Puppet pin is 2D only and you cannot have any other transformation animations on that layer. If you need to move or animate your puppet pin layer after you have animated the puppet you must pre-compose and then apply your scale, position and rotation movements. Puppet pin is great at what it does but it is very limited so don't expect miracles like animation in 3D space any time soon.
As for the shape of your cartoon, that all depends on what kind of an artist you are and the audience you are trying to reach. You didn't give me much to go on. I've used everything from stick figures to photo-realistic images. Another big factor in the choice of the look is the budget. Stick figures = a few bucks a second of screen time, photo-realistic = maybe a couple hundred dollars a second of screen time or more. You could easily jack the price up to several thousand dollars per finished second. If you are not considering budget then you are not going to stay in business very long.
Thanks for your answer.
I'm actually an employee so the budged isn't really my decision.
It took about 20 minutes to do about 6 different shapes for the charactes and as I said, they don't need to be very detailed since they are black silhouettes, I was just looking for the best balance between a cartoon-ish character and a realistic character and maybe some examples.
For the puppet pin, I'm kind of sad now. I guess I'll need to find a solution for that animation!
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Ae is 2.5D meaning it is basically flat. there are plugins that allow you to stretch to the Z limit like mettle's freeform that allows you to mesh in 3D. also MaskAvenger that allows you to create spatial points of your vertices that also distort in 3D. other that that, you can always try fake the 3d perspective like some animators do.
like these two:
1. Motion Designer Evan Abrams in a nice series of videos demonstrating creating 3d depth in Ae with shapes : Flat design and the illusion of depth in After Effects | Motion Design Live Stream - YouTube
2. animator James Curran uses all kinds of tricks to fake perspective of a 2d characters. he sometimes uses a 3d software - Maya.
Hey thanks a lot! That could help me, also because I can now take a look at all those related videos I couldn't find by myself.