Animating With Character
Animating With Character – Rigging : In part 1 of this 3 part series, I’ll show you how to design and rig a character for animation in After Effects! Rigging is the setupÂ process of your artwork that streamlinesÂ the animating workflow.Â You’ll learn everything you need to get up and running with character animation.
The great thing about this technique is that it isn’t limited to any design style. You could create a flat vector character in Illustrator, or a hand illustrated and textured character in Photoshop. IfÂ you can design it, I’ll show you how to animate it.Â
- Character Complexity.Â By adding complexity to your character, you add complexity to your rigging. Youâ€™ll get a preview of different levels of difficulty of animation design by going over three different character shapes.
- Design Requirements and Guidelines.Â To start, youâ€™ll learn how to make your animation character large for rigging, and youâ€™ll cement your characterâ€™s style. (You canâ€™t change the shape after you rig it.) Youâ€™ll also learn how to overlap separated joints for your character, and make guide layers for your characterâ€™s joints in Photoshop.
- Install DUIK, and Import Your Artwork.Â DUIK is a free After Effects plugin. It includes multiple features that will help you rig your character. Youâ€™ll see how to set DUIK up in After Effects. Otherwise, prepare your composition settings, including frame rate and pixel resolution. Then you can begin rigging.
The Puppet Tool.Â This tool is key for After Effects animation. The puppet tool can determine how your creature moves, as well as its resolution. Youâ€™ll learn to place pins with the puppet tool, in order to create linear motion paths. Then youâ€™ll use DUIK to make those motion paths more complex.
- Rigging an Arm with IK.Â Starting with your characterâ€™s left arm, youâ€™ll learn how to animate with the IK system. After placing pins by using the puppet tool, youâ€™ll rename your pins, in order to keep Â better track of your process. Then youâ€™ll learn how to attach separated parts of the arm by â€œparenting.â€ Next, youâ€™ll learn how to animate one part of the arm in a way that makes the rest of the arm move aroundâ€”based on that single, localized motion.
- Rigging Trevorâ€™s Legs and Body.Â The process for rigging your characterâ€™s leg is the same as the one used for the arm. So youâ€™ll get a brief refresher before moving onto the body. Once you lock the limbs and anchor your characterâ€™s hair to its head, youâ€™ll see how to parent the limbs to the body. Then you can Â ultimately ensure that different movements in your character correspond to one another.
Clean Up Your Timeline, and Lock the Neutral Pose.Â Youâ€™ll find out tips for remembering how to distinguish the multiple controllers for your characterâ€™s movements, and youâ€™ll learn to lock certain characteristics of your work. For instance, your Â scale stays the same as you animate.
- Rigging Stu.Â Since Stu has a longer body, he represents the type of character that will require multiple movement points in his torso. Youâ€™ll learn where to add anchor points, in order to create comprehensive body movements in a long-bodied character.
- Rigging Allen.Â Now that youâ€™ve worked your way up to the most complicated rigging challenge in this lesson, youâ€™ll learn how to make your characterâ€™s belly rotate with its shoulders. And youâ€™ll get its head to rotate in tandem with its neck.
- Animating a Wave with Trevor.Â Finally, youâ€™ll create a full, animated loop with all the skills youâ€™ve learned so far. By setting multiple key frames, youâ€™ll be able to make your character wave.
As you can see, animation really involves attaching multiple elements of a design to make it move as a single, convincing unit.
Watch the Introduction Video :
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