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William Nghiem is an illustrator and designer in Sydney
his work has inspired me for years and I think he is one of the most
underrated artists his work is stunning he gave me this beautifully layered
Photoshop portrait of the hound from Game of Thrones demanding some chicken
and I imported this file straight into After Effects because William has so
kindly separated each element onto a new layer after importing I parented the
hair and the facial features to the head then parent to the head and the armor to
the body and then i roughly blocked in the sequence with a few positioned key
frames and just swapped out the different mouth options to get the
expressions and timing right when you first thing to blocking just think about
it as the bare minimum of animation to get the story across I'm not worried
about specific details of how things bounce and move and react to each other
I'm just focused on the overall timing to get the story across after the blocking
is done we move on to refining the primary animation in this case it was
the head movement the chicken falling and the facial expressions I focused
primarily on getting the easing correct to these movements this little bounce
the beginning great pops up I'm going to select those key frames and jump into
the graph editor and then I'm gonna separate the X and y position values by
clicking down here because we're only dealing with an up-and-down animation
nothing side-to-side just focusing on the Y position is going to make this a
lot clearer so I'm going to delete the x position keyframes select the y ones and
then go back into the graph editor here I'm gonna select them and add some
easing by clicking this easy ease button down here which will add these Bezier
handles let's fiddle our graphs to view I wanted to fall faster that starts we're
gonna move this handle up here and from here there's a lot of fiddling and
adjusting to get this bounce right he needs to fall fast bounce up a little
and then settle into his final position
once I was happy with it I applied that same process to him being struck by the
chicken added some more expression to his face by creating this closed eye
shape and switching from an open eye to a closed eye when he gets here by the
chicken and at the start when he falls down the raises up I switch between the
two of them by creating some keyframes on the opacity property at 0 and 100%
and turn them into hold keyframe by right-clicking and selecting toggle
hold keyframes which means they'll hold their value until the next keyframe so
there's no in-betweens they're either on or they're off and I applied that same
one to the open eye layers but in Reverse so when the eyes closed, 100%
when the eyes open, 0%
so as long as these keyframes line up there will never be an
overlap of two eyes visible on screen at the same time I also pair this with an
eye brow movement that just moves downward in position when the eyes
closes and then up when that opens I also recreated this open mouth shape
using shape layers one for the mouth and then this one for the teeth and then use
the set matte effect to limit its visibility to the open mouth while I
animated its path properties to open slightly I much prefer to recreate
assets with shape layers and animating their paths rather than using puppet
pins or mesh warps on raster elements because I find those a bit too limiting
and unpredictable even if it can be quicker and easier at the end here I
animated the head moving up slightly as he smiles in delight as the chicken is
raining down as if raising it in triumph when I first did this I moved the head a
little too high but then I thought you know what it's actually pretty funny and
unexpected that his head would just fly off like that stretching his neck out
and little moments like that what I love about animation something completely
unrealistic and exaggerated that are just fun and dumb so I ran with it I
upgraded him to an extended neck and drew some extensions to his hair with
shaped layers after I was happy with this refined primary animation I moved
on to the secondary animation here I animated the elements to move in
addition to the primary movement like his hair flopping and his armor moving
in reaction to his bounce being hit by the chicken my method for doing this is
to find the property you're animating here we'll do the rotation of the sword
to find the property that'll be reacting to in this case the Y position of the
body as it bounces down and like when a car suddenly breaks and everything
inside will continue to move forward because it still has at forward momentum
our sword is going to continue to move and rotate even as his body's finished
bouncing so using these four Y positioned keyframes as a guide I'm
going to open rotation property on my sword with r and add keyframes to all of
the same positions on my timeline and from there adjust the rotation of the
sword in the way that it should react here when the body is at its lowest
there will be some momentum pulling the sword down so let's drag our rotation over
slightly so it leans forward more body and then as he rises up our sword
will overshoot a bit and rise up a little bit higher than it was before and
then settle into its final position we've already keyframed I'm going to use
the very handy plug-in called ease copy to copy this key frames from the body
and apply them to the sword so I want to select these key frames select copy
select the key frames on that sword and click paste this plug-in is completely
free and means that we don't have to go into our graph editor and try to match
the easings of the Y position of our body exactly now we've got our sword
reacting that looks pretty good but because it's motion will be slightly
delayed we can select these key frames and just
drag them in one frame we could do two if you like and that'll just give a bit
more of a realistic motion then we move on to the final details in this final
path I added this squashed beard shaped here added some roughening edges to the
shape layers to match Williams' illustrations with the rough Photoshop
brush and then added some extra weight warping to the hair here at the end for
any smears or moments where there's an element really distorted I find its
easiest to just redraw it with the shape layer
it's normally only a few frames and requires very little animation so for
this squashed beard for these few frames I just drew this blob with the shape
layer and parented it to this top armor layer it doesn't have to be super
realistic or detailed because we've taken the time to get the movement and
the anticipation right on the head with easing and pushes down we know that if
they had being squashed so we don't have to do much more to sell that animation
and to get that paint texture here I just stole this layer from the existing beard
layer and then applied it to an alpha matte to this blob shape and because I'd
recreated a few elements with shape layers a lot of the animation had these
really smooth lines like this back right here here so to get them to match the
roughness of the Photoshop brush that William had used I added the roughing
edges effect I came to scale down pretty low to 11
and then complexity to 3 but really I just played around with these settings until
I got something that were matched approximately I feel like it was in the
same design language of the rest of the illustration was there there's also a
cheeky wave warp effect on all the hair at the end here for these shape layers
that I used to extend out his hair the first thing I did was to animate the
path of this hair property here so goes from being wavy on the right here to a few
frames later being straight then I added the wave warp effect and during that
same process with those key frames, I animated its amount going from zero
to thirty so it goes from a static wave shape to a straight edge shape that's
animating in a wave and this all happens while the heads making a little bobbing
motion so that movement masks that transition fairly well animating in
stages like this with blocking primary motion secondary motion and details is
important because it can get messy if you don't have a structured workflow or
process in its final details comp you can see I've got a lot and a lot of
keyframes all reacting to each other and looking at it now it looks like it's a
bit messy but everything is really reacting to something that was animated
beforehand in a waterfall process step after step although we all just want to
dive in and animate our favorite section first having this structure helps keep
the project on track and makes the process much smoother
here's a short playlist to be animating the works of some other great artists
and illustrators little thing you'll enjoy if you've made it this far I'll
see you in the next video and please consider subscribing if you'd like this
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Subtitle: Zoe J Marriott