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Working with Children and After Effects

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Jon Bagge
Working with Children and After Effects
on Aug 1, 2011 at 3:47:18 pm

I've just finished a project I think some of you might find interesting, especially if you have children. I don't have children myself, but my sister has two girls, and we live in different countries so I don't get to see them that often.
So I decided to try some animation as a way of doing something together.

The girls are 14 and 5, and the older girl brought her best friend along too. We talked about what sort of film they wanted to make. I had to direct quite a lot, since although children have great imaginations, they can't see what is practical to do as a short story. My oldest niece wanted to do something about asthma since she's been struggling with that and other allergies for most of her life. She's pretty shy so I think she felt this was a good way of expressing herself.
I'm not sure where the idea with the dragon came from, but in the end we settled on a dragon with asthma who calls a doctor for help.

They made paper cut-outs and decorated them with textured paper and glitter. I got them to sketch the characters first, then make arms/legs separately so they could be rigged for animation. I photographed it all with my sister's 7D and brought it into After Effects. I downloaded the 30-day free trial as my sister doesn't have After Effects on her computer, so thanks to Adobe for that one.

The rest is puppet tool and basic AE animation.

If anyone else have done stuff like this with children, I'd be interested to know. I'm considering trying out stop-motion with the older girl next time I'm at home as I think she might have the patience for it. That would be a way for her to do animation herself too; this time I did all the actual animation myself.

The basic principle of animation is so incredibly simple, so if you can get children to understand that, a creative mind might come up with stuff adults wouldn't think of.

I now return you to your usual After Effects Forum in progress...

Jon Bagge - Editor - London, UK
Avid - FCP - After Effects

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Kevin Monahan
Re: Working with Children and After Effects
on Aug 1, 2011 at 4:01:36 pm

Very cool! Thanks for sharing.

Kevin Monahan
Sr. Content and Community Lead
Adobe After Effects
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Adobe Systems, Inc.
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Walter Soyka
Re: Working with Children and After Effects
on Aug 1, 2011 at 6:02:59 pm

Really nice, Jon. It must have been a blast for the kids to see their idea come to life. Kudos!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
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Todd Kopriva
Re: Working with Children and After Effects
on Aug 2, 2011 at 3:26:24 am

I like it!

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
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