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Tracking projects

From: After Effects CS3: Animating Characters

Video: Tracking projects

So once you have your Leica reel cut and you've got your timing and you like the way it's going, the next step is to actually create a tracking sheet. We call it a lead sheet and other studios call it by other names, but essentially what is it, it's just a sheet where you list all your shots, start and end times and you can track it. We do ours in Excel. You can certainly do it just by scribbling on a piece of paper. Back in the old days when we really didn't have computers, we actually just created them on ledger paper.

Tracking projects

So once you have your Leica reel cut and you've got your timing and you like the way it's going, the next step is to actually create a tracking sheet. We call it a lead sheet and other studios call it by other names, but essentially what is it, it's just a sheet where you list all your shots, start and end times and you can track it. We do ours in Excel. You can certainly do it just by scribbling on a piece of paper. Back in the old days when we really didn't have computers, we actually just created them on ledger paper.

It doesn't really matter how you create it, but it's a good idea to create it, so that way you can track your show and the progress of your animation. So I am actually bringing up Microsoft Excel and this will be very self-explanatory. I actually put those out on the discs, so you have a rough template here under Exercise Files, Monsterpiece. I actually have two of these, one is a Blank Lead Sheet for you to use on your projects. And I have another one called Monsterpieces Lead Sheet. And I am going to go ahead and open that. And essentially what this is, it's just a sheet that has each individual shot, a start frame, the end frame and then the length of each individual shot.

And then I also have a few other ones here and what we usually do is we just print these out and then when I hand it to the animator, they can just put their initials in here when this particular shot is done. In fact let me show you how these forms are filled out. I am going to go ahead and open the blank one. And I have set this up with some formulas, so it makes it very easy. So for example in this first shot, we could say description would be, what is it, the announcer? So I am just going to type that in. Of course it starts at Frame 0 and then the rest of these I am going to leave.

And then the next one is Dr. Frankenstein and Fritz and I am not sure exactly what the frame number is, but I can just type in whatever frame number I want and what happens is I have got some formulas here that actually are going to calculate the end time for the previous shot and the total length of each individual shots. So as I start putting in numbers here, it just starts automatically filling in. So it just makes it a lot easier to track your shots. So once you have all of this done- in fact, let's go ahead and open up the old one here. So once we have this all set, now I have a list of, you know, this is what I need to tackle in terms of actually animating the shot.

And it's actually kind of nice because you print this out and then you just start filling all these little things so it's laid out, it's ready for animation, it's animated, it's rendered, and once all these are filled out, you're done. It makes it very easy to track. Sometimes if you try and keep everything in your head, your head just gets cluttered. I like getting things out of my head and onto these kinds of forms, so that way I can just put it aside and I can actually focus on the animation. Kind of my own little Zen way of clearing my head.

That's kind of how we organize our projects and how we track them here at Rubber Bug, so let's go ahead and move on from here.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects CS3: Animating Characters
After Effects CS3: Animating Characters

43 video lessons · 17678 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 2m 26s
    1. Welcome
      1m 30s
    2. How to use the exercise files
      56s
  2. 24m 25s
    1. Project overview
      3m 12s
    2. Original storyboard
      2m 36s
    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 17s
    6. Tracking projects
      3m 1s
    7. Creating art in Photoshop for After Effects
      2m 25s
  3. 47m 12s
    1. Segmenting Photoshop characters
      7m 54s
    2. Importing Photoshop files into After Effects
      3m 55s
    3. Linking character parts
      5m 25s
    4. Animating blinks using Opacity
      8m 19s
    5. Animating the arm
      9m 57s
    6. Animating the needle and thread and the monster's hand
      11m 42s
  4. 54m 9s
    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 4s
    5. Putting the girl in his arms
      8m 24s
    6. Animating a screaming girl pt. 1: The arms
      9m 49s
    7. Animating a screaming girl pt. 2: The head
      12m 6s
  5. 32m 5s
    1. The basics of the Puppet tool
      5m 37s
    2. Creating bounce with the Puppet tool
      5m 55s
    3. Dig cycles pt. 1: Introduction
      2m 9s
    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 27s
  6. 47m 32s
    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 6s
  7. 23m 9s
    1. The basics of lip syncing
      3m 8s
    2. Setting up mouths for animation with time mapping
      7m 21s
    3. Animating the lips
      6m 23s
    4. Animating the head and body
      6m 17s
  8. 14m 54s
    1. Rendering with After Effects
      4m 4s
    2. Editing with Premiere Pro
      4m 9s
    3. Final output and audio
      6m 41s
  9. 10s
    1. Goodbye
      10s

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