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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.
So now that we understand the basics of animation, it's time to actually start animating a scene. Now, we're going to animate the exact same scene in Flash CS4 as well as After Effects CS4. So if you're familiar with one or the other, just go ahead and jump to those particular movies. Now, the scene we're going to animate actually has walking as well as dialog. So we should give a broad coverage of the techniques for both of these packages. Now, before you start animating your scene, you need to plan and direct your scene.
This means we start off with something like a script or a storyboard. Now, you can always just go directly to storyboard if you want, and once you have the basic story down, you can record your dialog. Once you have the dialog, you can marry that with the storyboard to create an animatic. So let me show you the storyboard for the animation that we're going to be doing. It's really very simple. We have a character who is a woman and she walks into the scene, center stage, stops and then she just says "Welcome to the show," and does a quick gesture.
So let's go ahead and take a look at the animatic with the dialog from our lovely Samara. (Samara: Welcome to the show.) And there we go. It's really a very simple scene. It's only 80 frames long, but it does cover a number of techniques. Now, before you start animating any scene, you really need to go through an entire process to actually animate it. The animation process starts off with blocking. You need to make sure that you get your character into the right place at the right time, so you block out your major poses.
Once you have your blocking, then you actually go through and do your animation, then you lay in your dialog and then you do some fine-tuning. So let's go ahead and take this basic scene and let's animate it in several different packages.
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