Using the Puppet Pin Tool
Welcome to this brand new section of the after effects course in this section we're going to be learning the puppet tool and animating this graphic right here. So I've included this project file if you want to follow along and see what I've done. Or you can build it from scratch using this owl dot ai. It's an illustrator file. And we'll be walking through this complete project. So find that and import it into your project. Create a new composition. 1920 x 1080 is fine. And I'm going to call it owl. Now bring in this owl dot Ai file. Place the owl in the middle of your composition. Just by putting it on the timeline, you'll notice that it's kind of small. And when I increase the scale, the resolution doesn't look that great. Well after effects has this great thing when you're working with vector files or illustrator files and it's called continuous rationalization. And it's this column right here. It's the one middle that we haven't talked about yet. This little it looks like a little s...
tar. What happens when I turn that on is all of the edges becomes sharp. So if you're using vector objects, you can actually scale up past 100% and still preserve the quality. So the first thing we're actually going to do is put this owl into another composition because we're going to be using this as a pre composition where we add the blinking eyelids, which is going to be better if we put it in a pre comp. But let's do that later. So first take the alchemy that you just created and drag it into another composition and just call us owl flying. I'm just gonna call alpha line too so I can separate from the other one. Next we're going to take our puppet pin tool and we saw this in an earlier lesson. But I want to go over it in just a little bit more detail. So when you click on that and then you hover over and select one of your layers and then click on one of your layers. You actually put pins into your layer and think of these as pivot points where if you select a pin you'll be able to move it around. Now with one pin it just moves the entire owl around. But when I put two pins in and I try to move one around. The other pin is stuck. So it's kind of like a puppet where you are attaching strings to different parts of your image. And this works good for this kind of character icons or graphics where it has a transparent background. So for this animation we can literally do it with four pins. So two on where the owls kind of shoulders are where the wings attached to its body and then one on each wing. Like. So because we're going to be able to animate these pins and you can see just by clicking and dragging, we can move the wing up and down. And now the rest of the body kind of stays where it is. You do get some subtle sort of distortion in the eyeball and in the ear when you do that, especially when you go to an extreme. So to combat that we can put more pins around our owl's face. So that when we do move the wing, just the wing moves. If you really want to get intricate with how a wing can move, you can put pins say here and here and then you can move them kind of separately. So you can animate this end of the wing and then also move this part of the wing up and down. If you want to do that one thing you'll notice though if I move this wing like so it's kinda hard for you to see. But you see this little little brown spot right there, that's just a distortion that we don't want. And that has to do with this mesh right here. So let me actually undo that move. And you'll notice if I zoom in really far on my mesh and I go down to where that little spot is. It's like a little cutout. This mesh isn't covering it and we want the mesh to cover all parts of our island. You can see it down here as well. And if I move this pinup, whoops part of its body gets left behind so we don't want to expand the mesh. And you have this option right here. It's set to three. But we can expand it to 10 or so. So that's the first thing that I do. When I look at the mesh, I make sure that it's covering our entire object. Cool. So now I can turn that off and that's pretty much setting up our pins. And the next lesson, we're going to be animating our owl and creating that flapping motion.