After Effects CS3: Animating Characters

with George Maestri
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After Effects CS3: Animating Characters
Video duration: 0s 4h 6m Intermediate


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
3D + Animation
After Effects


- [Voiceover] Hi, my name is George Maestri, and today we're going to be looking at cartoon animation using the After Effects puppet tool. I'm an animation writer, director, and producer, and I own a studio in Los Angeles called Rubber Bug, and we do a lot of cartoon animation, and we've really had a lot of fun with the new After Effects puppet tool. So what we're gonna show you, in this project is one of the first titles that we did actually using this tool, which is this particular title called Minute Monsterpieces, which is just basically a little one minute monster movie.

And we'll go ahead and show you that film and then show you a making of. Now the puppet tool is a great new way to animate characters in After Effects, and anybody who's doing this sort of work will really benefit from knowing how to use the puppet tool. In addition to that, I'm going to be covering a lot of other techniques for animating characters in After Effects, such as lip-sync, and as well as creating segmented characters with movable joints, as well as other things. And we're also gonna take you through the process from initial creation, all the way through to final product, so we'll give you kind of a taste of how to make a completed film in After Effects, and using some other packages as well.

In addition to After Effects, we use: Adobe Photoshop CS3, as well as Adobe Premiere CS3, although, these aren't as necessary, you can certainly use other packages such as Final Cut for the video editing. Anyway, so that's the big overview of what we're going to be doing. So let's get started.

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