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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.
Now let's finish up the scene. I'm going to go ahead and open the almost finished version of this which is Shot03_00c. Now this has our dig cycle. The finished one, with the head of Dr.Frankenstein on him. Now this also has Fritz animated. Now I do want to go through a few things with Fritz as to some of the differences in his animation. It's pretty much done the same way, but...
he's a little bit different, because his hand kind of goes behind his shoulder. In fact, let's go ahead and zoom in on him and I'll show you what's going on here. Now with him, we pretty much animated him the same way. We animated the shovel first and the shovel was attached to the hands and then we used the Puppet tool on the left and right arms in order to make his body move. I didn't even use the Puppet tool on his body because he's so rotund, he really can't bend at the waist.
But the one little difference is right here. He has two left arms and what they do is they actually animate between here and here. We actually have to animate the opacity of that arm, right here, so we actually turn this arm off and then we turn the other left arm on and they both have puppet pins in them. So basically what we're doing is we're just turning on and off those arms as his arms go back and forth. OK. So that's the basic difference between how he's animated but otherwise it's pretty much identical process to how we did Dr. Frankenstein and then all we did is we added some dirt in there and those are essentially just some layers here and basically they just animate some opacity and it just moves. So it's basically a cycle since little flicks of dirt just pop on and then they expand and disappear as they move off and we cycle all of that.
And then once we're done what we're going to do is just go and bring in this dig cycle layer. And so that's our layer. And now all we have to do is animate this so we can just do a simple transformation and in fact all we have to do is animate Position here. So we're just going to get a good start position right there. And then over the course of the shot, they're basically just moving down. So they move down as they dig.
In fact I'm going to start them right about there. And that's basically the shot.
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