Thanks to Creative Cow, I have made it so that I can parent layers to puppet pins, allowing more articulation of characters. The informative forum post can be found RIGHT HERE AT CREATIVE COW
Below is the scene in which Nox and Lu are separated and visibly sad because of it. I have added the puppet pins to their torsos to help better their animation.
The following image is a quick re-imagining of Nox’s line art. I gave this concept bolder lines and more than just 2 fingers. I was going for more of a cartoonish look in this concept:
The following screenshots show the red-outlined Null layer handlers on each of the puppet pins on both characters’ torsos. The anchor point on the top left corner of each handler indicates where the puppet pin is located.
I will apply this same usage of expression and puppet pins to Nox’s torso for a re-done walk cycle.
Research: The research that I have done involved looking into an animation called “Seedling” made by Lee Tao, a former animation student. I watched the animation and was inspired by the art style and the style’s similarities to my own. In my inspiration, I contacted Lee via email and asked him if I could inquire about his animation methods. Sure enough, he sent a response email laying out a few facts about his animation.
Fact 1: He used the timeline feature in Photoshop to draw his characters and animate them traditionally. I will probably apply this same tactic when I re-make the blink for Lu.
Fact 2: Lee also used After Effects in the same way that I will be using it, compositing characters onto a moving/shifting background.
From this information, I am motivated to continue my method of animating. Hopefully this insight will also guide me along in my animation process. I have also looked into using the timeline in photoshop and have been watching the video found on THIS SITE in bits and pieces. It has been very helpful in allowing me to better understand the timeline, since I have only briefly used it once before.