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Learn to create and animate highly controllable characters using After Effects. In this course, author George Maestri covers every step on the way, from designing the characters in Photoshop or Illustrator, or drawing them straight from After Effects; assembling characters with hierarchies; making realistic deformations with the Puppet tool; automating rigs with expressions; creating realistic head turns; and showing advanced techniques such as using null objects as bones. Finally, the course shows how to perform a basic animation with the character and ensure the rig works correctly.
If your character does any sort of lip sync, or mouth movement, you will probably want to draw separate mouths for your characters. Now, for lip sync, you need a number of different mouth shapes. It depends on the style of lip sync that you want to do, but here are some of the basic shapes. Now, in here I've got about 12 mouths, and these are just representative of some of the types of the mouths you want to do. So I have these numbered from Mouth 1 to Mouth 2, and all of these are on separate layers.
So I am going to select Mouth 1 here, and just kind of move it over so that we can see all of the different mouth shapes that we want to create. In fact, I am going to go ahead and zoom in here. So the first one here is basically just the A, I, or E sound; it's basically just an open mouth. The next one is basically derived from that mouth. In fact, you can see it's almost a same shape, and I have just got a little bit of tongue in there, and that's just to provide some variety. We have a wider mouth with an open bottom, and that's for the short vowels, such as ah, or eh; that sort of vowel.
We have the closed mouth with the teeth showing, and that's for consonants. And then I just have a couple of variations here of those mouths, in case you want to have a different change of emotion. Now these two are very important: these are the oh, or the uh, sound, and the ooh; the pursed lips shape. This one here has the tongue on the teeth, and that's for ones such as L, or T. This one has the bottom lip underneath the teeth, and that's for F, or V. And then we have just a couple of closed mouth shapes.
Now, these are just some representative types of mouths. You can certainly create as many or as few mouths as your animation requires. But the most important thing is to have each mouth on a separate layer, and to name them descriptively. In this case, I've just named them 1 through 12. You may also want to name them with the type of phoneme that you want.
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