In this video, cement your character into a background with proper cast shadows.
- Want to connect your character to the background better? Well, try using shadows. (uptempo music) You can add a shadow that matches your character movements in Character Animator, but it will likely slow down your character. So, it's better if you're recording a scene, you know, not doing it live, to add a shadow in After Effects and it's really easy. So as you'll see here, I actually have a prerecorded scene. Let me turn off my mustache, there we go.
All right, let's play this scene and see what it looks like. So, my character is just kind of tapping his foot and waving to the audience. Okay, that's easy enough. So, I'm going to turn off the background in this scene. There we go. I still have the character animation. So, I'm simply going to take this scene called Shadow, and I'm going to drag that into After Effects. So, here's my After Effects file. So, I'm going to drag that scene, Shadow, into my After Effects program.
I already have my background that I wanted in After Effects, so now, I'm going to take the scene from Character Animator, I'm going to drag it right into my After Effects scene. And, there it is. So now, we have the character, you see dancing around on the desktop. But, he doesn't really feel connected to the desk because there's no shadow. So, let's go ahead and let's start with duplicating the Character Layer to form a shadow. So, I'm going to do Control+D on a PC or Command+D on a Mac. I'm going to take the bottom layer, and let's add an effect to it.
So, let's go to Effect, and there's a lot of different ways to do this. Let's go to Color Correction, then to Curves, for instance. And, I'm going to take and I'm going to lower that curve way down. Now, we're not seeing anything there because it was hidden. Take it all the way down until he becomes totally black. Okay, that looks pretty good. Now, let's go ahead and add a blur effect to him. Let's do a Fast Blur.
That's pretty good. I'll take all of that back, and then, let's take the transparency down. So, I'll hit T for Transparency for this layer, also known as opacity. That looks like it's pretty good. Now since he's standing on the desk, let's go ahead and line him back up directly behind, and let's change where that shadow is.
I want to be able to see the arms a little bit. All right, that feels pretty good. So now, as I scrub over, you can see the shadow moving along with the character. That kind of cements him down in there, so that looks pretty good. So, the only problem right now is if I go and grab my color character and I move him around, the shadow doesn't move with him. Hit Control+Z, I'm going to go back. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to take my Shadow Layer, grab the Pick Whip, and drag it over top of the character.
So now, when I move my character, the shadow will move with me. So, this is a really fast way to add a shadow that follows your character's movements. And since we drug the actual scene from Character Animator into After Effects, any changes that I make into that scene will automatically be updated into this scene in After Effects, saving time in Production, every step of the way. (uptempo music)
- Creating a list of production needs
- How the varied styles of animation impact production
- Creating usable digital puppets
- Working with drawn characters, objects, and CG characters
- Adding value to the look of your production
- Exploring various audio recording options
- Organizing files for production, backup, and transport
- Using animation cycles
- Building and editing a scene
- Troubleshooting issues
- Tricks for enhancing your production
- Post-production and delivery
Skill Level Beginner
After Effects Guru: Character Animatorwith Ian Robinson2h 19m Intermediate
2. Puppet Production Issues
3. Add Production Value
Next steps1m 13s
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