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Filmmakers of all kinds are exploring new digital tools for creating animated content. After Effects CS3: Animating Characters follows the creation of a short animated film, from storyboard through final output, using After Effects CS3. George Maestri uses a one-minute monster movie to showcase the new Puppet tool, along with many other techniques for animating characters in After Effects. He covers lip syncing, creating segmented characters with movable joints, and employing special effects. George demonstrates in detail how to create individual scenes and shots, and offers insight into how to pull the pieces together to form a cohesive production. Familiarity with After Effects is recommended. Exercise files accompany the course.
So now we have this first step animated and I saved it out in Shot07B.aftereffects. What this is is just that first step. So now we need to create the second step and also cycle it. So, how we create that second step is actually going to be a little bit easier because we actually have the first kind of like the end position here. So right now we have got this right leg is coming back from Frame 0 to 16 and then in Frame 32 it's actually going to be exactly at that same position it was at Frame 0.
So all we have to do is go to Frame 32 and start copying and pasting keyframes. Now I have to do this a layer at a time. If I select all of these layers, and copy and paste, it will actually duplicate layers and I don't want that to happen. So all I'm going to do is go layer at a time, Copy, Paste. And of course if I want to, I could certain use Copy and Paste from the Edit menu but in this case hot keys are great. Apple+C or Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V.
We'll very quickly copy and paste all of these keyframes. There we go. So, now I have kind of got my return but of course we still don't have that passing position on the back so let's go to Frame 24 there and make that passing position. So what leg is coming forward? That leg. So let's start with the left since it's up here on top. Let me go to Frame 24.
On Frame 24 the left leg is the leg that's supporting the body. So let's go ahead and straighten out that left leg, make sure that's pretty much vertical at this point and straighten out that shin. And maybe even move that shin up a little bit again to support the character. There we go. And at Frame 24, the right leg is actually going to be the free leg. So, in this case, I'm going actually going to bend this right leg forward a little bit more and rotate the shin right here, right shin back, and also rotate the foot back.
And if you notice here we're getting a little bit of a problem here with these legs disconnecting so I'm going to take the shin here, make sure it works, this is why we always set Position keys in case when we need to tweak here. And I'm going to take that left shin here and again I'm going to tweak it just a little bit to make sure it looks OK. Well that's kind of rough but you get the idea. We can certainly clean this up later. So there is my cycle.
Now, the one thing that's not happening here is the head. And what happens is as these legs move forward, this foot pushes the head up, or the body up and the head goes up with it and then as it stretches out, it drops back down again. The motion of the head is almost going to be the opposite of the motion of the body. If you think of something kind of jumping up and down, anything that's sitting on top of it is going to kind of be pushed up and then drop back down. So when his legs are far apart- let's go head up to the head here.
Monster Face, OK. So let's go to the face and at Frame 0, I'm going to set a key for Rotation and Position. Now this is where he is dropping back down so his head is going to be up and it's attached to the neck so the chin will be up a little bit. Then at Frame 8, we have pushed the body up so the head will come down and it will rotate for just a little bit like that.
And then we go to Frame 16. For this one we can actually create a cycle here so I can just Copy, Paste and we have got a cycle. So now that we have one step, we can certainly cycle all the steps. So, I can go to Frame 32 and again just start copying and pasting keyframes. So, let's go ahead and do this for all of these. Once we do that, we have basically our run cycle, now we can certainly copy and paste these more if we want to but I think he takes like maybe 5 or 6 so we may need to copy the cycle one more time but generally you can see how this works.
So now let's go ahead and move on to the bride.
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