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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.
Importing a Photoshop-based character into After Effects is pretty much the same as Illustrator; in fact, it's a little bit simpler. So let's just take a look at how to do that. All you want to do is make sure that you have your character set up with all of the layers in the way that you want. Then just go ahead and just do a File > Save or Save As. In this case, I am going to save over my original file. And in terms options, you want to just use the default options. There's really nothing that we have to do special. And just go ahead and save it out.
And then let's go into After Effects. Again, just double-click in the Project window, and we're going to select to our file; in this case it's going to be called Gus_Complete. And again, just like we did with Illustrator, you want to make sure that you retain layer sizes. So I'm going to select Composition- Retain Layer sizes, and that makes sure that the bounding boxes just snap to the outside of each layer, so we don't get giant layers. And then just go ahead and hit open.
Now, when we import a Photoshop file, we're going to have one more dialog box, and that is, do we want to retain our Editable Layer Styles? A lot of times this can slow things down, but I don't have them in my original files, so this is not going to be a problem for me. I'm just going to go ahead and hit okay, and then I'm just going to double-click on Gus_Complete, and there's my file. Now, because is a bitmap file, it comes in a lot bigger than the Illustrator file. So I'm just going to go ahead and zoom to fit, and then maybe even just zoom in a little bit so I can see what I'm doing here. And this is basically the file. So again, notice how the layers all come in named properly. These layers are going to match the names of the layers in your Photoshop file.
So if your Photoshop file is labeled properly, everything should flow through into After Effects. And once you have everything into After Effects. we're ready to begin rigging.
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