Character Rigging & Animation FUNdamentals in Adobe After Effects | Megan Friesth | Skillshare

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Character Rigging & Animation FUNdamentals in Adobe After Effects

teacher avatar Megan Friesth, Motion Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

24 Lessons (2h 48m)
    • 1. Welcome

      2:41
    • 2. Class Project

      1:27
    • 3. Rigging 101

      1:23
    • 4. Forward Kinematics

      1:51
    • 5. Inverse Kinematics

      5:50
    • 6. Add On Tools

      8:49
    • 7. Getting Started with Limber

      1:49
    • 8. Create a Character

      6:53
    • 9. Import into Ae

      1:58
    • 10. Basic Rigging

      6:39
    • 11. Rig Arms

      11:02
    • 12. Rig Legs

      5:08
    • 13. Zero Controls

      5:35
    • 14. Rig Face

      14:55
    • 15. Decide What to Animate

      3:06
    • 16. When to Use FK vs IK

      2:08
    • 17. Animate Squats - Part 1

      11:57
    • 18. Animate Squats - Part 2

      9:59
    • 19. Animate Jumping Jacks - Part 1

      18:51
    • 20. Animate Jumping Jacks - Part 2

      4:45
    • 21. Animate Side Lunges - Part 1

      27:14
    • 22. Animate Side Lunges - Part 2

      10:01
    • 23. Loop Your Animation

      2:45
    • 24. What's Next

      0:59
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About This Class

Learn how to bring an inanimate object to life as a fun and quirky animated character. This class covers a complete character animation workflow for beginners, including illustration, rigging and animation.

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This class utilizes non-human characters that can be animated in a stylized way, to avoid the need for accuracy, and instead focus on the foundational aspects of rigging and animation.

Plus, personifying something unexpected is an exercise in learning the nuances of movement that give something human-like qualities, even if it isn't human.

Character animation enables the viewer to picture themselves in the character's shoes, and relate your message to their own life. But character animation can be challenging if you don't know how to set up a character to be animated (aka rigging), or how to move a character in a stylized yet realistic way.

Who this class is for:

This class is for motion designers who are familiar with After Effects and want to animate the style of characters that you often see in motion graphics, like explainer videos. This method of animating characters differs from frame-by-frame animated cartoons because there's no drawing involved.

This class is the perfect first step in learning character animation, but if you've never used After Effects before, check out my After Effects Orientation and a few of my beginner classes first.

What you should know before taking this class:

  • How create a very basic illustration in Adobe Illustrator and to import your artwork into After Effects
  • After Effects basics like creating compositions, setting keyframes, rendering, etc.
  • How to adjust the anchor point that a layer rotates around
  • How to parent layers and properties
  • How to animate the path of a shape
  • How to add easing to keyframes and use the graph editor to adjust the spacing of an animation

Character rigging & animation tool you'll need:

  • Limber (can start with free trial)

What you'll learn:

This class is a mixture of theory and hands-on step-by-step instruction.

On the theory side, you'll learn about:

  • how to balance form and function in your character illustrations
  • different tools for character rigging and animation
  • how to choose what to animate that will well work for a 2D character
  • different "modes" of animating

On the hands-on side, you'll:

  • illustrate a 2D character
  • set up a reusable rig using my After Effects add-on tool of choice (Limber)
  • and finally, create a short looping character animation

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This class will give you a little taste of each step of character illustration, rigging and animation. From here, you'll be ready to dive deeper into each topic to master different styles and more complex characters.

After this class, check out my other classes:

Find me online:

My website

Instagram

Pinterest

YouTube

The links to Limber and Overlord I've provided are affiliate links. I get a small cut of the sale at no additional cost to you. I promise that even if I didn't make a penny by recommending these tools, I still would; I use them myself!

Meet Your Teacher

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Megan Friesth

Motion Designer

Top Teacher

Hi! I'm Megan Friesth, a motion designer and illustrator from Boulder, Colorado. For my job I create explanimations–that is educational animations–and here I create education on how to animate! I have degrees in physiology and creative technology & design. By combining these two disciplines I create explanimations that help patients with chronic diseases understand complex medical information and take control of their health. When I'm not inside Adobe Illustrator or After Effects, I love traveling, running, skiing, yoga, and doing craft projects.

See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Welcome: Have you been overwhelmed with the idea of getting into character animation? Not sure where to start? You've come to the right place. Welcome to Character Rigging and Animation Fundamentals in After Effects. In this class, you'll learn how to bring an inanimate object to life as a fun and quirky animated character. Because these characters aren't human, we don't have to worry about accuracy as much. It can focus on the foundational aspects of rigging and animation. Plus, personifying something unexpected is an exercise in learning the nuances of movement that gives something human-like qualities, even if it isn't human. I'm Meghan Friesth and I'm an explanimator, which is just to say that I write, illustrate and animate educational animations mostly on health and environment-related topics. I've found the need to use characters in my animations from the very first projects in my career. Character animation enables the viewer to picture themselves in the character's shoes and relate your message to their own life. But my character animations weren't always fun to make or watch. I didn't always know the best way to set up a character in order for it to be animated or that this was called rigging, and I had trouble figuring out how to animate a character in a stylized yet realistic way. This class is exactly what I needed when I was first starting out. If you've never used After Effects before, check out my After Effects orientation and a few of my beginner classes first. This class is for motion designers who are familiar with After Effects and want to learn how to animate the type of characters often seen in motion graphics like explainer videos. This type of animation differs from frame-by-frame animation as there's no drawing involved. This class is a mixture of theory and step-by-step hands-on instruction. On the theory side, you'll learn about how to balance, form, and function in your character illustration, different tools for character rigging and animation, how to choose what to animate that will work well for a 2D character, and different modes of animating. On the hands-on side, you'll illustrate a 2D character, set up a reusable rig using my After Effects add-on tool of choice, and finally, create a short looping character animation. This class will give you a little taste of each step of character illustration, rigging and animation. From here, you'll be able to dive deeper into each topic to master different styles and more complex characters. If you're ready to have fun working out the fundamentals of character illustration, rigging and animation, let's get started. 2. Class Project: The project for this class is to illustrate Reagan animate, a fun character with rubber hose style limbs. Rubber hose is a term that refers to this bendy style of limb with no defined joint. Rubber hose is also the name of a popular character animation tool. We'll talk more about that later. It's not actually the tool that I'm going to be using in this class. The goal of this class is to learn how to rig and animate a simple character. The part of the fun and challenge of it is to add personality to something unexpected. This can help you learn the nuances of moment that gives something human-like qualities even if it isn't human. I chose to make avocados into characters, because I think that they're delicious and cute, but you can choose to bring whatever inanimate object you want to life. If you'd like to focus more on the rigging and animation side of things, your illustration can be as simple as a basic shape. You'll still get all the benefits of the exercises from this class. As you watch the class, you'll be able to rig your character just like I am. Then you'll be able to use that rig to animate your character in any way you like. Your final animation should be a short loop of your character doing an action of your choice. I've compiled the guide of helpful info and notes from the class. Make sure to download that in the Projects and Resources tab below this video. If you have any questions along the way, feel free to post them in the Discussions tab below this video. 3. Rigging 101: Rigging is the glue that holds illustration and animation together. Rigging simply means connecting the layers of your illustration in ways that makes it easy to animate. How the rig looks and works should depend on how you want to animate your character. Sometimes you might have a character that's illustrated just to be animated in one specific way. For example, this girl biking from another one of my classes. I created her limbs with a tool called Limber, which I'll talk more about later and I parented her hands to the handlebars and her feet to the pedals. Obviously this is very specific to biking. Other times you might have a character illustration that you want to be able to animate in a few different ways, maybe across a series of animations or throughout an explainer video. In this case, it would be efficient to be able to reuse the character rig across many different animations. You'd create one character illustration, one rig, and then many different animations off of that one rig. This is the kind of rig that we'll be focusing on in this class. We'll mainly look at rigging and animating limbs. The characters that we're working with don't have spines because that adds complexity and these stylized characters can get away with it. In the next video, we'll look at some of the concepts that you need to know in order to rig and animate limbs. 4. Forward Kinematics: There are many different systems for creating character rigs with a few principles that apply no matter what tools you use. The most basic way to rig a limb is just to have each segment of the limb on its own layer. Then you'd want to go in and adjust the anchor point so that the limb rotates from the appropriate place. One little trick to make sure that things line up perfectly is that I've created a circle within the artwork for the hand. This circle is perfectly placed on the end of the lower arm. This is just a stroke with a rounded cap. The circle, that's part of the hand layer is perfectly placed on the end of that, so if this hand rotates from the center of the circle, then I know that it's going to look right. The next step is just to pair all of your layers together to create a chain. I'll pair the hand to the lower arm and the lower arm to the upper arm, and that's our rig. Now, I can just animate the rotation of each of these segments of the arm to animate the arm. This is called forward kinematics or FK. The position of the hand is determined by how much you rotate the upper arm and lower arm. As the upper arm rotates, the rest of the limb moves with it, and as the lower arm rotates, everything from the elbow down rotates with it. I'm talking in terms of arms, but this applies to legs too. With FK, you can set key for the rotation of each segment of the limb, so you have a lot of control over the exact orientation of the limb. The downside is that you have to set a lot of keyframes. We'll look at the alternative in the next video. 5. Inverse Kinematics: In real life, we decide where we want our hand to go, and our brain calculates how to orient our limb in order to get it to this goal. Imagine having to think about, rotate shoulder 30 degrees, now rotate the elbow 20 degrees, wait, no, 35 degrees on the shoulder. Now rotate the wrist and got it. With FK that's essentially what you have to do, which sometimes is exactly what you need in order to animate your limb in exactly the way that you want it. But other times, it would be super nice if you could just move the hand, and After Effects, like our brains, would calculate how to orient the limb in order to get the hand in that position. This is called Inverse Kinematics or IK. You move the risk controller and the rigging system figures out how to orient the joints accordingly. After Effects doesn't have a built-in IK system, at least not at the time of this recording. I know that when I was new to After Effects, I tried a few different things that are built into After Effects in an attempt to make up for this lack of IK system. I know that these solutions can be tempting because they're free and they're already built into After Effects, but let me explain just really quickly why these are not so good solutions to save you the headache. The first not-so-great solution is to use the Puppet tool. With the Puppet tool, you'll set pins where you want your limb to be able to bend. To animate the limb, you would set keyframes on the position of the puppet pins. But as you can see, this might not be the look that you want. You can adjust how the Puppet tool bends your artwork by adjusting the expansion and density. But they still might not give you the look that you're going for. If you wanted to parent the hand to the end of the arm, you could parent the position of the hand to the position of the last puppet pin. But even if you do that, the hand won't rotate nicely like you would expect it to if it's attached to an arm. See, you would also need to go in and keyframe the rotation of the hand just to find some more problems. With the Puppet tool, you still have to keyframe each joint on the limb in order to position it. You also tend to get these weird distortions and pinching when you are animating with the Puppet tool. Also, you can easily stretch your limb without knowing how much it's been stretched. If you're trying to maintain the same size limb across an animation, it can be tricky. While the Puppet tool can be useful in certain situations, I found that it usually doesn't look very professional and doesn't work for the style of characters that I usually want to animate. Let's look at another solution. Another better but not perfect solution is to create your limb as just a path with a stroke applied to it. Then anything additional like the sleeve or the hand should be a separate layer. Then also notice that on this path, if I toggle down into the path, I have three anchor points. So one for the shoulder, elbow, and wrist. This solution involves using this little panel called Create Nulls from Paths. Even though this looks like a plugin, it actually comes with After Effects. You can find it by going to Windows, and then down here, Create Nulls from Paths. What we want to do here is just make sure that we have the bottom path selected, so the one with the stopwatch. Then in your Create Nulls from Paths panel, you want to choose Points Follow Nulls. That just means that each of these points is going to get its own null. This null is just an invisible layer that you can use like a controller. If I were to move the null, it's going to move the arm. So I could keyframe the position of the nulls in order to animate the arm. One issue with this solution is that you can easily adjust the length of your arm so you could stretch it or shorten it without having any indication of when you've gone too far. With this solution, you can parent the hand to the null that's at the position of the wrist, and that way the hand will be attached to the arm. Again, you're going to need to rotate the hand so that it looks right. There is actually a tricky way that you can make the hand rotate with the arm without having to keyframe it all the time. If you want to learn more about that, then checkout a tutorial I did specifically on this Create Nulls from Paths tool. If you have something like a sleeve that you want to move with the arm, the best way to go about that would be to just rotate the arm when you want the shoulder to move rather than moving the elbow position. So say I want this to rotate from the shoulder, I would just rotate the arm. But as you can see, that's not going to do anything right now. What I need to do first is actually parent all of the nulls and the sleeve to the arm. Now, when I rotate the arm, everything goes with it, so that works out. If you had more complex artwork than just a path with a hand in a sleeve, it might be a bit more tricky to make everything all connected and work as expected. Sometimes using a path with a stroke as a limb works for what you're trying to accomplish. But other times there are too many limitations. In the next video, let's look at some add-on tools for character rigging and animation. 6. Add On Tools: Because After Effects doesn't have a built-in IK System, innovators/developers have created third-party tools that you can download and install. You might hear motion designers refer to these as plugins, even though technically they might be scripts or extensions. But that doesn't really matter much for this class because these tools can make character rigging and animation so much easier, Some cost money. I found it to be totally worth it. By the end of this class, you'll be equipped to decide if it'll be worth it for you. You don't have to go purchase anything right now though. I've tried out these tools extensively over the years so I'm going to try to condense all that I've learned into a comparison of the most popular character animation plugins. Then in the rest of the class, I'll show you how to rig and animate a character with Limber. I found Limber to be the best tool for the styles of characters that I tend to animate. But that's not to say that there isn't a time or a place to use any of these other plugins. Also, this is not going to be an exhaustive list of every single feature of every single character animation tool out there. But let's just look at some of the most important things to know. First, let's go over setting up a rig with each tool. We'll start with RubberHose because it's the simplest and easiest to use. With RubberHose, you create a limb right from the tool. You can adjust the length, thickness, color, and bend of your limb. There are also preset options for styling the limb that are really easy to apply. If you want to create a completely custom look, you may be able to achieve what you want, but it can be a bit tricky. To be honest, I haven't tried it myself, but Character Tool looks very similar to RubberHose and seems to have more flexibility for creating custom looks with details like sleeves, bracelets, socks, and so on. RubberHose also has two other rigging options. RubberRig allows you to rig artwork from Illustrator or Photoshop. RubberPin allows you to connect puppet pins to controllers to create an IK System. Personally, I haven't found these options to work for what I need. While the RubberHose option of the RubberHose plugin is great for the style of limbs that we'll be working with in this class, hence the name. It is possible to achieve this style with Limber or Duik. While Duik is free, it's also the most complex, most challenging to learn, and most time-consuming to set up. It can be quite powerful though and has many different features which you may or may not use. Also, you can set up a whole character body rig, which includes the spine and neck. Whereas Limber and RubberHose are really just for limbs. With Duik, you'll need artwork from Illustrator or Photoshop. These blue dots that I've created are acquired by Duik, but I like to create them as guides so that it makes it easier to line things up when I'm setting up my Duik rig. When you're using Duik it's imperative to make sure that your anchor points are in the exact right places. If your anchor points are a little bit off, you'll notice that when you rotate your arm. So that's why I like to set up these guides to help me snap the anchor points into place. First, you'll need to carefully connect your artwork to layers that it creates. These are called bones. Once you line everything up and parent the artwork to the bones, Duik creates more controllers that you use for animation. In the end, there are a lot of layers. With Limber, you can either create a limb within the tool or use your own vector artwork. Limber creates shape-based limbs, which means that if you use your own artwork, you can create details like sleeves, pants, socks, watches, tattoos, and so on. I cover creating a limb from your own artwork in my class, Limber character rigging to secondary animation. If you create a limb right from Limber, there are options to adjust the length and size of each segment of the limb. You can adjust the colors easily. You can also adjust how the bend of the limb looks. The downside of RubberHose's simplicity is that it's only an IK System. There is no option to animate in FK. You'll learn more about when to use IK versus FK in another video. But for now, just know that not having an IK option is why I stopped using RubberHose. With Duik, you have the option to animate in IK or FK. There's a checkbox to switch between the two. Sometimes you may want to switch between animating in IK and FK while a character is in motion. In this case, switching the checkbox on or off is going to change the orientation of the limb because you just change how the orientation is being calculated. You'll need to manually rotate or move the hand back into place, which can be tedious and it's hard to get it just right so it's not glitchy looking. Limber gives you the option to animate in both IK and FK. You can seamlessly switch between the two because it's controlled by a percentage rather than a checkbox. There are these two handy buttons to translate the orientation of your limb in IK to FK and vice versa. Limber gives you the option to have anything you attach to the start or end of your limb, like a hand or a foot, auto-rotate as the limb moves. You can even adjust how much it auto rotates. RubberHose gives you these options too, but in the form of a checkbox so it's either on or off. Unfortunately, this is not so easy in Duik. Limber and RubberHose limbs can be stretchy, which you may or may not want depending on the style that you're going for. The controllers will change colors when stretched to indicate that the limb has been stretched. Limber also has an option where you can disable the stretchiness. Duik has an auto stretch option which if unchecked will prevent you from stretching the limb. If auto stretch is on and you stretch the limb, depending on how you made the limb, it might all fall apart. There are a few other unique features to each tool that are worth mentioning because they could be the deciding factor when choosing one tool to use for a certain project. Limber allows you to adjust and animate the length of the upper and lower segments of the limb. You can use this to fake 3D movements by foreshortening parts of the limb. Plus you can also round the ends of each segment of the limb to better pull off this fake 3D look. Duik automatically sets up handy foot controllers that other tools don't have. This makes it easy to animate the rotation of the toes and heel and animate a foot roll or standing on tiptoes. These controllers come in handy when animating a character walking and in many other cases when the foot needs to bend. When you don't have these controllers, it can be really tedious to prevent the foot from going through the floor when animating a walk cycle, for example. If you want to use RubberHose or Limber, but still want these foot controls, you can set up your own foot rig, which will work just like what Duik sets up for you. Hopefully, that comparison helps you to see what tools are out there and why you might want to use one one the other for a particular character animation. I use Limber the most because I find it to be easy to use, quick to set up, and it has all of the features that I need, especially like the option to animate in both IK and FK. While an IK system may cost a little money and time to set up. Having the ability to animate in both FK and IK is key to being able to animate characters doing a range of different movements. If you're wondering the guys behind Limber didn't ask me to prove out their tool. It was actually more like the other way around because I've been using it for so long and just wanted to teach it to you. The links that I've included below this video are affiliate links, which just means that I'll get a small cut of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you for using those links if you do decide to purchase Limber. 7. Getting Started with Limber: Since I find Limber to be the best tool for the styles of characters that I tend to animate, that's what I would recommend and what I want to show you in the rest of this class. If you already have another character animation plug-in that you want to try to use, you can, but just know that there are going to be things that I talk about that are specific to Limber. So I can't guarantee that you're going to have a good time. If you want to download Limber, the link is below this video. There is a seven-day free trial that you can start with to follow along with the class. The trial version is limited to two limbs per comp, and there are few other limitations, but you can at least give it a try before deciding to purchase. When you purchase or try Limber, you'll download a folder with these three things. You want to copy the.jsxbin file, and go to your applications, After Effects, Scripts, and then Scripts UI panel, and paste that file in there. If you want more detailed instructions, they can be found in the Limber user guide, which you can access here. This user guide also covers all the ins and outs of Limber, if you want to learn more after this class. In After Effects, you can find Limber by going to Window and then all the way down to the bottom, Limber. You conduct this panel wherever you like. An awesome bonus that comes with Limber is this limb library. If you open or import this After Effects file into your project, you'll find a bunch of different styles of limbs. You can copy the style of a limb with this copy button, and then paste it onto a limb that you've created yourself to paste that style onto your own limb. Just note that this copy and paste feature is not available in the trial version. 8. Create a Character: In this video, I'm going to walk you through what I've created for my character illustration and my thought process behind that. But I'm not going to make you watch me recreate this step-by-step because I'm trusting that since this is not a beginner class, that you're familiar enough with Illustrator that you could create a basic character. If you want some more instruction or fresher on Adobe Illustrator, you can check out my class Create, then Animate. I'm using an artboard of 1080 pixels by 1080 pixels because this is a good size for Instagram, but you can use whatever size works for you. I just wouldn't to go any smaller than this because in After Effects, when you zoom in, in your composition window, your artwork is going to get pixelated even though it's vector art. It can be hard to work with if it gets too pixelated. It's always easy to downsize your final animation if you need it to be in a smaller size. When I'm illustrating a character that I know I want to rig and then animate in a few different ways, I just create the character in a neutral position like this. Just hands by their sides facing forward or you could do a profile view where you see the half of the avocado like he's facing either left or right, and then just legs straight. Another important thing about the characters we're going to be using in this class is that they have the stick, very simple arms, and legs. These are just strokes, just a path with a stroke applied. We're actually going to be recreating the limbs using Limber. Even though I've created these in Illustrator, they're really just for reference so that I know that my character looks good. It's also really important that you separate your character out into layers. Anything that you want to animate needs to be on its own layer. For instance, I have this mouth, which actually if I zoom in and grab my anchor tool, you can see that this path is not just a curved line, I actually have basically a circle that is smashed down on itself. It's a joined path just overlapping. That way in After Effects I can animate the points of the path to make him look like he's opening his mouth or making a different mouth position. Then also for my eyes, not only have I separated out the eyes into their own layer, but within this layer, I've actually named the different pieces of the eye. I have a little highlight here, the pupil, and then the white of the eye. In After Effects, I'm going to show you how you can make an eye little rig with all of these eye layers, so it's important that your eye is on its own layer and then within that layer you have the different pieces that you want to animate. Then I also have the seed because I think it would be cute if maybe if the avocado is moving, the seed is bouncing a little bit just to give him some more fluid motion. Then I have the body and the hands, and it's important that the hands are separated out from the arm because like I said, the arms and the legs are going to be re-created within Limber, so we need the hand to be on its own layer so we can just attach that to our recreated Limber limb. Then the legs, these are going to be recreated in Limber too and the foot will be part of that limber leg. We don't need to have a separate foot layer like we do for the hand. Just make sure that even if you don't have the exact same layers as me, that anything that you want to animate is separated out onto its own layer. Also make sure that you label your layers because you will thank yourself later. You can see how I like to name things here. I like to do the common thing if I know there's going to be multiple of that thing first. For example, I have leg-L for left, and then leg- R for right because I know that there's going to be two legs, so if I'm looking through my layers in After Effects in my timeline, it's easy to just look for the leg and then navigate to either the left or right after I find leg. Because if I had right or left first, there's going to be a bunch of different right and left things. It's easier to find leg if leg is the first word in the label. That's just a little nit-picky thing that I found works for me, so just find what works for you. Also, when I label left or right, it refers to the characters left or right. This leg is on my left, but it's on the character's right because the character is always going to have the same right and left. But my perspective of the character could change if the character moves around and turns. I name things by the characters right or the characters left. Consider the principle form follows function. This design principle can be applied to many different disciplines. Let's take architecture as an example. Form follows function means that the shape of a building should relate to its intended function or purpose. This can also be applied to biology, or more specifically anatomy and physiology, which is actually what I studied in college. The form of a cell, organ or body part is directly related to its function,. For example, our hands are capable of grasping and manipulating objects in a certain way because of how they're shaped. But to some extent we grasp and manipulate objects in the way that we do because of the way that our hands are shaped, so the principal can go both ways. Apply it to character illustration in animation, this means that we can decide whether a certain look of our character is more important or being able to animate our character in a specific motion is more important. Then we can find a balance between the form and the function. With my avocado characters, because their legs and arms are relatively short compared to their big body, they're not able to do certain movements. It just looks a little bit funny, which sometimes can be a good thing, but other times it can just look odd. I wanted to keep the limb short because I like the queue whimsical look, but I also had to do some tests to come up with postures in animations that they would be able to do without looking too weird. I actually had to go back and forth between the illustration and the animation a little bit, and I ended up making the arms and legs a little bit longer than my original design. When designing a character, try to find a balance between what the character looks like, which is the form, and what movements your character will be capable of doing, which is the function. This sometimes means going back and forth between the illustration, rigging, and animation phases to refine your character. 9. Import into Ae: Now it's time to input our character into After Effects. Make sure that you're staying organized. This is how I like to structure my project folder and files, but you do what works for you. I'm guessing that you already know how to import an Illustrator file into After Effects, but just make sure that you have Import As: Composition-Retain Layer Sizes. If you don't see that option, then just click this "Options" button. This is going to be important to make sure that all of our layers are separated out just like we had them in Illustrator. I'm going to go into the composition settings by hitting "Command K" and I'm just going to make sure that my frame rate is set to 30 frames per second. I like to animate on even frame rates, so 30 or 15 or even 24. You can choose any of those, but for this class I'm going to be using 30, which is what I usually use. If you want to get a more cartoony look, you could go down to 24 or 15 or even 12. That will just make your animation look a little bit more choppy and handmade. I'm also just going to change the background color, just to make things easier to see. My duration is set to 10 seconds which is going to be good for now. That's how you would import your illustration into After Effects the traditional way. You might notice that I have this plug-in here called Overlord, and that allows you to transfer shapes between Illustrator and After Effects, which is actually what I used 99 percent of the time. If you're interested in Overlord, you can check out my class, Top Five Plugins for Efficiency in Adobe After Effects. If you need to go back and forth between Illustrator and After Effects because you're refining your character based on how it's able to move, then I think you might find Overlord to be helpful because that's why I like to use it. Because it's easy to go back and forth between Illustrator and After Effects. But you definitely do not need to have Overlord in order to do this class. 10. Basic Rigging: The first step when creating your rig is always to address your anchor points and parent the layers together. Actually, the only layer that I need to adjust the anchor point for on this character is the body. I'm going to bring up my Pen Behind tool by hitting Y on the keyboard. I'm just going to drag this anchor point down, and I'm going to hold down Shift to maintain the horizontal position. I'm going to try to place it right in the center of the seed. Next, I need to parent my layers together. The mouth, eyes, and seed, are all going to be parented to the body. Then the seed shadow is going to be parented to the seed. I'm going to leave my hands, arms, and legs, for later because I'm going to recreate all of those layers with limber. Now, if the body were to rotate, then the face, and the seed moves with it. If the body rotates, it doesn't really make sense for the shadow and my highlight to rotate, because the shadow and the highlight are because of light and the light source isn't changing if the body of the character rotates. Really, the shadows and highlights should stay in place. Now, the shadow and highlight that are actually part of the seed, I didn't separate out into their own layer because I didn't think of this until I got into After Effects. This is why I love to use overload because it would be even easier to fix this, but we can still fix it as is. I'm just going to right-click on my seed layer, go to "Create" and then "Create Shapes from Vector Layer". That'll just create shape layers out of all of that vector art. I can even delete this original seed layer. Then I'm going to go into my seed outlines, toggle down under contents. Then it looks like I have a few different groups. It looks like the first group is going to be the highlight, so let's just hit "Enter" and name that. Then the next group, group 2 is the shadow. I'm actually just going to delete that and recreate it later. Then this third group is the seed. I'm actually noticing that there's a selection box on the outside of my entire composition when I select this Group 3, so I'm just going to toggle down. It looks like there's an extra group and merge paths in here that I don't need, I'm just going to delete that. You can see I didn't need it because nothing happened when I deleted it. That's just something that sometimes happens when you convert vector R into shape layers. Now, I need to duplicate this seed Outlines layer, just hitting Command D. Then on the bottom seed outlines, I'm just going to delete the highlight. On the top seed outlines, I'm going to toggle down and delete the Group 3, which is the seed part. Now, I just have the highlight on its own layer, so let's name that. Then we have the seed. I want to move the anchor point of the seed right into the center. I have this handy plugin called Motion 3 that allows me to do that with just one click. But you can also use the Pen Behind tool and then hold down Command, and snap it into place. Now, I want to make sure that the highlight has the same anchor point as the seed. I'm just going to zoom in. Then let's see if we can get this anchor point on the highlight to move right into the center of the seed. I'm just going to hold down Command, and it looks like it's snapping right into place. That's perfect. Next, I need to counter the rotation of the body. I'm going to go into the rotation property on the highlight, and then I'm going to option click on the stopwatch to bring up the expression field. I'm just going to paste an expression that I copied because I saved a lot of expressions that I use a lot in a notes app on my computer. I'll just paste that in. You can find this expression to paste into your project in the Projects and Resources tab below this video. You don't have to understand every line of this expression. I actually didn't write this, I got it from somebody else. What you do need to know is that this expression just counters the rotation of the parent, which is the body. If the body rotates, then that highlight is always just going to stay in place. Which makes sense because the light source would be coming from this direction. Just because the body moves, that light source isn't changing, so the highlight shouldn't change either. We can also do this same thing on the seed shadow that's on the body. First, we just need to make sure that the anchor point is in the center of the seed, and then we can apply that same expression. Now, let's just test it. Now, the shadow is staying in place also. Now, let's recreate the shadow that I had on the inside of the seed. To do that, I'm going to go to the seed, right-click, and go to Layer Styles, Inner Shadow. Then, this is going to give me a new Layer Styles option. I'm going to toggle down Inner Shadow. I can just adjust where the shadow is showing up by adjusting the angle. I think 315 will be where I had it. Then I can increase the distance to make it a little bit bigger. I don't really like how it's feathered right here because that doesn't work with this style of my character, I'm just going to bring the size down to 0. We can also bring down the opacity to make it a little bit more like how I originally had it. All right. That looks pretty good. Now, when I rotate the body, that inner shadow that I just added is going to stay in place also because it's a layer style and not actually a layer that's going to be moving. I didn't have to do anything special to counter it, that's just how the Layer Style works. There's one last thing, is that we should actually name our highlight, seed - highlight, I'm just being picky here, that way our naming conventions consistent. Also, we can actually parent the seed highlight to the seed. By the way, if we move the seed around like the seed is bouncing in response to the avocado moving, then the highlight will go with the seed. This will still work even with our expression because of the way that these are parented in a chain. With that, that's our basic rig. In the next video, we'll rig up the limbs using limber. 11. Rig Arms: Let's create our limbs with Limber. I'm going to start with an arm. In the Limber panel, make sure that you have "Arm" selected, and then for the type, we're actually going to choose "Bone". Taper limbs are probably what you're going to use more often than bones. You saw a tapered limb in the video comparing the different plugins. The reason for this bone option of limb is really for when you have a complicated taper limb and it's slowing down after-effects too much, and you need to just work quickly. You can switch your limb into a bone which will just be a bare-bones limb and then you can animate with that, and then right before you render, you just switch it back to a tapered bone that has all your styling. But in our case, we want this really simple style of limb so we're going to use these bone type of limb to create these simple, rubber hose-looking limbs. Now you just need to press "New." I'm going to name the limb. Let's just do L for left and hit "Okay." You can see that Limber has created three new layers for me; a wrist, shoulder, and arm layer. I'm just going to take the wrist and shoulder. These are controllers and they're not going to actually show up in my final render. You can tell because they are guard layers, which is indicated by this little blue hash mark here. I'm just going to move these over to the character's left. I always like to label my characters with their right and left because that's never going to change but my perspective of the character could change. I'll just try to put the shoulder about in place even though it's definitely the wrong size, same with the wrist. Then with the wrist selected, you should have the effect controls panel. If you don't, you can find it under "Window" and you should have some Limber options in here. If I toggle down the shape, we can adjust the size of the limb. Let's just bring this in. I think about 70 is going to be good. You may have noticed that these controllers just turned from green to red and that's because now the limb is too stretched. If I just move this up, you'll see it moves back to green. I'll just move that for now. Let's adjust the width of the arm. Normally, when you're using a tapered limb, you would just go in and adjust the start size, middle size, and end size. But you'll see with a bone, that's not going to do anything. Instead, we need to select the arm layer and then just change the stroke width up here. We can also change the color here. I'm going to go into my original arm layer from Illustrator and just adjust the opacity so I can use it as a reference a little bit easier. Also, let's take down the size of these controllers because they're a bit too big for our character. I'm just going to select both of those wrist and shoulder controllers. I'm just going to go over here to the controllers and hold down "Alt", and then just click this button to shrink those controllers down. That'll just be easier to work with. I'm also going to now select the wrist and adjust the bone curvature. If I bring this up, you can see that it's going to make that limb a little bit more curvy and rubber hose-like. This is how we can achieve that rubber hose style with Limber. I'll just adjust this a little bit more. That looks pretty good. I can actually just delete or hide my original arm layer that was a reference from illustrator. We've created one of our limbs. We can grab this wrist controller, move it around, and it works like a limb. I'm just going to stay organized by moving my arm layers below the left hand. I'm also going to color code my layers so that it's easy to find what you're looking for. I'm going to start with the mouth and eyes. I'll just color those orange. Then the seed and the body are going to be yellow. Then we'll do the left hand and arm in green. Some doing rainbow order here. We can also attach the left hand to the left wrist. We just parent it to the left wrist controller. If I move the left wrist, the hand is going to go with it. You can also hide the left wrist controller to make it a little bit easier to see the hand. By default, Limber is going to start off in IK mode. If you select the wrist in your effect controls panel, if you go under "Forward Kinematics", you can see that FK is set at zero percent, which means that FK is off so that means IK is on. If I move the wrist, the arm updates its orientation accordingly. If I wanted to switch into anime in the IK, I could just bring this all the way up to 100, and that's going to change the position of my arm. One super handy thing that you can do with Limber is just hit this button that says the FK needs to match the IK's position. When I had my arm in that nice neutral position by the avocado side, it was in IK mode so I need to match the FK, which I'm in now, to the IK position. That was the one that looked nice. I'll just hit this button. If you need it to do the opposite, you could hit this button. But that updated my arm position. You can see, in the upper rotation and lower rotation, it's figured out the amount of degrees that these need to be rotated in order to get that same look that I had when I was in IK mode. Super helpful to have. One other thing is that now if I were to rotate the lower arm or the upper arm, my hand is no longer attached. We need to set up one more controller in order to fix that. I'm just going to undo that and then I'm going to go over and in my "Limber" panel, I'm going to hit this button that's "Add FK". It's just added this left wrist FK controller. Just another one of those controllers. If I parent my left hand to the FK controller, then I can adjust the FK position and the hand is going to stay in place. Also, if I go back into IK mode and I move the wrist, the hand will still stay attached. By creating that FK controller, I can now either work in IK or FK and the hand will always stay attached. Just make sure, again, that your hand is parented to the FK controller. Let's just move that back into place by undoing and then I'm just going to recolor this to match my color scheme. There's one more thing that I like to set up on my arm ring. You may have noticed that when I move the wrist up and I change the position of the arm, let me just hide these controllers so you can see what I'm talking about, the hand is just hanging there limp. It doesn't rotate with the arm like a normal hand would. What we can do to fix this is actually really easy thanks to Limber. If we just go into the left wrist and go under "Dynamics", if you adjust the rotate end and just bring that up, I'm just going to bring mine up to 100 percent, you can see that that's going to auto-rotate the end of the limb so that the hand is always looking like it's attached. Not just falling limb. No matter what position I put it in, it's always going to rotate nicely. You may need to adjust your anchor point a little bit to make it look just perfect. I'm just going to bring my anchor point over, maybe something like that. I, also, am going to zero out the position of the hand so that it's perfectly on the end of this wrist. The anchor point of this wrist controller and the anchor point of the hand are in the exact same place. That'll just make it so that when I move the hand around, it always looks like it's attached properly. Now that I've got one arm all set up, I'm just going to duplicate it to create the other arm. That way I don't have to go through all those steps to make it look just right again. I'm just going to select the left arm and then go up to "Limber" and hit "Duplicate". I can name this R for right. I'm just going to drag the right wrist and right shoulder controllers over to the character's right side. I can just go in and adjust these to make them in the right spots. I'm also going to need to flip the direction that this arm is bending. I'll just select the wrist, go under dynamics. Then I'm going to change the clockwise property from 100 percent to negative 100 percent so that it flips around. I'm also going to go into that right arm reference, the illustrator layer, and just bring down the opacity so it's easier to see what I'm doing. I can just adjust the wrist and shoulder to get them in the right places. We can delete the arm reference layer and we can select the right arm layers and move them below the right hand. I'm also going to recolor all of these right arm layers to be blue. We already have that FK controller created for us because we did on our other arm that we duplicated. We can just parent the right hand to that right wrist and I'm going to go in and adjust the anchor point of that hand. The hand will probably rotate from about there, I think. Then I'm going to just go into the position and since it's parented already, I'm just going to zero this out so that it's right there and it's going to be same anchor point as the wrist controller. It'll look great when the arm is moving around and rotating. We already have our second arm set up because duplicating it made it super easy. In the next video, we'll work on the legs. 12. Rig Legs: To rig the legs, we're actually going to use a pre-made limb from Limber's limb library. You can import the limb library with this button here or you can just do File Import or Command I and then find it on your computer and then click "Open" to import it. The limb that we're looking for is under Bone Based and it's just going to be the Bone with Foot. This limb is even actually already animated, but we just want to copy this style. The reason I'm using this leg is because it already has a foot setup and that way we don't have to have a separate foot. Why recreate the wheel if Limber has already provided this for us? To use this leg, what we need to do is just select the leg and then go over to Limber and select Copy. Now unfortunately, if you're using the trial version, you won't be able to use the copy and paste features like this. If you're not quite ready to buy Limber yet, don't abandon shape, you can still follow along. You could either not have a foot on your leg or you could create a foot just like how we created the arm. It could just be a simple little stroke that you attach to a regular leg, just like we did for the arm. If you're still tracking with me because you've bought Limber, then what you need to do after you've copied the style of this limb, you just go back into your character, and then we're going to create a new limb because we need something to paste that style onto. Make sure that you change it from arm to leg and that you still have the type set to Bone and then just hit "New". We'll start with left again, and then once that's created, we can just hit "Paste" to paste that style, and now we have that foot from this already made limb from the Limber library. Now what we need to do is just move this limb into place, and we can select the leg layer and just like the arm, we can adjust the stroke width here and also the color. Then, with the ankle selected, we can go into the shape and bring down the length. Let's resize those controllers so it's easier to see what we're doing. I'm just going to go over to Size, hold down the Alt, and then click this button a couple times, and now let's reposition again and that foot is looking super long. With the leg selected, you'll have all of these controllers that Limber has already set up for you. This is the beauty of using that pre-made limb from the library. We can just adjust the foot length to something shorter. Now I'm going to just delete the illustrator layer and I'm going to show you one other thing with that foot. With the foot, I'm going to turn off that controller so you can see this. But with the leg selected you have all of these different foot rotation so you can rotate the foot around like that, or you could even make it a little bit bendy. If you wanted until style as a foot, maybe he's standing on its tiptoes or something, you could adjust these angles. See very useful to have those, and I'm just going to set these all back to zero. I want to find the position where the leg is not quite in the red controller zone, which means that it's stretched, and just right at the teal. Or maybe actually the teal is a little bit bent, so I'm going to maybe just go with my arrow key one down, so this is stretched but it's straight. That's the look that I like. We'll just make sure it's not too straight it just on the cuff being stretched. Now let's bring this leg down to the bottom, my layer stack, and I think actually I want to color this blue so I'm going to run out of rainbow colors. We'll recolor this arm, cyan. Now, we can duplicate this leg by selecting the leg and hitting "Duplicate". This will be the right leg, and then we can move that over. Then let's bring these all the way down to the bottom and we'll color them purple. We can delete the illustrator layer. You can see maybe you can't because of this big controller, but the foot is facing this way, and in my original illustrator file, I have the feet facing out. I can change this by going into the ankle, and then under dynamics, I can just change this from clockwise 100 percent to negative 100 percent. Now flip the foot around. Also, if I were to bend this leg, now it would bend up to the characters right. Without our character's legs are all set up. 13. Zero Controls: We can call this rig done as long as we parent the shoulders and the hips to the body. But there's actually one other thing that I want to do that will make it easier when we get to animation, and that's to zero out the position of the wrist, shoulders, ankles, and hips. Let me explain why. If we look at the position of the wrist, these are weird numbers. If I were to move one of the wrists around, I'm animating it, and then later I want to bring it back into that neutral position, I would have to remember what that number was, that it originally was at. It's a weird number, so I wouldn't remember that. It's going to be hard to get it back into the neutral position. But if this number, where the wrist is at the neutral position, was just 0, then it would always be easy to get back to 0. Also, if I was animating both of the arms to look the same, a very symmetrical movement, then I would have to do math to figure out, this one needs to move out like 100 pixels to the right and this one needs to move out 100 pixels to the left, and it would just make things way more complicated. But if these numbers both started at 0, it makes the numbers a lot more clean and makes everything a lot easier. I'm going to show you how to set it up so that these numbers are 0 in the neutral position. But first, I just want to make sure that the position that they're in now is the perfect position. I want to make sure that, for the wrists, they are both vertically aligned, they have the same y position. Let's just go with 638 for both of these. Then I want to make sure that the position in the x-direction is the same amount from the center. My composition is 1080 pixels, so the center of the composition is going to be 540. I want to make sure that this wrist is the some amount this way from the center point and this wrist is the same amount this way from the center point. I've determined that if I make this 347 and this one 733, those are going to be evenly spaced. You'll just have to do some basic math to figure that out for your character. I'm also going to do the same thing with the shoulders. I'll also do the same thing to make sure that the ankles and hips are aligned and evenly spaced. Now that we have everything in the perfect position, we can zero out those positions. There's a couple of different options to set this up. If you already have Duik installed, you can just select a layer. Under Rigging and then the second icon, you can click on this "Zero" button to create a zeroing effect. Basically, all that is doing is creating a new null object which it automatically hides and locks, and puts it at the bottom of your layer stack. This null object has the position of whatever layer you had selected. Now, it's parented this layer to that new null object, the Zero Wrist. Now, this layer, the wrist, has a position of 0. Because its parent is at the same position, it's relative position is 0. Basically, Duik just has a shortcut for something that we can set up ourselves. Let me show you how you would set this up without Duik. What you would need to do is just go to "Layer", "New" and then "Null Object." Then this null, I'm just going to drag it on top of my right wrist, and then we need to move this null object on top of the right wrist. I'm just going to grab the Position, Command C to copy, and then I'm going to paste that Position. Now they have the same position. Now what I can do is take the right wrist and parent it to that null object. Now, the new risk position is 0. I can name this. I can also bring this null down to the bottom and lock it, and hide it. Whether you have Duik and you use the shortcut to set this up, or you set it up manually like I just did, you want to set up nulls for each one of your wrists, shoulder, ankle, and hips. If you have Duik, you can even select all of your layers that you want to create zeros for and click the "Zero" button to do everything at once. You'll want to add a Zero control for the body also. Then after you've got all of your Zero controller set up, you're going to want to unlock the shoulders and hips, and then parent the shoulders and hips to the body. That way, once we move the body around, the shoulders and hips will stay attached. The reason that I don't parent the wrists and ankles is because oftentimes, I want to animate those separately. But if there was an animation case where I wanted those to move when the body moved, then I could just parent them then. 14. Rig Face: Now let's make the face of our avocado. Because this little guy doesn't really have a head, head and body are all one thing, we don't need to worry about any head turns or anything like that. We just want to be able to animate the eyes and maybe the mouth. The mouth is easy enough, all we need to do is just right-click, go to Create, then Create Shapes from Vector Layer. Now we have that same path that we had in Illustrator, and we can just animate the anchor points on the path in order to animate the mouth. That's pretty much all set up, that's all we need to do here. Unless you want to rename and re-color just to be super clean and organized, and you can delete the Illustrator layer. The eyes are going to be a little bit more complex, so just stay with me. I'm going to use the right eye and I'm going to right-click and go down to Create, Create Shapes from Vector Layer. I'm just going to solo this eye. I'm going to toggle down, and in this eye we have three different groups. The first one is going to be the highlight, I'm just going to name that. The second one is the pupil, and the third one is the white of the eye. I'm just going to change the background color of my composition so that you can see the eye a little bit better. Now what I need to do is make sure that it hasn't created any extra layers that I don't need when I converted the Vector Illustrator Layer into a Shape Layer. If I just toggle down these groups, you can see that there's an extra group and merge path in each of these layers, which you can see when you zoom out on the outside of the composition, and I don't need those, they're not serving any purpose. So I'm just going to delete those to clean things up. If you didn't have those, that's totally fine, we don't need them. Now what I want to do is make a mask so that I can animate the path of the white of the eye to open and close the eye, and the pupil of the eye will be masked out. Let me just create a mask for the pupil. The first step here is going to be to go to add and then group. This is just going to create an empty group that can hold multiple of these other layers. What I want to do is just drag that above the pupil and then drag the pupil inside of the group. Now I want to duplicate the white of the eye in order to create this mask for the pupil. I'll hit "Command D" to duplicate, and then I'm going to bring this second white of the eye into the group with the pupil. Let's just name this one mask. So we have the white mask and then the pupil all in this group. What I need to do next is add a Merge Paths to this group. You can see when I did that, it recolored it and it added a stroke. I don't need the stroke, so I'm just going to delete that, and then in the Merge Paths, I'm going to toggle down and change the mode to intersect. Now the only part that's showing up of this group, let's turn off the white of the eye so you can see this, the only thing that's showing up of this group is the pupil. If I were to move the pupil around, you can see that it's only going to be visible in this shape, that's the white of the eye, which is exactly what I was wanting. Now I just need to change the fill color so it's not this maroon color, and I know that the pupil already has the right fill color on it, It's just not showing up because this fill color is applied on top. We can just delete this fill color, which is the maroon color, and then we can drag this fill color, that's the right color, the dark green color, we can drag that below the Merge Paths. If yours isn't looking quite right, make sure that your layers are in this exact order, and that you have a fill applied with a color and full opacity, and that you're Merge Paths are set to intersect, and then we can name this group pupil. Now I need to do the exact same thing for the highlight of the eye because it needs a mask too. The first step is to add a new group; let's bring that up. Put the highlight inside the new group, and then let's duplicate that mask, so we'll duplicate the white mask, you could duplicate the white of the eye, but then you got to rename it. Then inside of this group we should have our mask on top and then the highlight, and now let's add Merge Paths. That's going to add this stroke that we don't want, so let's delete that. The fill is the wrong color, so let's delete that. Let's take the fill from the highlight, drag that outside and underneath the Merge Paths. That's the right color, but the Merge Paths needs to be changed to intersect. Now let's hide the tide layer, you can see that that's just showing the highlight of the eye within this mask. I also noticed that the fill color is set to a 100 percent opacity, and I actually want it to just be like 50. We're all set there, we can turn back on our other layers to see our whole eye again, and let's name this top group highlight. Now if I go into the white of the eye and animate the path, you'll see that we're still not done because even though there is a mask here, the path of the masks are not the same as the path of the white of the eye. So instead of keyframing the paths to all look the same because that would be super tedious, we need to just parent them together. I'm going to toggle down the pupil layer, find the white mask, toggle down the path of that, and then I'm going to take the pick whip next to the path of the white mask and drag it onto the path of the original white of the eye. That way, whatever path the white of the eye has, let me just show you that, the path of the white mask on the pupil is going to have the exact same shape no matter what shape that is. I need to do the same thing with the highlight mask, so white mask, the path of that I'm going to pick whip to the path of the white of the eye. Now my eye is all set up and I can just set some keyframes for animating the eye opening and closing. I'm just going to bring this top vertex down and make sure that you are just selecting the top layer path, not the one with the stopwatch. Because if you select both of these, you're going to be moving the whole path. If you just select the top one then you can select individual vertices. I'll select the top one, move that down two-thirds of the way. Because if you look at how an eyelid closes, the top eyelid is going to go most of the way and then the bottom eyelid will meet it by just moving up a little bit. But you can really do this however you want because obviously, avocados don't have eyes, so, we can choose how we want them to look. My closed eye is going to look something like that. Now you have it opening and closing. I'm going to do one more thing for when the eye is closed because right now it's not very visible and it just disappears, but then there's some leftover pixel, so I don't really like how this looks. What I'm going to do is go in and add a stroke onto the white of the eye. I'm going to go to Add and then Stroke, and then make sure that's applied right on top of the fill of the white of the eye. I can just recolor this. Let's recolor it from white to the same color as the pupil. But I don't want the stroke to show up while the eye is open, so instead I'm just going to keyframe the stroke width so that it's at zero when the eye is open, and then when the eye is closed, I'll turn the stroke width up to 5. But I don't actually want to see the stroke width animating in. I don't want to see it right here when the eye is partially open, so I'm going to select these keyframes, right-click, and change them to hold keyframes. Now as soon as the eye reaches this last keyframe, that stroke will turn on. When the eye is closed, I now have this nice little eyelid line. Now animate the eye staying closed for a little bit and then opening back up. Something like that except for that's really slow, so let's just shrink this down. Maybe I'll just stay closed for two frames and then take five frames to open and close. I think that looks better. Maybe we even have this one frame here where the eyes disappear except for these little weird pixels here, so, I'll just move the keyframe over one for the stroke width. That looks a lot better. We could also even ease these keyframes, although it might not make that much of a difference because it's so quick, but I think that looks pretty good. If we wanted to make the character look like he's looking around so the pupils are moving, we could animate the position of the pupil. But we want to make sure that we're animating just the pupil and not the whole pupil group because that will move the mask as well. Instead of doing the position that's under transform pupil, we want to go into the pupil within the pupil group and then transform pupil. We want to animate this position here. You can set up a fancy little point controller or something to have this as an extra property that you can animate, or I'm going to do something that's super easy and just set a key on the position of the pupil. That way when I hit U on my keyboard to bring up all of the keyframes on this layer, there's already a position keyframe on this property that animates the pupil, and that way I can just start animating that without having to toggle down through all of those layers to find it. But if I do animate this property, you can see that the highlight is not moving with it and we want the highlight to move with the pupil. I'm just going to undo those keyframes, and then what we need to do is go back into our eye group and go to the highlight, and then under highlight, within the highlight group, we want to grab the transform highlight and then position and pick whip this to the position that we've just keyframes on the pupil's position. That's going to center the highlight at the middle of the pupil because now the highlight and the pupil have the same position. A really easy fix for this is just to go to the anchor point of the highlight and just bump this up to offset the highlight again. Good. Now we can close up all of these layers, and now we've got our first eye done. Now the good news is that we don't actually have to repeat all of those steps to create a second eye. What we can do is just go back, let me just draw this eye again, and I'm going to go to Add and then Repeater. You want the repeater to be added underneath all of your other highlight, pupil, and white layers. Now there are three eyes, but if you toggle down next to repeater, you can change the number of copies to two. If you want to change how they're spaced, let's see our original avocado. The repeater eye is way over here and we need it to be a little bit to our left. What we need to do is just go into the Repeater, Transform Repeater, and under Position, it's currently set to 100. Let's just bring that down to move the eye into place. Now we can delete the left eye and we can delete the right eye, the illustrator layer, now we just have this one eye layer that's going to have both of those eyes. Let's just name this eyes, and I'm going to recolor it to match our color scheme, and now we have our eye all set up. We also have these keyframes for a blink. If you want to, you could copy and paste these keyframes across the timeline to make him continue to blink. I'm going to do it every two seconds. That's an average blinking speed. This is how I like to set up an eyelid. We have everything on one layer which makes it really easy and clean, and we have keyframes for blinking if we want the character to be blinking, or we can easily change these keyframes if we need to, and we have the position of the pupil right there ready to go if we want to animate that. The only downside of this method and using a repeater to create the second eye is that both eyes are going to be doing the same thing at all times. We couldn't have the character going cross-eyed or something like that, or winking, because both eyes are controlled by one set of keyframes. But I don't plan on doing anything like that, so this is going to work well for what I'm using it for. 15. Decide What to Animate: One of the challenges of 2D character animation is knowing what not to animate. In real life, things move in three dimensions, so it's important to take that into consideration when you're working with 2D characters. When deciding what to animate your character doing, try to think of things that naturally occur in just two-dimensions or can still look good in a 2D world. For example, jumping jacks are something that naturally occurs in mostly just two dimensions. The arms and legs move side to side in the x and y direction, but there's no forward and backward motion in the z direction. On the other hand, a drinking motion, although it might seem simple, can actually be tricky to animate. If the character is facing towards the viewer, their hand will come up towards the viewer in the z-direction, and in 2D character animation, we don't have a z-direction. It's not impossible to animate this in 2D, but you need to fake the 3D motion by foreshortening segments of the limbs. That's going to be an advanced topic that we'll save for later. Try to stick with easier movements for this class. For situations where you need to animate something that usually occurs in 3D space, try to be creative about the way that you animate it so that it still looks good. For the drinking motion example, maybe you could simply turn the character 90 degrees so that the motion of the arm moving up to the mouth is occurring in the x and y directions. I'm going with an exercise theme here. Another one of the actions I'm going to try out is squats. Even though technically the knees should move forward in the z-direction, since these characters are so stylized, I think it looks fine to have the knees bend out to the sides even though that's not technically accurate. As the artist, these are the types of calls that you get to make. Also keep in mind that the characters we're working with in this class don't have bendable spines, Their their range of motion is going to be limited. I'm going to do a whole another class on walk cycles so save that for later. Figuring out what motions are going to work well for 2D character animation is one of the reasons why we're going to be taking a reference video. You can either video yourself or a friend doing an action that you want to animate your character doing. An idea might work out well in your head, but when you go to do with action in real life, you might realize that it won't work out well in 2D animation. Try a few different movements in your reference videos to give you some options. We'll be using these reference videos in order to really understand how movement works, and in order to make the animation process easier and the final result more accurate. Your reference video doesn't need to be high-quality and it's okay if it's embarrassing, because no one else has to see it. If you'd like to include your reference video in your class projects, that would be fun, but it's not required. Just make sure that your camera is angled at the angle that you want to animate your character, so probably just straight on. You can use books or whatever you have around your house to prop up your phone or employ someone nearby to film for you. This type of the process should be quick, easy, and fun. 16. When to Use FK vs IK: Now that we've got our character rigged and are starting to animate, we need to decide when to animate an IK or FK. First let's click, ''Review. '' FK stands for forward kinematics, which you can remember because the rotation of the shoulder affects the orientation of the rest of the arm and so on down the chain, moving forward away from the body. IK stands for inverse kinematics. It means the position of the hand or foot determines the orientation of the rest of the limb in the inverse way. How do you decide when to use FK versus IK? First, think about what's driving the motion. If the hand is grabbing something, then it's the hand that's driving the motion. In this case, you'd want to use IK. If the hand is swinging while walking, the body is driving the motion. The swinging arm is just a reaction to the motion of walking. In this case, FK will be better. FK is good for swinging motions because you can set keyframes on both the upper and lower segment of the limb. Because these are key individually, you can offset the keyframes to show what's driving the motion. When animating using FK, the hand or foot is always going to move in a perfect arc. If that's desired, go with FK. If instead you want to move the hand in a custom path like a straight line, then choose IK. If you need to parent the hand or foot to another layer, you'll need to use IK. For example, in this biking animation, the hands are parented to the handlebars, and the feet are parented to the pedals. If you need more control over the exact orientation of the limb, then you'll probably need FK. For example, when animating an IK and moving the hand up towards the face, sometimes the elbow flips out in a weird way. Since there's no elbow control, the best solution is to animate in FK instead. There's no substitute for hands-on learning, so let's exercise the ideas outlined here by animating our characters. 17. Animate Squats - Part 1: Before we start animating this character, it's really important that we save a copy of the rig so that we can use the rig again for another animation. What I'm going to do is just go over to the project panel, and this is my rig right now, which is called avocado character. I'm just going to hit "Enter" to rename this avocado character rig so that I know this is the master com, this is my rig that I can reuse. Then I can just duplicate this rig whenever I want to make an animation and I'll rename the duplicate to be descriptive of the animation. I'll start out with the squats example. Then also make sure that you double-click into your new animation composition, and maybe even close out the rig so that you don't accidentally start animating in that one. We wanted just preserve the rig so that we can use it again for another animation and have a blank slate with no animation to start out with. Now I'm already to start animating, but I want to use my reference videos, so I'm going to go and grab those. I'm trusting that you can figure out how to get the video off of your phone or camera and onto your computer. Then from there, just make sure that you're staying organized by keeping your reference videos with everything else that you have for this project. Then you can just drag in that video into After Effects. If you want to be super organized, you could even keep this in a folder. But since I recorded everything all in one video clip, it doesn't really make that much difference. From here, I'm just going to drag in this file right on top of my avocado squats composition. This is going to be way too big, so I'm just going to scale it down. Now I'm just going to go through this clip and find one good example of a squat and just trim the video clip to that one good example. If you find this easier to do and in video editing app before you bring it into After Effects, that's totally fine too. Basically, I want to start with this position which is going to be the beginning of the squat. I'll just use the option and left bracket to trim my video clip to start here. Then I will go ahead and finally I get back into that same position. If you want to just preview frame by frame, if you have the page up and page down keys on your keyboard, and now I'll just move it one frame. I'm just looking for when I'm standing straight upright, my knees are done bending. Maybe about there. Then I'll just trim this by using Option and the right bracket key. Now this clip should just be one squat, one revolution. I'll just bring this to the beginning of my timeline. Then I'm going to move this over and mask it so that I can actually see my avocado character. To create a new mask, I'm just going to do Command, shift and n, and that's going to bring up this mask. You can see the yellow box along the sides, and I'll just double-click and then drag this in on both sides to just crop it to be just me in the frame. Then we can move this over and shrink it down some more, just so we can see what we're doing. Then let's trim our work area to be about the same length as this composition. I'll just put my play head here and then hit n for end, and that will just trim this work area to the same length as this video clip. I'm also going to just turn off the sound because we don't need to hear anything that was going on in the background of that video. Then I'm just going to run preview this to make sure that that clip looks good. I think that looks good. Now let's start moving the avocado the same way that I'm moving here. The first thing that I want to do is just move the ankles out. I'm just going to go find the position of the ankles. Let's just move these out, maybe like 50 pixels. Then it's nice that I've zeroed these out because now I can just do negative 50 on the other ankle and I know that these are perfectly symmetrical. You might have noticed that because we move the ankles out, now the controllers have turned red, and that means that we're stretching the limb. What we need to do is just go into the body and then move the position down, right until those controllers turn back into a teal color. Green means that they're not stretched at all, and teal is like getting close to being stretched, but more straight. We can even just like nudge the body up with the arrow keys. It looks like 11 is going to be perfect. I'll just set a position keyframe on the body to be at 11 in the y direction. I'm just going to focus on the legs first and then we'll do the arms after. Now let's move our play head forward on the timeline and watch this reference video to see what my legs are doing. Looks like I don't really even start moving until here. We'll just move this keyframe up there. At 10 frames, I start bending my knees. I keep bending them all the way. Maybe I start moving up after one second so the numbers worked out nicely there. I'm just going to set another keyframe for the position of the body, and then I'll just move that down so that the avocado is at his lowest point here. I don't really like how his knees are so bendy right here. I can just adjust how they look by going into the ankle. Then in the effects controls panel under shape, I can change the bone curvature to something a little bit smaller to make the knees look a little bit more bent and less neutrally. Maybe 25 will be a better number for this. If you plan on animating your character, doing a bunch different things and then putting all those animations together, you probably want to keep the bone curvature pretty consistent across all those animation just so that your character looks cohesive. But you can worry about that later and just play around and see what looks good and then make up your mind about that later because you can always change this property. Let's just make this a nice number on the body and may him down to 40. Then let's play this back again by just moving our play-head forward. It looks like I'm all the way back to standing at about one second and 20 frames. We want to make sure that our animation is looking perfectly. I'm just going to copy and paste this keyframe so that the avocado is standing backup just in the same position that he was at the beginning. Now if I play this back, you can see that we're somewhat synchronized between me and the little avocado character. But I move in a non-linear way, and he's just moving linearly. His movement is not as interesting or realistic. What we need to do is just add some easing to these keyframes. I'm just going to highlight them and do F9 for easy ease. You can also do right-click keyframe assistant easy ease. That'll be a start. Let's play this back now. That's looking a lot better. But I still think that I'm moving pretty fast right around here. Then he's not moving quite as fast there. It's more smooth. To make this look more realistic, let's highlight the keyframes and go into the graph editor. This right now is showing the value graph. I'm going to hit this second icon, that's choose graph type and options, and go to the speed graph. This graph is showing you that the speed starts at zero, gets faster right in the middle. This is the fastest point, the highest point of the graph, and then slows down again. The speed goes to zero because he's going to change directions. Then this piece speeds up again as he moves back up into a standing position. What we want to do is just adjust the graph to make the motion look more like this real life example. I'll just highlight the first point on this graph to get these little yellow handles, and then I'll just drag them. I want the speed to be a little bit more lopsided. The fastest point I think is around here. I just know that from looking at the video, that's why I took a reference. Maybe something like that. Maybe the same on this one. Let's put that back and see if that looks any better. I think this second motion when I'm coming back up, I think that's a little bit more dramatic. Let's take this one and just move that up a little bit. Because you're struggling to lift your own way back up, and then once you get to a point, it goes fast because you've overcome that gravity. Those are the things that I like to think about when I'm animating, is like what's actually happening in real life? You can think about, what's it like to do this exercise? Since you did the reference video, hopefully yourself, then you know that and you can use that information in your animation. Let's play this back. I think that's looking a lot better. Once we add in the arms and everything, that'll make him look even more alive. Let's stick with that for now. I know that it can be hard to see this animation clearly when it goes by so fast and you might just like watch and be like, I don't really know what's wrong with that, but it's not quite right. One trick that I have for you that I use all the time is to just go into the Preview Panel and change the frame rate from whatever your current frame rate is. I'm using 30 frames per second for this composition, and I'm going to change it to something less. Let's just do 15. One quick thing while we're thinking about frame rates, your reference video is probably not shot in 30 frames per second, it's probably like 29.97 or something like that. You might have artifacts if you put that video into a different frame rate composition. But for this, it doesn't really matter because we're just using it as reference and then we're going to delete it, so you don't really need to worry about that. Anyway, it's back to the little trick that I was telling you. If you set your preview to something less than your actual comps frame rate, it'll play back in slow motion. Let's just see what this looks like. See when you play it back in slow motion, it can be easier to tell where the motion is off between what you're animating and your reference video. Then when you're done checking out your animation in slow motion, just make sure that you set this back to auto or your frame rate so that you don't get confused later on. 18. Animate Squats - Part 2: Now let's move on to animating the arms. Let's just watch what my arms are doing in this reference video. It looks like I'm purposely reaching when I'm squatting and I was because I was trying to come up with something for the arms to do in this character animation. I don't know if I really do that in real life but anyhow, we are going to probably want to animate the arms using IK because they're reaching for the ceiling as I squat down. It's like the hands are driving the motion rather than the movement of the body affecting the arm like it's swinging or something like that. We'll just leave these in IK mode which is the default with Limber. We can just move these into position. It looks like at the very start of my timeline, the arms are in the lowest most bent position so that's where we'll set our first keyframe. I'm just going to bring the wrist up into that bent position but obviously the arm is bending in the wrong direction. I'm just going to go over into dynamics in the effects control panel with the wrist selected and I'll change the clockwise from 100 percent to negative 100 percent. Now the arm is bent in the right direction. This arm is looking really neutrally, like the bend is very smooth. I think I want it to have a little bit more of a defined bend, like I had to change for the legs. I'm just going to go under shape and bring the bone curvature down. Maybe something like 30. That looks pretty good. I think I like this position, maybe a little bit more down like this, more bent. I'm just going to round this out to be a nice number. Let's do negative 55 and negative 180. Now on my right wrist I can do the same exact thing. This one is going to be just 55 and then same Y position negative 180. But obviously that arm is in the wrong direction and so I'm going to go into dynamics. Bring that up to positive 100 percent in the clockwise direction. Then let's make the bend look match on both sides so I'll go into shape and then bone curvature is going to be set to 30. Now those arms are looking the same. Let's set keyframes for the position to be here at the start of our timeline. Then let's just go forward in time to see what my arms are doing in the reference video. It looks like my arms are in there are straightest, most reached up position, right at the same place where my body reaches its lowest position so right at one second. Let's just move these wrists controllers up to match. Maybe something like that. Again, I'll just make these nice numbers, 115 and negative 190. We'll do the same thing on the other wrist. That's going to be negative 115 and negative 190 and let's keep going. Looks like the arms are coming down and they reached their lowest back to normal place, right at one second and 20. I'm just going to copy and paste these keyframes to make that a perfect loop. If we play this back the arms on the character aren't looking so great because they're moving linearly. Let's add easing to these keyframes so ''F9'' for easy ease. Now it's fine tune the motion on the arms by looking at the reference video and seeing what it looks like. It looks like my arms slowly move up. Maybe they're pretty smooth on the way up and then on the way down, they may be fastest like right around here. Let's go into the graph editor. I'll just do one of the wrist at a time. Let's just select these points and drag the handles. Let's see what that looks like. I'm only going to be looking at this one right now because that's the only one I adjusted. Might be a little bit too much. I think that looks pretty good. I want the motion on both the wrist to match obviously. So I want to just copy the easing on these keyframes that I've custom made in the graph editor onto these keyframes. What you could do which is just select them both and then try to line them up. But if you want to be really precise and save a lot of time, there's a script for that and it's called EaseCopy. This is name your own price so you'll probably find that it's worth money but you could do $0 to try it out. You just need to select your keyframes and go to copy and then select ''The keyframes'' that you want to paste those easing values onto and hit ''Ease''. This script to mix it as easy as that and you can see in the graph editor, these now have the same exact graph, which is great. That's essentially what this little script does but it is covered in my class, top five plugins for efficiency and After Effects if you want to learn more. Let's just zoom out and see what we have so far. I think that's looking pretty good. This is a great first animation to do because you really don't have to do a lot of different keyframes in order to make this little character squat. It's really just the body and the wrist. You could take this to the next level by animating the eyes, maybe you want him to look like he's struggling probably on the way up. You can just take these keyframes on the eyes and move them over. Right in the center of this, is where he's going to have the eyes closed. You could just move the keyframes over to keep the eyes closed for longer. Something like that. You could also animate the mouth to make him look like he's struggling or breathing. If you go in to the path, you can just set a keyframe for the little smile that he has now. Then a couple of frames later, could go into the path. Make sure that you're selecting just the top layer path. That way you can grab the individual anchor points on here. I'm just going to drag this up. If you notice that when I'm like moving things, everything goes to these big blocky pixels which is really annoying to me. If you want to get rid of that, you can go to this little button right here. Right now I have adaptive resolution put on and I like to usually just have this at off or final quality. That way when you're moving things, it's not going to do that weird super pixelated stuff. Just adjust the anchor points and the handles until you get a shape that you like. Then maybe we'll just copy and paste these keyframes. Right-click on them and then go to key assistant'', ''Time-Reverse Keyframes'' to just flip the order of those. Now, we have him open his mouth, he's breathing and then he closes it back into the circle. Now he looks like he's exerting some more effort to do this exercise. You can even adjust these once you play it back if it doesn't look like it's long enough, add some easy ease, and we can probably hide or delete our reference video at this point. Then you can just adjust your keyframes until you're happy with it. Now that I know how long you want my animation to be, I can trim my timeline. I think I'm going to give the avocado a little bit more time in-between the squats so I'll just extend the work area until two seconds. Now I can right-click on the work area so this gray bar and go to ''Trim comp to work area''. That way my composition will just be two seconds. If I want to put this composition into another composition and then loop that over and over, it'll already be trimmed to the right length. I'll show you how to do that at the end. Let's look at our final animation for this little guy. 19. Animate Jumping Jacks - Part 1: I've got my composition all set up to animate jumping jacks. I've duplicated my rig, named it jumping jacks, and then brought in my reference video and trimmed it to just one example of a jumping jack. I've also created this guide layer for the floor or ground for our avocado to stand on. To make a guide layer, if you don't already see your rulers, then hit "Command R" and then just drag down from the top to bring down a guide. We want to position this right at the bottom of his feet so that we know where he's going to be landing when he's jumping back and forth. If you're not seeing your guides for some reason, then go up to "View" and make sure that "Show Guides" is checked. These guidelines will not be visible when you're RAM previewing your animation or when you render out the final version. If you want to see an actual floor, then use a shape layer or something like that. Throughout this video, I hope to not only show you how to animate jumping jacks, but I want to give you a systematic approach for how to break down a movement and animate it in a realistic way. If you have it already, download the guide in the projects and resources tab below this video, so you have these steps to look at while you're working. Well, the order to do these steps will differ depending on the animation, look for them as I show you how I animated the characters in the next few videos. Then use these steps as a guide when animating your own character. Our first exercise of squats was really just to get used to the rig and see how it works. This example and the next one are going to go much more in depth as to how to break down a movement and figure out how to animate it. Once you've animated something in a realistic way and you have a good foundation, you can add stylizations to make it more cartoony or whimsical or just to give the character more personality. But since this class is focused on the fundamentals, we'll mostly be saving that for later. This video may seem a bit more challenging, so just stick with me and know that with practice, you'll be able to confidently animate characters doing many different movements. Reference videos always help. They're not like training wheels on a bike, you can and should continue to use them. First, let's work on the body and legs. First, I need to decide if I'm going to animate the legs in IK or FK. Because the legs are jumping out and back together and they are driving this motion of a jumping jack, I'm going to animate the legs in IK. Let's actually start with the body though because the body is going to be going up and down and we can use that motion to block off our animation. Let's start by setting up the first position. Right here, you can see in my reference video that I am a little bit crouched down because I'm about to jump back up. Let's bring the body down a little bit. Maybe something like that and we'll set up position keyframe. Then the body is going to come up. Let's look for the highest point of my body in the reference video. It looks like about there. I'm just going to bring the body up at this point and then let's look for the lowest point in this position of the jumping jacks. It looks like about there, we can actually make that the same lowest point as this position. I'll just copy and paste that keyframe and then the highest point probably, about the same again, it's like about there. I can just copy and paste this keyframe and then lowest point should be the last frame, and then we can just drag this keyframe over because it can't actually reach the last frame. Now, the body is going to be moving up and down, but obviously, we've got some work to do. First, let's do the ankles. At this point, we could actually make the ankles a little bit closer together because then our straddle in this position will be a little bit more defined. Let's just go into the position for the ankles. But before animating the position on these ankles, I need to think about if I'm going to want to separate the dimensions out to the X and Y positions later on. Let's think about this. In my reference video, I land on my toes and I take off from my toes. You can see my whole foot is on the ground and then my heels are coming off the ground, and then my toes are coming off the ground, and then when I land, it's just the reverse. Toes hit first and then heels come down. I'm going to want to separate out the position into the X and Y dimensions. That way, I can animate the foot bending by just animating the Y position and having the X position not moving when the foot is bending. I'm just going to right-click on position and then separate dimensions for both ankles. Then let's move the ankles a little bit closer together by adjusting the exposition. Maybe like negative 20 and positive 20, something like that and let's set a keyframe. Now, let's look at where the ankles are in their widest position. It looks like the toes are about to touch there so let's put down an X position keyframe there and then we'll animate the Y position later. Maybe we'll do 40 and negative 40. The legs are stretched here but we're going to animate the Y position and that should fix that. The X position is not going to move for this whole time where the heels are touching the ground, and then right as the feet and the toes are lifted off the ground, starting about here, let's just set another keyframe for the X position to be at the same 40 or negative 40 position. That way, it hasn't moved in this time period, and then, let's see when it gets back, the toes touching maybe right about here. We'll put the X position back to the starting, X position. Then from here, the ankles will just sink down so that the heel touches the ground. So far our animation looks like this. Still looking pretty funny. Now, let's animate the Y position on the ankles. We want to start animating the Y position as soon as the heels lift off of the ground. That's going to be right away. We're going to set and Y position right here at the start of the timeline, and actually, the X position should be a little bit later on the timeline because right here, the heels are just lifting off and we want the X position to start when the toes lift off the ground, right about here. Let's just drag that X position over a little bit, and then let's look at the reference video to find the highest point of the Y position of the ankles. It's probably going to be the same position as the highest position of the body which is right here. Let's bring the Y position of the ankles up at this point, let's make them both the same, something like that and it will look better when we animate the toes pointed. We'll do that later and then after this, the Y position is going to start coming back down and it reaches its lowest point when the heels are on the ground. That's going to be probably right here same as the lowest point of the body. We'll just bring the Y position back to zero, and then let's keep going to set the next highest position on the Y value of the ankles. Also, again, probably the same as the highest point of the body. Let's bring this up. We did negative 17 last time so we can use the same value, and then the Y position should be all the way back down when the heels hit the ground which is going to be about here. We'll just set these back to zero. We can even drag these keyframes over one frame. To make this animation a little bit smoother, let's just add easy ease. I'm just going to select all these keyframes on the ankles, "F9" for easy ease and then, I need to add easy ease on the body as well. Let's see what this looks like so far. It's coming along, but the legs are still really stiff because the feet are not bending. Let's work on that next. Let's bring up the foot controllers. To find the foot controllers, you're going to click on the leg and then you should find them in effect controls and remember, you're only going to have these feet controllers if you use the lumber limb that was already set up from the lumber limb library. We can just set keyframes on the foot rotation for each of these, and then just hit "U" on the keyboard to see those keyframes, and then we want the feet to bend so that right here, the toes are touching. Let's just adjust the rotation and let me turn off the ankle controllers so we can see what we're doing. Maybe something like that. This is where it really helps to have that ground guide layer so we can see. Now, the toes are bending and then we need the toes to touch the ground here and then flatten out. We're going to set another angle position keyframe here, we can do both feet at the same time, and then here, the feet should be flat so let's set these to zero. The toes are a little bit going to the ground really subtle, but when we add easing, it'll fix that. Then from here, the foot is going to bend again as we take off into the air again, so at this point, the toe should be touching the ground so let's set these back. We used 46 before. Then here the toes touch the ground again. Let's set those keyframes for the same angle. Then the foot should flatten out as we go down into our final landing position. So these should be now at zero. Let's push these keyframes over to the very end of the timeline. While we're at it, let's just extend the timeline by one frame so that we don't have this problem over and over. We can just select everything and drag it over. Now, let's just add Easy Ease to the foot rotations and playback what we have so far. This is really just personal preference, but I'm going to change the bendiness of the legs. I'm going to click on the "Ankle" and then go into the shape and bring the Bone Curvature down, let's say like 25. That just gives it a little bit more of a defined knee. Let's do that on both sides. One other thing that I'm going to do is adjust the bendiness of the foot so that it'll cushion the landing and takeoff instead of having the feet be so stiff. To do that, I'm just going to go into the leg controllers, and you should have these Toe and Heel tangent angles that you can animate. Let's just close up the ankle so we can just focus on these angles on the feet. At this point, I want the Toe and Heel tangent angles when the foot is flat to be zero. I'll just set those keyframes on both ankles. Then let's hit "U" again on the keyboard to now see our new keyframes. I think on the take-off here, I want the feet to bend inwards. I'm just going to adjust the Toe and Heel tangent angles. Let's do 20 and how about negative 20? As THE character is taking off, his feet are bending. Then once he's in the air, let's just straighten out those angles. We'll just set them back to zero. Then as he lands, let's bend the feet again. Let's just do same values, 20 and negative 20. Then as he lands and his heels hit the ground, we want his feet to be flagging, so we'll just go back to zero. Then as he takes off again, we want his feet to bend again. So we could actually just copy and paste these keyframes instead of typing in the values. Then once he's in the air, these can go back to zero. We'll copy some keyframes that are at zero. Then again as he lands, we want the feet to bend. Then as his heels sink down his feet should be flat. These keyframes should be at zero again. Now let's add easing on all of those angles. I'll just select each angle, select all of those keyframes, and then do F9, for Easy Ease. Let's just slowly move through the timeline and make sure that his feet don't pass through the ground, and it looks like they are. What we can do to fix this is select all of these keyframes and go into the Graph Editor and then adjust the easing of these keyframes. It looks like his feet are rotating down a little bit too quickly because they're passing through the floor. If I just select this first keyframe and drag the handle over, you can see that that's already fixing the issue. It's slowing it down at the beginning, so it's foot doesn't pass through the ground. I need to even do that more because right here his foot's passing through the ground. Maybe I can take these ones and move it this way a little. We also don't want him to lift up too soon. This is just going to take some going back and forth and adjusting the graph. It doesn't have to be pixel perfect because no one's really going to be zooming in on this like we are. That's looking fine. Then this middle area is fine because he's off the ground. Then as he comes back down, his toe is going through the ground, so let's just adjust these ones. They're probably going to need to go in the opposite direction. Again, mirror image look of this graph. That's looking good. Then on the takeoff that should probably look similar to this graph because this was a takeoff section. Let's adjust here. His toe is still going through the ground. I'm going to check and make sure that my keyframes are all aligned. Maybe what I can do is actually just adjust the Y-position graph to make this happen a little bit quicker. If I drag this, this way, he's lifting his foot off the ground sooner. Let's try to do the same thing on the other ankle. Okay, let's play that through, make sure his foot doesn't go through the ground. Now he's levitating for a second. This is going to take a little bit more tweaking. Let's go into the foot controllers. Let's call that good enough, and that's going to be fine. Then we have one more landing right here, which we need to adjust. Now it looks pretty good, so let's play this back. I'm going to move this into slow motion. I think that looks pretty good. He's looking a little bit more bouncy, a little bit more natural. Let's zoom out and see the full version. Let's see the full thing in full speed. 20. Animate Jumping Jacks - Part 2: Now, let's animate our character's arms. If you think about doing jumping jacks in real life, you do have to purposely move your arms up and down, they wouldn't just swing that way naturally. That might lead you to think that we're going to animate this in IK. But actually, because the arms are making this nice arc and making the swinging motion, we're actually going to be better off animating in FK. In order to switch over into FK mode, we need to go into each wrist. Then in Effect Controls, under Forward Kinematics, bring the FK value up to 100 percent. That may have changed the orientation of the arm. To fix that, we can easily just go into the Limber panel and click on "Match FK to IK." That'll update the arm position, mine is underneath my reference video. Let's do the same thing on the other side. Forward Kinematics, bring that to 100, ''Match FK to IK''. Now, we can animate the upper and lower segments of the arm to animate those going up and down. I'm just setting keyframes on each of those, and that will entail you on the keyboard to bring up those keyframes on the timeline. At this position, my arms are all the way down by my sides. Let's just make these look a little bit more natural. I'm just going to round these out and make them nice numbers so I can repeat them on the other arm. Let's do 150 and 38. Then we can do negative 150 and negative 38. That looks pretty good. Then let's move over and let's see where the arms are at their highest point. It looks like right here my arms are at their highest point so let's adjust the character's arms. One nice thing about animating in FK is that it's making this perfect arc automatically, I don't have to do anything extra to get that. Right here, my character's arm looks like it's bending in the wrong direction. But actually, if I just adjust the lower rotation, I can put it into the right direction. I don't have to switch the direction that it's bending with the dynamics because everything is just controlled by these two angles. I can now set the same values on the other arm, it's going to be four and 17. Actually, now that I'm looking at this, my arms are pretty bent right here and his are pretty straight. I'm actually going to go in and change this a bit. Let's make that more bent. Maybe like that. That looks good. Then let's see where his arms are in their lowest position. Probably right there at the end of our timeline. We can just copy and paste these keyframes over to the end of the timeline. Because we used our reference video, we already made the arms lag behind because that's what's happening in real life in the reference video. Now, what we can do is just ease all of these. Then let's play this back and see how it looks. I think that looks pretty good. But we could offset the lower rotation to happen slightly after the upper rotation, like a chain reaction and I'll just make it look a little bit more natural. I'm just going to offset these lower rotation keyframes by two frames. Let's look at that. I think that looks even more fluid, which is nice. If you wanted to, you can animate the character's face. But with that, we are done with our jumping jacks example. 21. Animate Side Lunges - Part 1: Our next exercise is side lunges. I've already gone ahead and duplicated in my avocado character rig, named it side lunges, and then brought in my reference video and trimmed it to a clip that is a example of a side lunge. This exercise is going to be a little bit more tricky because the character center of gravity is moving side to side. Whereas for the squats the character is just moving up and down, we don't have to change the center of gravity, so it makes things a lot easier. On this one, the side lunges example, we're going to be moving the ankle on one leg and then we're going to be moving the body up and down, also rotating the body. Then we're going to be animating the arms reacting to that movement, because as you can see in the example, I just let my arms hang and just let them react to the motion of a body and gravity, and so we'll animate that on our character. The first thing that I want to do is animate the ankle, so I'm just going to be doing this right ankle. The first thing to figure out when animating a limb is whether to integrate in FK or IK. In this case of the right leg, it's reaching out and placing the foot down onto the floor in a defined place and then picking back up and moving back into position in a standing position. The leg is really driving the motion here, so I'm going to be animating in IK. Since lumber starts out an IK mode, I can just bring up the position property of this ankle. I think I want to break this property up into the x and y dimensions. Now, I can animate those separately. The reason why is because my leg swings out looking at my reference video, and then I place it down and my foot bends. Because my toes, if you look closely by toes can hit the ground first. My toe touches the ground and then my heel touches the ground a couple of frames later. In order to do that, I want to animate the y property separate from the x property because right here at the end, you can see that my foot is not really moving much side-to-side. After my toe hits the ground, it's not like sliding on the ground and just the y position of the ankle is coming down. Hopefully, if you have a different movement, you can think about it in that way and figure out if you want to separate out your position into different dimensions. To separate out the position into the x and y dimensions, all you have to do is right-click on it and then just go to a separate dimensions. If you ever change your mind about if you want the x and y position to be separated out, you can always just right-click and change it back to be combined. But just keep in mind that if you switch back and forth, it's going to either combine or separate out any key frames that you have set. Let's start from the beginning here. If you have this same problem like me and this button keeps getting turned on. This is just like a fast preview and it just shows everything really pixelated to free up your computer from hard work, so I don't like it when it does that. You can just click this button right here first preview, change that to off, and that'll sharpen everything up. If your computer is having a hard time like RAM previewing things, because it's getting bogged down by the complexities of your video and your character. Remember, you can always change the resolution down to like the quarter and it will be pixelated, but it'll go faster. The first thing we're going to do is set a position in the x-direction for at zero frames zero seconds, because my feet are together here and then let's watch the reference video. It looks like right away and picking up my foot and moving it over, and let's look at when my toe hits the ground. Right about at 24 frames, so I'm going to set an x position for this ankle to be out to the side right here at 24 frames. I know that I'm stretching the leg right now, but I'm going to be moving the body obviously, so we'll just let that be for now. I'm going to go up to negative 140, but we might have to go back and tweak that number. Now let's move the body. I'm going to set position keyframes on the body. Let's just watch my reference video one more time and see if we need to separate out the x and y position on the body. I think I'm going to want to separate out the dimensions on the body. Because if you watch this, my body is moving in the x-direction, and I'm not really moving that much down until about here. Then I move really quickly downwards. I might want to have different easing values on the x and y dimensions of the position in order to achieve that look, so I'm just going to separate these out. Right-click "Separate Dimensions." Let's just set x and y position keyframes. Let's see, my body really doesn't start moving right away because I lift up this leg and then the body is rotating. But like as far as, where my body is like my center of gravity, it hasn't moved all that much. I'm going to maybe move these keyframes over, so the body is lagging behind the foot, and then let's see you. When my body gets to its lowest position. I can sink down all the way till there, and it looks like right about at one second, 10 frames, I start moving back up. Let's set x and y position keyframes there, and then let's move the body over and into place. Again, I'm not worrying about what the arms are doing world do the arms later. Let's do the legs first. I want this leg to be pretty straight, so maybe like right it's stretched. Something like that. We'll go like right till the toe and then one more notch with my arrow keys, so it's just barely stretch. Also going to change how the bend looks here on this leg, and let's go in to the effects controls for the ankle and then bring the bone curvature down to like 25. That way the knees a little bit more defined, looks a little bit more like a squat. That's looking pretty good, and let's add the rotation of the body next. Because I know that rotating the character, since the hips are parented to the body, like that makes sense. When I rotate the character, it's going to mess up the legs a little bit, so let's just do that now so we can fix it from the start. I'll just go into the rotation and set a rotation keyframe and then hit "U" to see all my keyframes again. It looks like as soon as I pick up this foot, my body starts rotating to balance myself. I want the rotation keyframe to start at zero, and then it looks like I'm in my most rotated body position maybe like about here. Maybe somewhere around there. Let's bring up the rotation on the character. Maybe seven, and then let's see what it looks like as I move down into the lunge. I think right here, I'm not quite as rotated, so let's set this back to five, just a couple degrees less. Now that I've rotated the character, his knee is extending over his toe, which is bad for him, so we're going to help him by just moving the body back a little bit. Like 74 looks good. Let's bring him down just a little bit more. Something like that. That looks pretty good. Let's see what we have so far. He's just sliding his leg out there and coming down. Let's add a y position on the ankle so that he picks up his foot and doesn't just slide it, and also so that this leg doesn't get all stretched out. We're going to want the y position keyframe to be right on zero, because he's picking his foot up right away, and then it probably reaches its highest position, somewhere in the middle, so I'll just set it for right here. I'm probably going to exaggerate how much he picks his foot up because I really don't pick up my foot that much, but this is something that I think would look good to have our character do, is just lift his leg up a little bit more. We can give it a more stylized, more cartoony look. Let's watch the reference video and see when I put my foot down. Looks like my toe is actually hitting the ground about here, so I'm just going to set this x position keyframe a little bit sooner, and then the y position keyframe is going to be when my whole foot is on the ground. Right about there. Then we'll put the y position back to zero, right there. He's lifting up the leg and then putting it back down, and that last little bit looks a little bit odd right now, but we're going to bend his toe and make that look more normal. In order to bend the toes, if we go into the leg, in your Effect Controls panel, you will have these foot rotation properties if you use that limber leg from the Limber library, and so that's where we're going to utilize these foot rotations. Right here, when the exposition has stopped moving, we're going to want the toe to be angled down, so that the toe is touching first and then when it reaches this point where the whole foot is on the ground, then we want the toe to be flat again. Also when he's starting off the toe will be flat. Let's start there and set a rotation keyframe. Then now that we have that key frame, we can just hit U on the keyboard to see on the timeline. It's hard to see the toes with this controller, so I'm just going to temporarily turn off my ankle controller so we can see what we're doing. I want the toes to rotate downwards here while he's picking up his foot, because we're seeing a different angle of the real life example. But like we talked about earlier, I'm bending the character's knees outwards when a lot of times in this reference video they should be bending towards us, but that's a stylization that we're making here. Anyways, we want the toe to be bending downwards, and so probably at the highest point that would be a good place for it to be it's most downwards bending positions. So lets just make this like, 21 is good. Then as it reaches the x keyframe, that's going to be the ground, and we'll start bending that back. I'll set another keyframe for 21, and then when the y position reaches zero, the foot should be rotated to zero. Now it's a little bit hard to see that we're touching the ground because we don't have a ground layer here, so let's set that up right now. I'm just going to hit Command + R to bring up my rulers, and then just make sure we're doing this perfectly on the bottom of his feet. We'll just grab from the top ruler and bring down a guide so that it's right at the bottom of his feet. That way we know where the ground is. This is not going to be rendered out, so if you wanted to add an actual ground, you need to use a shape layer something, but this will just serve as a guide. If for some reason you are not seeing your guide, just make sure that you go into view, and have Show Guides checked. Now that we have that ground layer, let's just see what this foot animation looks like. That looks pretty good. He's reaching his toe out, his toe hits the ground first, which is accurate to real life, and then as his body comes down and his ankle bends, then the heel comes down and touches the ground. That looks pretty good. The next step that I'm going to do is to add easing to my keyframes so that I can adjust any of these values or move the keyframes around because I know that these should not be linear keyframe. Let's start working on that aspect of this animation before we keep going with the rest of the motion. I just selected all the keyframes, I'm just going to do F9 for easy ease. An easy ease is always just a start, we're not going to probably stick with easy ease for a lot of these, so let's just play back what that looks like. It looks like my reference video, my body is moving very slowly in the y-direction at first, and then all over a sudden I get to a point where my foot hits the ground and then I really sink down in the y direction. Let's make our character do that as well. I'm going to select the y position keyframes and go into my graph editor. This here is our value graph, and you could edit this with the value graph but for this particular motion, I think it's going to be easier to use the speed graph. I'm going to hit this button here and change it to the speed graph, and that way I can read this as the speed is zero at the first keyframe and the last keyframe, and it speeds up the tallest part of the graph is the fastest motion that's happening. Right now the character is doing an easy ease, which means that it moves the fastest right in the center. But I want the character to be moving the fastest from around 25 frames to one second. Let's just select one of these points on the graph and drag the handles so that our tallest point of the graph is right around that area. I think that actually looks pretty good. Let's play that back. Yeah, so you can already see a difference. He's moving sideways and then sinking down once the foot touches the ground. Now let's do the exposition. I'm just going to select that and that'll change the graph that's showing here. I want the exposition to be moving a little bit faster in the middle. Because if we watch the reference video right about here, I move really quickly, so let's just make this graph a little bit steeper. Let's see what that looks like. We can use my little trick of changing the frame rate to play this back in slow motion, that will make it easier for us to see and compare the two motions. I think that looks pretty good, but just a little disclaimer is that I've already animated this. So I'm not fumbling around and just taking forever to show you guys this. If I was doing this for the first time, there would be a lot more tweaking of the graph. If that's you, if you're in here, spending lots of time tweaking the graph, that's totally normal. Don't feel bad about that. The next thing that I want to do is tweak the easing on the ankle. I'm going to go down to my right ankle. Let's go to the X Position and go into the Graph Editor. Let's watch the reference video to see how we want this to move. I think it should just be a little bit more dramatic of a motion and move a little bit quicker in the center but also more towards the beginning. Right around here, that's probably the fastest motion. Let's just bring these handles together a little so that it's a little bit steeper of a graph. If you want to make sure that your graph is fitting into the view, you can use this button right here. Let's play that back. I'm noticing that this has made the leg stretch for an extended period from here all the way until it touches the ground. It's stretched quite a bit. Let's try to fix that. Maybe let's go into the Y Position. Let's just bump this up until we start to see the knee bend. Maybe like right there. Let's see what that looks like. I think that looks a little bit better. Let's just make sure the leg isn't stretched too much at all. It just stretches a little bit there at the end. I think that'll work. We can always go and tweak things forever but at some point, you got to just decide it's good enough and move on to the next step. Let's move on to animating the body coming back up after the side lunge. Let's just see where I start moving back up. It's going to be right after these keyframes, I start moving back up. Let's see where the body moves back into the final position, so somewhere around here. Let's call that the body's final position. I'm just going to copy and paste these keyframes from the start so that the body is now back in place. The rotation keyframe, I will also copy and paste. But I think I'm still rotating my body a little bit until about here. Let's just move that rotation keyframe over. That looks pretty good. Now, the foot. I'm not picking up my foot until quite a bit later. Maybe right around here I start to pick up my heel. As a little shortcut, I'm going to copy and paste these keyframes on both the ankle and on the Foot Rotation. Right-click on one of the keyframes, go to Keyframe Assistant, and then Time-Reverse Keyframes. That'll just flip them around. Now, I should have the same keyframes but in the opposite direction. It should have the ankle coming back into place. That might not be exactly right for coming back up because the motion of bringing the ankle into the side lunge might be different than coming back up, but this is at least a starting place. The first thing that I'm noticing here is that the X Position needs to start a little bit later because otherwise, he's going to be dragging his foot along the ground. We want him to just pick up his heel first with the toe on the ground and then pick up the whole foot. By moving the X Position keyframe over to the right, that'll accomplish that. He's lifting up his heel and then the whole foot, and then moves the leg back into place. Now let's go and adjust the easing on the keyframes on the body moving back into place after the side lunge because right now the body is not quite doing the same speed of motion as my reference video. Let's go into the Graph Editor of the X and Y Position. Then I'm just going to fit this to the screen. We can think about what shape we need our graph to be for this animation in the same way that we thought about for the squats video. You can think about what the action is like in real life. When I'm down in this lunge position, it's going to take a lot of effort at first to get back up. This part of the motion is going to be slow. Let's adjust the graph so that our avocado character is doing the same thing. I'm just going to click off my graph and then just make sure that I'm only selecting the X Position graph. Then I'm going to just make it so that the motion at the beginning is a little bit slower. This is the speed graph. By pulling this handle this way, I'm lowering the graph at this section, which makes this being slower. This is a faster speed and zero speed. Maybe something like that. Then for the Y Position from this point going forward, I'm mostly moving up that first. Even though it's slow and I'm exerting a bunch of effort in order to do that, the Y Position should be moving a little bit quicker at this point. I'm just going to click off. It might be hard to select the Y Position graph because it's underneath this one. I'll just click off and then click back onto the Y Position graph so I can just make sure that I can only grab this handle. Then I'm just going to pull these handles so that there's more of a Y speed at the beginning here. Let's play this back and see what it looks like. I think that looks pretty good. Keep in mind, I'm still in slow motion. If I show both my graphs again, they're like mirror image of each other, which makes sense for the motion of this side lunge going up and down. Let's just make sure that the leg is not getting stretched too much. It looks like this leg might be stretched a little bit much. We'll just go and tweak this graph and also the graph on the ankle to make that a little bit less stretched here. I'm also noticing that ta this point, my body is rotated and the character is a bit more upright. Let's add another rotation keyframe maybe right in the middle of this coming up animation. We'll just bring this to like, I think we used seven before. I think that looks pretty good. That made his leg even more stretch. Let's just make sure that these keyframes are in the right spots with the right easing. This is just going to take a little bit of tweaking. Let's see what this looks like now. I think that's looking pretty good, but I'm still in slow motion, so it's always a good idea to just check this in full speed. It can help to turn off the controllers on your hips and ankles just say you don't get distracted by those controllers turning colors. Now, let's watch this. I think that looks pretty good. But one thing that I'm noticing is that the foot when it comes back down, it just looks a little bit stiff because it's a weird angle for a foot to be at. Let's just go into the Foot Rotation and see if we can adjust the graph to make that look a little bit more natural. Maybe if the foot is still rotated earlier on, it's a little bit subtle, but it helps. It's always a good idea to make sure that you're looking at your character and scrutinizing if the position that they're in could happen in real life. We want to make sure that their center of gravity is in the right place and they wouldn't be falling over. For the side lunge, we have the character leaning the opposite way as he's going to go to keep him balanced here, which is accurate to my reference video. Then he steps out. Once his foot hits the ground, he can really sink down into that position because he has support over here. That's accurate to the reference video in real life. Then he comes back up. As he's coming back up, his body is rotating. He might be a little bit offset here. But we also have to keep in mind that his body proportions are not accurate to real life. But it doesn't look too unrealistic that he could be coming up like this because he is pushing off of this foot and propelling his body back over to our right. Then as he comes into place, his center of gravity is centering over his legs so that he's balanced again. That just like a little test that you can do to make sure that your character looks natural and you're not missing something and there's not something weird in your animation that needs to be fixed before you move on and add details. Let's watch what we have so far. 22. Animate Side Lunges - Part 2: Now let's animate our character's arms. If we watch the reference video, I just purposely let my arms hang and just swing in a reaction to the motion of my body. That's going to be a perfect opportunity to animate in FK. I'm just going to go into each wrist, click on the wrist controller, and then in the effect controls panel, under forward kinematics, I'm going to bring up the forward kinematics percentage all the way up to 100 percent. Let me just move the video over so you can see the arms. If that made your arm in a different position than you had it, like this nice neutral position, you can see mine slightly off, then what you need to do is just select the wrist, go over to your Limber panel and just hit "Match FK to IK". The IK position was in the nice neutral position that we want and the FK position is a little bit off. Let's just click this button and it'll update. Then we'll do the same thing on the right wrist. Turn up forward kinematics to 100 percent, Match FK to IK. Now we can start animating. Let's just hit the upper rotation and lower rotation on both wrists so that we have keyframes at the start of the timeline. Now we can hit "U" on the keyboard to see those keyframes. We're in a neutral position at zero frames, zero seconds. Now let's watch the reference video to see what we need to animate our arms doing. I'll replay this. The arms are just really sticking with the body, which is nice that we're in FK mode because the character's arms are automatically going to stick with the body. Then my left arm, especially is really lagging behind. Then even after I stop moving my body into the side lunge position, my arms still are a little bit moving, swinging, lagging behind a little, and then they come back up, lag behind, and then they swing back into place and they're the last thing to fall into that final standing position. They lag behind the whole time. Let's start here. Neutral looks good. Maybe about halfway through getting into the side lunge. Let's make the arms look like they're lagging behind. Basically I just want to make them look like they're hanging and not controlling themselves. They're just reacting to the body. I'll just adjust these rotations. Maybe make it a little bit more straight. Maybe something like that. Let's do the same on this arm. Something like that. I'm also noticing that these hands are like palms out because the thumbs are facing out. I'm just going to make the thumbs go inwards because I think that'll look a little bit more natural. In order to do that, I'm just going to go into each hand layer and go to the scale property and make sure that I'm unlocking the constrained proportions. Then in the extraction, I'm just going to flip this to negative 100. You can see that just flipped it so that the thumb is pointing inwards now. Let's do the same thing on the other hand. I think that looks a little bit better. Let's keep going. Once I get all the way into the side lunge, which I think was 110, we can bring up the bodies keyframes to help us know where we're at. This is where I'm all the way down in the side lunge, but my arms are going to keep moving a little bit. Maybe we make them five frames off. Let's just move these so that they're swinging. A little bit this way. Maybe something like that. Then when I come back up the arms lag behind and come back into place maybe right around the same time as the rotation of the body, or maybe a couple of frames after. Let's just copy and paste the starting keyframes here at the end, that way we know we're making a perfect looping animation. Let's just play that back and see what it looks like. Not terrible and it's very subtle, but it will help if we add easing to these keyframes. To select them all, easy ease. We can hide through the scale on the hands. Now let's put that back. I think that looks a little bit better. One thing that we can do to make the arms a little bit more fluid is have the upper rotation happen first and then the lower rotation, like a chain reaction. In order to do that, we can just select the lower rotation on both arms. If we click on the actual lower rotation right here, then we can select all the keyframes. Then we can drag a few frames forward in time. Maybe we'll do two. That way this will be a little bit offset. Now let's play that back. That looks pretty good. I think I could also add another swing right around here, where they could be swinging all the way to our right and then back into place. Let's just see what that looks like. Maybe this one needs to go a little bit more like this, straighten out a little. Some can come more in, straighten out. Then we can offset the two lower rotations. Let's take a look at that. I think that looks pretty good. Maybe right around here, the arm should be moving a little bit faster. Let's just go in into our graph editor. There's a lot going on here, but let's just try to select this area. I'm just clicking and dragging to select all of this, and then I'm going to drag all of these handles so that it's a little bit faster here. I think that looks a little bit better. What I did there is I just made the movement slower in this area and faster in this area because that's when most of the movement is happening. Because that's when I'm coming down and the arms are finishing their big swing into position. Then after that, we start coming back up and then they swing the other way. Once we've got our final animation and we can even hide the video, make this fit into screen to really see the whole thing. Let's also hide those controllers so we can really see the whole thing. If you go into your Limber panel, there's a special button for height and showing controllers. You can just click that to easily hide them and show them all at once. One last thing if you want to, is that you can animate the eyes or the mouth, making a reaction to the motion of what the character is doing. Maybe I'll just have his eyes moving, so the pupils will move. If I hit "U" on my keyboard, I set up that position property for the pupils. We'll have him start by looking forward. Maybe we don't need this blinker here. I'll just delete these keyframes, have another blink happening over here. Let's just position keyframe so that he's looking down to where he's going to put his foot. I'll just drag these values over a little. Maybe that's a little bit too much. It's a really subtle, so it helps to just nudge it with the keyboard arrows. I think that looks pretty good. After he gets into position, he can maybe look up again. We'll just copy and paste that first keyframe. One thing about eyes is that usually your eyes just dart around. They don't do slow movements like this would be. I'm just going to select all of these keyframes, right-click and go to Toggle Hold Keyframe. That way they'll just dart round. I think I like the timing of that blink too, but you can always drag these keyframes around, I think I like how that looks. With that, we're done with our side lunge animation. Congrats on getting this far because I know that was a long one and we really broke down a movement. Hopefully you can see how to systematically break down any movement, not just side lunges in order to animate it in a realistic way even if you are animating something like an avocado. 23. Loop Your Animation: If you want your character to keep doing the action that you animated, instead of copying and pasting the keyframes let me show you an easier way. This way you can also have multiple characters within the same composition if you want. I've already set up a composition with my three examples in it. But as you can see, they each do only one of the exercise and they're all different lengths of time. I'm going to make each composition loop. To loop a composition, you can just right-click on it, go up to Time, and then Enable Time Remapping. That will add this time remap property to your layer. If I just were to extend this layer, you can see that we're looking at the jumping jacks one. The character is not going to be doing anything past this last keyframe. We need to add an expression to the time remap here to make it keep repeating this area of time where the character is doing the jumping jack. To do that, I'm going to option click on the ''Stopwatch'' and then just use a really simple expression which is just Loop, then capital O and out, and After Effects will probably guess what you mean. You want to make sure that it looks like that. You don't need to put anything in the parenthesis because the option that we want is the default option so you can just leave that like that. Now, your animation should loop. We're just looking at this jumping jacks one. Let me just play that back. We'll do the same thing for all of the other ones. If your character has disappeared on your last keyframe, then what you should do to fix this is just go one frame forward and set a new keyframe, and you can delete that last keyframe. Then when you extend your layer and add the loop expression, it will still loop perfectly and your character won't disappear for a frame. Let's see the same thing to our last one. Now, all of our composition should be looping. If you want to learn more about looping animations that I have a whole class on that called, Looping Animated Scenes and After Effects. 24. What's Next: Congrats on completing this course. Character animation is a huge topic and we've covered a lot here, so getting through this is a big accomplishment. If you'd like to share your character animation, you can post it as a GIF using the image button or as a video by uploading it to a site like YouTube or Vimeo and then posting the URL here. If there's anything in particular that you want feedback on, then include a note in your project description to let me know. Then click on my name above this video to check out the other classes that I'm teaching. Make sure that you're following me here on Skillshare and on Instagram to be notified when I have a new class for you. Thanks so much for watching until next time. Happy animating.