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Forums Adobe After Effects Expressions 2D character animation

  • 2D character animation

  • Amit Zinman

    May 20, 2008 at 6:43 am

    I’ve been thinking of doing some 2D character animation using AE CS3.
    My approach: build characters body parts in photoshop and use expressions to control talk. Use a null object with a slider control so that 1 will be “a”, 2 will be “e”, 3 will be “o” and so forth for all the vowels.
    Of course I could use more sliders for animation control/
    Do you think that this is the best approach? How would I write an expression for such a project?


  • Lloyd Alvarez

    May 20, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Check out Dan’s tutorial on sync’ing events with markers:


  • Simon Bonner

    May 20, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Take a look at the AE podcast, right down at the bootom of the page, for lip syncing. You don’t need expressions, just time remapping.

    Simon Bonner

  • Amit Zinman

    May 20, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Can’t find it. Link?

  • Simon Bonner

    May 20, 2008 at 6:12 pm
  • Trent Armstrong

    May 21, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    I have recently completed a project where I used some simple expression tricks to animate a mouth.

    The setup is to create the different consonant and vowel representations in Photoshop each on a separate and appropriately labeled layer. (Rest, K, O, U, A, T/D, EE, W, etc.) I used about 8 of them.

    In after effects, import your mouth positions and line them up. Then create a Null and call it something like “Mouth Control”.

    Put an expression slider on Mouth Control and apply the following expression:

    Then for each of your mouth positions, apply the following expression to Opacity:
    i = index;
    s = thisComp.layer(“Mouth Control”).effect(“Slider Control”)(“Slider”);

    if (s == i) 100 else 0

    What this does is turn your layers off and on depending on the layer number returned by the slider.

    Any layers you add to this comp should be added to the bottom of the layer stack, but now you can bring in your vocal track and easily set up keyframes. It’s best to use HOLD KEYFRAMES with this technique, though.


    Trent Armstrong – Creative Cow Leader

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