On YouTube you can find many different tutorials about character animation and you will see that first of all you need work in Adobe Illustrator, you should create your character and only then you animate it in After Effects. Yes, it’s more correctly if your character consists of many layers.
But if you want to make a simple character animation you can use After Effects only. So today we will create a simple face animation with Cartman from South Park.
I didn’t use any third-party plugins, just shapes.
Download After Effects template: Cartman face animation tutorial