Create a looping character animation in Adobe After Effects | Katie Murray | Skillshare

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Create a looping character animation in Adobe After Effects

teacher avatar Katie Murray, Illustrator and Graphic Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

8 Lessons (2h 4m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Preparing artwork for animation

    • 3. Rigging character

    • 4. Animating part 1: head, arm, and hair

    • 5. Animating part 2: coat, details, and effects

    • 6. Eye movement and blinking

    • 7. Finishing touches and rendering

    • 8. Final

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About This Class

In this class I will show you how to animate a character illustration in After Effects. We will go over how to make a looping animation that any beginner or intermediate student can accomplish.

Here's what will be covered:

  • Preparing an illustration to animate
    • We will go over different ways to separate sections of a character for animating
  • Rigging a character
    • Shows how to properly prepare each section of your character in after effects for animating
  • Animating
    • Here are the specific parts that we will animate:
      • Head
      • Hair
      • Arm
      • Coat
      • Eyes - blinking and moving
      • Accessories
  • Finishing touches
    • We will go over ways to finalize an animation
    • This includes how to render it out both in and out of After Effects

Who am I:

My name is Katie. I am an illustrator and graphic designer who loves to animate in after effects.

Social media:




Music Attribution:

Where The Waves Take Us |Sugar Coat | Alone Time | Shipwreck Cove | Crescent Moon | by Purrple Cat

On My Way | Still Awake |Morning Routine | by Ghostrifter Official

Music promoted by

Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

Wish You Were Here | Floating Castle | by Purrple Cat

Music promoted on

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Adobe After Effects and Adobe Photoshop are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe in the United States and/or other countries.

Meet Your Teacher

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Katie Murray

Illustrator and Graphic Designer


Hello, my name is Katie. I'm an illustrator, graphic designer, and recently a comic artist. My goal is to help make classes to expand your create side of life.

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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to my class about Animating a Character in After Effects. My name is Katie, I'm an Illustrator and Graphic Designer. Today, I'm going to talk about how I animated this pirate illustration. If you're new or just a beginner to After Effects, then no worries, you'll be able to easily follow along in this class. Now before we get started, let me tell you that there are many different ways to animate a character in After Effects. How I animate my character is going to be different than how another artist or animator deals with their characters. I would recommend not only following along and watching this class but also being on the lookout for other classes on different animators dealing with characters and After Effects. Also just to let you know, I have two parakeets in the background in my room. Please keep in mind that you're probably going to hear them chirping in the background. Now the audio will still be clear enough to hear. Just know that if you hear them sometimes they just like to join in on our conversation. With that, let's get started. [MUSIC] 2. Preparing artwork for animation: Before we get started, there are some key points to keep in mind. First of all, what parts of the person or object do we want animated? It's important to establish this early on in the process. I would write down what parts will be animated. For me, I have this pirate illustration, which we will work on for this class. The parts that I went to move on her are her hair, arm, hand, head, and maybe her coat and accessories like the feathers and chains. I also want her to blink and move her eyes around. Now that we've established that we can move on to the actual illustration. I will talk about two ways you can prepare a file for animating in After Effects. The first is if you already have a photo or illustration finished and then the second is if you haven't made the illustration yet, and I want to draw something new specifically for animating. I'm guessing many of you probably have a picture done that you want animated so I will go over that way first. For my picture, we will be working in Photoshop, but you are welcome to use whatever drawing program you want. Looking at the list of parts we want animated, we're going to want to separate them all into their own layers. Let's say I have this pirate illustration in all the layers are flattened together. What I want to do is take all the different parts on my list for animating and separate them on their own layer. I will separate the pirate from the background first and then color what's behind her. If you are working with a flattened image, this part of the process is going to take some time, but it's going to be very helpful in the end while animating so just be patient. It is also very important to name each layer accordingly. If you separate the hair, name the layer hair, if you separate the coat, name it coat. This will make animating in After Effects much easier later on. Make sure you name the layers. Here is a small clip of how I separated the hair. Because I wanted the clumps of her hair to move separately, I use the Lasso tool to section off parts of her hair into their own layers. After that, I drew over each section to clean it up. This will mean that the animated hair will look a bit different from the original photo but when it's moving, you won't be able to tell. Looking at my right, to animate file, I have gone through and separated every part I want animated. If you want to look through this file yourself, that will be included to download and view. Now, something to note on is after I separated the layers, I also drew what's behind each layer. If I get rid of the pirate, I had the whole background already cleaned up and finished. That way if I want to move a section around, the parts behind, it looks normal. If I were to transform and just move it around if I ever wanted to, I can. Also another thing to keep in mind is you want to draw parts apart where the illustration ends. For me originally, this illustration ended probably right around here. However, there's parts of the arm and coat that I want moving. What I did was extended the canvas, and then drew what's underneath it, which is right here. Now, that seems a little too much work for you. You could always just crop the image down lower when you're animating it. Keep in mind that whichever part is at the bottom probably is going to be hidden. Looking at the second way, which is to create a new drawing from scratch, we're going to follow a similar process to the first. Every part that we want animated we're going to draw on its own layer. The hair will be separate from the head and the head will be separate from the body and so on. For this illustration, I specifically wanted to animate it. While drawing I made sure to separate and flatten the layers as I drew. Just remember that when we go to animate, it's easier to merge the liner in colors together for each section. Now, I don't usually do this so when I finished the illustration, I ended up creating a copy of it specifically made for animating. That way I can retain the original file with the line art separate from the colors. But for animating, I'm going to merge the line art with the colors. This process of sectioning off each part while drawing takes more time than what I'm used to. If it's too much of a struggle, you can always illustrate how you normally would and then separate the layers like the first process. But at the end of the day, keep in mind that no matter which way you choose the end result is going to be the same. Basically having a file with every part you want animated on its own layer and accordingly named. One thing to keep in mind that when we import this Photoshop file to After Effects, is that all the folders that we use are going to turn to compositions. I'm going to explain this more when we get into After Effects, but just try to use less folders than normally would. The arm I have just merged it flatten on its own layer, the hand as well as you can see. Then parts that I went to stick more together like this front hair even though I have this folder here that shows them all together, if I open it up, each section is on its own layer. Then I use another folder for the face as well, just because for all the little details of the eyes onto their own layers and blinking, as well as the back hair. It's okay to use folders, but just keep in mind that folders will be converted to compositions. With that setup, we're ready to bring this file into After Effects. Now, if you don't have an image or photo that you want animated, you can always download this example file and animate it along with me in After Effects. Now, a question you may ask is if what if I'm not using Photoshop? What if I'm using a different drawing program? Can I still animate in After Effects? The answer is yes, you can. What you can do is if you're in a program, let's say like Clip Studio Paint, which is what I'm in right now, you could always go into File, Save As, and then click on Photoshop document and save it as a Photoshop document from there. Many drawing programs will allow you to save as a Photoshop file. But if for some reason your unable to export it as a Photoshop file or a PSD file, then what you can always do is export each layer as a PNG or JPEG and manually placed them all into After Effects. This way is a bit more time-consuming, but it's still manageable in you're still able to animate it in After Effects. If you ever need to edit that Photoshop file, Clip Studio Paint will allow you to just open up the PSD in here, or if you wanted to you go back and make your edits and then simply save it as a Photoshop file over again. That way whatever edits you make will be automatically updated in After Effects. 3. Rigging character: [MUSIC] Now it's time to open up After Effects. Now, I just opened it up and right now I'm on the screen right here. You can just click "New project" and then it will bring you to this page. Now if you're already at this page, you just want to go to "File", "New" and then click on "New project." What we're going to do here is just click on right here that says "New Composition". Now this window is popped up. We're going to go through the settings, but first I'm going to name this just pirate and then looking at the preset, I'm just leaving it as is the HDTV 1080,29.97, and I'm going to make sure that the width is 1920 pixels and the height is 1080 pixels just to make sure it keeps at the computer screen dimensions. Then I'm just going to leave it as is for square pixels. I'm going to leave it at 29.97 and then I'm going to leave the resolution at full. The start time code is zero, and then the duration I put it at 50 seconds. Now we don't need much time because we're trying to make a looping animation, so I'm just going to leave it at 50 seconds right here and then I'm going to keep the background color black and then I'm going to click "Okay". Now we're left with this black screen. In the composition that says, pirate. The composition is open right here, so what we're going to do now is get our file. Now, I have the file right here, so I'm just going to drag and drop the Photoshop file right into here. Right now this window popped up and it says, Import Kind and we have: Footage, Composition, and "Composition-Retain Layer Styles". I'm going to make sure that one is clicked. Then for layer options, I'm going to make sure editable layer styles is checked. Then we're going to click "Okay". Now we have our picture right here. As you can see, the composition name right here is whatever the file is, which is pirate animation. Now if I double-click on this, we're going to open up basically the Photoshop file and all its layers. If we look at our Photoshop file right here, I have just like a levels if I need and the pirate grouping and then just the background layers. Then if we go to After Effects, we can see the levels is still here and it's still working. We have the grouping of the pirate, which is now a composition layer and then we have our extra layers right here. Keep in mind that whatever you group in Photoshop, will turn into a composition in After Effects. When I double-click, "pirate", it basically opens up everything in that group. I have the hand, arm, chains, and all that. Then also you can see there's little compositions right here, which we're grouping. If I double-click those, you can basically see everything that's in that group. If I want to go back out to my "pirate", you can see we now have these different tabs here, so I can either switch between the two or I can just exit out right here. Then I have the pirate here and I can just go back to see the full illustration. Now if you also need to change anything in the Photoshop file, then we can just go into it, pull it up, and then I'm going to go to the layer. Then let's say for some reason I wanted this line here. I'm going to save and then just minimize it. Then if I just wait a second for the file to refresh, you can see that the line appeared on my hat. Now of course, if you didn't want that, we could always just go back into Photoshop file, undo save, minimize it, and then in a second it will go away. There we go. Now, because I want to add all the rigging stuff, I'm going to go to "pirate" and then we're going to start basically at the top. When you click on these different layers, you can see a box and then a little point in the middle. If you can't see this little box right here, then we're going to go to "View" and then make sure to show layer controls is checked on because if it's not done, you're not going to see it. Now, when we try to move things around, I'm going to click on the "hand" and then just press R, you see that this little rotation thing pops up. If I try to move it around, it doesn't move around. It's just centering right in the middle of that point. What we want to do is move the center point down to a pivot place. I'm going to go on this little tool right here, which is the pan behind or anchor point tool, or I can just press Y. I'm going to move this down right here because that's where I want the hand to move from. Then we're going to arm. I'm going to hold down space bar so I can just move this down. As you can see, it's in the middle as well. With the tool, I'm just going to move it down to the bottom as well. We're going to want to do this for every object that we have here. Let's see, Chain 4 is up here. I think it's okay where it is. Well, actually, let's just move it up a little bit. See, it's this one right here. I'm going to, I'm trying to move it up here just because I want these two top points to be where the anchor is. Chain 3, I'm just going to move it in-between the two top points. Then we have the feathers. Now the place that I want them to rotate from is this point right here. If I just press R, we can see that if I move it, it'll move right from the bottom. Then if you don't want to press R, you can also just click this little arrow right here and I'll put down all the transform options. Let's go Feather 2, move that down, Feather 3, move that down, and front hair. I'll move it up here, but we're probably not going to use it because if I go into it, this is where we're going to need the anchor points to be moved. Start from the top. I'm going to move them up here so that when I want to rotate them, it works. We're just going to continue to move them and if you have trouble figuring out which hair goes to where, then I can always just get rid of these. Put them there. [MUSIC] We'll bring all these back and then just exit out of this because we don't need to view it right now. [MUSIC] Let's see the hat, the hat is not really going to have any movement, but just to be safe, I will move it right there [MUSIC] and the face. The face is going to be an important part of this animation just because of lot of little assets are connected to it. So I'm going to make sure to bring it down right here where the neck is. I'm going to press R, and I'm going to move it around. Whoops. As you can see, anchor point moved all the way down here for some reason, I must have clicked something. So we're going to move it back to where it was and try that again, here we go. When I move this, you can see that nothing else is moving with it, we're going to fix that in a second. Right now we're just focusing on getting all the anchor points in the correct places, so for this chain, I'm just going to move it in-between the two. That's fine where it is. Coat, we're not going to have any rotation stuff, but I'll just move it in the middle. Body, we're not going to mess with, and layers 16 is just like this background color that I forgot to name. So we don't really need to mess with that as well. Now for the back hair, I'm going to double-click it to open up that composition and looking at the layers, I separated out all these little pieces on their own. [MUSIC] This is a little too complicated for you, I have the back hair flat right here. So if you just want to be simple, then we can just use the back hair flat, and then get rid of all of these and just move the anchor point to the top. But if you want to try your hand at the more complex hair animation, then we're going to click on each one and then move it to the top. Again, if it's hard to see which one's which, we can always just do it one at a time. [MUSIC] Again, if you see how I clicked on this, if it's highlighted like this, then you need to just click at to make the anchor point appear. [MUSIC] Now luckily, if you make the animation and you don't like where the anchor point is at, we can always change it later. [MUSIC] Here we go, I'm going to make sure all these layers are back, and I'm just going to exit out of this. The last thing we need to do is the sword. Right now it's in the middle, so we're just going to put it right here because that's where I want its rotation to be. Now of course, if we try to rotate it up we move the point again, I'm just going to press control Z, fix that right there. Now it moves here and it's separate from the hand, which is not something we want. We want the sword and the hand and arm to move all the same. The way to fix that is by using this parent and link section. We will start at the top because we want to make sure that the sword moves with a hand and the hand moves with the arm. Starting at the sword, which is at the bottom, I'm going to use little pick whip. [LAUGHTER] This little spiral thing right here I'm going to click and hold and then this blue line is going to appear. I'm going to go up, try to get it to move up and then click on hand right here, and I let go and now if I look at the sword layer right here under the parent and link, it has hand. If I click on hand and then click add a rotate, the hand and the sword move at the same time. Now let's make sure that the hand is connected to the arm. I'm going to go in, use this little pick whip and then bring it over the arm. Now again, if you have too many layers and it's hard to see them all, then we could also just go into this drop-down menu and click on which layer you need, so it's very important to have all your layers named. We just connected the sword to the hands to the arm. So when we move the arm and rotate it, it almost together. Again, we're going to go through all of our layers and make sure everything is parented to the right place. We'll just start at the top of the hand, the arm we did, the hand we didn't, the chain which is going to be connected to the hat so I'm just going to use this little pick whip bring it to the hat. Chain three, bring it to the hat, feather bring it to the hat. If I click them both at the same time and use the pick whip, they both will go to the hat. So if we have a lot of layers going to the same place, you can just select them. The front hair is going to be connected to the face and then the hat right here is also going to be connected to the face. Let's see these two chains, I'm going to click and bring them to the coat. Coat will be connected to the body and then we can skip these layers because we don't need to deal with those. The back hair is going to be connected to the face and we already did the sword. If everything moves correctly, if I click on the face and click arm and then move the slider, everything moves with it which is what we need. If I do the hat, it's all going to move too. We're not going to rotate the hat, which is why it looks weird, but I'm just making sure everything is parented to the correct place. If it's not, we can always go back in and then re-parent it, or go into this drop-down menu and find the correct window parent and if you found that you parented something that you didn't want to mess with, we can always go into here and then just click none. Before I forget, we're going to make sure to save this. You can just go to file, save and then save it wherever you need to. I shall just make a new folder and then just save it as pirate if I can spell pirate, [NOISE] then click save. You're going to want to make sure to save often, I've had problems in the past where this program would end up crashing if I do too many things at once. Again, make sure to save often and if you lose anything, yes it's going to be hard, but when you do it again the second time, it will be quicker, I promise you. [MUSIC] If you have any problems parenting and linking layers, you could also go to the files that will be included in this class and I've included a pirate rigged after effects right here which has a whole file already all rigged up and ready to animate but I suggest you do all this stuff for yourself just to figure out the process and learn it by hand. [MUSIC] Again, I'm going to save and then, now we're ready to finally animate it. 4. Animating part 1: head, arm, and hair: Now it's time to start animating. Before we get into it, keep in mind that if you want to have a specific look or feel while animating, it helps to actually do the animation or poses you have in mind physically. Like I said earlier, I pictured her hair moving, her head bobbing up and down, and her sword in hand moving back and forth and maybe a little wind on the coat. I try doing that pose myself to see how good I can get it and paying attention to how my wrist would move or how my head would move. Doing this will allow you to get a good idea on what parts will be specifically moving in what direction. I would recommend doing this yourself, maybe stand up, get a little prop, and then try to do a little movement or pose that you would imagine this pirate to do. Or if you're doing your own animation, try to put yourself in the same position and move around and even record yourself to see how it looks. I find that doing this will allow your animation to look more lifelike and real because you've got to understand how you're moving yourself. After doing this a little myself, I found I wanted to move the head like I said and the arm. The best way to start animating it, is to go for the bigger movements first and then work your way down to the smaller ones. I consider the biggest parts would be her head moving back and forth and her arm moving back and forth. We're just going to start with the head. Now we're going to go into the face and then I'm going to click R. If you don't want to do that, you could also just click this drop-down menu right here. Go to transform and then just click R for rotate. But I just like licking R just so it keeps everything a lot simpler. I'm going to zoom in. The way I zoom into this, is I hold down my Alt or if you're on Mac, it'd be Option and then just scroll on my mouse to zoom into my timeline. Because if you just scroll on its own, you go up and down. I'm going to hold down Alt or Option, scroll in just so I can have a better close-up on this timeline. Now you could also do it right here. You see this little far off mountain and a bigger mountain, so you can zoom in that way as well. Now that I'm close up, I can see the seconds, I can go a little forward and then click this little stopwatch icon right here to make our first keyframe. Then I'm going to go a little forward, let's say about three second and then click this little button right here, this little diamond. Because if I click this again, then I will lose my previous keyframes. I recommend from now on clicking this little diamond icon. Now what we did was just make two key frames at the exact same position. This is important when learning how to create looping animations. I'm going to go to, let's say a little past the first second and I'm going to use this little slider to see how I want to move the head. I think I want her head to be a little up, so I'm going to go to, let's say about six and then we'll see the animation. Pretty simple, pretty basic. Now the way I played this was I went to the beginning and I just press the space bar. Now if you don't want to do that, you can also go to Window and then go down to Preview. Then if it appears anywhere else, let's say your preview is here, then you would just hold, drag it down and I'm going to drag it into this section. Then if this happens, don't worry, just look into these tabs right here. I can just press play here and there animation will start moving. Now as you can see, it's very basic. I think before I get into it, I want her head to start a little bit lower, so I'm just going to click on this and just type in negative 1. Now keep in mind that since I edited the first keyframe, I need to make sure it's exactly the same as this last one. To do that, I can either edit it right here or I can just click this, delete it if I want. While the current time indicator is right here, I'm going to click on this frame, press Control C or I guess Command C if you're on a Mac. Copy and then paste it right here. Making sure that the beginning and end keyframe are the exact same. Now as you can see, the movement is pretty stiff and robotic, so we're going to highlight all these frames. We're going to right-click keyframe assistant and then easy, ease or you can just press F9. This will allow the keyframes to smoothly transition and make it less robotic feeling. Now, as you can see after the first keyframe, second and third has happened, it stops moving and then will not move again. To make this repeat, what we're going to do is we're going to go over to this little stopwatch. Before we click on it, I'm going to hold down Alt or hold Option down if you're on Mac and then click the stopwatch again. Now this little expression window comes up and everything goes black, which is okay. I'm going to type in loop and then I could just scroll down to loop out. Without typing anything in, I'm going to leave it as is and then just click off of it. Now what we just did was make an expression, which is a very powerful tool of After Effects. Basically, it's this little piece of code which tells the program to either loop an animation or do some expression. Without having to copy and paste these frames over and over again, this little expression code right here loop out, allows us to play it. Then once it's past the last keyframe, it will continue to loop the same animation over and over again. Now, there are plenty of other expressions out there, but for this project we're just going to focus on this loop out expression. I would highly recommend if you wanted to look more into this to do some more research on expressions and After Effects because it's a very powerful tool. Now that our head is moving, we can also see that if we parented everything right, everything else will move along with it. Now, I know this looks a little silly right now, she's a basic head movement, but I have an idea in mind, so I'm going to keep it as is. It's okay to start out a little rough and then tweak it as you go. The next part we're going to work with is the arm. We're just going to go over to the hand or actually the arm right here and we're going to do the same thing. While the layer is selected, press R and then have the rotation menu right here. Now because I want to try a looping animation for everything, it's important that all these keyframes loop at the same time. I'm going to go also and open up the rotation here. Where this keyframe starts, I'm going to make sure that the on keyframe starts. I'm just going to click the stopwatch , I'm going to go over here. To make sure I'm exactly over this bottom keyframe, I'm going to hold down Shift, which will click the time indicator and stick it right to the keyframe. While holding down Shift, I'm going to do that and I'm going to click the diamonds to make another keyframe. When the head moves up, I'm also going to move the arm up because I want them to move in the same direction. Maybe right here. Yes, I think that's good. Now I don't want them to move exactly the same time, so I'm going to make sure that these are a bit offset. Now as you can see right here, the little image right here is going above where we drew it. What I plan to do is going back into the parent animation. Later on, we're going to basically just move this whole part down, so you won't see the sloppy parts. But we can do that later. For now, I just want to focus on the actual animating part. With these frames here, I'm going to select them all. I'm going to press F9 or you can just right-click keyframe assistant, easy, ease. Then I'm going to go to the layer, hold down Alt or Option, right here on the stopwatch type in loop. We're going to go to loop out again, click off. Now these keyframes will also look with the head. Now, right now if you notice my animation's a little laggy. This green line indicates part that is already rendered out and you can easily preview it. If it's no color at all or if it's red or yellow, then it needs time to preview. You can either let it play through once to let everything load and then go back and then play it smoothly when it's all green. Right now because these keyframes are ending and starting at the same position, they will continue to move in the exact same way for the rest of the time. Keep in mind that the head moves up, the arm moves up. Now if I were to, let's say move the end keyframe earlier, well, let's not do that much, let's just do it a little bit. Then over time, the movements will start to unsync because the keyframe's ending at different places, so they're looping at different times. When the head is going up, now this part is going back and it's starting to look sloppy or strange. Keep in mind to always, if you're making a looping animation, to keep these frames in the same position. Again, if you want to make sure that they're completely overlapping, I'm going to hold onto this, hold Shift, make sure it locks onto this keyframe and then while dragging this keyframe around, I'm going to hold Shift again to make sure it sticks to this part. Now we're going to start working on the wrist as well. Going to start here at the same keyframe as the others. Press R, click the stopwatch over here, hold down Shift so it locks onto this keyframe, press this diamond. Now I'm going to see and play around to see what movements will work. Now I don't want these to be exactly the same. Because if you've learned anything about animation principles, there's an animation principle I believe it's called following through. Basically when one movement happens, another part is dragging behind. When animating, it helps to offset certain parts of animation to make it look a little bit more realistic. Again, I'm just going to highlight these, press F9, hold down Alt Option, type in loop out, click Off, and then we'll preview again. [MUSIC] Now it's pretty simple, but so far so good. Right now is a good time to start tweaking frames, let's say if you don't want this movement, you can always select the key-frame, and then edit it or change it how you want. Keep in mind that if you move it too much, you'll start to see under the layer, so be sure not to move it to dramatically, at least with this illustration right here, because there's certain parts that will look broken if you exaggerate it too much. Now I'm going to start tweaking this hand movement just a little bit. Again, l think I want the hand to have a different starting position. Let's look around, plus four seems like a good option, since I'm changing it, I got to make sure that the N key frame right here is also going to be plus four. Then let's experiment with this key frame, right now I'm just messing with the key-frames to see what will look good. Let's see if this one will look good, so basically the head is going out and then the arm is going out. I think I like that so I may keep it. Now we can move around these middle frames however much we want, we just need to make sure that the starting and the ending key-frames are in the same place. I'll move these key-frames a little closer to how the head moves. Now it's taking me time to load, but that's okay, I'm just going to let it go through until it's all green and then we'll preview it again. I think I will move the starting head movement a little bit forward, we'll say about here, and then move these key-frames a little over as well. I find it's important to just experiment and then keep moving key-frames until you can find something that you like, I think that's good, so let's move on. All right, so now we're going to move onto animating the hair. I'm just going to close these real quick and then I'm going to double-click on the back hair grouping. Now as you can see, only the hair is showing up, zoom out of it. To begin, we're going to start animating each strand at a time, so I'm just going to go to this left back here five and I'm going to press R. We need to make sure that where we put our starting frame and our ending frame is in the same place as everything else. If I just go to pirate we'll do face as our main reference point, just press R, and I'm going to put the current time indicator right here on top of this key-frame. Then when I flip back to back hair, the indicator will remain in the same place, so I'm going to click the stopwatch, go back to the pirate folder and move it forward, hold shift so it clicks onto this key-frame, go back to my back hair, and it's in the correct position so I'm going to click the little diamond right here to make a new key-frame. Now that it's zeroed out, I'm going to mess around with where I want it to move, maybe just plus 10 would be good. Because looking at how the head is moving it's going back first, and then we want the hair to start lagging behind it. As the head is moving up, we want the hair to start moving towards the left of the screen. Again, it's a good idea to act it out or even record yourself doing a similar movement, that way you can see which way the hair is moving and which parts should move in what direction. The hair is going back, and then back in its regular position. Now it's not repeating, so what I'm going to do real quick, first of all, highlight them all, press F9 for Easy Ease, or again, Right-click Key-frame Assistant and then Easy Ease right here. Then I'm basically going to copy these movements and paste them on the next hair. Now I got to make sure that before I paste it, it needs to be lined up at the correct key frame place, so I'm letting it a break here in the first one, pressing Control V or Command V. Now as you can see, it's under the transform movements under rotation because we've copied the rotation key-frames, and then I'm going to do the same to the rest of the key-frames. If I highlight all of them, I can press R so the rotation will come up and then I press control V, now all pace as well. If we look at it, all the hair is moving in the same direction. I missed one at the bottom, so let me get that one real quick, I press R, line up the key-frame and then press paste, so if we look at the example, now the hair is on moving together. Of course, since we have all these individual hair strands, they don't all have to move at the same place, so I'm just going to mess around with these middle key frames, maybe we'll just move one forward, move this one back. Basically, I'm just trying to offset the movement a little bit to make it look more natural. Of course, we're going to want to add in the expression of the loop out so I'm going to click on the first one, hold Alt or Option, hit the stopwatch and then type in, loop out, or you can just double-click right here, click off, and we're going to do the same to the rest of the layers. I always love looking at animations when there's so many different hair movements, but keep in mind that it does take a while to actually animate. If we're just going to view our animation real quick, the hair looks like it is flowing gently through the wind. Now we are going to add more animation to this, but for now we're going to move on to different parts of the hair, specifically the front hair. We're generally going to do the same thing we did last time. First landing up this time indicator to the first key-frame, going to the front hair, or we'll select them all, press R so all the rotation comes up, then I click the stopwatch, go back to the pirate, move it forward and holding down Shift so it sticks to this key-frame, going back to the front hair and making another key-frame. I will stick to the same movement, probably just making go forward, maybe about 10 as well, and then we'll just copy and paste these frames to the other layers. As you can see, I did not line it up correctly, so they pasted right where the indicator line is, so keep that in mind. I'm just going to move and hold shift, now press Control V or Command V and then we're just going to move these key-frames around again, bring this one here, I like to make them random just so it mimics real life and how hair moves. Asking you to remember to save, sometimes I get in the habit of not saving and I end up losing parts, so keep in mind to always save like I said. Now they look stiff so I'm just going to select them all, press F9 to Easy Ease. Looks good to me, we can just preview it on our main pirate. Yes, that looks good to me so let's add our expressions, loop out, double-click, click off, hold Alt, loop out, double-click, click off. Pretty Easy to do, but also pretty repetitive. [MUSIC] Looking at it the hair looks pretty good, but this long braid part looks pretty stiff. What we're going to do now is play around with the puppet tool. Now many people just use the puppet tool solely for animating hair, but I like to do a combination of the rotation movement along with the puppet tool. I'm just going to make sure that the blue line indicator is meshed up to the first frame, and we're going to go down and select the braid layer. We can close or we can collapse these layers because we don't need them at the moment. I'm going to go to the braid layer. Up here in the corner you see this little pin right here, so I'm going to click it and we're going to make some pins. I'm just going to make three of them. One at the top, we'll say one around the middle, and then one at the bottom. When I try to move them around it basically moves the hair according to where the pin tools are placed, so we can move them around here, we can stretch them. Basically make an organic movement. Since we made the pins right along where our first key frame was we're going to go down, and right now already the Effects and Puppet tool is right here and we see Mesh 1. We're going to open up this little tab and then go down. There's the Deform we're going to open up, and now we see Puppet Pin 3, 2, and 1. We're also going to open those up as well. If I move the indicator, you can see we have new key frames right here. To make sure I make a looping animation, I'm going to line up with our rotation key frame and we can just select these all. Press "Control C" for copy and "Control V" for paste. The starting points line up with the starting points of our rotation key frames. Basically we're just going to hand-animate specific parts of the pins, so I'm just going to go a little forward. Let me just zoom in a little bit, I'm going to hold "Alt" or "Option" and then scroll my mouse to zoom in. As the hair is going up I think the bottom part right here will start to lag behind, so I'm just going to move it back a little bit. As I move it back basically what the program will do is create all the key frames needed in between, so we'll go from the starting key frame and then slowly move it until it reaches our new position. I'll make it more exaggerated so you can see what I mean. If I just move it all the way back here if I wanted to, it will move the key frame to the new position. We don't want to do too much of a dramatic movement because as you can see, the picture is starting to get stretched and looks very fake. I find more subtle movements works best, so probably right here I'm going to start moving it back this way. Keep it moving that way until it gets back to the starting position. Let's just see how that looks. It snaps back a little too much, so I'm just going to try and move this frame over. Basically I'm just messing around with it until I find something that I like. The puppet tool takes time to master, but if you keep working at it then you can create something that you like. Of course it still seems a little too snappy. I'm going to remember to highlight them all and just press "F9" just because I like to ease all my frames. It's okay but I think we can tweak it a bit more. Let me try moving these out and spread them out. Let's also add some movement right here, so I'm going probably in between these two frames and then just select this frame, and make sure to save. You can always add in more puppet pins in between if you want to do even more precise movements, but for the sake of this hair three is all we need. If you're not satisfied with the animation of the hair, I would just recommend highlighting all the in-between key frames and just deleting them and try starting over, because I feel if you try tweaking something that you don't like you'll just end up polishing something that doesn't look good in the end. It would help just to start over. I'm going to try selecting all these and moving them around just because I think it flips a little too much at the end. Also, when animating with the puppet tool, keep in mind not to overstretch the pins. I'm trying to create a small arc of movement here to here basically because if I move it too up or too low it'll stretch the image, so I want to keep it around this length of the hair. We could also use expressions on these puppet tools. We'll just go in, Alt or Option click the stopwatch, and then we're just going to click "loopOut" as always. We're going to do it to these other pins too. This one doesn't have any movement, but just to be safe I will do the loopOut expression as well. When we view it, it will continue to loop. Let's see how it looks on the pirate overall. I think the hair is moving a little too close to the mouth, so I'm going to go into the front hair again and probably move the starting positions of the rotation frames. I'm just going to collapse a break for a second, press "R", and then while this key frame is selected or while this; the marker is over it, I'm going to change it probably; let's say here. That's minus 6, its going to copy the key frame, move this over here, highlight it and just paste the new one on. Let's see if that looks any better. Still a little close, so let's also move this middle frame back a bit more. See if that helps. I think that's good. If you wanted to you could also use the puppet pin tool to animate all the back hair as well, but for the sake of simplicity I'm just going to keep it as is. I'm going to use some other effects to help make the hair look a bit more bouncy later. If you've collapsed your layers, I want to get back into your puppet pin tools. We're going to go back into the Braid and open it with this little arrow. Go to Effects, Puppet, go down. As you can see these pins are showing up right here, but we can't click them or edit them. To even open them more, we're going to go down to Mesh 1, Deform, Puppet Pin 3, 2, and 1, and then we'll be able to move around our key frames. To see them we're just going to click on one of them, and then they'll show up. If you go up into the toolbar and then click and hold down, you'll get some more options of different tools you can use for the puppet pin. For this project I'm just going to focus on the Puppet Position Pin Tool because it's more of a beginner and I think that's easiest one to use, but I will just quickly tell you what the other ones do. Say you wanted this part right here to not move at all and retain its original shape, I would click and hold down and then go into the Puppet Starch Pin Tool. Basically what the Puppet Starch Pin Tool does is help the object retained its original shape. If I try bending this part right here and bend it all the way up, you can see that the hair is pinched together. If I add the pin right here which will be red, and if I move it up it helps retain its original shape. If we go back into the drop-down menu and do the Puppet Bend Pin Tool, if we put a new point right here, if I were to click and drag on the circle it would basically deform it and bend it, but if I were to click on this square and hold down it'll start to bulge or pucker it. The next tool would be the Puppet Advanced Pin Tool which basically is a combination of the ones that we've already looked at, so if I were to click it I can move it around like a regular one, or I could rotate it, or bend It. It has more advanced features, so if you want to mess around with it you're welcome to. The last tool we have is the Puppet Overlap Pin Tool which basically means if you have multiple parts that will overlap on the pin tool, it will decide which one will be on top of the other. Let's say I wanted this bottom part to overlap on top of the top part, I'm just going to make some random points. Go over. If I went to move this all the way up, you can see that this bottom part of the hair is overlapping in front of this part. Again, these tools are something to experiment with whenever you're messing with the pin tool, but I would recommend if you want something a bit more simpler just stick with the Puppet Position Pin Tool and maybe the Puppet Starch Pin Tool because those two are the ones that I use the most. Now that we got that handled with, we're going to move onto the next section which is the coat. 5. Animating part 2: coat, details, and effects: Now for the coat, we're also going to utilize the puppet pin tool, so I'm just going to go over to the coat, and then we're going to start making some pins. We'll just start from the top. Maybe one right here, one here, we'll say here and here. As you can see, this part is being highlighted yellow is basically saying that this section is separate from this one, even though they're on the same layer. I'm just going to make a pin here, here, and maybe just down here because what I want to focus on moving is these sections right here. So let me just add some here, here, and then here. Basically, the way I just delete those was I just press Control Z for undo, or Command Z. When we play this animation, she goes up and then down. While she's going up, I want her coat to puff up as well but before I start doing all the animating, I'm going to go down and go to mesh 2 and mesh 1. Now because these two are separate pieces, mesh 1 should be this section right here on the right, and then mesh 2 will be this section right here on the left. I'm just going to open them all up, go to deform, puppet 4, 3, 2, 1, scroll down some more, deform 4, 3, 2, 1, and to clean things up, I'm just going to click on the coat and then just press U and collapse all the other stuff because all we need are the pin tools. Again, I'm just going to open my face press R to make sure the keyframes are lined up correctly. Then let's select these keyframes and move them to the beginning. I'm going to press Control or Command C to copy, scroll over Control or Command V to paste. When the head is moving up, I'm going to click off to make sure they're not all highlighted. Then if I want to show them again, I'll just click on one of these keyframes. I think I want these parts to move up as well. Not too much movement, but just a little bit. Now, you can see right here we're getting laggy, just to make it easier to view, I'm going to go right here and then drop-down and just click half. Right now is rendering the full version of it in a high-quality. We're just going to make the quality half to make it easier to preview. Depending on your computer, you may even want to put it to a third or a quarter, but I like half. Again, I'm just going to select them all and easy ease F9. Again, I'm just going to add the loop-out expression because none of these parts have any movement, I'm just going to go into the area that has movement, which is puppet pin 3. I'm going to hold down Alt or Option if you're on Mac, type in the loop out, double-click, click off. I'm going to scroll down and make sure that this is done as well for the other part of the coat. Frame assistant, we're going to easy ease it first. I'm going to go into puppet pin 3, spell it right, loop out, double click, click off. Now, these keyframes will loop. Before we move on I think I want to make the movements of the coat a little less obvious, just so it doesn't match so evenly with the hair. I'm going to click on one of these keyframes probably zoom in, hold Alt, and scroll. Then I'm going to line up right to the keyframe and then just move it back just a bit. As you can see, whenever I try to move it, everything gets very pixelated but that's because I have the settings on half. It's still prevalent at the full resolution setting, but it's less obvious. I think I'll select these two keyframes and move them a little bit over, just so they're a bit offset from the hair movements. Then also let me change the position of this one, move it back just a bit, and then maybe down a little too. I want these movements to be more subtle and not so obvious. Just because I want the main attention of this animation to be the hair and pretty much the sword. Then I'll move this one probably a little bit back. I think that's good. I'm going to save. Let's preview how that looks. I think that's good with me but if we look close enough, as you can see, looking at these chains are not moving with the coat at all. We're going to go ahead and fix that now with the puppet tool or stop, I'm just going to collapse these layers because we don't need the coat right now. We're going to go into chain 1 and 2. I'm going to zoom in and we're going to work on the top chain, chain 1 first and then I'm going into puppet tool, and then just click three places, one at the top, one in the middle, and then one on the other side. I didn't line up the time indicator with the correct frame, so I'm also going to open up face that's R to get our set keyframes. Then I'm going to go into our pins, find them pin 1, 2, and 3, I guess 3, 2, and 1. As you can see, they're not in the right place so I'm just going to line up first and then just drag them over. Before I do anything else, I'm going to copy these three frames, move the indicator forward to the end frame, and then paste them. Now I need to find the places where the coat and the chain will stay together. As you can see right here, the starting point, this top chain right here lines up with the line right there on the coat. If I go forward, play setter moves, the most is around right here around second, we'll zoom in a bit. Right here around second 2, so to higher our frame, I'm just going to click right here and then we're just going to move it up. Then if I click off and scrub through the timeline and starting to move along with it. Now it's not the same because these are regular frames and the frames we use for the coat or easy east. I'm just going to select them all right now and just click F9. [MUSIC] Now it looks like it's sticking more on the chain. We're going to do that to the other side as well. Let's go over, see this chain is also blind up to the line. We're just going to move it up around here. The two ends are now sticking to the correct places. Now we just need to make the middle part move. I will just go ahead and move it over a little bit. We'll see how that looks. [MUSIC] Now, it's moving together but I think I want this bottom part of the chain to sway a little back and forth. I'm just going to offset this keyframe a little bit closer, maybe a little bit further. We'll see how that looks. [MUSIC] Yeah, that's good with me. It's very subtle but because it's such a small part of this animation, it's okay. Now of course, we're going to want to loop out all these keyframes. [MUSIC] I'm going to collapse this and do the same thing to Chain 2. [MUSIC] See this one lines up around the bottom of this little yellow square and this one lines up right on this line [MUSIC]. I'll just move it up and then this one will be moved over. Now, they don't have to be perfect just because of how small this is but I would recommend trying to get it as precise as you can. Then I'll easy ease them all. We'll see how that looks. Movements close. I'm going to move the second key frame over. See how that looks. I'm just going to get rid of it. We'll just keep it simple. [MUSIC] Now that these chains are all done, you can zoom now, see how they look like from afar [MUSIC]. We can see this part right here. It's shifting a little bit, so I think we can fix that. I'm just going to go back into the pirate, zoom in on this part right here. It's about right here in the middle. [MUSIC] Then when I moved it, it's a little too ahead of itself. I'll just move this one back. I think that's close enough. Like I said, these are small movements so they don't have to be accurate. I'm just going to go ahead and save again. Now, we're going to move on to the feathers. Let's collapse these chains and then go up to the feathers. We'll start with the biggest one first because they'll be easiest to see [NOISE]. They're much like all the other movements. We're going to use the rotation tool and stick to these same placements of the keyframe so it loops. I'm going to go in the layer, press "R", going to line it up. Click the "Stopwatch", move it over, hold "Shift" so it lines up. Click "Diamond". Now, I'm going to find the best place to move the feather. The head is going back so I can see that feather will probably move a little forward here. We'll just say maybe here. Then let's see. I'll move it back this far. Let's see how that looks. [MUSIC] Maybe that was a little too much. We're going to go back to the keyframe. Back a little bit. First, let's easy ease it all. This time we'll just right-click "Keyframe Assistant, Easy Ease." [MUSIC] Now, it still looks a little bit stiff to me. I'm going to highlight these keyframes. Then right here you see a little box, and this is the Graph Editor. With our frames highlighted, we can actually go in and then we can change the flow of movement of these keyframes. If I want to, I can extend this line. The feather will move slower up. Basically, this is just a way that you can further finesse how your keyframes will move. If I were to mess around with this line and snap it up this way. If we play how that looks. It quickly snaps down, or if we just do it the other way. They'll snap up the other way. Again, this is a fun tool to play around with. But what I like to do generally is just lengthen these lines. [MUSIC] The way that I'm doing it is I'm just clicking on here, and then going over and then clicking on those. [MUSIC] I think I will move this a little bit forward. Now, remember if you move this frame forward, it will also move this keyframe forward as well. Just because these keyframes, and then these are essentially the same. They're just being viewed differently. [MUSIC] Let's see how that looks. Still moves a little bit too fast, so I'm going to move it back. Maybe down a little bit. [MUSIC] Trying to make this feather a secondary movement because the main head is the first movement and then this feather is following along behind it. [MUSIC] Push it back a bit more. [MUSIC] See what happens if I push it back a little further. I think we'll leave it right around here for now. Now what I'm going to do is open up these other two feathers, press "R". Then what we can do is we can select these rotation keyframes, copy them, line up the indicator line. Then while clicking on "Feather 2", we're going to paste and then clicking on "Feather 3", we're going to paste. Of course, if we play, they're all going to move at the exact same time. We can finesse it a little bit more. We're going to offset these keyframes a little bit, maybe just move them over and see how that looks. [MUSIC] I think for this purpose that'll work. [MUSIC] We're also going to Alt click or Option click and, of course, through our handy-dandy loop out expression. If you weren't trying to create a looping animation, then you wouldn't have to do this. If you wanted to, you could always just copy and paste these keyframes however long you want. But I always like using this expression just so I don't have to do that. If I was making just a five second or a 10 second animation, I probably wouldn't use this as much and probably finesse the keyframes a bit more. But like I said it, since we're just making a looping animation, I find this way the easiest for me. Right now before I click on anything, I still have the pin tool still selected. I'm just going to go over and click this little arrow for my selection tool or I can just press "V". With that, our feathers are done and then we're going to move on to these chains up here on the hat. Before we do that, we'll just collapse these layers and then we're going to work on Chain 3 and 4. Now instead of doing the puppet tool, which you can do if you want to, I'm going to experiment with some different effects right here. We're going to open up the Effects & Presets option. For my computer, it's going to take a minute to load just because there's a lot of them. Also make sure you save often. Whenever it takes awhile, whenever it takes time to load, I always think about saving, so I'm just going to save right now. If you don't see this window, then we're going go to Window until we see the Effects, which is right here. Because it's selected for me I have it right there. If it wasn't there, then we just go to Window, go down to Effects & Presets. I'm just dragging and dropping because After Effects has different windows where you can drag and drop things. I like to have the Effects & Presets over on this side, but you can also have it wherever you feel most comfortable. We're going to go into Chain 4 and 3, but we don't need to click on Rotation or anything. If we were to try to rotate that, then it would look weird because we have two points right here and right here. You could just use the puppet pins and do the same thing we do with the coat, but we're going to experiment with the Effects & Presets. Right now, I'm going to click off for a second and I'm going to type in wave. I'm going to go down to the Distort and we're going to look at the Wave Warp. Now what we can do is we can drag and then drop it onto our layer. I'm just going to go to Chain 4. Right here under the Effects Controls, this Window pops up. Without doing anything, I'm just going to go to the beginning and press "Play". As you can see, it's doing this really strange little warpy thing. Right here, it's cutting off at the bottom because if we pause it, that's where the bounding boxes are on this chain. Of course, we don't want our chain to look this wavy, we're going to mess around with the settings. Now, wave type we're going to leave it at Sine, but you can also look at these other options too. If you click on Square, the movements will be more choppy. If we go to Triangle, again, it's going to move in a different way. We'll just look at Sawtooth, which again is similar to the Square, and then Circle. Basically it's just using different functions to move this image in different ways, but for the sake of our animation we're going to use Sine, but I'll just keep going through all these just to show you what they look like. [MUSIC] See Noise. [MUSIC] If you have a certain effect in mind, this is a good place to experiment and figure out what movement you'd want. But for the most part, if I'm just doing some simple waving motion, I stick to Sine. Then Wave Height of course shows how high our chain will move, so I think I'm just going to do something very low, probably like three. I'm looking for a very subtle movement. Also we can see that the top of these chains are also moving up and down, but I want them to be pinned in place. On Pinning, I'm just going to click "All Edges". You can do Top Edge if you want, but I want a very subtle movement in this chain so I'm just going to go ahead with All Edges. Then the Wave Width, let's see Wave Width. I think I want to make it a lot bigger, so I'm just clicking and dragging it over so the numbers start moving up and then we'll press "Play" which is looking better. Maybe we'll do it about 100, see how that looks. It seems fine to me and now the Direction. The direction of course, let me just make the height higher so you can see it. The Direction just shows which way this wave is happening. If you mess around with it, of course it's going to wave in weird directions. I'm going to try to point it in direction that matches with the hat. [MUSIC] I think that works. Then let's slow down the speed to 0.5, so it's now in gentle sway. Although if your movements are too small because of how small this object is, you'll probably start to see pixels start moving around back and forth. I want to try to avoid that so maybe I'll just bring it back to one for the wave speed. We'll go in between this to 0.7. [MUSIC] Going back to our settings, our wave type is sine, our wave height is 3, the width is 100, the direction is a 185, our wave speed is 0.7, and is pinned to all edges. Now what we can do is go over to the top, copy it. Then we're going to go to our chain three and just simply control V or paste it, which we'll carry over the settings. We can leave it as is, but I don't want these movements to be exact, so I'm just going to mess around with maybe the wave width, and then maybe the speed which bring this one down to 0.5. We'll see how that looks. I'm just trying to make the changes very subtle so that these chains don't look like they're moving in the exact same way. Of course, since we're using an effect, we don't need to do any of the loop out expressions because it's already repeating. There's also many different effects that you can experiment. Another one that I like to use, I click on it, it's called wiggle shear. We'll just drag and drop it to our chain three to see how it looks. As you can see, I can put on different effects over one another because right now we have our wave warp on top of the wiggle-shear. Then here's just our regular transformations. But going into the wave warp or the wave shear I mean, we can mess around with it. Maybe just put the wiggle amount until seven or something. See how that looks. Basically, shear will just move it from side to side and then the wave warp will also move it side to side but in more of a wavy fashion. Wave warp and wave shear are the two that I like to use the most. Let me get rid of the wave warp for a second so you can see how the shear looks. I'm just going to go over and then click delete. Then we'll get rid of chain four for a second. As you can see, wave shear just basically move its side-to-side from the top-down. It's up to you to figure out which one that you'd liked the most. I think the wiggle has more of an organic field to it while this one just has more of a side-to-side movement. Either way, I think I'm going to get rid of the wiggle shear. Then we'll just stick to the wave warp. Now we're going to use our effects to make the hair movement a little bit more organic. So again, let's just collapse these layers that we're not using and we're going to go into the back hair. Double-click that. As you can see right here, it's just moving back and forth on its own. I'm going to go in here type in, wave again. I'm going to select all of these, press U just to hide them because we don't need them right now. We'll go in and maybe just look at one of these. Let's just focus in on this strand of hair. Right now when it moves back and forth, it's very stiff and it's just going side-to-side. If we apply a wave warp to it, as you can see on its own, it's very wiggly. It's not quite the right wave movement we want, so we're going to finesse the settings again. Looking at the wave height, I think will bring it down quite a lot, probably a three again. The wave width. We just start scrolling up. It's starting to look a little bit bouncy, but I think I want the wave direction to be more up and down instead of left to right. Let's just move this probably down in this direction. See how that looks. I think it's starting to look better. Then we'll probably bring the wave width up just so the movement is more larger waves rather than some small ones. Like it's flowing in the wind. As you can see, without any pinning, it's all wiggling and I want the top part to be pinned down. I'm going to go into pinning and we're just going to click top edge. Just so when we look at the animation, this top part is pinned down and the rest of the hair is more flowing. I think I will leave the wave's speed as it is. Again, these settings our wave type is sine, wave height is 3, wave width is around 280. The direction is going to be around 217. The speed is one, pinning is top, and then we don't need to mess with the phase. I think that's good movement. What we're going to do now is basically copy our wave warp, select everything else, and paste it. Let's bring all these layers back. Again, we don't need a top one. Now I think this hair looks a lot more wavy and bouncy as if it's bouncing and flowing in the wind, which is what I was looking for. Again, there's multiple ways you can animate hair. You could go in and use the pin tool method and just pin every section at hand. Animate yourself. You could just stick to the rotation key-frames or you can stick to the wave warp. For this project, I like to do a combination of the rotation key-frames and the wave warp. Looking at how many other people will use after effects, you can find multiple ways to animate hair or clothing or any of the sorts. Let's preview it on our pirate. I think that's looking much better. Since our bangs are a lot shorter, I'm not going to use the wave warp on it. I'll just keep it at the back here. Before we move on, as you can see, if I zoom in, the image of our hand is not looking quite right. As you can see, it's breaking off from the edge. Since we're out previewing the whole image, I'm just going to click the pirate composition right here. Go from beginning. We're just going to move this down. I like to move down and hold shift. Maybe we'll also scale her up. Again, without as you can see, deforming her, I'm going to hold shift and then click the little bounding box right here. Then let's move her back up, probably around here. We zoom out so we can see the whole frame. We'll just put this to half quality. I think we'll also make her a bit bigger. You want to hold shift. Move her up a little, maybe a little bit smaller. Just making sure that our hand and other parts of the code won't clip above where it needs to. I think that looks good. While we're here, her whole body, it seems a little stationary. We're going to fix that. Just clicking on our pirate composition without opening it up. I'm going to click on P for position. Going to make a key-frame. Again, I need to go back into her face to see exactly where this key frame should be because I also want to match it up. Go over, line it up to this end key frame. Pick another key-frame. I'd rather when she's tilting her head up. I want to move her position up. Just a smidge. Just so her whole body is bobbing up and down. Of course, we'll easy ease it with F9. This way we're making a little bit more movement with the whole body so the parts that we're not animating specifically like the body itself, they'll have more movement to it. I don't want to go too high or else certain parts of the coat and the arm will clip through. I think maybe I will lower this first frame a bit more. Since I'm lowering that, I'm going to copy it, go over to the end and then paste it. We'll see how that looks. Seems a little too higher than movement. But it's close to what I want. Let's move this one back down a bit. Before we move on, we're going to loop it. Honestly, we could stop here if you want, but I think we want to add a bit more movement to her face. Specifically, maybe some eye blinking. Let's move on to the next section. 6. Eye movement and blinking: Now, we're going to go into our pirate. We can exit up back here in frontier if we still have that open, we're going to go into face, I'm going to double-click the composition. As you can see, it looks a little silly because all the hair, and everything else is gone, but that's okay, because right now we just need to focus on the eyes, I'll just bring the resolution back up to full. You can see there are a few minor mistakes on the illustration, I'm just going to leave that as is, but we can always go back into the Photoshop file, and erase those later if we want to. This movement is going to be a little tricky, looking over our layers, we can see that the eye closed layer, the top one, is it on, so we turn it on. You can see that the eyes are closed, but we can also see the eyelashes of her eyes open, picking out. What I did was, I put her other eyelashes on their own layers, when these are clicked off the eye closed looks normal, and then if we go to the eyes themselves, they are on their own layer, and we can move them around as if she's looking around. This layer 18, is just the face itself, which I forgot to name, and the white eyes of course, are the whites of her eyes, we're going to focus on this eyes closed part. Now, the eye movement doesn't have to loop exactly the same as everything else, just because I find it having an offset a little bit, makes it look again a little bit more realistic. I'm going to zoom in a little bit, we're going to go to unbound the first frame, and then we're going to click "T", or if you don't want to click "T", we're going to go in the drop-down, transform, and we're going to go to opacity. Now, the reason we click "T" is because it's more transparency, but it shows up as opacity. Before we make any keyframes, I'm going to make the opacity zero, and then make a frame, and then around the two, we'll say a little past the two second mark, I'm going to change the opacity to 100. Now, if we do that, just looking at it, we have to of course make the layer visible, if we do that, you can see it slowly transforms. Now, we don't want it to slowly change, we want it to be very quick. I'm going to zoom in as much as I can, the frame right before it comes on, I am going to make the opacity zero. It quickly snaps together, and then because it's going to be rather quick, she's just blinking. Right around here, I'm going to make just another key frame, zoom in a lot, move over, and then make the opacity vector zero, basically it's zero percent, 100 percent, 100 percent, zero percent. We're going to keep this keyframe right here, because we're going to also loop this later, if I go, it's a quick bleak. I think I can move these out just a smitch, see how that looks. [MUSIC] Of course, when she blinks, we still have the other eyelashes from her eyes open still there, we're going to do something similar. I'm going to go in press "T", I'm going to line up this first frame, click the "Stopwatch", now I'm going to zoom in right here, we're going to make another frame, on both our left eye, and right eye layers, then as we go forward this time we're going to make it zero. [MUSIC] When it blinks now it looks normal, then we're going to line up here, simply you just click the "Diamond" to make another frame, and then bring these back at 100 percent. Now, we don't want to ease these frames because we want a snapping movement, we're just going to leave them as is, only look at it, it's a quick blink. If you wanted to, you could leave it here as it is, but we're going to finesse it a bit more. The reason I had these eyelashes also on their own layers, was so that we can slowly move it right before the blinking action happens. [MUSIC] I'm going to click these layers, and now I'm going to press "P" for position. Again, you could also just open the drop-down menu and then final position right here, but I just like using the shortcuts. The way I collapsed at those was just selecting them, and pressing "U", but I'm going to go and press "P" for position. We'll start a little bit before these frames are going to happen, I'm just going to click the "Stopwatches" on the position, and we want them to slowly move down. Again, we went these keyframes match all in the same place, I'm just going to make a stopwatch, or I'm just going to press "Diamond" here and here. Right Right the blinking movement happens, we're going to slowly move these down. With both of them selected, use my arrows on my keyboard, and see how far I can move them down before it breaks the picture, see how that looks. Basically, I'm just making a small movement where the eyelashes are slowly moving down, and then the blinking action happens. These I think we can easy, so I'm just going to press "F9." Of course right now we still have her eyelashes lower, I'm just going to press a "Diamond" here, and here, go a little forward, and instead of trying to find the right position, I can just take these earlier keyframes, copy, and paste, and then it'll paste where our blue indicator line is, copy, and paste. Now if we preview it, we have a little blink. Again there are multiple ways you can animate blinking in After Effects, I've seen people use the pen tool before, I've seen people just do the simple blinking motion without messing with the eyelashes. This is just one of many ways I found that I like working with, and if we just wanted one blink during our loop, then we can just leave this here as it is, but I'm just going to add our looping frames, before I do that, I'm going to copy. Well, before I do that, I'm going to click on all the layers that we've worked on press "U", and then press "U" again, so this will show all the layers that currently have keyframes on them, and it'll show all the layers that we need to create looping ones. I'm just going to copy our first keyframe, and then I'm going to move it way up ahead, and then paste it, I'm going to do the same for all these other keyframes. [MUSIC] Now I'm going to add our handy-dandy loop out to all of our keyframes. I feel like this animation is abusing it or just using it really often, but honestly if it works it works. Now depending on how far we move our end key, we can change how often our character blinks. Just so we're not looking at a floating head, we'll just go here. Then if we watch it. Of course takes a minute to preview, so I'll just let it go through for a second. If you just go through and watch it. She blinks there. Then if we keep waiting a bit longer, because we added a looping keyframe, wait for it to render, but she's going to blink again around here. There she goes. We'll just preview that again. If you want her to blink more frequently, then we can just move these keyframes closer. If we move them very close, then you'll see that our pirate friend may have something in her eye. I shall keep blinking. As you can see there, I forgot to do something. We go in up. I forgot to move this top keyframe along everything else. Again, you can see how important it is to keep all these keyframes in line when making looping animations. She's blinking once, and then again, and then again. If we keep it here her blinking looks a little bit robotic as she's just repeating the same movement over and over again. That's why I like to keep these keyframes moved out a bit. What I'm going to do right now is I'm going to move these empty frames a bit over. Just because I want to copy and paste these blinking animations and try to put them a bit more frequently over here. Just to see if I can find a more organic blinking motion for her to repeat. Because I can't copy and paste all these frames together at once because it'll just make new layers. What we're going to do, is we're going to line up these frames right here. See how that looks. That looks fine. Now all these keyframes right here are lined up together. If I were to copy all these frames on our eye-closed layer, and let's say we go forward about, I don't know, nine seconds. I'll paste it. Right now I can go over to our next section of keyframes, copy and paste it. Then we're going to move them over so the second keyframe is lined up with these. Basically I'm just copying these specific frames and then moving them over a bit more. I need to make sure I zoom in quite a bit, because since these two are very close together, I need to make sure our current time indicator is lined up on this first frame. Then I can copy and paste those over. Copy and paste. We can move this so they line up. Now if I preview it. Our first blink is good to go. If we wait a second. Our second blink is also good to go. Again, we'll just probably hit the blink a little closer to the end. Again, we shall copy and paste all of our frames. Make sure they are lined up. Having these separate blinks is going to help us make some eye movement, because that's our next step. Let's just press U for a second, try to clean things up. Then we're going to go over to our eyes. Now before I do anything, I think I want her eyes to start looking over here first. I'm just going to make a random keyframe just so I can keep this eye position. I'm just going to press P, hit the stopwatch, and then at the very beginning I think I want her eyes to be right around, let's see. That looks good. Now if we leave it here, she's slowly going to look at us, which is creepy. Doesn't look quite right. We're going to do is we're going to make her eyes turn as she's blinking. This first blank is going to be normal. I'm going to move our keyframe around here just to move it to the side, and I'm going to copy our first frame, copy it, paste it around here, where our second blink is going to happen. Let's zoom in a lot. As she closes her eyes I want the movement to start happening. As she's closing her eyes she's going to move her eyes over and then look towards us. I don't want it to be exactly where the blink happens, because then her eyes just snap over. I think we can make it a bit more realistic by having this keyframe on the eyes a little offset, just so we can see that little eye movement as she's opening her eyes. Now her eyes snap still a little too quickly. What I'm going to do is make a little keyframe in-between. Just press little diamond, and I'm going to move it off to the side, just so her movement is slowed down as she looking towards us. Still a bit fast. Can move it over a bit more. I think that's good. Let's see how that looks again. I think that'll work. It's not necessary but it's a subtle movement that I think adds to the animation. Just where she's slightly moving her eyes over as she's finishing her blink. Now to make sure that it loops correctly, we need her to look back over on this side. We're going to do the same thing over here, going to zoom way in. Right when her blink starts, I'm going to just make a keyframe. Then to make sure it's the same keyframe we're going to copy the first one. Then paste it, a frame right after all these. Right now she blinks and then she looks back over. Again, her movement's fast, so I'm just going to say make a keyframe around there. Move it back, see how that looks. I think that's good. Then if we go back into our pirate. Look at her face. Before I forget, I need to add our handy-dandy loop out to our eye position. Then we'll just go here. Right now I have the quality at half, so it's a little fuzzy. Then over the course of 20 seconds, she's going to look over to the side, blink, and then look over. I'm going to let this preview for a second and then we'll be able to see the full extent of our blinking an eye movement. If we preview it. There's her first blink. Then she's going to look towards us. Then on her last blink she's going to look back away. There we go. Like I said before, there are many ways to animate eye movements and blinking. This is just one of many that I find that I like to work with. Our animation is almost complete. We're just going to do a few more tweaks to finish it off. 7. Finishing touches and rendering: To make some finishing touches, we're going to go into our pirate girl again and see if we can change up the animation of her arm and hand. Now right now, it looks pretty good as it is. But I want to try to change the motion of the sort of it or basically the hand and the arm. It seems rather repetitive after a while. We're going to change that up. I'm going to click on the arm hand and then press U to show the keyframes. Right now as you can see, they blend perfectly up with the face. But I want to extend this animation a bit more. We're going to go to the last keyframe of the face and see that it ends at negative 1. I'm going to script through our timeline and see when I can find negative 1 again. There. Right here is when our keyframes restart and start looping again. I'm going to use that and then I copy and paste our beginning keyframes on our arm and hand. We are basically extending our loop. Instead of looping every one time, it's going to loop once every time the face moves twice. Little hard to explain, but let's just keep working at it and you'll see what I mean. Right here our hand just moves the same. We're trying to repeat this loop, so we'll say right around here, I'm going to make the arm move instead of the larger movement, we're going to try and do a smaller movement. Let's see, maybe around negative 3, we'll say. It has a bigger movement on the first loop and then a smaller movement. Then it's going to have a bigger one and a smaller one. Then to finish that movement a little bit more, we're going to take our hand, and let's see. I just want little movements so maybe we'll just leave it. Let's see how zero looks. Our first is a bigger movement and our second is a smaller movement. While we're previewing that, we have a bit more variation on how she holds and moves her sword and since our last keyframe right here still matches up with the last keyframe here at negative 1, it will still match up with our continuous loop. I think that looks good. The next thing I want to tweak a bit more is the feathers in her hair. [MUSIC] I'm going to click these, the hand and the arm, just press U to hide those keyframes. Then we're going to go to our feathers and I'm going to press U to bring the keyframes back up, or you can just press R because we're just bringing the rotation keyframes. We're going to do a similar process, but we're going to extend our loop of these feathers. Right here, it ends at negative one. If I go forward, I can find negative 1 which is right here. We can also double-check by bringing up the arm, which is the same keyframe. This is where the second loop is going to start. We shall just copy these beginning frames and paste it in a new place. Now anything inside the keyframes will still be able to loop and match with everything else. We're going to start with our bigger feather first. Well, they're all selected, I'm just going to change them all to, let's say five. Then we're going to offset them, just to see how that looks. It goes forward, back, and then we probably want to bring them forward again. This one wouldn't forward at negative 12, so to change that up a little bit, let's just try negative 15. If I copy these two frames, type in negative 15, they will make the new keyframes there, so we'll move them over. Let's see how it looks like if I move them around here and preview that. I think that'll work just to offset it from all the other movements. If we wanted to finesse it a bit more we always can, just as long as the beginning and the end key remain the same. If we wanted to further make our big feather a bit more wiggly, we can also add the wave effect on it if we wanted to. Let's just collapse these layers for a sec because we're just going to focus on the main feather. I already have the Wave Warp typed in here, so I'm just going to drag it and drop it on. Now of course, we don't want this effect right here because it's a little too wavy. Again, let's finesse it a bit more. Let's say I want my wave height to be a lot lower. Let's just try five for now. Then my wave width, I want to extend it a lot just so it's more of a subtle wave. We'll just try around, I don't know, 311. Toss that number in. Then I want it to match the direction of where the feather is pointing, so let's put the direction somewhere around. See how this looks. Before we finesse it a bit more I forgot to pin the bottom because the stationary point we want is the bottom left corner. We go into pinning. We can type in say, Left Edge, which will work. I think this is a fun little effect to make our feather more wavy in the wind, but keep in mind that since wave warps will repeat on their own, the starting position they have is different from their ending position. If I change the work area and bring it down here to where our loop ends, and then press "Play, " we can see it looks nice as it moves around. But once it reaches the end and repeats itself, it's hard to see, but there's a very slight difference in our position of the feather. If this doesn't bother you, you can just keep it as is, but if we're trying to create a looping animation, you need the beginning and end to be exactly the same. I'm going to go into my feather. I can't find the layer easily I'm just going to click it. There it is. Instead of deleting the effect altogether, what I could do is you see this little box right here that says fx, that's the wave warp effect being applied. If I were to just click it, it'll turn it off and then I can hide the wave warp while I'm not deleting it. It's up to you whether you want to keep the wave warp on or you can keep it turned off. I'm going to save that right now because we used a wave warp on the hair as well, there could be a slight difference. However, it's such a small movement from the beginning and end that I think won't affect the overall loop. Now, as you can see right here, there's some blue sky sticking out in-between her hair, so if we just mess around with their hair settings, we should be able to fix that. Because we didn't do any keyframe stuff to the position, if I just move it, it'll be okay. [MUSIC] There we go. Now, it's all better. I'm just going to put my cursor in between these two panels, and move this area down a bit so I can preview this better. Here is the final result. As you can see, we did a lot with the hair movement and her hand moving, as well as the feathers. You can always go back and tweak it however you want, but I'm going to call this animation done. The last thing I wanted to do is talk about exporting this looping animation. Now, if we were to start it at a random part, I'm going to move this little part down. We'll say, just some place random. If I just play through it, of course, it's not going to loop correctly. [NOISE] We need to find the place where all the frames line up and loop. I'm going to go into our pirate. We shall look at the arm, and see the last frame that we have. The second bar right here is going to show what we'll export at the end. [NOISE] I'm going to line it up in between our frames. As you can see, it's perfectly lined up from the beginning to the end. If I press Play, it will create an endless loop. Now, on closer inspection, we can see her hair slightly moves a little bit. We don't check [NOISE] our eye blinking movement, so I need to extend it a bit further. Let's see, our final key frame is around here. I just need to find that negative one key frame on the face, which is right around here. This is where it's going to end. While holding Shift, it's going to snap to it. The whole looping animation, we'll have our eye blinking movements and be able to loop right back at the beginning. Now, as you can see right there, her feathers were slightly off. Now, because our feathers loop once every two times at the face loops, that means, that right here we've cut it off at the part where our feathers haven't finished looping. Basically, all we need to do is go a little bit further to find our negative one key frame again. Let's try it right here. See if that loops correctly, and it does. Now, again keep in mind that because our hair and the chains have a wave warp on it, there's a slight bump in the hair. One way to get around this is, if you only need to render out a minute of looping animation, then we would just extend this all the way for a minute, and you won't have that problem. However, if this looping animation needs to continue on forever, then you would just need to go into the hair, back hair. Then hide all these effects. It will make the hair less bouncy, but you'll be able to effectively create a looping animation. I'm just going to turn these all back on. Remember that the chain also has a wave warp on it, so you would have to turn that one off as well. If you still want it moving, just use the puppet tool. Now, that we know this information, depending on where you want to export this to, say the end of a YouTube video, you can change the link to however long you want. Just because it won't matter where it ends since that's where the video will end. However, if you're using this for something like Twitch, and you need something to constantly loop again and again, then you'll probably need to turn off the effects for the hair and the chains. There are two ways you could render this out. The first is to Adobe Media Encoder queue. The second is to Render Queue. Personally, I like using the Adobe Media Encoder Queue. Just because if I wanted to add tweak or work on anything else in After Effects, I'll be able to. [MUSIC] If you have the Adobe Suite, then you already have this program with you. If for some reason, you don't have this program, then we can also render it out the other way inside Adobe After Effects. Now, as you can see, Media Encoder just came up. It's going to take a minute for it to show up in here. There it is, and these are the settings that I like. I like using H.264. We go down here. I also like doing Match Source-High bitrate. This is where the output file will be saved to, so I'm just going to click on that. I will just save it under the Pirate folder. You can save it wherever you need to. I'll make _30sec, Save. Then if all the settings are correct that I like, I'm just going to press the green arrow. Then it'll start rendering in here. Of course, I can either exit out of Adobe After Effects or Save, and do other stuff because this is a separate program altogether. It will take some time to export. But then once it's all done, we'll be able to preview the final result. [MUSIC] Now, I will show you how to Add to Render Queue. We clicked that. In After Effects, a new window will pop up right here called Render Queue, If we go into the Render settings, we can click this drop down menu to see Best Settings, Current Settings. We'll just leave it at Best Settings. The output mode, you can change between how high of a quality you want it to be. Lossless is always nice. But keep in mind, it will take a bit longer to render because it's outputting the highest quality it can. If you click on this, we can save where I want to export it to, type in 30, for 30 seconds, Save. Then click the Render button right here. Then right now, it's rendering out in After Effects, and it will take some time. Now, the longer animation you have, the longer it will take to render. Keep that in mind, if you have a time schedule. [MUSIC] 8. Final: With that, our animation is now complete. I hope you guys learned a lot throughout this class and hopefully was able to animate a picture of your own. Now if you either animated the pirate illustration or animated your own character, I would love to see it. Feel free to tag or mention me on Instagram. I'm Katie Clover art. Also, feel free to use this pirate illustration to practice all your animation needs. I hope you guys learned a lot throughout this class. If you have any questions or comments, then please feel free to let me know. This is the first of hopefully many classes to come in the future. If you have any ideas like wanting to know more about animating illustrations more or even how I illustrate, then let me know. I hope you guys have a great day and with that, I will talk to you later. Bye. [MUSIC]