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Creating art in Photoshop for After Effects


After Effects CS3: Animating Characters

with George Maestri

Video: Creating art in Photoshop for After Effects

Creating art in Photoshop for After Effects provides you with in-depth training on 3D + Animation. Taught by George Maestri as part of the After Effects CS3: Animating Characters
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  1. 2m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 30s
    2. How to use the exercise files
  2. 24m 22s
    1. Project overview
      3m 11s
    2. Original storyboard
      2m 35s
    3. Organizing production directories
      3m 56s
    4. Using a rough soundtrack for shot timing
      1m 58s
    5. Creating a Leica reel in Premiere Pro
      7m 16s
    6. Tracking projects
      3m 1s
    7. Creating art in Photoshop for After Effects
      2m 25s
  3. 47m 8s
    1. Segmenting Photoshop characters
      7m 54s
    2. Importing Photoshop files into After Effects
      3m 55s
    3. Linking character parts
      5m 24s
    4. Animating blinks using Opacity
      8m 18s
    5. Animating the arm
      9m 56s
    6. Animating the needle and thread and the monster's hand
      11m 41s
  4. 54m 7s
    1. Introduction to subcompositions
      5m 32s
    2. Setting up nested compositions
      4m 29s
    3. Animating a run cycle pt. 1: Basic leg motion
      8m 45s
    4. Animating a run cycle pt. 2: Overlap and follow-through
      5m 3s
    5. Putting the girl in his arms
      8m 23s
    6. Animating a screaming girl pt. 1: The arms
      9m 49s
    7. Animating a screaming girl pt. 2: The head
      12m 6s
  5. 32m 22s
    1. The basics of the Puppet tool
      5m 37s
    2. Creating bounce with the Puppet tool
      5m 54s
    3. Dig cycles pt. 1: Introduction
      2m 8s
    4. Dig cycles pt. 2: Shovel
      4m 54s
    5. Dig cycles pt. 3: Arms and body
      11m 3s
    6. Dig cycles pt. 4: Finalizing
      2m 46s
  6. 47m 31s
    1. Creating a monster pt. 1: Introduction
      2m 35s
    2. Creating a monster pt. 2
      10m 42s
    3. Creating a monster pt. 3
      12m 34s
    4. Creating a monster pt. 4
      4m 39s
    5. Creating a monster pt. 5: Finalizing
      4m 22s
    6. Creating smoke and bubble cycles
      7m 34s
    7. Creating a dry brush effect
      5m 5s
  7. 23m 8s
    1. The basics of lip syncing
      3m 8s
    2. Setting up mouths for animation with time mapping
      7m 20s
    3. Animating the lips
      6m 23s
    4. Animating the head and body
      6m 17s
  8. 14m 52s
    1. Rendering with After Effects
      4m 3s
    2. Editing with Premiere Pro
      4m 8s
    3. Final output and audio
      6m 41s
  9. 10s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course After Effects CS3: Animating Characters
Video Duration: 2m 25s4h 6m Intermediate Jun 18, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

View Course Description

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.

Topics include:
  • Organizing with storyboards, rough soundtracks, and Leica reels Creating, importing, and linking segmented character parts from Photoshop Setting up nested compositions to animate a run cycle Creating smoke and bubble cycles, and other special effects Animating lips, heads, and bodies with time mapping Editing and creating final output with Premiere Pro
3D + Animation
After Effects
George Maestri

Creating art in Photoshop for After Effects

Now once we have the Leica reel or the Animatic, the timing, our shot list it's time to start animating. Now all of the original art that came to us was in Photoshop files. They weren't really standard Photoshop files. They had a lot of layers in them so that way we could animate them. In fact, let me bring up Photoshop here and I'll show you one of the files, kind of show you how we receive the art. So I'm going to go ahead and open a file. I'm going to go out to my Desktop/Exercise Files/Monsterpiece. Now this was one of the ones that came from the client and actually the first shot we are going to work with is scene 4, Dr. Frankenstein Scene 4, which is how he gave it.

Now this is exactly what we got from the client so I'm just going to go ahead and open that. And this was the original art. And as you can see we got it in layers and in fact we've got two arms here, one with the arm back and one with the arm forward. Some of these we used, some of these we didn't. We actually got a lot of these where it was almost like pre-animated but because of the Puppet tool and the way that we animate, we didn't use a lot of this stuff that we were given. We were given several different eyebrows and again, we kind of had different faces.

A lot of this is just separating the character out into layers and of course we have the nice background image there. Now the one thing I also want to say is that these files were a lot bigger than the final output. In fact let me go here to Image Size and show you that it's actually a 2K image and we are actually outputting Standard NTSC which is D1 res, is what? 720x480 or if you use square pixels it's 768x576. Something like that. But it's almost a third the size of this original art but that's actually a good thing. It's always easier to shrink things, you will still get a crisp image.

If you blow it up, you are going to get jaggies. So we kept all the images a little bit oversized and that way if we need to zoom in or reposition the camera or do some sort of tracking, we had enough room to do that. So those are some of the tips for creating Photoshop files for After Effects character animation. Try and keep them big and definitely keep things in layers because that's going to be really important when you actually get to animating these.

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Exercise files

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