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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.
In the next few lessons, we are going to talk about special effects and the special effects that were used in Minute MonsterPieces. The first one that I want to show you is probably the most complex of the special effects and that's the creation of the monster. In fact, let me go ahead and just play that for you. So the monster comes in in this blaze of static and skeleton bones and then pops into his boxer shorts. So probably the most complex part was this beginning part where obviously it fades in from white here, a few effects as he kind of comes in and then we have got this chatter effect as the skeleton kind of chatters and the sparks fly off and then the skeleton kind of fades to an outline of the monster.
And then we have this burst right here. The monster comes in and then one more little burst right here. And that's the end. Now this shot originally we just had him coming in this way but then we added the gag of the boxer shorts afterwards so this actually has two different files to it. So let me show you the first file in Photoshop so you can kind of see the components that we're working with and then in the next lesson we'll go through and actually show you how we build this up from layers.
Now this Photoshop file, this was all that was given. Now we have a bunch of different layers. We have this skeleton. We have this one called skeleton backdrop, which I don't think we used. We actually copied this skeleton layer a bunch of times and blurred it to make that effect. Got lots of little lightening layers here that we used. We've got an eyes open, eyes closed so we can blink and then we've got the monster himself and then we've got a monster glow. Actually two monster glows here.
So we use that when the skeleton's kind of overlaying on the outline of the monster. And then we have this burst, the yellow and the white burst and of course the background. So these are basically the layers. And from this, we basically built this whole little animation here. Pretty much just using these elements. So it's just really more of an animation and a few little effects to get us by. So in the next lesson, let's go ahead and actually dive into this and show you how we built this layer by layer.
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