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Animating shapes

From: Creating Animated Characters in After Effects

Video: Animating shapes

Now, once you have a shape in After Effects, either drawn directly in After Effects, or brought over from Illustrator, there are some nice things you can do with it. One of the most important ones is that you can animate this. Now, this is kind of important for characters that need some sort of shape animation, so hairstyle that changes shape, hands that move back and forth, a belly that jiggles; that sort of thing. So let's take a look at this character's hair. I am going to go ahead and zoom in. So the very top layer in this is called Hair_Top, and this is that Shape layer that we created.

Animating shapes

Now, once you have a shape in After Effects, either drawn directly in After Effects, or brought over from Illustrator, there are some nice things you can do with it. One of the most important ones is that you can animate this. Now, this is kind of important for characters that need some sort of shape animation, so hairstyle that changes shape, hands that move back and forth, a belly that jiggles; that sort of thing. So let's take a look at this character's hair. I am going to go ahead and zoom in. So the very top layer in this is called Hair_Top, and this is that Shape layer that we created.

So if I want, I can actually start animating the path of this character's hair. So all I have to do is just set a keyframe here by clicking the stopwatch, and then just moving my timeframe forward a few frames, and then all I have to do is use my Select tool to reshape the character's hair. Once I do that, it's actually animating. So if you want his hairstyle to grow, you can do that. If you want a belly to jiggle, you can do that.

So it just sets keyframes for both of those, and now I'm animating both. This can come in very, very handy. We use it later in the course to actually change the shape of the character's hair as he does a head turn. You can also use this for the character's face, to change the shape of character's nose; many, many different ways to use this feature in animation, and in rigging a character.

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Image for Creating Animated Characters in After Effects
Creating Animated Characters in After Effects

46 video lessons · 15277 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 1m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 17s
    2. Using the exercise files
      32s
  2. 27m 15s
    1. Creating characters in Illustrator
      5m 51s
    2. Creating characters in Photoshop
      7m 9s
    3. Designing joints
      3m 40s
    4. Drawing mouths
      2m 12s
    5. Drawing hands and eyelids
      2m 48s
    6. Importing Illustrator files into After Effects
      3m 26s
    7. Importing Photoshop files into After Effects
      2m 9s
  3. 7m 51s
    1. Drawing in After Effects
      3m 57s
    2. Copying paths from Illustrator
      2m 19s
    3. Animating shapes
      1m 35s
  4. 21m 9s
    1. Understanding how layer hierarchies work
      3m 58s
    2. Understanding the importance of the pivot point
      5m 42s
    3. Assembling the upper body
      4m 47s
    4. Creating leg hierarchies for efficient walks
      4m 27s
    5. Organizing scenes with null layers
      2m 15s
  5. 22m 26s
    1. Adding puppet pins to a character
      6m 51s
    2. Controlling mesh density
      2m 15s
    3. Creating overlap pins
      4m 43s
    4. Creating starch pins
      3m 1s
    5. Using the Puppet tool with hierarchies
      5m 36s
  6. 19m 7s
    1. Replacement animation using time remapping
      6m 47s
    2. Mouth replacement
      6m 6s
    3. Creating blinks
      6m 14s
  7. 27m 23s
    1. Creating a head turn: Head shape
      6m 45s
    2. Creating a head turn: Ears
      8m 7s
    3. Creating a head turn: Facial features
      6m 41s
    4. Creating a head turn: Hair shape
      5m 50s
  8. 1h 3m
    1. The basics of expressions: Controlling the wrist
      5m 20s
    2. Moving hands from front to back with expressions
      9m 2s
    3. Using expressions to control pupils
      7m 44s
    4. Creating a master control node with Expression Controls
      6m 30s
    5. Creating blinks that move with a head turn
      9m 28s
    6. Controlling blinks using opacity
      6m 34s
    7. Attaching mouth shapes to a slider
      3m 39s
    8. Creating mouths that move with a head turn
      8m 31s
    9. Working with absolute values
      6m 12s
  9. 14m 28s
    1. Setting up null objects as bones
      5m 39s
    2. Attaching puppet pins to bones
      4m 57s
    3. Strategies for parenting legs and feet
      3m 52s
  10. 28m 32s
    1. Setting up a scene for animation
      6m 3s
    2. Blocking out the shot
      11m 0s
    3. Animating dialogue
      5m 39s
    4. Animating blinks
      5m 50s
  11. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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