1-3 minute animated story -- They can't all be winners ;)

For our second animation assignment, we were asked to work with Adobe After Effects. Here is the post with the initial story idea and the storyboard.

This was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do. Create a 1-3 minute story in After Effects and animate it. This is what Grant Henry and I were able to come up with.

Process in Animating the Character

From searching through youtube videos to create a walk cycle, Grant came across the Duik plug-in in this tutorial that helps with rigging the character.  By using the puppet tool, bones are created which helps to create realistic movements and walk cycles.   I didn't quite master the plug-in, but it might prove useful at a later date.

Duik helps with the squish and stretch components in a character -- something that is very time consuming to do otherwise.

What worked in this animation

I think that using live footage for the background really helped for us to create the environment for the lamp. I think I would do this again, because I'm not so great a animating at this time, having a recorded background environment helped to fill out the story.

I liked that we ended up using the documentary-style story. This allowed for the story to jump around without it feeling to disjointed.

I'm very happy that we didn't decide to have a mouth in this animation... I feel like that would have made it just that much more difficult.

What we might do differently

To just name a few issues...

  1. Tracking points on the wall where we have the poster so that it looks more realistic to animate
  2. Speed up some of the key frames so that the lamp doesn't appear to be moving in slow motion
  3. improve the walk cycles ;)

Overall, it was a great experience.

After Effects is a very powerful tool that I feel I have just scratched the surface of. There is still so much to learn and I will continue to work with it to attempt to get comfortable in the software.