It’s kind of exciting to see how After Effects (a motion graphics,VFX, and compositing application) is starting to be used in cartoon animation. Well, it’s always been used with basic animation. But the guys at Rovio Entertainment, the makers of Angry Birds, took it to another level by building their own 2D rigging system for their own cartoon shows. The plugin’s control of layers, the integration between Photoshop and After Effects, lighting, cameras, character expressions, rendering, and more has made cartoon making possible! and so much easier. But it’s not an easy task (even for just Bird heads).
From the looks of it, this type of work still demands a good team of animators collaborating. I’m impressed with the look they’ve acquired. It reminds me a lot of the new Mickey Mouse Shorts (produced and directed by Paul Rudish). The two videos below are Rovio’s Pipeline and Tools Developer Pauli Suurahor and Art Director Jussi Kemppainen give us a breakdown of their workflow and use of their rigging system. Wow. Just wow.
If you want take a go at it. Take a look at this tutorial by Premium Beat which gives a quick introduction on Character Animation, Inverse Kinematics, Setting up designs in Illustrator, Layer size vs. Document size, and Parenting.
Ross Plaskow, in his YouTube Channel, also teaches us in a 20 minute video how to get started with cartoon making in After Effects.
I’ve said it before, I really dig animation. I’m waiting for the day to do voice over for some — my childhood dream. Being a filmmaker opens up that opportunity. Now that I’ve been looking in to VFX and compositing, I don’t see why not.
Here are some post I’ve written on cartoon stuff. My favorites.