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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 now that we have our Photoshop files pretty much ready to go, we can bring them into After Effects and then break them up into separate composition so that we can animate it a little bit more quickly. So let's go ahead and do that. So I have got my Photoshop files saved out here and I'm going to go into After Effects and then just go Import, File and I'm on my Desktop/Exercise Files/Monsterpiece and we are in Assets/Photoshop, to follow along with me on that.
So we have got Frank scene 7 version 3, that's what we are working on. Now it's going to ask us whether we want to import as footage, composition, crop layers composition and the layer options doesn't really matter. I'm just going to merge my layer styles into footage. I don't think I have any, but if I do then we will go ahead and just make everything go faster. So again what this does is it brings in all my layers right here, all gazillion and +1 layers, and it creates a composition with all those layers. Pretty much like the Photoshop file that I had.
And in that original Photoshop file, I had some layers kind of turned on and off. So let's go ahead and turn on the proper layers here. If we go up to the top here, we can come down a little bit and turn off those big eyes and eye whites and then scroll down a little bit more and we will see we have one down here on Layer 32 called Bride Face and that's our bride. And it looks like Frank is pretty much there. Let's go ahead and start segmenting this out and start making our nested compositions.
So how do we do that? Well, the easiest way is to just copy this original composition and then just delete what we don't want. I always find that to be best way. So all I have to do is select this composition, go Edit, Copy. Edit, Paste. I can also use the shortcuts Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Apple+C, Apple+V. And now I have got two. I have got Scener v3, Scenery v4 which is kind of just how After Effects names it and they are identical, but what I can do here as I go into this Composition and just do Composition Settings and instead of Frank Scene 02 this is just Frank himself, so we can go OK.
And then I can go through and just start deleting things out of this composition. Anything that has a word bride in it is going to go, so I will just scroll a way down here. All the bride stuff including his right and left hand. See right there? His right and left hand are actually going to be part of the bride, because they really need to be stuck to her and hold on to her, so I'm actually going to scroll down even further to, I guess layer number 46 and then I'm just going to hit the Delete key. So now I have got a composition with just Frank in it.
Now let's do the same for the bride. So I'm going to go ahead and double click on my original scene here 07 v3. We will do the same thing and this time we are going to use the shortcut keys, copy, paste, there we go and take a look at that. Again everything is in there. And let's go ahead and change Composition Settings to Bride, OK. And in this case, I want to delete everything that's monster. They call it monster in that thing, I'm calling it Frank in the composition, but let's go ahead and just delete all of that.
And so that's just the bride, so now we have all of those assets that we can animate. OK. So now I have got Frank and on Frank, I also want to delete that background layer as well and in this one, I just want to change his background color to something with that I can animate against, so I'm going to change it to white. So we now have him and her and now I have this original scene that has everything. Well I don't really want to set it up this way, so what I'm going to do is I'm just going to go ahead and select everything above this background layer which is called Layer 4 and I'm going to hit Delete and then I can just bring in the bride and bring in Frankenstein.
Now I have a very simple composition here and then I can just animate the action separately here. So that's how we set it up. So in the next lesson let's go through and make Frankenstein run, so we will do a run cycle.
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