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All animators must learn to walk before they can run. In 2D Character Animation, industry expert George Maestri teaches the basic principles every animator must know to build a foundation for more complex work. These principles are relevant regardless of software used or animation style. George explains how good animation depends on a firm knowledge of the laws of motion, which inform the principles of animation. He teaches the basics of creating characters, squash and stretch, pose-to-pose animation, walking and running, track reading, and dialogue animation. He also shows how to use After Effects and Flash to apply the tools learned in the course. Exercise files accompany this course.
Now we have the basic animation in place, so now we can begin pose-to-pose animation. Now I want to show you a little bit about how to animate hands and how to swap one hand out for the other in a smooth fashion. So we are going to do some pose-to-pose animation mostly involving the hands of the character. So let me show you where we are at, at this point. Now I have added a little bit of animation. We are using a file called Woman_Stage_04 and let me show you what's in this. So she walks out and comes to the final pose.
Now I added a little bit of secondary animation between the last lesson and this one and what I did was I switched this hand so that it kind of come into a side view as she comes through her final pose, as well as some secondary animation on the body and the head, just to give it a little bit more fluidity. Now we need to animate her posing to the dialogue. So let's go ahead and make sure that we have the dialogue in place. Now I have deleted it in this file. So we are going to go ahead and insert a layer and then just drag in the Welcome.wav and it should show up and if it's not showing up make sure that your Properties are Stream, make sure its Syncs to Stream and you should be okay.
So let's go ahead and play this with the dialogue track. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the show.) Okay so she goes "Welcome to the show." Now I want her to actually put her hand on her hip before she says welcome and then lift her hand up and then gesture on the word show. So let's go ahead and first get her left hand on her hip. I am going to bend this arm up from frame 30 to about frame 35 or 36 and put her hand on her hip. So I am actually going to zoom in a little bit, so we can see this more in detail.
I am actually going to take this whole upper body and I am actually going to set keyframes for everything and I am going to go ahead and change her pivot point here and I am going to lean her back just a little bit. I am going to go ahead and set keyframes here for the right arm as well. So I actually want to select the right hand, the right arm as well as all this upper body, so I am just doing Ctrl+Select. And now I want to just lean her back just a little bit. So we are going to go ahead and set this pivot point here and at this, I am just going to lean her body a little bit to this side because she is going to be putting her hand on her hips and now I want to get this arm into place.
So let's go ahead and select this arm, change the pivot point and let's go ahead and just work our way down from the shoulder. So I am going to go ahead and get the shoulder in place and then get that hand and forearm in place and then flip this hand back just a little bit. Now what I am trying to do here is get this hand almost to the point where it crosses over. When she puts her hand on her hips, these fingers are actually going to be behind the hip. So I want to get right to the point where her fingers are about to go behind the hips, but aren't exactly behind the hips.
So now we have got coming up here, so let's go ahead and in between that, and now she is coming up. In fact, go ahead and take this hand and flip it out just a little bit. So I am going to take this hand, insert a keyframe and give it a little bit of secondary motion, so now she comes in. And now I want to continue this in- between, but I want to make sure that the hand goes behind this hip and what I need to do at this point is actually swap out the hand.
So I am going to go one frame forward from here and hit F6. Now I am going to keep this selected, hit the Delete key, get rid of that symbol, and scroll down until I find the other one. It's going to be L_HandSideB which has those fingers missing. This is the one I had before which has all of those fingers in place, but this one has the fingers missing. So I am just going to go ahead and drag that in and then just put that into place.
Make sure I get the pivot point set. So now you can see we have got this looking as though the fingers are going behind the hip and then I could make sure I adjust that into place here and again, I want to set a keyframe for the forearm as well as the upper arm. So let's go ahead and make sure that all of this is in place. So now I want to make sure I flip this. You can see how it looks like her hand is coming behind her hip and then let's go ahead and just continue this animation and I want to go ahead and just a few more frames forward here and let's just put in a few more keyframes just to make this look more realistic.
So just go ahead like that and then just make sure that hand looks like it's got the two back fingers behind there and then I want to in-between just this frame here. So this frame, right before it flips I don't want in-between on this one and then it comes in. So now just go ahead and view this a little bit more fully. You can see she comes in, hand comes up, and it looks like it's on her hip.
So that's one little trick. Now let's go ahead and animate her hand to the dialogue. So we have got this hand coming up. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the...) So the word show starts somewhere around frame 56, so I need to get her hand up and ready to anticipate that gesture. So this is a good case of anticipation. Now I want to get this right hand coming up. So I am going to go ahead and select the right hand, forearm and upper arm, and let's go ahead and put in some keyframes here.
Let's just start moving this up, so I am going to go ahead and bring this into about frame 42 or so and let's go ahead and just start rotating this up. Now this hand is going to drag. Remember we have got drag here. So go ahead and create a tween. So you can see it's coming up. So now I want the forearm and the hand to also come up.
So again, just going to go ahead and just start keyframing that. Here we go. So this hand is coming up. Let's see what we have got here. And I can see as this rotates up we have got a little bit of a disparity here in this hand. Let's go ahead and zoom in here. You can see how this hand comes up and it's actually not in-betweening properly and this is something that happens every once in a while and all you need to do is just create another in-between frame here.
So let's go ahead and just create some more keyframes and just move that out. Make sure this all lines up. When you have really dramatic rotations... So now let's go ahead and bring this up. Let me go ahead and mute this for a little bit and then I want to get this wrist flipped back, right before we have our gesture. So let's go ahead and again, create some more keyframes and I want to flip that wrist back as well as bring up the rest of the forearm and upper arm, drag those up, make sure that this in place here and let's go ahead and create our in- between for our Classic Tween.
So now we have got a nice anticipation. I wanted to gesture on that word show. Now I have muted this, so I can talk over the dialogue and scrub. So let me go ahead and unmute this and let's see where we are at. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the show.) Now in the word Show, I want her to flip her hand over. So let me go ahead and mute this again. So we are going to do that by swapping out the hand. So let's go ahead and start moving this hand into place. So again, I want to get this hand almost to a vertical position.
So I am going to go ahead and again, just add a few more keyframes here. So get it kind of vertical and also I want it to started bending at the wrist as well. So I am going to go ahead and select the forearm and the hand. Make sure that I have got this coming up this way. So let's see go ahead and tween this. So now she comes up and now as she moves over, this is the point where I am going to flip her hand over. So I need to go one frame ahead of this and insert a keyframe.
Now this is the point where I am going to swap out this symbol. So I am going to do take this hand, delete it and then find the symbol that says left hand up, which is actually the hand flipped over the other direction and let's put that in and let's make sure we get that in the right place and again, make sure the pivot point is set about the right place as well. See how that looks.
Now this is where I really want to flip this. Now you can see how it looks almost like it's flipping over just by going from one to the other. So that's what I really want to get and then I am going to go ahead and put in keyframes for the other parts of that upper arm and then bring it over just a hair. So you can see that's your standard British Royalty wave, there we go. And now bring it over into the actual gesture.
So I am going to go say about 5 or 6 frames ahead and just straighten out the hand and then continue the rotation of that hand over so that the palm is up, and then also I want to get the shoulder flipped over as well. So let's see what we got here, there we go. So select these, Classic Tween. Now notice there is no tween between where it flips.
Okay, so that's the key part is you don't want to tween that. So now we have got-- not too bad. Looks pretty good. Okay I am going to turn off mute here, so we can actually listen to this and let's see what we have got. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the show.) Looks pretty good. Now I have a more complete version of this here and it's in a file called Woman_Stage_05, so let's take a look at how that sounds and looks. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the show.) Beautiful.
(Female Speaker: Welcome to the show.) So as you can see we have got pretty much all of our animation in place. Now all we have to do is lip sync and a little bit of eye animation and we are completely done. Now remember, when animating hands if you want to swap out a hand shape, make sure that you set a key before the swap and after and don't in-between those two keyframes and you will be fine.
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