does after effects have anything similar to puppet warp? like where i could input a png, and have certain points of it move, while maintaining stability in other points? or would i have to cut it up and import each part as layers and manipulate them with size and locations? just brainstorming here...
Yes, in AE its called the Puppet Tool and it sounds like it functions similarly to what you describe.
Puppet Warp in Photoshop is actually developed from the Puppet Tool in AE. The Puppet Tool allows you to lay pins, adjust elasticity, and apply "starch" to solidify/lock segments of the puppet.
Here's a tutorial from Lynda.com:
wow. thats exactly what i was looking for and the video helped too. thanks.