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Frustration with Puppet Tool CS 5

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Phil LeBeau
Frustration with Puppet Tool CS 5
on Jan 13, 2012 at 8:44:07 pm

I am having a few issues with the puppet tool. MAC 8 core, 16gig ram

I tried to use the tool on a character and got an out of memory error. I deleted the puppet tool and that "fixed" the problem.

I had somewhat of an answer on the following problem, I just can't wrap my mind around raster / render order. I read this topic on the Adobe site too. Just need it in laymen's terms.

I have a character that I want to animate in 3d space. I would like to move the arms and make eyes blink and head move... blah blah blah. PLUS I would like to use the puppet tool to move other things... maybe a flower bending that the character is holding.

Is it possible to have the puppet tool on a character and have it animate and then take that character into 3d comp and move the camera past the character w/o the character getting torn apart?

Thanks for any thoughts :-)

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Angie Taylor
Re: Frustration with Puppet Tool #AfterEffects CS 5
on Jan 14, 2012 at 2:54:19 pm

Hi there,

You have to be a little bit careful with the Puppet tool. The Puppet tool adds a mesh to the Alpha channel of the layer and fixes that mesh on top of the image. Therefore, if the image's alpha changes shape (via animation or effects) then the mesh will no longer match the image.

Your solution would be to animate your character using the Puppet tool then precompose this character into a new comp. Make the new comp 3D and then do your thang with it as required. Don't collapse Transformations and don't collect $200 dollars when you pass go! ;-)

Also, if you want to make the characters eyes blink or do any other preliminary animation on the character before using the puppet tool, these must be done in a nested comp and they must not affect the Alpha "shape" of the layer.

Phew, hope that helped!

Here's a tutorial on the puppet tool that covers some of this;



Angie Taylor animation & illustration for television, film, web and devices
Twitter: theangietaylor
Linkedin: theangietaylor

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Phil LeBeau
Re: Frustration with Puppet Tool #AfterEffects CS 5
on Jan 16, 2012 at 4:31:46 pm

Thanks so much - that really helps. Do you by chance have the rest of the Dancing Bottle Tutorial?

I really like have the option of moving in close up to characters with a camera. This one project I am working on I have several illustrations of boys and girls and I was hoping to make some seem-less transitions, for example, I need to show them growing up over time, so i was going to zoom into the eyes and then when I zoom out, the character is bigger.

I may change my mind and do something else... maybe a star wipe (JK)

Thanks for your time.


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