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Getting weird "artifacts" when rendering after puppet movement

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Anne Green
Getting weird "artifacts" when rendering after puppet movement
on Jan 26, 2019 at 7:17:14 am

Hi all! How are you?
I'm animating a logo with wings on it and I've managed to get them to reveal over time. For the end of the animation, however, I'd like them to spread a little bit out once they're fully revealed. I used the puppet tool to achieve this, and it worked perfectly. Unfortunately, however, when I check back on how it looks, there are some weird artifacts that are rendering as the wings spread out, and I have no idea why they're appearing or how to get rid of them. This is what I did in order to animate the wings:
- The wings, the matte layer that covers them and that acts as alpha matte for the reveal effect on them, as well as the reveal effect (a saber wave emitted from the centre of the logo and that spreads out onto the tips of the wings, revealing them as it moves) are all pre-composed. The alpha matte is parented to the wings.
- On this pre-composed layer, I put the pin points and animate the wings.
- This is where the trouble starts: at certain ranges of time throughout the animation, it appears as if the wings hadn't moved and so these thin lines under the spread wings appear. I have no idea how to get rid of them, since I've checked and the alpha matte does indeed move together with the wings (as it's meant to do, since it's parented to them).
- In the final animation, in which the wings scale down abruptly, you can also see a thin black line where their original position was.

Please take a look at the images attached. I think they explain the situation better than I do.

1: wings before spreading animation. No problem here.


2. wings during spreading animation. Check the thin lines under the wings. These last for quite a few frames, then disappear, then come back again.


3. Wings during final, fast scale-down animation. Check the black outline mark appearing.


Thank you all very much for your time. I'm clueless as to why this is happening and how to solve it is any help is very much appreciated : )


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Getting weird "artifacts" when rendering after puppet movement
on Jan 26, 2019 at 6:04:05 pm

I'll assume you're talking about the AE Puppet Tool -- with pins, starch, the mesh, yadda-yadda-yadda.

It's very picky in the way you use it. Really picky. Lots of constraints.

You have to use it on the actual layer -- it won't work properly on a nested comp / precomp. You also must use it on bitmapped graphics. Vector graphics will NOT work properly. Nor does it like video or image sequences. And you can change NO layer properties or apply effects to a layer and use it.

If you overcome those hurdles, you have a pretty good shot at success.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Greg Gesch
Re: Getting weird "artifacts" when rendering after puppet movement
on Jan 27, 2019 at 1:58:55 am

Hi. Try increasing your Mesh Expansion (sometimes it leaves bits behind).


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Max Haller
Re: Getting weird "artifacts" when rendering after puppet movement
on Jan 28, 2019 at 4:13:59 pm

It kind of looks like it's messing up with the alpha somehow. Does the matte layer happen to line up with where the wings are breaking and leaving the artifacts behind? If so I'd try rendering a still of wings with the alpha channel, save it as a png and then you can put the pins on that one layer and not worry about precomping or mattes.


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Jeremy Dance
Re: Getting weird "artifacts" when rendering after puppet movement
on Jan 31, 2019 at 6:00:13 pm

I get around this by putting my layers in a precomp then doing all the pin animation there. Then precomping that and doing all effects and position movements there. Imagine 3 levels. Level 1 (the deepest precomp) is just the static image, level 2 is the puppet pin, level 3 is effects and transformations (position, scale, etc)

I've found that if I try and puppet pin and animate position in the same comp I get this exact same issue you are experiencing. I've haven't run into the problems dave is referring to, precomping solves things quite nicely for me.


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Anne Green
Re: Getting weird "artifacts" when rendering after puppet movement
on Feb 3, 2019 at 8:33:51 am

Hi all!
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read my post and reply. I figured what the problem was: I was placing pins on a layer which I had already animated beforehand (scaling in and out, moving up and down and whatnot), meaning that when I later put the pins on it, the mesh did weird things. I managed to fix it by increasing the mesh size, but to be honest what I should've done is redo all the animation, this time placing the pins before adding any other change to that wing layer throughout it. Lesson learned: if you're planning to animate a layer in a way that involves "puppeting it" at some point, do that right at the start, before implementing any other animation!


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