After Effects Rigging – Animation with Expressions (Pt.3)

This post comes a week late (apologies), I didn’t want to discuss last weeks lesson (which was purely spent animating) without anything to show for it. So mid week I knuckled down and finished the exercise.

There isn’t much to discuss about the process, all the technical aspects of the setup were covered in the previous blog post. It was just a matter of using all of the Expressions to keyframe the animation, turn on all of Pete’s added bells and whistles and then render it out. I’ll admit the rendering part took a good two hours at home, it was a brilliant excuse to put my feet up briefly!

We had a few guidelines from Pete for where to start the animation and where to end it, based around the timings of his bells and whistles, which consisted of some rather snazzy light effects and a title fade in towards the end. Following these guides, I did my best to tell the story of poor Tix malfunctioning, losing his head but then everything being fine in the end.

The hardest part of this was purely timing, which is the case for all animation, I had a few issues getting Tix’s head to roll down his arm and towards the end I had to tweak a few keyframes due to the head automatically moving with the body due to the hierarchy. I wasn’t sure if there was a way to correct for this, so just corrected by eye frame by frame.

It isn’t perfect by any means, but given other work on my plate at the moment I don’t think the end result is bad having fit it around a couple of days. It has demonstrated rigging in AE with perfect clarity and I can only imagine how elegant a solution DUIK is, given this is considered the hard way to do it.

We’ll be continuing to address AE animation in this weeks lesson, using puppet pins to animate text. Till then!

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