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Setting up the scene in After Effects

From: 2D Character Animation

Video: Setting up the scene in After Effects

Now let's go ahead and animate our scene in After Effects. So I'm going to go ahead and open up After Effects CS4 and we're going to go ahead and open a file here called Woman_ Stage and that's in the Chapter 7 folder of your exercise files. Now, this actually has a number of different compositions. The first composition is the actual storyboard and then we have a composition with just the woman rigged and ready to go, kind of like a blank slate.

Setting up the scene in After Effects

Now let's go ahead and animate our scene in After Effects. So I'm going to go ahead and open up After Effects CS4 and we're going to go ahead and open a file here called Woman_ Stage and that's in the Chapter 7 folder of your exercise files. Now, this actually has a number of different compositions. The first composition is the actual storyboard and then we have a composition with just the woman rigged and ready to go, kind of like a blank slate.

Then as we go through all of these other compositions, it just gets more and more animation. So these are all the stages in the process, finally ending in the composition called Woman_07, which is the final scene. So let me go ahead and play that so we can see where we're going. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the show.) (Female Speaker x2: Welcome to the show.) So let's go ahead and start working towards that scene. Now, let me describe the setup a little bit here. Now we have a Null object here at the very bottom.

This allows us to position the entire character. So we can go ahead and position her wherever we need and then each part of the character is basically just jointed. So we can just rotate the joints. Now I did not use the Puppet tool in this because for these types of joints, it's probably easiest to just use rotations and use hierarchies. Everything is kind of put together in a hierarchy, so that when you move the shoulder, the lower arm moves and so on and so forth. Now, the one thing I didn't do was I broke the hierarchy at the hips.

So the legs are not connected to the hips. This really lends itself to the way that I like to animate, which is to animate the feet and the hips, and then just put the legs in between them. That's basically my choice and how I like to animate. I think it works really well. Then the rest of the parts of the character are kind of just put together, so we've got the head and so on and so forth. So let's go ahead and set up this first pose. I'm going to go ahead and take a look at this storyboard here. The first pose really just has a character ready to start walking.

So she's stage right and with both feet facing forward. So here I've got her feet kind of facing out. So let me go ahead and grab the left shoe and go ahead and just scale that in the opposite direction. In fact, if I want to get that very accurate, I can go into the Scale function here, and just go ahead and type in -100, so it's exactly of the right size. If I want, I can go ahead and zoom in and get this position exactly the way that I want. Now once we have this basic pose, then we're ready to actually start animating.

Here is the actual pose that I'm going to start with, which is called Woman_01. So before you start animating anything in After Effects, you need to get your character position properly on the scene and get everything set up and rigged and ready to go, which is what we have here.

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This video is part of

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2D Character Animation

73 video lessons · 22208 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  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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