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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 we're going to set up the mouths so that they not only animate, and do replacement animation, but they also move with the head turn. Now, we're going to kind of do this the opposite way that we did the blinks. With the blinks, what we did was we animated the shape of the blink, and put that on a time remap, and then animated the replacement animation using if-then statement. In this case, we're going to animate the replacement animation with the time remap, and use the expression to keep the mouth locked with the head, so this way you'll get a taste of both methods.
The first thing we need to do is to place some mouths into the scene, and get them attached to a slider. So I already have some mouths set up, and this is pretty much the way that we set them up back in Chapter 5. So I'm going to take this MOUTHS composition, and let's just go ahead and drag it right underneath the HEAD CONTROL here. Let's just take a look at this to refresh. What this is is one mouth per frame over the course of 12 frames.
So when I put that in, you'll see it's only a 12-frame long animation here, but we can put on a time remap, so if I right-click over this Time > Enable Time Remapping, then I can go ahead and just stretch this, so that it's length of our composition, and delete this last keyframe here. Now you'll see that the MOUTHS are right here, and just by scrolling through here I can animate through the MOUTHS. But I want to attach this to a slider, so I need to go into my HEAD CONTROL, which is where I'm going to keep all my sliders, and we're just going to add another one in.
So in this case, I already have my HEAD TURN slider, my BLINK slider, I am going to add one more for the MOUTHS, so we're going to keep a HEAD CONTROL selected, Effect > Expression Controls > Slider Control, and it just drops another one down in there. So we right-click over this, rename it, let's just rename it MOUTH, and now we need to attach our time remap to this slider here under the MOUTH. So let's go ahead and do that by adding an expression: Animation > Add Expression, and then we can Pick Whip this to the slider. But just like what happened with the HEAD TURN, this isn't going to work, because we still need to convert the time back to frames.
So if you don't remember what we did here, if you look at the HEAD slider here, we could see in this expression here what we did was we created a variable called a, and then after that we just converted frames to time, so that the time remap works. What we can do is we just copy out the last part of this expression, and just paste that in. So I'm going back up to my MOUTHS, Expression, and we're going basically input that same equation. So what we can do here is we can say, a equals HEAD CONTROL, MOUTH, Slider, semicolon, and then let's type in that expression, or just paste it in, framesToTime of a. So what we're going to do is we're going to set a equal to the value of the slider, and then change that into time.
Once we do that, we should have this working, so now my slider should step through all the mouths. There we go. Okay, so now we have the mouths animating, but the next step is to get those mouths to move with the head turn itself. So as this head turn goes left and right, I want these mouths to kind of stick to the face, and move left and right as well, and we're going to do that in the next lesson.
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