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After Effects CS3: Animating Characters
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Creating a monster pt. 1: Introduction


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After Effects CS3: Animating Characters

with George Maestri

Video: Creating a monster pt. 1: Introduction

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.
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  1. 2m 26s
    1. Welcome
      1m 30s
    2. How to use the exercise files
      56s
  2. 24m 25s
    1. Project overview
      3m 12s
    2. Original storyboard
      2m 36s
    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 17s
    6. Tracking projects
      3m 1s
    7. Creating art in Photoshop for After Effects
      2m 25s
  3. 47m 12s
    1. Segmenting Photoshop characters
      7m 54s
    2. Importing Photoshop files into After Effects
      3m 55s
    3. Linking character parts
      5m 25s
    4. Animating blinks using Opacity
      8m 19s
    5. Animating the arm
      9m 57s
    6. Animating the needle and thread and the monster's hand
      11m 42s
  4. 54m 9s
    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 4s
    5. Putting the girl in his arms
      8m 24s
    6. Animating a screaming girl pt. 1: The arms
      9m 49s
    7. Animating a screaming girl pt. 2: The head
      12m 6s
  5. 32m 5s
    1. The basics of the Puppet tool
      5m 37s
    2. Creating bounce with the Puppet tool
      5m 55s
    3. Dig cycles pt. 1: Introduction
      2m 9s
    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 27s
  6. 47m 32s
    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 6s
  7. 23m 9s
    1. The basics of lip syncing
      3m 8s
    2. Setting up mouths for animation with time mapping
      7m 21s
    3. Animating the lips
      6m 23s
    4. Animating the head and body
      6m 17s
  8. 14m 54s
    1. Rendering with After Effects
      4m 4s
    2. Editing with Premiere Pro
      4m 9s
    3. Final output and audio
      6m 41s
  9. 10s
    1. Goodbye
      10s

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After Effects CS3: Animating Characters
4h 6m Intermediate Jun 18, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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
Subjects:
3D + Animation Animation Character Animation
Software:
After Effects
Author:
George Maestri

Creating a monster pt. 1: Introduction

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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