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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.
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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