6 Replies Latest reply on Dec 3, 2012 2:52 PM by BenjaminMarkus

    How to Set Up & Animate After Effects Puppets


      Hello everyone I am relatively new to adobe after effects and have been asked to make a catapult scene from monty python for a play from my school.

      Now I took a picture of the bunny which is getting catapulted over the castle wall and I took a picture of the castle using photoshop I made seperate layers for them and have them in after affects. In an attempt to make the animation I used the puppet tool to make the animation. However I know that this isn't the best way so my problems are as follows:

      * when using the puppet tool I couldnt spin the bunny without deforming the bunny and making it look awful

      * I would put the bunny in the middle of the castle and background so it looked as it was coming up from behind the wall yet when it put in the front of the castle the animationi did not do both it would either stay in front of the castle or behind


      I know that there are better ways to do the animation and I would greatly appreciate any help or pointers, I not sure if I posted this in the right spot but excuse me if I didn't

        • 1. Re: Catapult scene help
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Think kayers and animating position and rotation. Don't use the puppet tool to try and rotate. If you need to have the bunny go behind a wall then you have to make a layer of just the wall then put the bunny behind it at the right time. To do that, split the wall layer when the bunny is above it and then put the bunny between the layers.


          Make sure you understand how anchor points and rotation work. The layer always rotates and transforms around the anchor point.


          Let me know if you need any more help.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Catapult scene help
            Commisar0270 Level 1

            Thanks for the response It was really helpful however is there a way I can take pictures of the scene and make a timeline out of it like a stop motion video this is what my teacher wanted the scene to look like, I also wanted to know if there was a way the bunny could fall apart? For example once it hits the ground use different layers of parts of the bunny and mix them up so it looks broken..

            • 3. Re: Catapult scene help
              Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              You can lower the frame rate of your composition to make it look more like stop motion. Yes, you could make more layers out of the bunny.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Catapult scene help
                BenjaminMarkus Level 4

                My Tutorial Making Motion Graphics Animation Look More Analog in After Effects CS6 should give you some great ideas about the basics of animation in After Effects and it also contains some excellent tips for giving all kinds of motion graphics animation a much more stop-motion look.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Catapult scene help
                  Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Set your frame rate to 12 fps. That's a very common frame rate for stop motion. Actually most of the Monty Python stuff was shot with an animation camera and played back at 25 fps. The difference is that they shot two frames of each cell giving the animation an effective frame rate of 12.5 fps. Most Looney Tunes are also shot two frames on each cell because projectors run at 24fps in the us.


                  As far as making the bunny break into pieces take a look at Shatter. Shatter is based on real world physics so you will need to animate the Force one position or radius so that the layer breaks up when you want it to.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Catapult scene help
                    BenjaminMarkus Level 4

                    Also check this thread when using shatter.  It explains how to make the shatter effect travel outside of your original comp.  This seems to have caused some confusion for users in the past.