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Puppet FX with Different Layers

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Andrew MeesPuppet FX with Different Layers
by on Sep 20, 2010 at 10:59:43 am

Hi,

I've done a bit of a dig around the forum and can't find an answer to this exact question but please point me in the right direction if this has been already answered.

I have picture of a phonograph in After Effects and I want to animate an object being swallowed by the speaker of the phonograph. I want to use the puppet tool on the phonograph speaker to simulate a mouth swallowing the image.

I have divided the phonograph speaker into 2 images on separate layers: The front of the speaker and the back of the speaker so that the object can pass "through" or "into" the speaker and not just behind it.

So far this works ok but how do I apply the puppet FX to the speaker as a whole? I tried adding the layers to a pre-comp layer but then the object just ends up behind the speaker not "in it".
Is there a way to lock the layers so that I can apply the puppet effect to both of them or can you think of a better way to achieve the desired effect?

Thank you for any help.


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Walter SoykaRe: Puppet FX with Different Layers
by on Sep 20, 2010 at 5:03:14 pm

[Andrew Mees] "have divided the phonograph speaker into 2 images on separate layers: The front of the speaker and the back of the speaker so that the object can pass "through" or "into" the speaker and not just behind it."

You could keep the phonograph intact for puppeting, and use a mask or track matte to obscure the objects.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Andrew MeesRe: Puppet FX with Different Layers
by on Sep 20, 2010 at 5:46:16 pm

Thanks, that's a better solution. I'm not quite sure how to do that yet though, I can use a mask to hide parts of the layer that the mask is on, but how do you get the mask to effect other layers as well? I guess I have some reading to do, it seems like it would be quite obvious.
Thanks again.


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Walter SoykaRe: Puppet FX with Different Layers
by on Sep 20, 2010 at 6:41:38 pm

[Andrew Mees] "I can use a mask to hide parts of the layer that the mask is on, but how do you get the mask to effect other layers as well? I guess I have some reading to do, it seems like it would be quite obvious."

You're right -- this is very straightforward with a nodal compositor, but so no clear with a layer compositor like After Effects.

The classic way is to precompose, and then either mask, use a track matte, or get fancy with preserve transparency.

Personally, I'd draw a shape layer where you need to obscure the layers. Use the set matte effect on each of your objects to take a matte from your shape layer and invert it. Finally, hide the shape layer. When the objects pass into the area masked by the shape layer, they'll disappear.

Some of these methods may work better for your particular situation than others.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Andrew MeesRe: Puppet FX with Different Layers
by on Sep 21, 2010 at 5:59:18 am

Thank you,
You're awesome!


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