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Creating & Animating A Squid in AE CS3

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Robert McGunnigleCreating & Animating A Squid in AE CS3
by on Jul 9, 2008 at 7:55:24 pm

Yeah...you read that correctly.

Okay...here's the deal:

I'm working on a :15 commercial for a seafood restaurant and the client wants a talking (cartoon-looking) squid. I've already produced a spot for this client featuring a talking fish (which was well-received...thanks to Aharon Rabinowitz's lip-sync tutorial!), so now he wants a talking squid (they serve calamari, of course). I plan on building the character in AE using shape layers, but my real question is: what would be the best way to create & animate the tentacles? Shape Layers? Paint Strokes? Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!

Rob McGunnigle
Creative Producer
WHP-TV

There's no shelf-life on creativity.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Creating & Animating A Squid in AE CS3
by on Jul 9, 2008 at 8:09:09 pm

Assuming you understand how AE works with 3D....
and after some VERY specific storyboarding so the client knows PRECISELY what he or she is getting (and more importantly, NOT getting in terms of 3D)...
I'd be tempted to work with a squid built about twice as big as necessary in Photoshop, animating the tentacles as individual layers using the Puppet Tool.

Building the squid in Illustrator would be okay, too, now that I think of it.


Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Robert McGunnigleRe: Creating & Animating A Squid in AE CS3
by on Jul 9, 2008 at 8:21:14 pm

Dave,

I'm fully aware of AE's 3D capabilities, thank you. As I mentioned in my initial post, I've already successfully created a spot for this particular client along these same lines...so he's well aware of what the end result will be. All I wanted to know was what would be the most effective way to animate the tentacles. Now that I think of it...CC Wave World might be a viable option.

Rob

There's no shelf-life on creativity.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Creating & Animating A Squid in AE CS3
by on Jul 9, 2008 at 8:30:51 pm

Cool.

Back in the days when I was working in the commercial production side of the station -- and before nonlinear editing -- I had a client who knew darned well we were shooting slides, yet still asked why the people in those pictures didn't move. When it comes to TV production techniques, local clients aren't always the brightest candles in the chandelier.

If Wave World suits your needs, fine. But if you need those tentacles to pick up an object on cue, for example, you might investigate the Puppet Tool.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jeremy AllenRe: Creating & Animating A Squid in AE CS3
by on Jul 9, 2008 at 8:41:53 pm

I'd say with a proper understanding of the puppet tool, it's made for exactly what you want to do.

---------------------------------------------
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Robert McGunnigleRe: Creating & Animating A Squid in AE CS3
by on Jul 9, 2008 at 9:37:06 pm

Jeremy,

Yeah I'm exploring the puppet tool as well. Thanks!

Rob

There's no shelf-life on creativity.


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Robert McGunnigleRe: Creating & Animating A Squid in AE CS3
by on Jul 9, 2008 at 9:35:30 pm

Dave,

You're right about local clients! I've had my share of yahoos! This is why I always try to educate them about the production process (and our facility's capabilities) as much as possible! Anyway...the squid won't be handling anything, just bobbing in the water, but at some point I'll need it to wave its tentacles frantically. This is where my dilemma comes from...I guess I'll have to play around and see what I come up with.


Rob

There's no shelf-life on creativity.


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Tom ScottRe: Creating & Animating A Squid in AE CS3
by on Jul 10, 2008 at 1:12:28 pm

Add my vote for the puppet tool.


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Ken LatmanRe: Creating & Animating A Squid in AE CS3
by on Jul 10, 2008 at 7:14:56 pm

If you want a more mechanical look, you could break up the tentacles into segments and using a system of parenting you could get things to look pretty wild.



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Robert McGunnigleRe: Creating & Animating A Squid in AE CS3
by on Jul 11, 2008 at 3:45:21 am

I'd like it to be more of a 'flowing' motion, so I'm leaning toward the puppet tool. I think what I may do is draw a single tentacle in Illustrator, import it into AE, animate it to taste, then duplicate it & offset them so the movement looks more random. Yeah...this sounds great in theory...let's see if I can pull it off! LOL!

Rob

There's no shelf-life on creativity.


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