Design Your Character
let's first design our superhero and I'm going to do this straight within after effects. That's another thing that other people will teach you that you can do this an illustrator and bring it into after effects, which actually is a great process to know how to do. But I want you to be able to do this all within after effects as well. So first click create new composition, going to call this hero too 1920x1080 is great and five seconds you can see in the project file that I have the hero layer, which is just our simple superhero. So let's try to replicate something like this. So what I'm actually going to do is take our superhero And I'll just take the draft version and place it into this composition and then drop the opacity down to something like 25 and I'll actually turn on transparency, Bring up the opacity to like 50. So we have that sort of as a template to work with, which sometimes helps. So sometimes I'll go online I'll find a character that I'm trying to not copy but use as in...
spiration and it just helps me draw the lines a little bit straighter because I'm not a great artist myself. So I need a little bit of help now before I just dive into this, I will say that these lessons in this section in particular are going to be longer just because it takes longer to do all of this. But I want to walk through everything that I'm doing so that you can learn properly, but just your forward. So let's dive into it. A lot of this is going to be created with the pen tool so I can just take my pen tool and let's start with the torso. I'm going to lock our superhero layer and then let me zoom in just to the torso just a little bit more. Alright, that's pretty good. So with the pen tool, let me change the fill to, we can change the colors of our superheroes. So let's just start with sort of a red. Okay stroke at zero. I'm just going to start clicking and creating our basic shape. So going around the shoulders, making sure I'm clicking and dragging wherever I want. They're to be curves. You can always go back in here and adjust these things too, clicking around and connecting to our final spot. Then once we have finished it, we might have to go in here and make some little changes like so okay, so that's the top of our torso. Now, what I'm going to do is just start clicking to create our next little layer of his suit, his or her suit. So when I do that and I click around here, I'm just going to click above the first part. Like so now I can change the fill color once I've completed that you'll notice that if I do it beforehand, what will happen is it will change the color of that first shape now in our shape layer, one, which I'm going to rename torso. We have these two shapes under content. Say one shape too. I want to put shape to underneath shape one. All right. So now if I go back I have my pen tool, you'll notice that. Okay, if I change my color, what happens is it changes the color of the shape I just created. So I don't want to do that. I just want to create another shape. Just gonna make this triangular body. Now, I'm going to change the color. Let me pick that red with a little I picker and then just drop it down to something a little bit darker. Now again with my pen tool just create the bottom part and just like so and then make it like a gray. And then let's reorder these layers. So shape layer one is going to be on top for at the bottom And yeah, 123, 4. Okay, that looks pretty good. We can go in here and adjust things. Notice that when I take my selection tool and I click on the shape, I can adjust the individual points If I go in here and I click on the path, I take the entire path so make sure that you're just clicking on the shape itself so you can adjust these so it's aligned properly, make sure it's a perfect line. Okay, so we don't have to be a perfectionist necessarily. You and I but Alex pretty darn good. So that's going to be the torso next, let's create the cape. So let's take our pen tool. I'm gonna actually zoom in here quite a bit. So I'll take my pen tool, let's change the color and now I don't have anything selected in my timeline below. And now, by changing the color, it's fine. So let's pick something like blue and let's just create these little triangles or like the shoulders, something like this. Now I can come down here and that's fine because I'm gonna put this beneath our other layer and here I'm just creating these little triangles right here on the shoulders. I'm not worrying about the cape that's below fluttering behind him. So now let's rename this cape and put this behind. So now that looks like two little triangles. Now, let's create the rest of the cape. So select the torso or select the cape. Actually take our pen tool and now I'm going to start again and it has the same color, which is exactly what we want. You can make it whatever shape you want. Now I don't necessarily have to connect it up here because if I do that, it's going to create this shape over here, which I don't necessarily need. So I'm just going to go back over here and finish it off, like, so I can go back in here and adjust these if I want, doesn't need to be perfect, but there, you have the cape Now let's do make his head his or her whatever you want pen tool. It's kind of a masked superhero. Let's just create this head like so, and you can add more detail, You can, you know, you can add a neck if you want. Actually, I'm going to not click there, I'm just going to click here, down, down, down, down, just like so let's go in here adding a bit more curve, got more of a round head. So cool, Rename this to head. Then I'm going to put this below our cape. Now I don't really see what the head looks like or the face, so I'm going to actually move the superhero draft on top now and lock it in place and now with the head selected, I'm going to take my pen tool, I'm going to create another shape before changing the color though. Just going to create the shape and for the Phil I'm going to make it something like sort of a tan. Okay, now there's this other shape right here that's kind of makes it look like they have like a chin to give another texture. Oops exactly, and I'll just make it a little bit brighter. Cool, so let me just turn off that top layer. That looks pretty good. Now let's create the eyes so let's zoom in here with the head selected, I still want this to be in that head shape layer. I'll take the ellipse tool and I will just click and drag however the eye holding shift to create a perfect circle. Or if you want something a little bit more oval like so we can do that and let's make it more like a light gray. Now I want a another ellipse that looks the exact same so I'm just going to take this ellipse that's within the head shape layer that I just created and duplicated. Command. D take my selection tool, pressing V on my keyboard, select ellipse to in my head layer, whoops make sure it's selected, click on it and drag to the right holding shift down to make sure that it is on the same y axis. And then lastly we have the mouth. So again with our pen tool just click click shift click actually. And for this one I'm going to create a stroke and turn off the fill and for the stroke let's make it, we can make it red whatever dark, read something like that. The stroke very skinny like that. Okay I know this is pixelated but when we zoom out To 100% and won't be as pixelated. Okay cool. Let's turn off our superhero. So this is what we have so far. We're getting there last we have our legs and arms and these are created with strokes. Now there's different ways to create a character if you want more detail If you want hands and and different colors. There's effects, you can apply, you can use the puppet tool to animate it later but I'm gonna do it with just a simple stroke because it's the easiest way to animate and I just want to show you the basics and you can create these really cool simple characters like this. So with your pen tool you might want to increase the stroke a little bit but not necessarily. We can adjust it later later and then just click up in the shoulder area and drag so that we have the curve and then click down here so we have the curve and I'm going to increase and then change the color to just like a gray, something like so click. Ok. And then I want to make the ends of the stroke round so drop down the shape layer properties go into contents shape stroke, change the line cap to round cap, so now it's rounded, which I think looks better for a hand. And I'll type this, I'll rename this arm left and now it's his actual right arm. But to me it's on the left and I'll put this behind the torso. Let me just turn off our superhero draft. I think I can take it from here. The easiest way to create his left arm or the arm right, which has the same curve initially and is the same length is to duplicate this one right click, choose transform and flip horizontal and that flips it horizontal. We might have to move it over to the right a little bit which is fine. This one I might actually move down just a little bit. Something like that doesn't necessarily have to be exactly the same in the exact mirror image, but that's looking pretty good. And let me rename that arm right. Okay, click off of that and take our pen tool for the leg and I'm just going to click, click and drag, click down here, make it a little bit longer, Make sure I'm clicking and dragging. Rename this leg left, Go down, change the stroke settings to make sure it's a round cap. Under stroke one change the line cap from but capped around cap. Now let me make our timeline a little bit bigger. Drop this beneath our torso and we'll make it a little bit bigger too. So let me zoom out. Not too much bigger, but just a little bit bigger than the arms. Cool, that looks good, duplicate it. Right click transform, flip, not vertical, flip horizontal, transform, flip horizontal and then I can move it to the right, okay, leg right, okay. Looks a little funny. His legs are a little too close together, his feet. I'm just going to click on the leg. Take my selection tool. I got to get into the shape itself and into the actual path itself. And now I'm gonna move this here and then into the leg left. Go into the path and click and drag to the left. Okay, the right left, whatever it is. Alright, so here we have our basic super hero, so go ahead. And if you're not following along, create something similar, you can change the shape, size whatever you want colors but create something similar where it has these different layers. You have a torso, legs, arms, kate, and the head. Okay, so this is our design. In the next lesson, we're going to rig our character, which will help with all of our animation.