After Effects CC Puppet Pin Tool

The Puppet Pin Tool in After Effects CC allows for the creation of bone-like structures for full-body character animation. This course shows you how to open up a whole new world of possibilities using the Puppet Pin Tool's features in countless ways. Software Required: After Effects CC.
Course info
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Apr 11, 2017
Duration
3h 59m
Table of contents
Description
Course info
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Apr 11, 2017
Duration
3h 59m
Description

The Puppet Pin Tool allows you to create bone-like structures for characters and change the shape of compositions, images, and footage. By placing a series of Deform points, your asset becomes a piece of clay, allowing you to create animated effects otherwise impossible inside of After Effects CC. Along with the Puppet Pin Tool, you will learn how to overlap points with the Puppet Overlap Tool and stiffen areas with the Puppet Starch Tool. All three of these tools work hand in hand to give you complete control over your rig. When you're finished with this course, you will know how to use the Puppet Pin Tool to enhance a frame-by-frame cycle, animate a close up of a face, and animate a full-body character. Software Required: After Effects CC.

About the author
About the author

Chad Troftgruben is a freelance animator and screencaster who specializes in Animate CC, Moho, After Effects and Premiere. He has been working with Flash since 2002 which resulted in the creation of several cartoons for both entertainment and commercial purposes.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Overview
Hi there. My name is Chad Troftgruben and you are watching After Effects CC Puppet Pin Tool. I'm really excited to teach this course because the Puppet Pin Tool opens up so many possibilities for animation inside of After Effects. Between the Puppet Pin Tool, the built-in amazing features inside of After Effects, and the ability to download other animation plugins, After Effects really is an all-in-one animation suite. In this course, we'll be looking at three distinct projects that take advantage of the Puppet Pin Tool. We'll first enhance a frame-by-frame run cycle. We'll tackle animating a close-up of a face, and then we'll perform full-body animation, which is what the Puppet Pin Tool is mostly known for, but don't worry. I don't plan to overwhelm you and will take this one step at a time. By the time you're done with this course you'll have a strong understanding of the Puppet Pin Tool and how you can use it within your own projects. And don't worry about getting lost or overwhelmed. I provide demo files for every step along the way. That way you can go hands-on with every step at any time. So I hope you're ready because we're about to get started.

Enhancing a Frame-by-Frame Animation
In this module I will introduce the Puppet Pin Tool by applying it to an existing animation. What I've done here is drawn out frames using Adobe Draw on an iPad Pro. I brought those frames into Photoshop and then those Photoshop documents will be used as our compositions to create the frame-by-frame animation inside of After Effects. More specifically, inside of this module you will learn how to create puppets and I think you'll find that this is fairly simple. It's basically a point-and-click procedure; however, there are certain rules that the puppets follow and we'll start talking about this process and build on it as the course progresses. Then we'll talk about adding and moving Deform Points. Deform Points are the basic points you add with the Puppet Pin Tool. This allows you to create bone-like structures with a few points and that's what you'll be building in this module. We'll start by emphasizing an already made run cycle; however, this should give you an idea of how you could incorporate the puppet tool with other existing assets. And finally, as we're going through this, you're going to get a crash course of sorts of how to use frame-by- frame animations inside of After Effects. I won't be emphasizing this a lot; however, as you go through this workflow, hopefully you'll pick up a pointer or two on how a frame-by-frame can work inside of the software. And once you are all done, you'll have something that looks like this. We'll start with the asset on the left and then we will create the asset on the right, which is more dynamic, has more bounce, and has life.

Corrections and Distortions
In this module, we're going to continue building the run cycle we created in the previous module. Here you'll learn how to add corrections to meshes as well as add physic-based animations, and create distortions all using the Puppet Pin Tool. More specifically, we'll start by learning more about triangles and expanding your mesh. You'll learn the benefits of having more or less triangles as well as when it's appropriate to expand your mesh to cover various points. We'll then make corrections to the first mesh that we laid out. You'll learn that it's easy to make corrections, especially if you're doing a still frame mesh. We'll drill down and talk about sub-meshes, which is great if you want to make isolated edits. We'll talk about animating the hair and create some follow-through for that for the body motions. And then finally, we'll add a background and create an environmental distortion using nothing but an adjustment layer and the Puppet Pin Tool. When you start this module you'll have an animation that looks like this and by the time you're done, the animation will look like this. Corrections have been made to the character, his hair animates, and there's a distortion in the environment.

Molding and Animating
In this module we're going to take the Puppet Pin Tool to the next level by animating out a detailed close-up of a cartoon face. More specifically in this module, we'll be learning how to mold shapes with points. We'll be using multiple points to get the exact shape we want when animating out the eye blink for our character. You'll learn the differences between multiple points and fewer points. We'll also work with multiple meshes, which allows us to work on the same rig, but isolate our edits. We'll talk about animating or interpolating your Deform Points to create animation using the Puppet Pin Tool. We'll work with multiple puppets, which can be useful when working on more detailed projects. We'll also talk about overlapping Deform Points, which can make working with detailed rigs much easier.

Interpolating Body Animation
In these final couple of modules we're going to focus on creating full body animation using a cartoon rig. This is the method most used when creating animation using the Puppet Pin Tool. We talked about implementing changes on a frame-by-frame cycle or animating out a face, but really, going in with a full body rig and animating out the limbs, body, head, and everything that goes along with that character can be effectively animating using the Puppet Pin Tool. In this module, more specifically we'll focus on setting up a multi-mesh rig. We touched on this a little bit in the previous module when we were working with our eyelids, but here we're going to go much deeper with this concept. Also, we'll talk about establishing guides, setting up a ground line, sketching out a storyboard. Those items can be useful when performing full body animation like we're about to. And then we'll talk about implementing animation principles throughout this module. As we move our points and animate our character, we're just naturally going to incorporate these techniques. And finally, we'll talk about how you can easily adjust timing of an animation once you have all of your Deform Points animated out for the character animation. We'll start with the file on the left and end up with an animation on the right after this module.

Cleaning up Body Animation
In this final module, we're going to talk about cleaning up animations with the Puppet Pin Tool. There are a few methods we're going to utilize here. First, we'll talk about making point corrections. As you add your points, sometimes things might not quite line up so here you'll find out just how easy it is to go back and make those corrections if they're not quite working out. Also, we'll talk about utilizing the Puppet Starch Tool, which allows us to stiffen out animations and help refine certain points. We'll talk about swapping compositions, which can help with certain animated assets such as changing the face or a hand position. And we'll also talk about adding motion blur to your puppet animations.