Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Animating the legs in After Effects

From: 2D Character Animation

Video: Animating the legs in After Effects

At this point, we have the feet and the hips moving and this gives us the basic structure of our walk. Now we need to fill in the lower part of the body by animating the legs. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to take the left leg and we are going to go ahead and animate that. So I'm going to go ahead to solo that and I'm going to turn off the right shoe, so all we are working with is the left foot and the left leg. So let's see what we have got here. So as you can see, we have got this foot and hip moving, but the legs don't match up.

Animating the legs in After Effects

At this point, we have the feet and the hips moving and this gives us the basic structure of our walk. Now we need to fill in the lower part of the body by animating the legs. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to take the left leg and we are going to go ahead and animate that. So I'm going to go ahead to solo that and I'm going to turn off the right shoe, so all we are working with is the left foot and the left leg. So let's see what we have got here. So as you can see, we have got this foot and hip moving, but the legs don't match up.

Well, we can fix that fairly easily just by animating the legs. I'm going to zoom in here so we can see this a little better. So as you can see, everything is moving but the legs. So let's go ahead and start adding in some keys for the legs. Again, I'm putting in some keys at frame 0, just so I have a good strong pose and now let's go ahead and go out to frame 6 because what happens is this foot stays solid until frame 6. Nothing really happens.

So what I can do is I can just rotate and move the upper part of this leg, which should be left upper leg, and again just match it up so that it looks like it's moving. So now you can see it looks like it's pivoting off of that leg. And then I'm going to go ahead and copy and paste keys for the lower leg as well, just so that we have them in place. Now, as that foot lifts up, we need to do some more complex keying.

So what I'm going to do is I'm going to go to the passing position, which is about four frames in, which is about frame 10, and I'm going to start with the upper leg and move it and then take the lower leg and rotate it so that we have got a nice pose here, so something like that. Now you can see that the in-between doesn't really work all that well. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to go halfway in-between there and see if we can get a better pose.

Now in some of this you may have to tweak a frame at a time. So now we have got the leg moving and let's go ahead and get this extended position, which is at frame 14. So again, I'm going to straighten out that knee and go ahead and move it over. So really it's just a matter of connecting the dots. What you have got is you have got these two points, you have the hip and the foot, and you just need to make the leg bridge that gap and I find this is much easier than trying to animate the foot from the leg down.

Keeping that foot separate really helps a lot and again what you need to do is just kind of go back and tweak it. But it's really not that difficult of a task. It's really just kind of lining things up. Now I'm going to go ahead and switch over to Composition:Woman_03 and let's take a look at what that looks like. So let's go ahead and zoom in and we can see a little bit closer, as to how this leg works. Just scrub through that a little bit more slowly.

So as you can see, it bends, extends, squashes and then as it pivots, I'm actually not animating the leg hardly at all. It's the foot that's really doing most of the work. If you notice that this curve here is always on the right side. Now if I wanted to, I could actually use the Puppet tool or something like that to give it a little bit more balance, but this seems to work just fine. Now once you have one leg, the other leg pretty much works the same.

I'm not going to go ahead and go through all that process. So let's go ahead and take a look at what the final version of the hips, legs and feet look like. So again, for the right leg, it's exactly the same process as the left. You just have to match it up and make sure that everything holds together. Then once you have that, you can start moving on to the upper body and the rest of the character.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for 2D Character Animation
2D Character Animation

73 video lessons · 22212 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 18s
    1. Introduction
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 16s
  2. 48m 21s
    1. Designing characters
      3m 22s
    2. Tracing characters
      4m 32s
    3. Creating joints that work
      3m 53s
    4. Working with outlines
      4m 0s
    5. Accessorizing your characters
      2m 21s
    6. Creating parts for replacement animation
      1m 41s
    7. Rigging hierarchies in After Effects
      5m 33s
    8. Rigging replacement animation in After Effects
      5m 52s
    9. Rigging with the Puppet tool in After Effects
      3m 16s
    10. Rigging Flash characters
      5m 50s
    11. Rigging replacement animation in Flash
      4m 25s
    12. Rigging with the Bone tool in Flash
      3m 36s
  3. 55m 29s
    1. The first law of motion
      3m 3s
    2. The second law of motion
      3m 45s
    3. The third law of motion
      3m 19s
    4. Using slow in and slow out
      5m 34s
    5. Arcs and smooth motion
      5m 4s
    6. Understanding overlap and follow-through
      5m 16s
    7. Animating overlap and follow-through
      5m 46s
    8. Understanding squash and stretch
      3m 10s
    9. Animating squash and stretch
      4m 40s
    10. Squashing and stretching characters
      5m 16s
    11. Understanding weight
      3m 27s
    12. Understanding anticipation
      4m 54s
    13. Animating anticipation and weight
      2m 15s
  4. 45m 50s
    1. Internal vs. external forces
      4m 45s
    2. Bringing characters to life
      4m 57s
    3. Animating blinks
      4m 37s
    4. Animating changes in eye direction
      2m 43s
    5. Animating head turns
      8m 1s
    6. Creating a strong line of action
      4m 16s
    7. Creating strong silhouettes
      2m 19s
    8. Pose-to-pose animation: Blocking
      4m 32s
    9. Pose-to-pose animation: Animating
      4m 21s
    10. Pose-to-pose animation: Finalizing
      5m 19s
  5. 46m 53s
    1. A walk in four poses
      2m 27s
    2. Motion of the head and body
      1m 32s
    3. Walk cycles and backgrounds
      1m 40s
    4. Skeleton motion and walking
      4m 2s
    5. Animating a walk: Contact position
      3m 0s
    6. Animating a walk: The feet
      9m 10s
    7. Animating a walk: The body
      5m 19s
    8. Animating a walk: The legs
      8m 21s
    9. Animating a walk: The upper body and arms
      3m 46s
    10. Animating a walk: The head
      2m 50s
    11. Animating a walk: Squash and stretch
      4m 46s
  6. 26m 52s
    1. A run in four poses
      4m 10s
    2. Animating a run: First pose
      4m 39s
    3. Animating a run: Second pose
      3m 45s
    4. Animating a run: Third pose
      3m 27s
    5. Animating a run: Fourth pose
      5m 1s
    6. Animating a run: Upper body
      5m 50s
  7. 37m 6s
    1. The basics of dialogue animation
      4m 35s
    2. Reading tracks and assigning mouth shapes
      5m 33s
    3. Phonemes and lip-syncing
      8m 36s
    4. Animating dialogue: Animating the body
      6m 27s
    5. Animating dialogue: Assigning mouth shapes
      4m 10s
    6. Animating dialogue: Finalizing
      7m 45s
  8. 1h 27m
    1. Animating a scene
      2m 0s
    2. Setting up the scene in After Effects
      3m 2s
    3. Animating the feet in After Effects
      10m 40s
    4. Animating the legs in After Effects
      4m 21s
    5. Animating the upper body in After Effects
      9m 44s
    6. Animating the mouth and blinks in After Effects
      7m 5s
    7. Setting up the scene in Flash
      4m 6s
    8. Animating the feet in Flash
      9m 0s
    9. Animating the body in Flash
      5m 23s
    10. Animating the legs in Flash
      7m 24s
    11. Animating the hands in Flash
      11m 54s
    12. Animating the mouth in Flash
      12m 26s
  9. 33s
    1. Goodbye
      33s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed 2D Character Animation.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.