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Creating a head turn: Hair shape

From: Creating Animated Characters in After Effects

Video: Creating a head turn: Hair shape

At this point, we have the head pretty much turning, with the exception of the hair, so we are going to do that in this lesson. So if we take a look at this, you can see that this head is working pretty well, but we still need to add in the hair. So let's go ahead over to our Head composition here, and you can see we've got the nice head turn, and now let's go ahead and turn on the Hair. Now you will notice here that, well you know, it kind of fits, but it doesn't really turn, so we want this kind of duck tail that he has here to go from this side over to this side as he turns his head.

Creating a head turn: Hair shape

At this point, we have the head pretty much turning, with the exception of the hair, so we are going to do that in this lesson. So if we take a look at this, you can see that this head is working pretty well, but we still need to add in the hair. So let's go ahead over to our Head composition here, and you can see we've got the nice head turn, and now let's go ahead and turn on the Hair. Now you will notice here that, well you know, it kind of fits, but it doesn't really turn, so we want this kind of duck tail that he has here to go from this side over to this side as he turns his head.

Now the easiest way to do that is to create a whole new set of hair using a shape, and so we're actually going to draw a new hair object, and just animate this shape. So the first thing we want to do is go ahead and position this over Frame 20, which is really where this is going to start. And now we have the Hair object, which is just a bitmap, and I need to go ahead and set Position, Scale, and Rotation keys here, and now we are going to flip the hair over on the other extreme. So that means I am going to have to unlock my scale, and type in -100, and what that does is it just mirrors that, or it flops it around. And then I'm going to position this where it needs to go.

In fact, I need to maybe rotate that little bit. And I just want to make sure this is positioned fairly well, because what I am going to do is just use this as a template. This is not really going to be the hair that's going to be final; it's just a template. I just want to make sure I have this pose, and this pose; everything in between doesn't really matter. So let's go ahead to Frame 20, and we are going to create a Shape layer. So at this point I am going to lock my Hair layer, and make sure everything is deselected, and then I am going to select my Pen tool.

Now at this point, it's going to tell me what my fill and my stroke is. Even though I have my Fill set at Black, which is the same color as the hair, I am going to set it to a different color. In fact, I am going to set it to red, that way I know exactly where my new hair is versus the hair that I am using as the template. We can always change this color later, but I am going to draw it in red, so I can see it very clearly. So I am going to go ahead and lay down a single point here, then I am going to click and drag. Again, I am trying to follow the curve of this; click and drag again, and this time, I am going to lay down a single point, a single point here. Then I am going to go ahead and click and drag to create that duck tail, another click and drag here, and then another single point here, and then I want to make sure I close this.

And so that's pretty close, and we can always modify that. In fact, if I want, I can go in to my Shape layer here, which is new, and go into my Contents, into my Shape, and I can change and affect my Path. The easiest way to do this is to go into Transform, and drop down the Opacity just a bit, so what I can do now is I can see where I am overlapping and where I am not. And that's going to help me draw my shape accurately to the original. So let's go back up here and click on Shape > Path 1 here, and then I am just going to arrange this so that it's pretty close to this hair do here.

So again, I just want to make sure that I get a reasonably close shape here. And as I do that, you can see how if I go way too far over, the Opacity is going to tell me where I am over and where I am under. So looks like I am pretty close, and so there we go. So now for this path here, I want to make sure I open this up and set a keyframe at the last frame, which was Frame 20 here. So now I am going to go over to Frame 0, and we are going to redraw that.

So I am just going to select each point here, and just reshape it. And again, this Opacity and the red layer really helps me see what I'm doing, and I am really just doing this as a guide. So I want to go ahead and lengthen that out little bit here, and again we are just trying to make this work pretty well, and there we go. Okay, so now I have this; you can see I have two keyframes, one for each side, and this will now automatically in-between.

So let's see this a little bit better. I am going to hide my original Hair layer, and now I am going to take my Shape layer, and you notice how I still have that color here. I am going to go ahead and turn my color to black, and then open this up, and scroll down, and turn off all my Opacity; make sure it's at 100%. And now you can see how the hair is actually following the head. So now I have the hair and everything else turning. When I go back over to my main Composition, you can see how I've got a good head turn. If you notice -- I go to the very end here, I will go to Frame 21, you'll notice how it disappears. And so what I'm going to do here is go back over here, and we have that same problem we had before: this ends at 20, but my slider is going up to 21.

So I just need to grab the end of this, and bring it up by one frame, and we are there. So now I've got a good head turn. So there we go. So what we did here was we traced over the original hair with an After Effects shape, and because we can animate shapes, we can animate the shape of the character's hair.

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This video is part of

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

46 video lessons · 15776 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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