I'm wondering if there are any tricks that someone may have learned that can give a 2D cutout of a long sleeve shirt natural arm movement as you raise and bend the arm. I currently have a torso, an upper arm, an elbow (which is used as a patch when the upper and lower arm parts move), and a lower arm. I have set the pivot points at the joints for each part.
What I'm looking to do is make it look as natural as possible and not so stiff and mechanical. i.e., muscle movement, and cloth movement.
The puppet tool might help you get movement, but I can't think of a good (easy) way to get cloth and muscle movement in AE.
Muscles could be done by tying a bulge effect to a specific area on the arm and using expressions to make it bulge or shrink when the elbow angle varies. You'd need some sort of linear expression to translate the values.
Cloth? No idea off the top of my head. What sort of cloth movement are you asking for? Are you just wanting an arm to poke further out of a sleeve or are you wanting it to ripple as the limbs move?
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Yes. Bulging should work fine for the muscle since it will only be the bicep that needs to flex a little.
The cloth just needs to wrinkle and ripple slightly. If I were to use the puppet tool would that cause distortion automatically as the limb moves or could I adjust that using slider controls with no effect from the arm rotation?
"Making clothes react convincingly doesn’t have to be an impossible mission of frame by frame keying. Using simple expressions and the puppet tool you can make clothes react automatically to your characters movements."
For cloth movement and all other you can precomp each element and ad inside the precomp a Mesh Warp. Once the main movement is done, you can open the main comp with each precomped element side by side and animate the Mesh Warp to accommodate the movement.