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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.
So in any production you really want to set up a nice logical way of storing your data. One of the things I find in production and as you get into it is that you always have to keep going back to old projects. If you have a project for example, I had a project that I did last year and the client called and they wanted something from that project. If you have a standard way of storing things then you can easily go back through your projects and kind of find things. So we kind of have a rough way of doing our directory structure for our projects here at Rubber Bug.
This maybe a little bit different from other studios but again the most important thing is that you have a method. It doesn't really matter what your method is. It is just that you have something that you know and that works for you and that is fairly consistent between projects because then as you go back to projects or if you've set something aside from month or so when you come back you can still kind of find everything and that's really important. So in this Monsterpiece directory is pretty much what we had on our main server here and I have kind of copied most of the files down, although I think I have left some of them out because this actually worked out to be a pretty huge project.
We did have to prune out a few things. But let's take a look at some of these directories. First thing we have- let's just go from top to bottom here. We have an After Effects directory so what we tend to do is store our project files or our application specific files such as After Effects projects here. And let's go ahead and view this as a list here so you can see this. So basically what we have here is we have a lot of our After Effects files so Shot1, Version1, Version2, Version3, Shot2 and so on. So these are all just our After Effects projects.
Here we have assets that we create here at Rubber Bug. So these are modifications to Photoshop files, titles, whatever. Audio, this is all of the audio for the project including raw dialogues, special effects, the music and so on. Final, this is where we put our finals. Now, actually our real directory has different versions of this file. So we will have high res versions of this, we will have a flash version that we put up on our website and so on.
So we try and keep master copies of all of our files here, although I am, again, I am pruning down some of these. Stuff that we get from the client. Now when we work on projects a lot of times our clients will be sending us images, they will be sending us dialogue, anything that we get from the client we typically put in this directory that it says from client. Now one of the things we got from our client, and we consider Charlie, even though we are kind of working with him in tandem, we can kind of consider him to be the client because he was the one who is actually feeding us all this stuff.
So this is all of his original art is coming into this directory. Now we have another directory here for Premiere and that was our video editing application. And what that is, it is basically again just like with After Effects, it's all of our project files. Renders. Anything that had to be rendered out before final assembly goes in here. Storyboard, we have seen this. This is our main storyboard. And tests. Sometimes we will do tests, that sort of thing. Things that we know that we are not really going to keep and I really don't like keeping those in the renders folder because sometimes the task may just be a still image or something like that.
So typically we'd put those on a separate file. If we need space or something like that, we can delete it. We know it's kind of superfluous to the final projects so we don't kind of clog up our render directory with tests. So those are the basics of our directory structure. If you are doing sort of project like this again, create something that's logical and create a filing system. It really, really helps when you are doing any sort of large project. So let's go ahead and move on to actually starting to create this project. We are going to start by doing the Leica reel and so I am going to go ahead and go through that in the next lesson.
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