After Effects CC Character Animator

If you want to bring your characters to life, then look no further. In this course, you'll learn how to use the Character Animator built into After Effects CC. You'll animate facial features, the body, and you'll learn how to create movement, too. Software required: After Effects CC.
Course info
Level
Intermediate
Updated
May 3, 2016
Duration
1h 59m
Table of contents
Description
Course info
Level
Intermediate
Updated
May 3, 2016
Duration
1h 59m
Description

Capturing the personality and uniqueness of your characters is an essential goal for any animator, and now, you can learn how to do it. In this course, you'll be shown how to use the Character Animator that is built into After Effects CC. You will first learn how to import and assemble a character, focusing on creating all the aspects of facial animation, as well as the body and limbs. Then you will get right into creating animations for your character, controlling animation with your mouse and other keyboard controls, recording the animation, and even using your webcam. By the end of this course, you will be on your way to creating your first animation with Character Animator and you'll be able to create great characters with After Effects in the future. Software required: After Effects CC.

About the author
About the author

Chad Troftgruben is a freelance animator and screencaster who specializes in Animate CC, Moho, After Effects and Premiere. He has been working with Flash since 2002 which resulted in the creation of several cartoons for both entertainment and commercial purposes.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

What You Will Learn in this Course
(bright, digital music) Hi guys, my name is Chad Troftgruben and this is Character Animator Fundamentals. Character Animator is the latest animation software introduced by Adobe. It's built into After Effects and acts as a companion to After Effects. And it is a preview, so it's pretty early and it has some limited functionality. I wouldn't say you could go and build an entire epic project with this build. However, it is functional enough to create short, unique cartoons. And it's really fun to try out all the tools and features, especially the camera and microphone. Throughout this course I have one goal and that is to teach you how to build a puppet from scratch using Photoshop. So, after an explanation of the exercise files and which software you can use to create your characters, we'll dive in and start setting up our character's face in Photoshop. We'll learn how to import and assemble a character; this is just one of several methods we can use to create our characters. But the main focus here after that is to concentrate on designing our eyes, adding blinks and eyebrows, creating mouth poses or Visines as they're called in Character Animator, and we'll also touch on adding additional parts to our character. After that we're going to move on to the body. We'll learn how to establish the body layer. We'll learn the proper technique for creating limbs. We'll add fixed points to ground our character in. And we'll learn the difference between fixed and origin points. Then it's on to deeper animation control where we'll learn how to control our character with our mouse, in addition to adding physics with danglers, establishing skin backgrounds so that we can have proper face placement, setting up a function to make our characters breathe, in addition to adding actions with our keyboard triggers, as well as other controls. Then I'll show you how to record and animate within Character Animator. I'll show you how to add background images to the software itself in addition to working directly with the timeline and controlling more than one character. Finally, we'll export your sequence out so it can go to the next step within After Effects. By the time you're done here my hope is you'll have a strong understanding of how you can create a basic rig within Photoshop to bring into Character Animator. So I hope you're ready, because we're about to get started.

Introduction
(electronic music) There aren't really any strict requirements for this course. You will need a copy of Creative Cloud 2015 as that's the only way to get Character Animator. And while it's nice to have some knowledge of After Effects for this course, your main focus should be on Photoshop. Just as long as you have a basic understanding of how layers work, where basic tools are and that sort of thing, you should be just fine with this course. Also make sure you have a webcam and microphone so you can record your face and your voice to make your character come to life. But again, if you need Photoshop tutorials, go to trainsimple. com. You'll also find After Effects tutorials here, but if we scroll down here, you'll eventually find the Photoshop section. You can also use Illustrator for this course as well and we have Illustrator courses set up on Train Simple for your viewing pleasure. So, go to Train Simple, check out the Photoshop Fundamentals course if you're really unsure and you don't know how to use Photoshop. After that, you should be good to go.

Setting up Your Character's Body
For this video I'm working off of three one establishing body. Now this is going to be a rather quick video. I just want to explain that when you design your body you can approach it in a couple of different ways. As an example, if you use the default Photoshop puppet built into Character Animator you'll find that they included the legs inside the body layer. And that is completely acceptable. However, if you think that you'll need leg movements, maybe you want to do some more advanced animation later on, you can separate those legs from the body, if you wish. So if I come down here and I go into the body you'll see we have right leg, left leg, left foot, right foot, and so on. Again, when you look at the default Photoshop template that is built into Character Animator you'll find that all that is included on the body layer. But don't worry, because we work with the legs any way you decide to do this. We can apply anchor points, no matter how you decide to design your body.