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Simple Character Animation For Beginners (Free Project Files)

You’re a beginner animation that is looking to improve your animation skills? This tutorial is for you. In this guide, we’ll learn how to bring to life a character typing on a computer. The animation techniques used in this tutorial are specific to this design, so if you want to follow along step-by-step, feel free to download the project files.

Step 1: Organizing and parenting

Optimize your workflow by only leaving the layers you’ll be working with while hiding the rest. It can also help if you change the color of your layers so you can distinguish them.

Another important step is to parent your layers. This means that all layers related to the face and hair need to be parented to the head, while the head needs to be parented to the neck, the neck to the body, etc. The hand is parented to the forearm, the forearm to the arm and the arm to the body.

Step 2: Face rig with Joysticks ‘n Sliders

We don’t hide how much we love Joysticks ‘n Sliders. You can watch a detailed tutorial on how to do a face rig with this awesome AE plugin here.

Step 3: Rigging the arms with Duik

Duik is another favorite toolset of ours and we’ll use it to make the arm and hand movements. Set your anchor point and test to see if the rotation is correct. Open Duik and click on Auto-rig. Repeat the process with the other arm.

Step 4: Rigging and animating the fingers

Create different masks for each part of the hand and each finger. Then we rig with the Puppet Tool by creating three pins for each finger. Add keyframes and move the fingers to imitate typing. See the detailed explanation in the video.

Step 5: Animating the head and body

The movements here are small and more subtle (people usually don’t move their entire body when typing). For the head, we only animate the rotation and for the body – position and rotation. Refer to the video guide if you need more help.

That’s it! You’ve completed your character animation of a guy typing on a computer. For more animation tips and how-tos, subscribe to our animation YouTube channel Kashu Academy.

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    Kashu Team
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