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Animating the upper body in After Effects

From: 2D Character Animation

Video: Animating the upper body in After Effects

Now we have the whole lower body animated and we can move on to the upper body. Now, what we need to do here is put in a little bit of our body turn as well as work with the hands. So, let me show you where we are at right now. So, we have the lower body animated. Now, one of the things I've done just in the sake of time is I've actually animated the hands a little bit. So, let me show you where we at, at this point. I've just kind of animated the hands coming down to the side and we're going to actually do some more hand animation to actually do the poses of the character, but also what I want to do is actually put in a little bit of a body turn, because right now she is kind of facing a little bit to her right, and I want kind of pull her body a little bit more forward.

Animating the upper body in After Effects

Now we have the whole lower body animated and we can move on to the upper body. Now, what we need to do here is put in a little bit of our body turn as well as work with the hands. So, let me show you where we are at right now. So, we have the lower body animated. Now, one of the things I've done just in the sake of time is I've actually animated the hands a little bit. So, let me show you where we at, at this point. I've just kind of animated the hands coming down to the side and we're going to actually do some more hand animation to actually do the poses of the character, but also what I want to do is actually put in a little bit of a body turn, because right now she is kind of facing a little bit to her right, and I want kind of pull her body a little bit more forward.

So, we can do that by animating just this upper part of the body. So it's a little bit more centered. So let's go ahead and do that. Now, as she comes into this pose, you can see that she actually sets down her foot at frame 22 and then slides up into this pose. So from frame 22 on is really where we need to kind of put in this body turn. Now, I'm going to start with the neck. So what I'm going to do is put in some keyframes at frame 22.

Now, as this character slides up I'm going to go ahead just do little bit of motion and I'm just kind of go ahead and slide that over just a little bit and maybe even rotate it just so that it's a little bit more centered. So, as you can see now as she comes up into this pose, the neck now goes from facing that way to being a little bit more centered. Now, when this is centered and this is actually moved off to the side, the chest also needs to be animated as well.

So, we're going to go ahead and do the same thing for that. So, I am going to go ahead and put in a Position key for each of these at frame 22 and then move over to frame 28 and then just kind of select them and slide them over just a little bit so that they are a little bit more centered. So, now we've got this, so that as she comes into this pose you can see now, especially the edge right here, how it kind of comes over.

Again, it just makes her a little bit more centered in the frame. It looks like she is facing forward. Now, let's go ahead and put her into some poses here. So, as she comes into this final position here at frame 30, what I want her to do is I want her hand to come up on her hip and then I also want her to gesture to the sound track, so let's go ahead and first of all put her hand on her hip. So, I am going to go ahead and zoom in. Let's zoom in a little bit further and let's take this arm and we'll get into this pose.

So right here at frame 30, I'm actually going to take my left arm and I'm going to just go ahead and make sure I've got some keyframes there, because I'm going to start this at frame 30 and I'm also going to put in a keyframe for the hand as well. And again this is just a rotation keyframe, because everything is rotating. I just need to slide her hand up onto her hip.

So, I'm going to do that over the course of maybe about eight frames or so. I'm going to start with the upper arm and just slide that in and then again what I'm doing is I'm just creating some keyframes here. So as you can see, it just kind of comes up like this. So you just need to make sure that that's right and then the hand itself is going to put itself on the hip.

But the problem is that this hand is actually ahead of the hip. So, we've got this hand coming in front of the hip when we really want it to kind of clasp the hip. We want these back fingers to be behind the hip and the front fingers to be on top of it. We can fix this by just putting in a mask. So, I'm going to go ahead and select the left hand and I'm just going to go ahead and draw a little bit of a mask here. So, I'm just going to select my Pen tool and draw a mask that's about the same shape as that hip and then go ahead into the mask and let's just make it Subtract mask and let's see what we got.

So, now that looks pretty good, but of course, this is now attached to that hand. So we need to animate it off of the hand until we get to that point. So, where's that? Frame 38 is where our mask comes in. So we're going to take the mask path, put a keyframe on it, go one or two frames back, and just animate that off, and then just kind of get that.

So, now just pull that off. There we go! So, now you can see it comes in and then just masks it off. Now this is a little bit rough, but you basically get the idea of how to do that. Now, let's go ahead and take a look at the other arm. Now what I want to do is to bring this up and actually animate it to the dialog. So she says, "Welcome to the show!" I want it to hit on the word show.

I want her hand to flip over on the word show. So, let's go ahead and take a look at the dialog. And we can actually go ahead and unmute this and let's go ahead and hold down the Ctrl key and scrub. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the show.) So, welcome starts right around frame 42 or 43. And then show hits right around frame 60. So, I'm going to ahead and start animating this right arm up around frame 42.

So, I'm going to start by finding the right arm and let's go ahead and put in some keyframes. So, right now it's at this position, so I'm just going to lock in this position by copying and pasting the keyframes that were there and now start raising up the arm and I also need to do same for the hand as well. So, as this comes up, let's go ahead and start rotating this up.

So, at the position I want it to be in is somewhere around here and then I want it to flip over. So, it should go Welcome, but as this comes up, again we're going to have a little bit of drag here on the hand. So, this hand is going to go like this and as it flips over, I am going to go ahead and straighten out this lower arm as well as this upper arm, but I also need to get the hand to flip over.

So, you can see what I've done here is I have created a kind of secondary motion here, but I need to get this hand to flip over. So right here where the hand is at its peak, I'm going to set a key for this hand. Now, this hand is set up on a Time Remap which means that if I take a look at the right hand composition here, you can see that each frame is a different hand. So, by selecting that frame, when we want to flip over that hand we can animate the shape of the hand.

So, I'm going to go ahead and keep it here on frame 3 and then as it flips over, I believe its frame 4, that's the opposite side. So now it goes like this. So, really all we're doing is we're switching the hand. Look at this right hand composition. You can see that I've got just a bunch of different hands that are just animated in and we're just selecting those here.

So, as it comes at, we come over and then we can bring her hand out, palm up like we're supposed to have.. So, now she is coming in. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the show.) Very good. With all of that in place, let's take a look at Woman_06, which is the final version. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the show.) So, as we did before, we're animating the major poses of the character before we ever do lip-sync.

So, now that we have the basic poses in place, we can go ahead and move on to lip-sync.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for 2D Character Animation
2D Character Animation

73 video lessons · 22058 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

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