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Adobe After Effects Puppet Tool

CreativeCOW presents Adobe After Effects Puppet Tool -- Adobe After Effects Tutorial


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Become a puppet master by learning how to use the Puppet Tool in Adobe After Effects! This intermediate-level tutorial from After Effects guru Tobias will show you how the Puppet Tool allows you to add joints and animations to bring life to any static image!



The Puppet Tool in Adobe After Effects provides you with 3 separate controls to animate your static image with ease:

1. The Puppet Pin Tool
The Puppet Pin tool allows you to place pins on your image to define where joints on your character will be. These are best placed on actual joints like elbows, knees and other parts of the body that can rotate.

You can then control click these pins and record your manual animations directly in the timeline window.

2. The Puppet Starch Tool
By default, any animation from the Puppet Pin tool will be applied by deforming a mesh overlayed onto your image. This mesh is very flexible by default which can lead to your character having a very 'rubbery' animation where everything bends and twists. This might not always be what you want and you can use the Puppet Starch Tool to define which areas of your 'puppet' are inflexible.

Simply spray the areas of your image that you want to keep stiff and the puppet tool will do the rest. Try to avoid making large areas completely stiff as there needs to be some room for the animations to occur.

3. The Puppet Overlap Tool
When working with complex character animations you often have parts of the character overlapping, e.g. the hands overlapping the body during a walk animation. You can paint depth information onto your character with the Puppet Overlap Tool. This information tells After Effects in which order to render the parts of the mesh in case of an overlap.

The Puppet Tool (and its 3 components) are a fantastic tool to bring images to live directly in Adobe After Effects and I hope you will have fun with it and experiment!

To follow along with the tutorial, you can download the cutout image of me here.












Tobias Gleissenberger
Tobias Gleissenberger
Tobias Gleissenberger from Melbourne, Australia got hooked onto film making and visual effects with the rise of YouTube. After watching way too many videos from Freddie Wong, Final Cut King and Video Copilot, he realised that creating impressive VFX was now well within the reach of the indie filmmaker.

Unable to find videos that were both educational AND entertaining, he started to create his own style of 'edutainment' tutorials online. He enjoys sharing his enthusiasm and passion for filmmaking and visual effects with anyone who is willing to put up with his 'special' type of humour.

For any business enquiries, please contact tobias@surfacedstudio.com


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