How to create amazing animated characters in Illustrator and Flash

Create an animated character by harnessing the power of Illustrator and the flexibility of Flash.

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04. If you’ve created a single outline for your character, you’ll need to split out the parts that will be animated once we’ve taken it into Flash. Use the Scissors tool to break paths, and fill in any missing fill areas by closing the newly separated paths. Here, I’ve opted to animate one limb, both eyes and the mouth here, but I also created a background and kept the hair separate.

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05. Open the Symbols panel (Window > Symbols) and select the left eye’s component parts. Drag the selected art into the Symbols panel to create a new symbol. Make sure you select ‘Movie Clip’ as the type, and name it appropriately. Repeat for each element in your character, the background and any other elements you have created.

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06. Now you’ve got all your individual symbols set up, select the entire character on the artboard and drag it into the Symbols panel. The character is now a symbol itself, but is comprised of nested symbols. It’s this concept – and the fact that each symbol will have its own timeline – that will allow us to easily animate our character.

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Sam Hampton-Smith

Digital Arts Magazine
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