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Basic Character Creation in Flash

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  • Last Updated : 14 Feb, 2022
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Flash is a 2D animation software that can be used on different operating systems like macOS, Windows, Linux, etc. It was first launched in 1996 and the latest version is released in 2021. It is capable of different functionalities like masking, character tracing, lip-sync, motion and shape tweening, frame by frame animations, etc. The animations created in Flash are vector-based rather than pixel animations which can only be zoomed to a certain level but this is not the case with vector-based animations so they provide high-quality animations.

Character Creation

Creating characters is an important part of any animation process. In this process characters are created, firstly may be on a piece of paper and then making the same in flash, there is a wide variety of characters from simple to advance. Characters can be made on a single layer, but it becomes difficult to animate such characters so most of the animators make different parts of any character on separate layers like head, body, hands, legs each one of these are placed on separate layers to ease the animation process. 

Steps to create a basic character:

Step 1: Open the new project in Flash.


Step 2: Select the Oval tool and draw a circle on the stage.


Step 3: Using the selection tool, select the circle and right-click on it, a drop-down menu will appear, choose to convert to symbol.


Step 4: Next pop-up window will appear, choose Graphic type for symbol and click OK.


Step 5: Now rename this layer as Head.


Step 6: Create a new layer using the New layer button and name it Body.


Step 7: Now take the Line tool from the toolbar and draw a straight line on the stage by pressing the shift key. The width of the line can be adjusted using the Stroke option on the Properties bar available on the right-hand side. Convert the body to the graphic symbol as done with the head.


Step 8: Create a new layer as Hands. Select line tool and draw a straight line and adjust its width using stroke, also convert it to a graphic symbol.


Step 9: Now select the hand and press the Alt key which will make the duplicate of hand and then join the hand end to end.


Step 10: In the same way make the second hand and place them in their correct position, use the free transform tool to rotate them a little. 


Step 11: Create a new layer as Legs. Select the line tool and draw a straight line and adjust its width using stroke, also convert it to a graphic symbol. Now select the leg and press the Alt key which will make the duplicate of the leg and then join the hand end to end.


Step 12: Now make a duplicate of the leg by pressing Alt key and place both the legs at correct positions.


So this is how we create a basic stick man character.

Move a character

As we have made our characters on different layers so it is easy to apply animation to them. We will animate it to wave hand like saying “Hi”.

Step 1: Select the free transform tool and click on hand, you will see a pivot point in the middle.


Step 2: Shift this pivot point to the elbow so that we can turn it from there.


Step 3: Similarly select the above part of the hand and move the pivot point to the shoulder.


Step 4: Now select frame 40 at each layer and right-click to insert a keyframe.


Step 5: Now at frame 20 again select frames at each layer and insert a keyframe.


Step 6: Now change the position of the hand by using the free transform tool and rotating the hand.


Step 7: Now select the frames at each layer to apply classic tween.


Step 8: Classic tween has been applied successfully.


Now run the animation, below is the output of the animation.

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