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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.
Let's move on to the second part of this monster creation process. We have already done the first part which is kind of spinning the monster in and now we have got this part where we have got the skeleton slowly dissolving into the monster himself right there. And so let's take a look at this, there are these sparks which we will add the sparkk later in another lesson but let's go ahead and focus on this skeleton here. We have got the skeleton and then a kind of outline of the monster kind of starts seeping in and then a little glimpse of the monster and then one big burst and then there is the monster.
So let's show you how to do this kind of chatter effect and slowly bring that monster in and then we will go ahead and do the sparks and everything else. So I have got a file out there in that same directory Shot06_00B, this is pretty much the first part of that animation. Now from this point forward, we need to actually have a little bit more. So one of the things I did is I took that skeleton layer which is this layer here and I actually just duplicated it twice, I have actually two here; Skeleton 3 is the one we are actually going to be working with right now which is Layer 9.
And so as this comes in, we want to start fading into this particular layer and then we want to create kind of a chatter effect. So what we do is actually right here where this is at maximum we are going to start fading in this skeleton layer. We have got Skeleton 3 Opacity, I'm going to tow that down to 0 and then as it comes in I'm going to actually just start fading it up a little bit.
Now I don't want to fade it up a 100% because again we are doing pretty much the same thing we did the last time is we are kind of slowly revealing this. And also because we are slowly revealing it again we want to put on some effects here, I'm going to actually go ahead and put on another fast blur and I'm going to put in a similar value to what I had before somewhere in the 50s or 60s somewhere around there and we are going to slowly bring him out of that and I really want it to be kind of blurry right there and when he gets blurry like that it kind of fades out a little bit which actually I kind of like.
So let's just go ahead and play with this. We may want to add some brightness contrast to this or some saturation later to kind of make him pop but let's just work right now on the motion. So right here I'm just going to start putting in Position, Rotation and Scale keys and then every two frames I'm going to just use my timeline here, go 1, 2 I'm going to just change it. So I'm going to rotate a little bit, I'm going to make it maybe a little bit bigger and then I'm going to change the Position and essentially what I'm trying to do is just create kind of a randomness so it kind of goes like that and then I'm going to go 1, 2 and then rotate him again so maybe rotate him the opposite direction.
Again what I'm trying to do here is create a bit of that chatter that we have and then just keep going with this. And essentially what I'm doing is I'm just kind of plugging in almost random keys but not really random because I do want to control them a little bit. I could for example put some sort of noise or something like that on this but I actually like doing it annually because you can see we get kind of little bit more of an effect. And then once you get a few of this in, let's just do one more here and so essentially what I'm doing is I'm kind of going either side of 100 so one of these keys will be above a 100, the next one would be below and so that way you get kind of this effect here.
If I want to, once I get kind of a nice little cycle there I can just again move two frames forward here and just copy and paste those keys and send out. I have got kind of a good little cycle there. And then I'm going to continue this on, I believe this goes until around Frame 65 or so and so if I want to, I can again copy and paste some more of these keys. And just to get him chattering. OK, right there it kind of repeats itself. But we are also going to be playing with things like the blurriness and that sort of thing.
So let's go ahead and add the key to blurriness and so then as he comes out you can actually kind of make him become blurry or less blurry, more blurry and then again a little bit less blurry so again he is just kind of slowly revealing himself. Now I have done this again with another layer and I have just actually left that animation in there so now I have got two layers, I have got the Skeleton2 layer and so now you can see I have got two layers here, OK.
And now what we also want to do is start adding in basically do the same thing for this monster, for this monster outline here this Monster Glow 2. So I have got a layer 16 here, let's go ahead down to Monster Glow 2, we have got actually 2, we have got Monster Glow and Monster Glow 2, I'm going to work with this layer right here. And then what I want to do is essentially just again the same thing I want to start fading this in and start chattering it as it fades in. So I'm going to go ahead and play with Opacity.
I'm going here about Frame 49 and I'm going to go ahead and just start fading in the Opacity and again I want to just add in another fast blur effect and again blur it up a little bit and then over course of maybe 2 or 3 frames I start fading that in but I don't want to fade it in too much. It's going to be building up so that it starts becoming more and more visible and then right around Frame 77 or so it's actually going to completely fade out. And so now once I have got that kind of Opacity set I can start sending in the Position, Rotation and Scaling.
Again I just do this on twos so essentially what I do is I zoom in from one of this and rotate it one way. And again now I'm looking at what we have underneath there and I'm kind of trying to almost put this in opposition to that. So when one is moving right, the other is moving left, when is zooming in the other one is zooming out and so on and so forth. So you can kind of just start playing with this. It's just kind of a quick little thing that you can do, again you are just almost just creating generating random keys so that way so you can see how it's kind of coming in like this.
And again I'm just dropping in a bunch of keys here and again I just want to make sure I get Position here. So again we are just getting this kind of layer-upon-layer of random motion as it comes through. And if I want to, I can also copy and paste these keys because they are kind of random, you are not going to really notice that that's going to happen. Now also as this is going, I also had another layer happening here on the monster so I have got another Monster Glow layer.
One of the things I'm doing with that is I'm actually adding more color into it so actually I believe in this other Monster Glow here we put some effects to do levels and so what those levels we is they actually give it a little bit of that Edge Effect. And then on top of that I also wanted to play a little bit more, it seemed like this background here was just a little too blue if he was sparking and there was all sorts of stuff going on, we would probably add a little bit more effect there. So what we do is we actually go down to this yellow burst and we just start playing again, playing with some of the Opacity of this.
So we can actually just add some Opacity, bring it down if we want to and just again start playing with it kind of adding a bit of randomness again, this is what we are doing. We can actually kind of create more of a burst effect just by zooming this in, OK so we can now create more of a burst. Then by Frame 72 right around here we actually want to create the burst that creates the monster.
So at this point I'm going to fade this up to a 100% and then add the Scale so that it comes all the way in and then it's going to fade out somewhere around 81 and 82, somewhere around there. So basically we have got, right there it's shrinking and I really don't want it to be shrinking. So at that point I actually do need to make the Opacity kind of low and there we go, something like that.
And again you can play with it. And then I have got the skeleton left over here so which layer is this let's go ahead and find that. I believe it's Skeleton3 OK so let's go ahead and take a look at that and see where, we should probably fade it to zero by about here so let's go ahead and play with the Opacity a little bit on this one and bring it up and bring it down little bit and then right about here where it stops shaking, you need to bring it down to zero so right there.
And then right here when it bursts that's where the monster appears so let's go ahead over to the monster layer and add that in as well so I'm going over to the layer 14 and this is our monster. And also he has some eyes, he has eyes open and eyes closed. I believe he comes in with his eyes closed so first thing I'm going to do is go ahead and just bring up that Opacity so now we have got his eyes closed and let's take the monster. And the monster starts in somewhere around in the early 60s right around here is where he starts fading in.
So actually I'm going to go ahead and dial his Opacity down to 0 and I'm going to shrink him down just a little bit. Look at those eyes, those eyes actually need to fade with him. So I'm going to actually have to set a key for Opacity here and bring his eyes down to zero and set a key here for Opacity on the monster Scale, Position, Rotation here at Frame 62 and then he zooms in and it becomes maximum right there right around Frame 79 or 80 so right there he needs to be pretty much at a 100% extra light bringing him a little bit over in fact let's go ahead and bring up those Opacity.
So essentially he kind of zooms in but I also want him to rotate in just a little bit as he comes in. So as he comes in here I'm just going to go ahead and rotate him back to zero right there. So essentially what he is doing is going from about 80%, 90% with a small Rotation and then he comes in but as he comes in I also want him to settle so I actually want him to actually come in a little bit big so right here I'm actually going to scale him up so he is a little bit bigger than a 100% and then I'm going to go 3 frames out and then bring it back to a 100% so that way he kind of settles.
So, then as it bursts right there, we still need to play with Opacity here because really we want him to kind of zoom in. So I really want to dial down his Opacity here so as he comes in, there we go. In fact this might be a little bit early, I can actually bring that a few frames forward, there we go, OK. Now also I still need to work with his eyes.
So as he comes in right there, I'm going to go ahead and keep his eyes at zero here at Frame 71 and then right there I need his eyes to kind of come out as well, here we go. So there we go. So that's kind of the basics of this effect. Now we also still need to add the lightening to that as well. So let's go ahead and do that in the next lesson.
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