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Animate a skeleton with the puppet tool

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Bernhard Walzl
Animate a skeleton with the puppet tool
on Nov 10, 2017 at 12:52:54 am

Hi!
I have to let a skeleton dance in after effects. Pretty easy deal I thought, I just go for the Puppet tool.

I found a good skeleton like this one: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/yatalu/images/5/5a/Halloween_Skeleton.p...

However, I have seen that when positioning the puppets I would have to do this for almost every bone individually. This would literally take forever.
Meaning when hovering over the skeleton there is a yellow outline of the area and it selects only a few bones but not the entire figure.

Is there a way to connect those mesh areas? I tried to connect them in the PNG with a thin black line without success.

Any ideas?
Thanks.


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Roei Tzoref
Re: Animate a skeleton with the puppet tool
on Nov 10, 2017 at 3:16:44 pm
Last Edited By Roei Tzoref on Nov 10, 2017 at 3:19:46 pm

the problem is that your skeleton has a lot of gaps and puppet is giving you the mesh based on an alpha channel.

you could:
1. in photoshop, create a border for the skeleton, roughly something like this.

2. in Ae use that psd as footage and create your mesh

3. when you are done with the pins, just replace the footage with the transparent (either hide the layer in photoshop and save, or use the transparent layer and replace them as a source)


or alternatively, create a mask around your transparent skeleton like this:

to not go insane, check the rotobezier option for easy rotoscoping process
now take the puppet pin and place it anywhere on that boundary like this


Roei Tzoref
2D/VFX Generalist & Instructor
♫ AeBlues Tutorials ♫
http://www.tzoref.com


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Bernhard Walzl
Re: Animate a skeleton with the puppet tool
on Nov 10, 2017 at 5:50:22 pm

Fantastic. I have noticed that replacing the footage would keep the mesh but i was worried that maybe after restarting or upgrading the machine to a newer version would imply a recalculation of the mesh but apparently thats the way to go.

Thanks a million, that was indeed helpful. This case is closed.

Cheers,
Bernhard


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Roei Tzoref
Re: Animate a skeleton with the puppet tool
on Nov 10, 2017 at 6:56:52 pm

Great. yeah we have outsmarted the machine! for today....

Roei Tzoref
2D/VFX Generalist & Instructor
♫ AeBlues Tutorials ♫
http://www.tzoref.com


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Bernhard Walzl
Re: Animate a skeleton with the puppet tool
on Nov 16, 2017 at 7:50:41 pm

Well, so there is an update to this story.

I have tracked the hands and elbow etc of a real person dancing and linked them with the puppets of the skeleton. (Lasso from the puppet to the position of a null object with tracking information)

This works just fine, however the movements are not very accentuated and a bit too small. How can I amplify the movements? Any ideas?

Cheers,
Bernhard


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Roei Tzoref
Re: Animate a skeleton with the puppet tool
on Nov 18, 2017 at 1:29:33 am

I would ask in the expression forum, you have a good chance they will find an elegant solution for this.

Roei Tzoref
2D/VFX Generalist & Instructor
♫ AeBlues Tutorials ♫
http://www.tzoref.com


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