I want to connect this entire animation sequence here because I want to connect the whole body together well, I want to start with one element first and that is going to be the base that's the core of the figure so in this case it's probably going to be this part I labeled the hips so this part right here actually I can there we go this little button right here it's a very good one to know what's let me go to here zoom in on it this guy here let's use solo just that layer so you don't have to go in there and hide everything except for the layer unless you just solo it so I clicked that on and off that lets me solo just that layer element that I'm on and I'll be doing that a lot today so as I'm looking at things and seeing how things move aiken solo just that element so I can start with this one here as my my main uh main feature so I want to set my anchor point of that so let me solo it so I don't see anything else and I'm going to set this here right at the middle so then if I spin th...
at then we'll see our for rotation I can rotate that every you know I can have everything attached to it and it will then move and how do we attach things two from one layer to another what's called parenting and that's this column right here if you're after effects uh when you open it this isn't visible you just click anywhere on this bar up here click on it right click on it I mean and you'll see columns and you can select which ones you want so make sure that parent is turned on if it isn't it looks like this I want to make sure parents has turned on so I'm going to go over here click parent ok so this is going to be my parent all of these are going to be children of the parent but we're not going toe just attach them all to the hips were attached them to each other so the first thing I want to do is work my way up the body and so I'm going to select my torso here which is just this element right there and I can either co over here to this pull down menu and select what I wanted to attach to thinks I want that too attached to the hips and now anything I do too that uh the bottom part the bottom part of the torso the hips actually where I want to be goto are there we go hips then the torso is going to follow it now because I've parented the torso layer to the the hips layer there the hipster ok so you can kind of see where I'm going with this now it's kind of like grouping in a way but it's it's more like mimicking because as you'll see as we develop this animation, you'll see that we're able to move sub sub animations within animations and get you can get fairly complicated with a lot of key frames that's why it's good to just really practice your key framing and I get control of it because it's again it's a very subjective process here so if I've got my torso here and what attach is the torso and that's the arms so I want to start my right arm, which is this one here so I want that to not attached to the hips, but I wanted to attach to the torso so I can either go here and say ok want that attached to the torso or I can use this little guy here it looks like a little cinnamon roll and again I'm very food obsessed so they call that a pick whip from the early days like from twenty years ago um and you just grab that little guy and see it draws a little line and you select where you want that to attach too, so I want this too attached to the torso I just let go and boom there it isthe so there's my my right arm ah I want to solo that's I can change my point of rotation my orientation here so he's going to attach some more here on the shoulder so I'm going to move that up there that's where I want it to rotate and this is where you play with it a little bit like ok it looks like it's rotating okay right in there all right and obviously we're going to want the forearm to attach to the arm it's kind of like you know the arm bone's connected to the neck bone um we want to be able to change that anchor point as well so sarah forearm here looks I grabbed the wrong forearm I grabbed the left forearm so watch what happens here this is could be funny look at that boobs easy to dio easy to do okay so I'm gonna go to non here um let me go to the right forearm and that's the one I want to go to right to right left left there we go that's the correct one okay but I need to change my anchor point there is if I want to bend that forearm I can do it is right now is going to go whoa it's just not right my arm fell off okay so let me uh solo him and then we'll grab this put it up here okay so now I can rotate him and he bends kind of at the elbow a little bit wonky because the way the animation this way too much overlap on that arm so I'm gonna have to probably it's it's rotating at the right place but when I go to animate I'll probably have to move that layer as well so that bands at the right place so that's just give me an animation note that often make to myself and it will be evident when I go to bend that arm but you can see though I can rotate the arm at the elbow I can rotate the upper arm and see that stays so you want a piece of me see I got to make him talk you got to make him talk and then I can move the torso and you see the torso is moving everything in line moves if I move the hips all right everything from their moves so you can see that everything kind of follows along down the line and we can continue doing that with it with the other elements here too as well so let me just close he's up let me go on my right arm is correct left arm we're going to work on here make that go to the torso well solo that and connect that here all right and then the left forearm I'll just zip through here moved my anchor points that's two his elbow all right and then the head is going to attach to the torso as well because that's where it's it's connected we have invisible neck on this guy so now if I move my torso everything upper body should stay correct it's fun it's fun case one thing I noticed that my tour so I don't have ah animating rotating the right place so let me fix that real quick here he has to be attached so it's solo that attaching down here may attach him a little off center because the way this was drawn I wanted toe that's not quite right it's a little awkward because I want him tio bend without showing too much of a gap in there that's a little better there ok so now hips whole upper body everything works there so one thing I'm going to attach to my left forearm which is this one here is the shovel I want the shovel to attach to that forearm so we'll get the left forearm here we go now the shovel itself let me go to that just gonna have it. Uh see, I think I'll have it rotate right here where it connects to his hand because then yeah, there we go so I can do that smack somebody with that show okay? And the pilot doesn't get attached to anything because it's going to stay right where it is let's grab the legs let's get them attached to the hip so this is our left thigh grab our anchor point put that in here where we're gonna attach it touched the hips left shin solo that trevor anchor point attached at the nih that goes to the thigh okay and zip right on down here to our right catch that to the hips and we're going to move our anchor point here and then to our shin to the thigh and move our anchor point here attorney okay so now back this out a little bit so now I've got the hips and see the whole character is connected to the hips ah accident on the job okay and of course then our other elements everything should be connected this where he just kind of check it all out okay that's good uh right make sure that's good that's good how can you not do that you've got to play with these things when you're animated you've just got to um okay so here we go we've got all these guys connected together so now I'm ready to start animating this guy not sure if you have any questions or not but if there are I want to thank the folks in chad they're having a great conversation are they okay as a lot of questions getting answered but they're good good good what's with the chance about people helping each other yeah, there was a a big one though that I wanted to run by j night and uh t dragon wanted to know about your resolution you said it at two hundred and they were wondering about why that choice if you're working for the screen why you would want to seventy two um well the reason is is because I like to be able to animate in the third dimension a lot and whether that means using two d and then scaling uh or being able to move in and out I don't want a little you know pixley edges when I'm zooming a camera in form scaling it up exactly on and in this case you have the resolution of this particular comp if I selected because this is the one that I brought in from my photo shop which is three hundred er if I go to my composition settings I go to composition and then composition settings will see that this I brought it in directly as it came from photo shop so this is like almost you know, twenty eight hundred pixels it's huge it's a huge file but it again it's just it's just flat images images so if I was to either put this into another animation or I was going teo I can either export it smaller but typically I'll build something like this from an animating this element then that gets put into another element and then scaled down to match that I've always got room to move there's always room to move because I'm not dealing the vectors here I'm dealing with rast arise layers so any time you deal through asteroids layers there's no real you know, latitude with with scaling see just gotta work really big and also I find that for some clients if I'm building an animation from scratch like something like this, I've been asked after the project is delivered hey, can you give us a still frame of this particular thing for print and you've done everything that seventy two you done it all on video raise you know you're down it like seven twenty p or ten adp it's kind like well, yeah, but it's going to be kind of fuzzy so this way I get up sure, yeah, why not let's this theo, will you do a still frame from this and be able to export it three hundred pixels? So if you've got if you've got the content that's high resolution enough to start with, use it because it's really it's not going to block the machine down not today and all of this designers have been bit by that exact saying, oh, you build small, I think you're you know you're gonna want it one way and it ends up another way so exact appreciate that answer that's I appreciate the question because again that's our target market yeah, for this workshop is the designer. Who's got a cross over into this world of bringing their designs. Delai.
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Jeff Foster is a published author of several computer technology, animation and video production VFX books. He has been an Adobe® Certified Expert and has served as an instructor and featured speaker at conferences such as Photoshop World, Macworld, Adobe