Puppet Pin Rigging in After Effects | Chad Troftgruben | Skillshare
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16 Lessons (1h 19m)
    • 1. What You Will Learn in this Course

    • 2. Designing Your Character

    • 3. Assembling Your After Effects Comps

    • 4. Exploring Puppet Pin Options

    • 5. Precomposing Main Groups

    • 6. Creating Multiple Meshes

    • 7. Animating the First Pose

    • 8. Animating the Jump

    • 9. Animating the Landing

    • 10. Animating the Wave

    • 11. Polishing the Animation

    • 12. Animating the Character in Scene

    • 13. Further Animation Polishing

    • 14. Adding Stiffness with the Starch Tool

    • 15. Exporting Your Animation

    • 16. Final Thoughts

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About This Class


In this course I will take you through the process of rigging and animating a character using the Puppet Pin Tool in After Effects. Throughout the course we will be importing a PSD file, grouping layers, applying pins, and creating a simple animation. More specifically, main topics for this course include:

  • Overviewing character setup and design

  • Importing multi-Layer assets in After Effects

  • Assembling main body parts into compositions

  • Adjusting Expansion and Density for puppet meshes

  • Creating multiple meshes

  • Creating animation with the pins

  • Polishing animation

  • Exporting animation

Meet Your Teacher

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Chad Troftgruben

Freelance Animator and Screencaster


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1. What You Will Learn in this Course: Hi, guys. My name is Chad trough German, and you are watching how to rig an animate with the puppet pin tool inside of after effects . The public pin tool has a lot of uses, and essentially you can place pins down on a layer, which will then allow you to morph the layer as if it worry piece of clay. And because the pins allow you to anchor in certain spots of the layers, it actually works well for designing and rigging characters. Now there are other methods for animating inside of after effects, such as using Do IQ, which is a bone system that you can download and integrate as a plug in. And I might do a course on that one as well. But if you're looking for something simple just to jump in and rig up a character and do some movement than this is a great tool, and you can go pretty robust with it. I actually last year did a full production just using this tool to animate my characters and only the link for that in the description, if you which to check that out. But beyond that specifically in this course here is what we're going to learn. We'll learn how to import a PSD file appropriately, as well as assemble the compass we need for this. Animation will also explore the puppet pin options so that you understand how this ring process works and will also go into the differences between creating one mesh versus multiple. Mensch is for a character. After we've planted are pins on the character, we can start animating well. First put in the starting pose, which is a bent pose. Then we'll animate out the jump, followed by the landing and then a wave. Then, with that base animation in place, we can go back and polish up the animation, so that way it's good to go. Then we'll integrate the animation into the scene, adds a motion to the scene to help with the jump and polish up using any other means. By the time you're done with this course, you should have a strong understanding of how to use the puppet pin tool, how to rig up characters and how to animate them. I hope you're ready because we're about to get started 2. Designing Your Character: you start off with this course, I'm on my iPad and I want to show you how we designed this character when it comes to designing your own characters and setting them up with the puppet pin tool in after effects , you do have some leeway. Unlike other procedures like Character Animator, where you need to have a specific structure and even names. If you want to auto tag here, we just need to make sure we have our arms and legs separated from the body. I'm going to come over here to procreate. This is where we designed this character. So on my iPad, I'm under drawing. I'll tap on procreate to go inside and here in my gallery. If we click on the character animator thumb, this is the character will be using. This character was originally designed to be used inside of character animator, but the puppet pin tool is versatile and so we can take this rig, bring it into after effects and assemble it and animate with it. When it came to designing the rig, I'll come over here and tap on my layers. You'll see that my artist grouped everything into one layer and If we expand this, you'll see we have some head turns that we can implement as well as the front arm. The front hands. We have the foot separated from the front leg. You have the body, your back leg and the foot that goes along with that, as well as your back, arm and hands and then some hair. And again, we're going to take this just as it is and export it out so that we can work with it inside of after effects. And you could go through and maybe arrange something is here to make it easier, but you can either do it here, photo shop or, as I said, after effects. So once you're satisfied with your design in the case of procreate, well, just tap on the actions button and then under share, we're going to go with PSD. So tap on PSD. It might take a moment to export everything out, depending on the details. And here you can choose how you want to send the file out. As you can see, I have airdrop enabled so I could put it right onto my computer. We could also save it to Dropbox to iCloud files. Whatever you have set up on your iPad in terms of file sharing, you can use those services. Just make sure that you save it as a PSD file, as it will be easier to work with, since we'll have multiple layers. So once you have your file brought over or you can just use my file in the next lecture, we can move on. 3. Assembling Your After Effects Comps: for this lecture. I have opened up after effects and I am looking at the start panel. And here all I want to do is create a new project. So once I click on new project, we have a blank project ready to go. And the first thing I want to do is import that rig I exported out in the previous video. You'll find the project panel on the left side. Just come over here and it shares with the effects control. So just make sure you're on project and just double click or use command I or control I. If you're on Windows to import and here in the exercise files, I'll locate that rig. 01 chad start dot psd and you can go ahead and click open. Now, when you do this, when you bring in a photo shop document, you're going to have some options that you'll need to choose here, and the first is how you want to import it. Import kind is currently set to composition, retain layer sizes, and that is what we want. Essentially, we're saying we want to split up the PSD files into layers, just like it was in a photo shop. And of course, we're retaining the sizes that were originally established and then below you have layer options. If you had different layer styles within this Photoshopped document, you can choose to edit them within the software or merge them before they're imported. It's typically easier according to after effects to merge these things. If you don't need to play with them for they might not match photo shop exactly, so I don't have any layer styles to worry about anyway. I'm just going to choose merge layer styles into footage and then click. OK, so here in the project panel, you're going to find a composition along with some layers. First, if we expand layers, you'll see we have all the layers that were set up inside of procreate. I can collapse that, and then we have Chad start, which is the name of the rig itself. But it was brought in as a composition, so if I double click on this composition, we can go inside and here you'll see we have the background, followed by another composition on the timeline. Now the compositions are essentially your groups from photo shop or, in this case, procreate. And if we double click on these, we can then go to the next step so I can double click on Chad to go in there. In here, you'll see we have the layer ordering how it was within photo shop, starting with the heads, your front arm in front hands. If you double click on heads, you can go in and see all the different phases of the head. Go down here to head 3/4. Go in there. And as you can see, you can just keep going down and down and down into different embedded compositions. Ultimately, what I want to do here is just set up the scene so that it's ready for animation, and we already have our compositions established. We just need to edit them. And I'm just going to close out of heads and head 3/4 just so we're not confused and look at a one chad start. This is going to be the actual scene that we're going to animate in. So I'll come up here and I'm just going to click on that composition within the project panel hit Enter to Rename, and I'm just going to call this scene and then hit Enter. If you are making a more complex cartoon, you might want to name this the scene name and number and all that. But for now, we're just going to name it. Seen. The next step is to establish the correct resolution and frame rate. So if we click on the composition seen panel right here, and I'm just going to use command A or control A if you're on Windows to bring up the composition settings. And here it's using the preset from the Photoshopped document, which was using a custom resolution. The iPad resolution, in fact. But I'm just going to come here and drop this down and let's just choose HD TV 10 80 24. We'll keep it pretty simple. It's just a 10 80 p resolution at a free of 24. The duration is currently set to 10. I'll leave it there. I might change that. We'll see. But once you're good here, you can click. OK, so now we've changed the resolution. It's actually smaller than it Waas, so we need to adjust the character to compensate for that. I'll just come over here and click once on the Chad layer. And then I'll hit s on the keyboard to bring up scale holding shift and then hit P to also bring up your position properties. I'm going to come in here and just scale this down. And I'm also going to click on the Chad layer holding shift and then hit a to bring up anchor point. And I'm just going to establish this really quick. I find it easier to bring the anchor point so that it is where the feet are so right about here. And you can choose the exact horizontal spot perhaps more in the middle where both the feet are spaced out like that. And then you can use your position to bring it back more to center. So something like that should work. There we are. So now we have our compositions set up for the start of this project. The last thing I might do here, just come in and click on background and delete it because we really don't need that background layer we might add in our own background layer at the end here just to help spurs things up. I'm going to save this. So that way you can access this file and we'll just name it. Oh, to puppet pin bringing. And then all had save. I'll include this in the next lecture. So that way you can jump right in if you wish. 4. Exploring Puppet Pin Options: for this video I am inside of 02 puppet pin rigging. Feel free to open up. This file when I want to do now is take a look at how establishing pins and how the mesh from those pins works and how you can adjust the mesh in case you're having issues with your animation. So here you'll see we have our rig within after effects. I'm just going to zoom in here using my mouse wheel. And in order to set up pins or to establish a puppet mesh, you can come up here and find the puppet pin tool. If you hold down your mouse button, you'll find that there are variations of the public pin tool and we will get to those. But for now, I'm just going to click on the puppet pin Tool and come in here and simply click once anywhere on the rig to establish a pin. Now, when I do this, you're going to get some new options first under effects on your timeline, you'll see we have different things we can do with the puppet. We can change the engine. We can establish mesh rotation refinement. There are other options dealing with the different pins that you're establishing as well as the meshes. So you're already making changes and also at the top you'll see that we have mesh options we can choose. If we want to show the mesh as well as if we want to expand it, increase the density. And if we want to have the rig record in real time, sort of like character animator as we move pins around. But right now I just want to keep adding pins because I want to move the head and let's say the hands and let's keep the character anchored at the feet. So to do something like that, I could come in here and start adding in my pins. So just kind of down like this, where you think and note as I'm adding these pins that the mesh is changing. So let me just undo these steps really quick. You'll see that there are less lines when there's no pins by the feet. But as I start to add in those pins, we see that there are now different triangles appearing within the mesh, which is basically mean. That's going to react differently, and I'll add let's say one more at the head now. This isn't very advanced, but it will help us get started in order to effect change. Once you've established pins, you can come over with the puppet pin tool. Or you can use the selection tool if you wish. When using the selection tool, you won't see the mesh. So for now, I'm just going to use the public pin tool. And if you come over here and hover over any of your pins and click and drag, you can start to alter the way the public works. Now you'll see it is anchored in at every point, and it's just sort of bending and doing things as we move around. Now it could move this one. I could move that one, this one and that one, and you can see we could already start to make some changes. Let me just use Command Z to undo all that. Now the thing about this is first. This isn't a great way to animate a character because of the way everything is linked up, and we'll talk about creating multiple meshes in the next video. But let's come over here and look at the expansion and density options. So first density has a deal with the amount of triangles that are in your mesh. And if we increase this, you'll see that the number of triangles is also increasing and essentially, what's going to happen here. You're going to get a smoother look to the bends that occur with the public pins and 12 isas faras you can go and you can see that there are quite a few triangles. Also keep in mind that the more triangles you have, the more resource is needed to animate. If you have an older computer, you might find increasing, the density will stress and resource is. And let's just come in and bring this back now. So I'm gonna really just go back to zero with this. And you can see now that the bends are a little bit more stringent because there's less. Give this less smoothness because the lines are just fewer in far between. So if you come in here and once again, I just make some changes and I could even add some more pins here, and you can add pins whenever you want, so you can come in here and just keep changing things Now. If I were to come in in a just the density, you can see as I'm doing this, it's just changing the way it looks. It's making it more smooth now. The other thing you can adjust is the expansion. So if we were to come in here and expand the mask out, you can see as we continue to do this, it's changing the way it looks. And it's giving us inaccurate results, really? So why would you ever want to do this? Well, let's say for some reason the mask isn't going all the way around the hand, and that could be an issue. Because if you're expansion and I'm going to go into negatives now, for the expansion starts to intersect with the original art, you can probably see here it's doing. I'm just gonna zoom out. You can see that it completely will mess up the way the mesh works. So if artwork is existing outside of the mesh, let's say you happen to add some new layers to the flu shot document. After you do a bunch of animation and that layer exists outside of your mesh, you might need to do some expansion to make sure it is accommodated. Otherwise, As you can see here, as we start to kick back that expansion and we start to go into negative territory, it just really distorts what's going on. And before you know it, it's not going to work. So those are some things to think about when working with your puppet pins and again, as I said, this wouldn't probably be the way you would animate a character. So up next, we're going to talk about creating multiple meshes. 5. Precomposing Main Groups: for this video. I'm working off of 03 puppet pin ringed AP, and I'm inside of after effects. What I want to do now is set up the rig so that we can isolate the main parts so we can create separate meshes. First, I'll come down here to the timeline, click on Puppet, and I'm just going to delete the puppet effect from that main composition. We might add a puppet to the main composition later, but for now we're just going to turn that off and then I want to go over here and double click on Chad to go into the rig so we can see all of the layers. Now, one thing I want to point out before we go too far. The heads and the front hands and the backhands contained multiple phases of that particular item. So by double click on heads, you'll see we have had side. We have had front and we have had 3/4. It's very important when working with items like this that you have all of them visible before you establish your mesh. And let me just show you why really quick as a just a short example, I want to come over here and grab the puppet pin tool and I am on the heads layer. Now, if we come in here, you can see they're all currently visible. And if I click, we are establishing this mesh and let me make sure my expansion is set to zero. So everything is accommodated. So here you can see that we have the head side right here. But we also have had front and we haven't hear a here. But the mesh is making up all of that. So it doesn't matter if we switch between these items during animation, the mesh will be able to accommodate for it. And as we talked about in the previous video, if you have assets cut off from the mish, things could get kind of screwy. Now if I were to come in here and let me just remove the puppet really quick that way it's gone. And I want to come in here now and let's say you are set to animate and you have your other head phases hidden. So now you're just looking at your rig the way you want it to be set up for the scene, but you might have head turns later on. So you come in here and you start establishing your mesh so you haven't set up and you get it all ready to go. Later on, you're animating. And then for that particular moment, you have him go to, let's say the side and then you come back here, you're going to see now that mashes completely offset and it's not going to accommodate, and you would have to come in here and try to expand and do different things to correct it . And in the end, it's probably just not going to work very well for you. You can see it's not great. It's cutting things off right there. So that's one thing to keep in mind when you are working with all of this. And so when you create your puppets, be sure that you have all phases visible. So that way, everything is going to be accommodated for no matter what is currently on screen. So with that said, I'll make sure I have all those head faces visible and my hands are also visible so you can see I have all the hand poses backhands. I'll make sure that those air turned on and we should be good to go. Now let's come over here and we want to take these items and put them into groups. Some of these are grouped up right now, but we can't. For instance, add a puppet to the front arm and the front hands, simply because they are on separate layers will need to put them on one. To do this, we could go inside a procreate and update that file and re imported. We could go to photo shop and group the layers and save it. Or we can just come over here to after effects. Click once on front arm holding, shift, click on front, hands, right, click and then choose to pre compose. We're just going to name this one front arm and we really don't have any other choice in terms of how we want to established this composition. And that's okay. We can leave everything as is and click. OK, so now front arm has been established, we can move down and he wants to work with front foot in front leg. So just select those in pre compose f dot leg hit. Okay, we're going to skip body for a moment, Come down here to back foot and back, leg pre composed those and hit OK and then you have the back arm. Just rename it to beat arm or back arm and then click. OK, now the other thing I want to do is put the head and the body on. It's only Er The reason for this is because we want to put the head and the body together now. We could put them separate, but then it will be a little bit harder to animate out some things. So we're just going to stick with this method. I'll come over here and grab heads. We're just going to click and drag and bring it so that it's right above body and we'll also grab the back hair front and 3/4 and bring those up. So now you want to click on back hair, 3/4 hole and shift and go up to heads and then right click. And then she was pre composed and here you're going to rename this to body and then hit Enter. So now you have all of these main areas group together, the body front leg from arm, back, leg and back arm, and that's going to make setting up separate meshes easier, which is what we're going to do in the next video. 6. Creating Multiple Meshes: for this video. I'm working off of 04 puppet pin rigging di e p. Feel free to open up this file. I'm now inside of the Chad composition. So far, just to review this really quick. If we go to scene, we have Chad. Double click on Chad. You're now inside of that puppet where we have our groups set up and ready to go. So I'm going to start at the top with front arm and using the puppet pin tool. I can come in here and just zoom in and I'll click once at the shoulder. To establish that pin, you should note that the mask or the mesh, I should say, should be covering the hand and the arm as well. Let's make sure that our expansion is set to zero. We can change that at any time, but my as well said it there. Right now. I'm also going to establish a pin in the middle and then near the wrist right here. Actually, let's put it in the middle of the hand like that. So if we were to come in here and test this, you can see it reacts like this. Now it's a little bit jagged, so I might come in here and just increase the density of the mask. It's just put it up to, let's say, 10 for right now, in action going. Teoh, Undo those movements and we'll set it to 10 just like that. Okay, so make sure your expansion is set to zero and we'll start with a density of around 10. So now we want to go to the next layer. I'm just going to collapse the effects on front arm and then go down to front leg once again, start at the top, and you should still have your expansion in density settings. From what we just set up, come down here where you think the knee should be at another pin, and then you can decide. If you want to add one or two pins to the leg here or the foot, you could establish the toes and the heel separate. That's what I typically do when setting things up like this, so feel free to do that as well. It does mean you'll have to move mawr pins in order to animate out the rig. Just keep that in mind so we can collapse. That and then move over here to the body. The body. We can, of course, include the head. So we'll start here and click once on the top of the head to establish. And then we can move down. Will add one here to the neck. Move down here, we can add one. Let's just say around the waist about right here and then we'll add one to the pelvis about right there. Then we have the back legs, which will follow. A similar pattern of that of the front leg has come down here. Just establish yard. You want your pins like that, and then we have the back arm. So come up like this. Some come in and establish those points. So right there. So there you go. We now have those pins in place. And if we were to come back here, just collapsed this. Make sure he claps everything. I can zoom out a little bit so we can see what's going on here. You can see now that we can go in to each individual piece of this and we can move things around and do what we want to do with it. So I could come down here to the body and in order to access this, you have to make sure you cook on the puppet effect in order to gain access to it. But you can come in here, you can see I can bend the head like this and we can move the neck in the waste and the pelvis to accommodate. Now, the only bad thing about this if you want to call it a bad thing, is that none of this is really connected. So now when you move the body, you'll have to come back here to the arm and just kind of committed and re establish where you'd want that to be just like that. So there are some considerations to make. But by coming in here and separating out your meshes, you have more control. When it comes to animating rigs in after effects 7. Animating the First Pose: for this video. I'm working off of 05 puppet pin rigging dot ap Feel free to open up this file. But I want to do now is start building the animation with this rig. So that way we can implement it with the scene. There are a few ways you could go about this. Currently I have this set up so that we can animate within this composition and then take this chad composition in place it within the scene from there. Any animation we place on the Chad composition will take place on the scene. You could then from there, adjust the position as well as anything else with this main composition on the scene. While the animation is taking place now, you could also just build your seen around the character within this composition. So you would have all your body parts available to you. You could then build up the scene around you. Of course, changing the resolution of the document. And you could then animate that way having this character interact with the environment, objects, characters and so forth. Now you can have them interact using the method I'm about to show you. But it is harder because you have to work between two compositions. But this also allows you to build up a library of actions so that you can reuse them when appropriate. So really, you have a lot of options, and it just depends on how you want to tackle this. But let's begin by designing an animation within this composition, the first thing I want to do is reset the puppet pins that are currently active. So I'll come down here to front arm, and I can use you on the keyboard just to expand everything out. And here, right on front arm, you'll see we have puppet. I'm is gonna come over here to mode underneath mode. You'll see we have reset, sell this click and reset, and we're good to go there. I don't think the leg has any movement as well as the other limbs, but I believe the body does. So if I hit you on body, I can come to puppet and hit reset. So now everything is back to where it needs to be for this animation. We're going to have him jump into the scene in wave, and so we'll start by animating out the jump and we'll add the actual motion of the jump to the scene itself. This means we might need to go in and enlarge this composition a little bit simply because anything that gets cut off here will show up as cut off in the actual scene. So when we come over here to this composition, the Chad composition and use command K or Control K, if you're on Windows and I'm just going to expand everything by 1000 pixels on each side, so come in here and I'll expand that to 3000 on that side. So that's a little bit better. And if you come back here to the scene, you can see it offsets a little bit because we changed the composition. But it's not a big deal because we have no animation currently on scenes. We don't have to worry about things getting messed up, but now we are ready to go. We can start animating. The first thing I'll do is hide the hand poses that I don't need as well as the head poses all double click on front arm and then double click on front hands. And here I'm just going to set it too relaxed for right now. Come back here to Chad, come down to back arm, go to backhands, and once again we'll set it too relaxed and then go to Chad and then you have the head in the body composition. So we'll double click on body double, click on heads and then here. Well, let's change it to 3/4 since sense of the body is set to and I can come back here to chat Now, remember, if I wanted to use head turns in different hand poses with this animation, I would keep them visible so that the mesh would accommodate all the assets. But I'm going to keep this simple and turn off all these poses just for this particular animation. So now we can begin the process of animation, which I'll do in the next video. 8. Animating the Jump: for this video we're working off of 06 puppet pin rigging dot e p. Feel free to open up this file. We're now going to start the animation process. I'm inside of the Chad composition and I'm just going to start by coming over here to the body. I can click on that, and I want to reveal the puppet pins so I can click on the puppet pin tool to do that. But here we're just going to start by bending him forward so I can come in. It's gonna do some basic things like this. Can I bring that up a little bit? Bring that more down and then bring that down as well. So you kind of have something like this going on now, Now again, The one thing about this is you'll have to go to each layer and make sure that everything is connected. So again, if you can't get your puppet pins to show up, you might have to click on the puppet effect in your timeline. But I'm just going to come over here and we're going to move this pin where it needs to go . Oops, I guess I messed that up a little bit. We bring that back. There we go. So we have it like that and we'll place the arms down more like so then you'll want to come over here to the back arm once again. Just come in and make your adjustments. And there we go. We can also bend the legs so we'll start with the back leg. Just come in here and all I'm going to do. It's just bend the leg out like that and I can move the top portion down and I'll move the knee down. This a little bit like so. And I can come up here to the front leg and we'll do the same thing. So that's come in. Spend these things down a little bit like so, and you can see that my feet are a little bit distorted, so you might have to just come in and make some quick corrections to the feet in order to make sure that everything is set up appropriately. So is coming in. Expand that out a little bit, like so Now we go back here to the body and I'm just going to lower the pelvis here, just like that and then bring the body down a little bit more just to match those legs. There we go. Now again, the feet aren't perfect. We still have a little bit and distortion issue, but I think it will be okay for right now. So the next thing we can do now that we have the starting pose is I'm going to go up a few frames. Let's go to about 12 frames in, and you can easily advance forward and back on the timeline by using page down to go forward and page up to go back. So we have our key frames established on one now were on 12 frames in. We're just going to come in here now and basically do the opposite of what we just did. So come in here and we're just going to raise the character up, sort of like this. And again, I'm going to do some raising and lowering here. But a lot of that will also be done on the scene. So that's looking okay for right now we can jump over here to the front arm, make sure we slept the puppet. Just come in here in this time We're going to bring the arm up like so and come over here to your layers and we'll grab the back arm and do something similar. So raise it up like that. Raise up the elbow. It's kind of come up like this. There were Then we'll focus on the legs, starting with the front leg. We're just going to come up. And But I might do here is bring this leg up like so come over here to the back leg and I just want to play with this really quick. So we're gonna bring this one up a swell. Bring that one up and you can select two points at once by clicking and holding and shift and then clicking on the second point in this case, I could bring it up. I didn't actually mean to select the knee when doing that, but that's okay. We can just de select and then bring the knee down like so and we can bring the foot up like that now for the front leg. I'll go back there, and I'm just going to come in here and just bring it up a little bit. Not as bent, so it's kind of like this now. So if we were to page up, we can go back and we can kind of see how this looks. The arms aren't perfect. So at around six frames, I'm just going to come in here really quick and correct those poses. So for the front arm here on frame six, I'll try to come out like that. So it sort of looks like this is a little bit more smooth and I'll come back here to the back arm and you just repeat the process. So it's coming here and try to get everything smooth out there were. And as you go through, you might find that there are other spots that need correcting, and that is normal. You can just come in and make the corrections as you see fit again. The only real tedious thing about this is you have to kind of go back to each layer to make the correction. But if you spend time on it, the result can look good. That's looking a little bit better. So if we come back, so if I come back to zero and play it, you can see it looks like that Now I'll probably end up speeding it up and adjusting it as we go, but it is the start of our animation. 9. Animating the Landing: for this video. I'm working off of 07 puppet pin rigging dot ap and I'm inside of after effects. We're going to continue now with our animation. You can see we have this going on so far, which isn't much, but it's something to start with. So now I'm going to just go over here because we're starting on frame zero and then he goes up and then I'm gonna have him come down on one second in, at least for right now. By looking at this, I know for sure I'll probably be adjusting the timing, but for now, we're just gonna go with this. So all I'm going to do here now is come in and copy and paste some key frames. So let's click on front arm and then hit you to expand the key frames for that layer. Here we have those first key frames we established for when he was kneeling. I'm just going to copy those with command, see or control, see if you're on windows and then paste with Command V or Control V. And I'm just gonna do this now for all of the other layers. So again, you just come in here. You locate the layer that you want, and you can also use the tilde key to expand the panel. If that's easier for you to see. In my case, I'm recording at a lower resolution than I usually work in. But we're just going to come in and copy and paste those first key frames for the front leg again. You can use you to expose all key frames for a layer and just going to come in here really quick and copy all those key frames in now. You could go through and just manually animate this back to a similar position. But I'm also doing this to show you that you can copy and paste key frames, and sometimes that need is required. If you hit the tilde key again, we can come back and see the whole application once again and you can see he's back in that starting position. So it kind of looks like he goes like this. So again, not great, but it's starting to shape up, so when he lands now, we're going to have him straighten up and let's just do about six frames for that. Actually, lets go 12 I've been kind of going in increments. 12 soldiers keep at that, and then we can adjust later needed. And we just now need to come in here and straighten him up. And once again, I'm on front arm and we're on one second, 12 frames in. If I hit Reset, it's going to establish key frames for that puppet, allowing us to put it back to the original position when we started working on this, so I'll just come in to each layer and reset the puppet. So now you have something that looks like this and again. There are issues, but we will correct those as we move along here. The fact of the matter is, it is starting to take shape and things are looking pretty good. Will pause here and up next will focus on the next action. 10. Animating the Wave: for this video I'm working off of 08 puppet pin rigging dot e p. Feel free to open up this file. We're now going to continue working on the animation. So far, we have something that looks like this again. Not great, but it's the start of something, so we're going to finish off the sequence, and then we can go back and do some more polishing. So our last animation ends at 1 12 I'm going to hit you on the keyboard to bring up all my key frames. That way I know exactly what's going on Now I'm going to advance to two seconds in, and here is where the next animation will start. So that means right now we need to add in another key frame to establish this stillness. What I'll do with all these key frames exposed is come down here, and I'm going to highlight the last key frame for every single puppet position pin. Then I just need to locate one of these puppet pins. It doesn't matter which and then find the key frame button and then click that that will establish key frames for every single puppet pin, so that way we have those 12 frames of stillness. Now the next thing we can do is focused on the wave. I'm just going to hit you to collapse everything. That way, it's easier to see. Now I'll click on the body and then hit you and then click on the puppet to bring up those properties going beyond two seconds. Let's just jump once again to 12 frames in so to 12. We're just going to lower this character a little bit. So come down like this and that might be a little bit too much. So I can kind of bring it back up and again. I can adjust this as we go, but just to have a little bit of something a little bit a dip like that come over here to the front arm hit you, bring up the puppet effect. And once again, I'm just going to come down just like that and we'll do the legs last will do the back arm . Next again. Just make sure you have that shoulder connected where it needs to be, and we can drop the arms a little bit like that. There we go and then we can go to the legs, so we'll start with the front leg hit you come in and I'm just going to drop that top part and then we'll just bend this out a little bit like that. It doesn't have to be much over here to the timeline and locate your back leg right here, hit you and then click on the puppet. So that way you can access the pins, make sure you drop anything that needs to be dropped. And then we can simply bend that out a little bit like so. So you kind of have this going on now and then at three seconds will have him go up into the wave pose. So to do this, I'm just going to come in and once again reset all of the puppet pin positions. So that way, we have a default standing position to start with. Once you have everything back to default, you can page back and see how this looks now, going once again to three seconds. I want to come over here, click on the puppet mesh for my back arm. So we come down here and find the back arm. Click on that and We're just going to bring it up like so bring up the elbow and kind of bring it over like that. Now again, since he's coming down, he's going to go up. He should probably over extend a little bit, so we'll have him kind of go up like this and then we'll have him kind of go back to default afterwards. So let's locate the body school here, click on the body, and I'm just gonna have him kind of go back a little bit like this again. Over extending a little bit. There we are. And grab that back arm puppet. Bring it over just like that. And then the front arm needs to be adjusted as well, and we can also adjust the legs, and that might be something we do end up doing. But for right now, grab that front arm. Just come in and tighten things up, like so So you have something that's looking like that. So he kind of goes from the standing position and then going to go up like this, and then we're gonna have him settle back down. And to do this, I'm going to reset most of my layers Or at least I'll reset the body so I can come in here , find the body, and we're just going to reset it like that. And then I'll grab the front arm and just make sure we connect everything appropriately. We can have it be a little bit of, Ah, motion there and then going down to the back arm, making sure we are clicking on the puppet. Just come up like that and I'm just going to come down. So now if we back up and take a look at this, you can see that this is what we currently have. And again, it's definitely not finished. But we now have a foundation we can work with to polish up the motion. So pause here and up next, we'll start polishing up this action. 11. Polishing the Animation: for this video I'm working off of 09 puppet pin rigging dot e p Feel free to open up this file. What I want to do now is polish up the animation I created in the previous videos. If we come through and hit the space bar, we can see what this currently looks like and it's not great, but hopefully we can make it look better. The first thing I want to do is hit the tilde key on the timeline. So that way I can see the entire timeline on my screen and I want to hit you to make sure that all of my key frames are present on the timeline. I'll go back to frame zero and click and drag all the way down to select the bottom key frames. And then I want to move to the right to ensure that all the other key frames are accounted for. Now I want to come over here and find a group of key frames. Will just use these right here holding Ault and then drag to the left. I basically want the final key frame to land at about two seconds. So right here, so let's see what this has done. So by holding in Ault and dragging the key frames like we did, we're able to expand or decrease the duration between all the key frames. So let's come back here using the tilde key and see how this new compressed animation looks . We'll need to render it out here, so just give it a moment. And once it's done, we can see it in real time. So it's looking a little bit better. I would say that speed is more appropriate. So what I might do here just look at this again is I might just make some other timing adjustments here and just making sure you know where I met. So between here and they're so between seven and 14 I'm going to come in and just expand things out a little bit more. So I'm gonna grab all those key frames and just bring it out a little bit like that. It's now come back here. It's played out and see how it currently looks. I think that's looking a little bit better. We have more time for him toe fall through the air as he does this thing. So now we have some other things you want to work with, such as the arms. If we come over here, you can see that these arms are just not quite working the way we want them to. So it's just a matter of coming in and making your corrections. I'm currently on frame. 11. Let's go to frame 12 and make sure we click on the puppet effect here, and I'm just going to come in in a just how this looks. So maybe bring it up like that and then once again for your front arm, just come in and once again make your adjustments like so. So if we kind of page up and down, we can see what this looks like. You can see we still have a little bit of an issue with the back arm near the end. Here. Kind of does a little bit of wobble, but let's see how it looks in motion. It's not looking too bad this arm, though the front arm does pop out of the body. I'm noticing now, so if you come over here, let's make sure we hit you on front arm to bring up our key frames So on this key frame on frame 18 I'm just going to grab that puppet and bring it in a little bit, like so still could be moved a little bit more. Just a little bit off. Needs to come down more like. So there we go. That's looking better. So you have this whole thing now. Now we have a little bit of a wobble right here with the arm, the front arm that is once again just come in and you can make your adjustments. There we go. That's looking a little bit better so we can come back here and just play this out. Get an idea of what we are currently looking like here. It's not too bad. Let me just go back, bring my frame. Let's make sure nothing is popping out and again. That front arm, I think, is actually a little bit too high on that first frame. I guess I just did not notice that Initially, soldiers come in here and make that correction. Shouldn't be that big of a deal. There we go. So you have that now in that front arm is looking better, so now we can come in here and work with the wave really quick. So you kind of settles right here. But let's actually have him wave a little bit. Sell. Come down on 208 We're gonna locate back arm and making sure we are on the puppet. I'm just going to move the arm down so it looks like that. And then we'll move it back up at 2 15 and then we'll move it again down on three. So you kind of have this. Now we want to add some body motion to this. So let's go ahead and locate the body so you can It comes up like this and we're gonna have the body move down as he waves. And it doesn't have to be a much just a little bit just again to add some motion to what's going on. And in fact, people, I don't even need to move that part just a little bit like this. This so there's a little bit of its hilt, maybe a little bit more from the neck. There we go. And then on to 15 will do the opposite effect. It's kind of like that. And then on three seconds, we will move it forward once again. Kind of more down like that. So now we're going to go back here and correct the front arm with the body. So you kind of have this going on right here. So at 208 will just come in and make sure we reconnect the arm. And also, we can move the arm a little bit just to kind of go along with the body and then to 15 move it back down out a little bit and again. Since you don't really have any constraints here, you'll have to be careful. Make sure that the arms days as consistent as possible. Of course, it just depends on your animation style. We don't want the arm to appear really big and then really small between key frames. You'll have to kind of use your best judgment when placing these down to ensure that everything is going according to plan. But this is looking better than it. Waas. Let me just come back here and play it out really quick. There are still some issues, but I'll take care of those in the next lecture 12. Animating the Character in Scene: for this video. I'm working off of 10 puppet pin rigging di e p. Feel free to open up this file. I now want to come in here and polish up this animation a little bit more. Come back here and play this out. Things are looking okay. However, the wave just isn't quite right yet. So let's go over here and come down to the back arms puppet pins. So that way I can alter these and do what I need to dio. Now, looking at this, he shoots up like this and that's looking OK. However, I almost feel like the arm should start animating down sooner. So I'm on to 04 right now and you can see it doesn't have much change from the other key that we have at 1 21 So what I might do is just come back here to 204 and change the animation a little bit so we can come back here and see how this looks. Now it's looking a little bit better now. There is some issue here. When the body kind of comes out like this, the arm isn't really doing what it should in order to compensate for that Now we could just adjust the body so it doesn't do that, or we can come in here and make an adjustment to the arm to see if that helps. Just like that comes back like this. And then I might just adjust this on three seconds in, just to make sure that everything is lined up a little bit more just like that. So now let's come back and play this out and see how it looks. It's looking a little bit better. It might have to do with the animation of the body itself. So looking at this, he comes up and then he it's supposed to lean forward. Let's come over here to the body, grab the pins for this might have to hit you to make sure we can see those pins and then come down here and again. Looking at this, the bend just doesn't seem to make much sense, at least in my eye. So I'm going to grab that puppet, and we're just going to try to do some things here really quick. So just like that, yeah, come back in, readjust this. Playing with some things here to see what looks best, maybe come down here and adjust the back arm just a little bit to help it with the settling motion. Come back like that and then down like that. Let's play it again and see where we're at. We just have one. I would say major issue with the animation, and it has to do with this motion right here. It just doesn't really look quite right, So to make it a little bit easier for me to work on, I'm going to come in here and move that key frame I'm having issues with. It's just this one right here, so I'm going to remove it and see if it just sort of corrects itself with the other key frames, and it actually might. Some come back here and just try it again. It's looking better. Could be the floating arm as well, because the arm appears be floating a little bit the front arm. So well, let's come back here to the front arm, hit you, bring up the puppet and then just come in and make sure the arm is connected. Okay, one more time. That's looking better, so I'm pretty happy with this now again, I could spend more time on this. And if I were doing my own production where I wasn't on a time limited, so to speak, because with these tutorials, I really am on a time limit. I would go through and polishes up and do more with it, But I think it's serviceable for what we're doing, and I think it will allow us now to move on to the next step, so that is what we're going to do. 13. Further Animation Polishing: for this video I'm working off of 11 puppet pin rigging dot e p. Feel free to open up this file. I now want to start the process of animating out this character within my scene. To do this, we first want to go over here to the scene composition. Now, to make this easier to animate within the scene, I'm actually going to add a background to it. I can double click on the project panel or use command I or control I. If you're on Windows, I'm going to go into my exercise files and you'll find BG dot p and G attached to this lecture so you can just bring this in that way. We have something to work with, and once you have it on your project panel, I can just click and drag and bring it below Chad on the scene composition, and we now have a background established. So now it's a matter of going through an animating out our character, along with the action that we have set up. As you can see, all the animation is right here, so we just need to go through the process of animating it out and doing any final touches to the animation to help with this scene. So to get started, I'm going to hit pee on my keyboard while I have Chad selected, as well as holding, shift and then hit are to bring up rotation. I'm just going to hit the stopwatch on position and rotation. That way I am key framing both of these, and we're going to use the X positioning to bring the character back so that he is completely off the screen and we're also going to bring him up. And we might even rotate him a little bit to the right at about 20 degrees. Now, if we come back here to the Chad animation, his jump last about one second, however, he lands specifically at 18 frames coming back here to the scene on frame 18. We're gonna want him toe land, so I'm just going to come over here, bring this up and then bring this down just like that, and I'm going to bring the rotation back to zero. So now if we page up, you can see it kind of looks like this so it comes in, he's going to land, and then he's going to wave. Given how this animation looks, I'm not quite satisfied with the jump here. So I'm going to jump back here to the Chad jump animation. And when he puts his feet out like this, that's where I want to make the correction. I'm going to go down here to the back leg. Let me just find that. Make sure I bring up the key frames for the back leg. So the right down here and on this particular frame, I'm just going to click on the puppet and I want to extend the legs out more so it's going to be kind of more like that. And then the front leg. Let me come over here. We're just going to scale that back a little bit like so. So it's kind of like this. So he has a wider spread, and then he's going to come down. And while also doing this, I might make the landing a little bit more abrupt for his feet. So instead of having the feet almost come together like they are, I'm just going to come in here and expand this out a little bit more so that way, when his feet do land. It's more abrupt and it looks more impactful. So once again coming down here to the back leg, I always miss it. It's right there. I'm just going to extend things out a little bit more like so end. I'm also publican to do something with the arms here, too. First, let's come back here and just take a look at what we have here. It's looking a little bit better. I feel like I could do something with the arms as well. So I'm just gonna come back here. So when he comes in, it lands. So right there, let's come over here and grab the puppet pins for the arms here on 16 frames. I'm just going to establish some keys really quick for the front and back arms. It's coming just like that. What kind of looks like this? When he lands, I'm going to bring the arms up a little bit, so they're right there. And then at 19 I'm just going to not much, but just do a little bit of a bump up with the arms as he makes that impact. It's kind of like this. That might be too quick of a change. I'm not quite sure, but we'll see here. Let's come back to the scene and we can take a look so we can hit play and it might be a little bit too much. So just come back here. We're just going to make a couple of adjustments. I'll zoom in on the timeline, and I could come in here and just tweak this a little bit. So end looking at that, I'm just gonna bring the arms down a little bit. I might have been a that too exaggerated with that one part, but not a big deal. You can just go in and easily make your corrections, so it kind of looks more like that. Now I can come back here to the scene and try it out. It's looking pretty good the way this still not my favorite thing in the world, not quite sure. I seem like every time I try to play with it, it just doesn't go quite how I want it. But it's not that. It just it could use a little bit more work, but, well, pause there for now and up next we'll do some or final touches 14. Adding Stiffness with the Starch Tool: for this video I'm working off of 12 puppet pin rigging dot e p. Feel free to open up this file now. Between videos, I created a new composition nets, essentially a duplicate of the Chad composition called Starch Tool. And I just want to quickly show you the different modifications you can do with the puppet pins. So the starch tool is pretty self explanatory. Let's move in here really quick and focus on the front arm. I'll make it full quality. So that way it's easy to see what's going on so you can see that the arm is currently bent in this position. It doesn't matter where I move. I can go to different points and you can see we have just different Ben's going on here. Let me find one. Once again, that's a good indicator of this. So right there on frame zero, we're just going to start with that Now. If we come over here and click on the front arm puppet pins and we come up here and clicking, holding her mouse button or this cycle with Command P, we can select the puppet starch tool. Now, all this does make sure I click on the mesh so I can see what I'm doing is it allows you to come in and dictate which parts of the puppet you want to basically straighten up or act more rigid. So in this case, we might want the center of the arm to be more rigid because that's where the elbow is. So notice how it's currently bending. If I come in here in place, the starch point around here, you can see that it takes a moment, but it will quickly shore up what's going on, and you can see the mesh is even different. And now the bend ISMM or defined. And you can keep doing this. If you keep coming in here and putting in your starch points, you can really just get to the point where it's basically hard to bend at all because it's trying to act straight. When you're doing the bends, you can see it looks a little bit different, and again it gives you a different result. But it also allows for more control when you're working this way. So if you're Ben's air not quite looking right, you might want to check out using the starch tool 15. Exporting Your Animation: for this video. I'm working off of 13 puppet pin rigging dot e p Feel free to open up this file. We're now going to finish up by exporting out this animation. As you can see, I have about three seconds of animation and then we have 10 seconds of just kind of dead air. So to make sure I export this out in a concise way, I'm going to click once on the composition panel and then use Command K or Control K to bring up the composition settings. And I'm just going to come down here and change my duration to four seconds and then click . OK, That way we have an extra second of animation at the end just to sort of show off what's gone on here. So now, once you're satisfied, you can come up here to your composition option under your file menu, and then shoes add to adobe media encoder Que This will launch adobe Media encoder and then you can export out the video using all the options within Adobe Media encoder. You can export out through after effects natively. However, I find that using media encoder is nice because it allows you to compress the file the way you want, right off the bat with the native encoding process with after effects. It makes a file quite large, which can be useful because it's good quality. But I find this method to be easier in the long run. So as you can see, Adobe Media Encoder has brought up this file. We have the video right here. We can go in and choose the format. If we want to make it an image sequence or whatever we want, we'll just keep it at H 0.264 with a match source. High bit rate and I can come in here and we're going to export this out really quick. It'll be called scene that way. You can reference this if you want on your own time, and that's all there is to it. So be sure to check out this file if you want to see the final result and in the next video , all wrap up with my final thoughts. 16. Final Thoughts: and that is a little bit about the puppet pin tool inside of after effects. The tool has a lot of uses, and so when it comes to setting up in designing characters, you can do that. Or, if you want to simply apply a simple, let's say, fabric effect to a piece of scenery or a prop, you can do that as well. And of course, I'm sure there are other uses you can think of that you could implement into your own productions. Ultimately, if you like this process but want more control, I would recommend checking out that Do it plug in, which is available for free for after effects. And I might do a course on that as well, because that is a great plug in and again, it is the next natural step to this. But in a pinch. Or if you're just looking to do something simple, you can definitely dive in and do what we did here and more with the puppet pin tool. So thank you for watching. I hope you found this helpful and I'll see you next time