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Video:How to Create a Walk Cycle Animation in Flash

with Chris Salgado

Animating in Flash can seem intimidating, but you don't even need great drawing skills to create a basic walking animation. Watch this About.com video to see how to use Flash for a walk cycle animation.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Create a Walk Cycle Animation in Flash

Hello, my name is Chris Salgado, here for About.com, and today I’m going to show you how to create a walk cycle animation in Flash.

Work With the Animation as a Symbol

Here is the stage area, this is where all of the action is going to get recorded on. You have to click into a blank frame to draw something and click a tool. So first I’m going to create a symbol character on this background I’ve created that will loop itself so it gives the illusion of a walk cycle. As you can see you have to make sure it’s looped, over in your properties and you can see that it shows up over here in my library. You can always change it to make sure it’s a graphic, which I feel works best.

I’m going to select the paintbrush tool, select a color and I’m going to draw a little stick figure here. I’m going to select that by clicking it on the timeline, selecting it with the arrow tool or using the lasso tool. Go to modify, convert to symbol, make sure it’s a graphic, and I’m going to rename this walk cycle 2.

Draw Several Walking Sketches

You can see here that it has a blue box around it, showing that it’s a symbol. Click inside of it and now we’re inside of our symbol. Go to timeline, frame, create a new frame, you can also do that by pressing F5 or function F5 if you have a laptop. And create keyframe which is F6 which separates them. Now I have a blank frame over here and if I press my onion skinning tool, I can see a faint copy of my previous frame. And now what I’m going to do is I’m going to draw the apex of my walk cycle. I’m just doing this to get a rough idea of where my character is supposed to be. Keeping in mind this is where the leg is supposed to cross over, as you can see this is a very simple walk right there, a little crossover. And because it’s a stick figure it appear that it is walking. You can see by pressing the enter button that we have a little bit of a rough walking going on.

Cycle the Animations in Flash

I’ve already created a little character here. It’s also a symbol, I’m going to click inside of it. You can see my black stick figure here that is pretty much the same thing, I’ve added another drawing on here just for a better crossover as you see there. And I’m able to see a little outline by pressing the colored box, you can choose what color you want for that by double clicking it. But here on top of that I have drawn this little character, keeping in mind to draw the crossover of the arm, notice how it swings in front and the same thing with the leg. So we get the sense that it is a person crossing his arm over his body. Now this is an 8 drawing cycle, so the last drawing should be the drawing right before the first drawing when looped. If you go back to the scene you can see that this guy is definitely walking, he’s walking all over town. We can export our movie and when we play is as a .swf we don’t see the stage or anything and we have a very cool, smooth continuous walk cycle made in Flash.

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