions you decide to use, always remember to make your character blink, as this will help to make it look less wooden. There are many different ways to animate blinks, but generally three drawings make up the movement.

It’s often easy to forget that the animator is the actor and so it’s important to ensure that the character acts, too. Facial expressions and subtle head movements will make your character less wooden. Flash provides a simple and easy way to construct characters, whether they’re drawn directly onto your computer or on paper first. The following tutorial will introduce you to those methods and to the creative process behind making an animated character talk. By concentrating on movement, lip-syncing and a range of Flash tools, you’ll ensure that your character really does come to life.

NEXT ISSUE THE GREAT WAVE Katsushika Hokusai’s world famous woodblock print. TUTORIALS IN THIS ISSUE ILLUSTRATOR 4 HOURS CUSTOM BRUSHES We’ve got tonnes to offer this month with an impressive range of tutorials from a great line up of Computer Arts experts. First off, we use Illustrator to recreate the atmosphere of fight night. See the convincing results on page 56. Whichever 3D package you use, making the most of your sketch renderer can give excellent results. But if your 3D software lacks a sketch facility, don’t fret – we’ll show you how to fake it in Photoshop!

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