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Animating video in AfterEffects

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Taige Jensen
Animating video in AfterEffects
on May 18, 2011 at 6:50:34 pm

I'm fairly new to AfterEffects, and have some experience with animation programs like flash and ToonBoom, but could use some advice as I attempt to apply these principles to AfterEffects.

I have a workflow I invented, but considering this is my first time doing a project like this, I have no doubt there are easier/better methods.

It's a videogame parody. (oh how original)

I have a million questions I'd like to bombard AE professionals with, but I'll start with my most pressing.

I captured our actor on greenscreen, performing all of the necessary "moves" he will perform in the fictional video game. These are things like, walk cycles, jumps, jump kicks etc. (fighting game).

My plan so far is to have all of these moves laid out in a "character sequence", that I can then pull into a "main sequence" (fighting arena) so I can move the character around in the main sequence, and cycle through the moves separately according to my needs, within the character's sequence.

So first of all, is this the correct/most efficient method? And secondly, whats the best way to organize the moves in the character sequence? Should it all be one layer, frame 1 through 200, and there's a way to que the character sequence to play frame 25 (jump sequence), then loop frames 1-10 (neutral fighting stance) while I simultaneously have the character being manipulated in my main sequence? (possibly using time-remapping?)

Or should each animation set be its own movie file living on its own layer that is shuffled back and forth on it's time line according to the action needed, within the character sequence?

The second method sounds like will result in a messy sequence that might end up being a bear to manage and edit.

Any suggestions or better ideas are more than welcome.

Did I explain that in an intelligible manner?

Thanks for any responses.

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Jason Mettler
Re: Animating video in AfterEffects
on May 20, 2011 at 3:06:31 pm

You can easily loop in AE. When you have a movie file the way you want it, put it into a comp. Enable time-remapping on that comp. Alt click on the stopwatch by 'time remap' and click open the flyout menu on the round button with the play arrow in it. Choose "property" and then select "loopOut(type....)". Hit return and stretch out the comp layer for the duration of the comp. Make sure you start and end frames are the same so no jumping occurs.

That should do the trick.

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Taige Jensen
Re: Animating video in AfterEffects
on May 20, 2011 at 9:41:59 pm

Thanks for the tips. Both of those are a big help. I'm now working with the alpha channel movie clips with loops enabled and my life is much better.

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