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Make eyes blink in AE

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Joe Stenhouse
Make eyes blink in AE
on Dec 15, 2009 at 5:21:37 am

Sorry for the bother again but I have a question about using masks to simulate eye blinking on a character I am animating. In flash I simply used a mask that was the shape of the actual Eye Lid and fired a shape tween when I wanted to simulate the eye blink. I cann't find a way to do that here in AE. I am thinking that I will not be able to use masks on the layers like I did in Flash:)

Thanks for any help.

Joe Stenhouse


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Dave Johnson
Re: Make eyes blink in AE
on Dec 15, 2009 at 2:33:57 pm

I don't speak Flash so I can't make a direct comparison of the methods, but I can tell you that you absolutely can do this in AE ... many different ways, in fact. To do it using masks, you'll just need to animate the masks ... using hold key frames will make it easier.

Sorry I don't recall the details so I can't offer specific directions, but I've also done eye blinks in AE using various distort effects.


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david bogie
Re: Make eyes blink in AE
on Dec 15, 2009 at 3:23:21 pm

If your character blinks more than a few times, it will be far easier to use an Expression to reference the blink and unblink eye layers. Then all you have to do is keyframe the Expression controller. This is also one of the easier ways to animate mouth parts for phonemes.

bogiesan





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Joe Stenhouse
Re: Make eyes blink in AE
on Dec 15, 2009 at 6:20:39 pm

Wow ok. Yes it will be blinking many times. I will look up "Expression" in AE help to see about that.


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david bogie
Re: Make eyes blink in AE
on Dec 15, 2009 at 7:13:24 pm

[Joe Stenhouse] "Wow ok. Yes it will be blinking many times. I will look up "Expression" in AE help to see about that."

Sorry, it was a bad recommendation.
You're not ready for expressions yet.
But, to give you an idea of what will happen...you will se tup an expression slider that moves between 0 and 9. Each of the 10 stops on the slider will reference a different eye image. Your 10 eyes could be open, open wide, open left, open right, blink, unblink, left open right closed, right ope, left closed.

Yo place markers in your storyline track to indicate what eyes you need when and then set your expression controller at each of those points. It's incredible. And it's not that difficult to do since the Expression Controllers are stock effects and basic expressions are simple to program using the pickwhip. Advanced expression and scripting are so weird they have their own forum here and dedicated support systems on the Web.

bogiesan



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Joe Stenhouse
Re: Make eyes blink in AE
on Dec 15, 2009 at 6:36:32 pm

What do you mean by "hold key frames?"


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Make eyes blink in AE
on Dec 15, 2009 at 6:46:58 pm

[Joe Stenhouse] "What do you mean by "hold key frames?""

If you have to ask a question like that, I have to ask a question like this: how long have you been using After Effects?

If the response is something like "not very long", you should know that AE isn't the kind of application you can jump into feet first. You have to learn the basics. And this is a pretty darned good place to learn 'em:
http://www.videocopilot.net/basic/

There are also AE tutorials here on the COW, and valuable learning aids on the Adobe web site.

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


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Joe Stenhouse
Re: Make eyes blink in AE
on Dec 16, 2009 at 5:15:35 pm

You are correct. I have not been using After Effects as long as flash. I've been using flash since MX but only in the last 2 years have I dabbled in AE mainly using the puppet tool for my animations.
I know what a key frame is obviously but I wasn't sure about the "hold" part. Perhaps it was just different terminology and I already know what it means.

Thanks for the suggestion on the tutorials. I will check it out.


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