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Project overview


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After Effects CS3: Animating Characters

with George Maestri

Video: Project overview

Hello. I'm George Maestri and today we're going to be working with character animation in After Effects. Now you may know After Effects as a compositing tool or as a motion graphics tool, but you also can do some very advanced character animation in the program. We are going to be working with a project called Minute Monsterpieces, which is a short one-minute monster film that we did in After Effects. Now, the reason I chose this project is because it shows a lot of the different techniques that you can use to create character animation in After Effects.
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  1. 2m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 30s
    2. How to use the exercise files
      55s
  2. 24m 22s
    1. Project overview
      3m 11s
    2. Original storyboard
      2m 35s
    3. Organizing production directories
      3m 56s
    4. Using a rough soundtrack for shot timing
      1m 58s
    5. Creating a Leica reel in Premiere Pro
      7m 16s
    6. Tracking projects
      3m 1s
    7. Creating art in Photoshop for After Effects
      2m 25s
  3. 47m 8s
    1. Segmenting Photoshop characters
      7m 54s
    2. Importing Photoshop files into After Effects
      3m 55s
    3. Linking character parts
      5m 24s
    4. Animating blinks using Opacity
      8m 18s
    5. Animating the arm
      9m 56s
    6. Animating the needle and thread and the monster's hand
      11m 41s
  4. 54m 7s
    1. Introduction to subcompositions
      5m 32s
    2. Setting up nested compositions
      4m 29s
    3. Animating a run cycle pt. 1: Basic leg motion
      8m 45s
    4. Animating a run cycle pt. 2: Overlap and follow-through
      5m 3s
    5. Putting the girl in his arms
      8m 23s
    6. Animating a screaming girl pt. 1: The arms
      9m 49s
    7. Animating a screaming girl pt. 2: The head
      12m 6s
  5. 32m 22s
    1. The basics of the Puppet tool
      5m 37s
    2. Creating bounce with the Puppet tool
      5m 54s
    3. Dig cycles pt. 1: Introduction
      2m 8s
    4. Dig cycles pt. 2: Shovel
      4m 54s
    5. Dig cycles pt. 3: Arms and body
      11m 3s
    6. Dig cycles pt. 4: Finalizing
      2m 46s
  6. 47m 31s
    1. Creating a monster pt. 1: Introduction
      2m 35s
    2. Creating a monster pt. 2
      10m 42s
    3. Creating a monster pt. 3
      12m 34s
    4. Creating a monster pt. 4
      4m 39s
    5. Creating a monster pt. 5: Finalizing
      4m 22s
    6. Creating smoke and bubble cycles
      7m 34s
    7. Creating a dry brush effect
      5m 5s
  7. 23m 8s
    1. The basics of lip syncing
      3m 8s
    2. Setting up mouths for animation with time mapping
      7m 20s
    3. Animating the lips
      6m 23s
    4. Animating the head and body
      6m 17s
  8. 14m 52s
    1. Rendering with After Effects
      4m 3s
    2. Editing with Premiere Pro
      4m 8s
    3. Final output and audio
      6m 41s
  9. 10s
    1. Goodbye
      10s

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Watch the Online Video Course After Effects CS3: Animating Characters
4h 6m Intermediate Jun 18, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Organizing with storyboards, rough soundtracks, and Leica reels Creating, importing, and linking segmented character parts from Photoshop Setting up nested compositions to animate a run cycle Creating smoke and bubble cycles, and other special effects Animating lips, heads, and bodies with time mapping Editing and creating final output with Premiere Pro
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
After Effects
Author:
George Maestri

Project overview

Hello. I'm George Maestri and today we're going to be working with character animation in After Effects. Now you may know After Effects as a compositing tool or as a motion graphics tool, but you also can do some very advanced character animation in the program. We are going to be working with a project called Minute Monsterpieces, which is a short one-minute monster film that we did in After Effects. Now, the reason I chose this project is because it shows a lot of the different techniques that you can use to create character animation in After Effects.

We are going to go over the Puppet tool, we are going to go over lip sync, dialogue and some special effects. In fact, we are going to go over the entire production of the film. This is also a bit of a tutorial on how to produce a short character animation film. Before we get too far into it, let's go ahead and take a look at that film that we are going to be working with. Now, this is the folder that we actually used for production and I wanted to show you how we organize things, so let's just go ahead and go into there.

And in here we have a directory called Final. You can just watch the movie here. Now I have created this at medium quality, so that you can download it, so that it's not too big. And I am just going to go ahead and show you the movie that we are going to be working with. (Movie: Greetings and welcome to Minute MonsterPieces.) (Movie: Today's MonsterPiece is Frankenstein.) (Lightening strikes.) (Movie: Meet Doctor Frankenstein and his assistant Fritz.) (Movie: Frankenstein is obsessed with creating a human being from the ground up- literally.) (Movie: So it's off to the graveyard they go!) (Movie: Er. So it's off to the graveyard they go.) (Movie: They pick up the parts, put them together, pull the switch and bingo!) (Movie: Ha-ha. Instant monster!) (Movie: But the monster takes off with Frankenstein's girlfriend.) (Movie: Villagers figure enough is enough and end the creature's reign of terror.) (Movie: Or do they?) And there you have it.

So that's the movie that we are going to be working with. Now let me scrub through this and I'll show you some of the techniques. First off, we have dialogue and so we are going to show you a little bit about that. Some of the Puppet tool, which we are using to animate the arms of this character and for example, right there where he bends over, that's all Puppet tool. I am also going to show you little bit of special effects such as this shot here and we're also going to show you how to move characters around such as running and jumping, so here is where he runs through the scene.

So we have got a good variety of shots in this short little film. So let's go ahead and get on to working with character animation in After Effects.

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