The short cartoon on the leftside results from my first tests on computer-generated animation.
The article details how to easily animate a wire-characteron After Effects, or perform the same animation in 3D. In all cases, post-compositing work is required.
Basic techniques on After Effects
Adobe After Effects is a layer animation software based on key values such as displacement, scaling, color, shape etc.
The software manages the background, display and text animation. Creating the video here only takes 2 or 3 hours, provided you know a little about the software. A few hours is quite short for an animation of 40 seconds.
It is possible to integrate the third dimensions, but it is very complex to model objects in 3D and animate them. Still, animation in 2D drawings made on other software is easier.
Wire-character animated by duIK
A tutorial done by Mattrunks can animate a so-called wire-character. Here is the concept in more detail:
- If one considers that a body is composed of parts of at least three elements (arm, forearm, hand, for example), it is complex to animate these elements by moving separately every part.
- Free script addon made by Duduf simplifies this work by calculating the joints and thereby generate movements animating only the ends (foot, hand) or the basic elements (basin body), as specialized softwares do.
- The body portions are connected to controllers, which are null objects.
- Duduf addon calculates twisting of the body portions, in expressions according to the movements carried out on the controller
Movements are limited to 2 dimensions: the character can move from left to right, bottom to top, but it can not turn on itself, or make back and forth movements.
In this animation, I tried to work around the problem by changing the scale of the character. Keeping a very stylized character, I can make him turn his head (as it has no face!), but it is way below Popeye style cartoon animations.
Let us not refrain our enthusiasm, interest is speed, and it is fine for a small animation or scripted animation more elaborate, just what I want to do: study the initial idea, included the progression of history, tuning the character's motion.