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Learn to create and animate highly controllable characters using After Effects. In this course, author George Maestri covers every step on the way, from designing the characters in Photoshop or Illustrator, or drawing them straight from After Effects; assembling characters with hierarchies; making realistic deformations with the Puppet tool; automating rigs with expressions; creating realistic head turns; and showing advanced techniques such as using null objects as bones. Finally, the course shows how to perform a basic animation with the character and ensure the rig works correctly.
Now, let's go ahead and finish up this animation by adding a few blinks and changes in eye direction. So let's see where we are at right now. I have gone ahead and finished the dialog. (Character: Oh boy! I've been waiting for this all week!) So the dialog is animated. Now, the next thing we want to do is basically just do some eye direction and blinks. Now blinks are, again, replacement animation, so you want to make sure that we highlight this first key and make sure that our Keyframe Interpolation is set to Hold, and that we will be sure that we can swap out the blinks very easily.
Now the first thing I want to do is add in a blink as he turns his head. So the first thing I want to do is, okay, so I have got about 12 frames to add in this blink, so I am going to start right around at frame 4. So at frame 4 I am going to move this slider to that first position there, just to start the blink, move 2 frames in, and then I am going to go to second one and then just close it.
And then go 2 frames out, and then I am just going to set that back to 0 to open the eyes. So now we've got--okay. Now one thing I want to do is also change the eye direction. So this blink can cover a change in eye direction very easily. So I am going to go ahead and select this pupil and Shift+Select this pupil. In fact, we can go down here to Left_Pupil_CTL and R_Pupil_CTL, and let's go ahead and set a Positions key for both of those.
Then when the eyes pop open, I am going to go ahead and move those over into the position that I want, which is looking straight forward. So now we've got the blink as covering that change in eye direction. So we've got--okay, so now another blink we want to add as he comes down into this squash, now one thing we can do is we can just copy and paste these keys. So I have got a pretty good blink here on my Blink slider.
So if I just select those keys, hit Ctrl+C or Command+C and then Ctrl+V or Command+V, I can blink. But I want to keep his eyes closed until he pops up, so I am going to go ahead and drag this keyframe out to about frame 40. So there we've got, oh boy, boy! I think another blink would help right in here; so again, I am just going to do this manually here.
So I am going to go ahead and put that there, 2 frames there, 2 frames, close it. Now you can decide whether you want to pop open the eyes or you want to open them a little bit more slowly. So if you want to open them a little bit more slowly, I am going to go ahead and just copy and paste this one and then open it completely. So I am actually opening this eye faster than I close it. That gives him a little bit more alertness.
So then another good place would be when he turns his head here. Again, one of the things I like to do is once I have a blink sequence, I can just select that in the timeline, copy, and paste. So now we've got--in fact, I want to move that back a little bit. Again, I am just trying to get this aligned well.
And once he opens his eyes, again, I think I want to do another change in eye direction. So again, I am just going to select both the left and right pupil control, select position, and make sure I have keyframe for position--that just locks down that original position--and then when he opens his eyes, I kind of want to do this sort of. And then again, I want to do another blink here. So again, I am going to just copy and paste this Blink slider. And then when he comes back up, I want to go back to that original eye position.
So one of the things I can do is I can just copy this eye position to the last place where his eyes are closed. So I can go here to these eye positions and just copy them, or, because it's in the same place, I am just going to hit the Position key, which basically does the same thing for both the left and right pupil. And then as he comes up, I am going to get that centered pupil key and make sure that I copy and paste it there. So now, there we go! So now let's take a look at this and see how this works.
(Character: Oh boy! I've been waiting for this all week!) So there we go! Okay, so you can see the process for animating blinks. Typically, when you do an eye-direction change, you want to cover that with a blink. And remember also, it's much faster to animate one blink and then just copy and paste it on the timeline; it saves a lot of time.
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