Puppet Tool


Most of The Saga of Rex will be animated traditionally, but for certain scenes where there is not a lot of movement, I’m going to use various time saving devices. For the first scene I’m tackling here, the various characters are suspended in mid air within electrified bubbles. I don’t want to just use a held drawing because I think that would look too stiff and boring. So I’m going to generate some movement using the Puppet Tool in Adobe After Effects. First, in Adobe Photoshop, I create a full color version of the image I’m going to animate.


Then, I seperate various sections of the image. All the different parts are saved as PNGs on transparent background. Then I import all these images in After Effects and use the puppet tool to create movement (see video).


8 thoughts on “Puppet Tool

  1. I’ve used the puppet pins quite extensively on a series of spots (British Gas), and they’re pretty great. The characters had rubber-hose type legs, and they were perfect for that. We also used them for hair spikes to give follow through as well as in the fingers.

    I thought Harmony had a similar tool? Maybe I’m wrong? Is there a reason you wouldn’t just keep that shot in AE for final composite? Great drawing!

  2. I think it’s smart that you’re mixing in some of the newer animation tricks with the traditional ones. Your artwork is so organic looking that it doesn’t look all FLASH-y and flat like a lot of modern cartoons. Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks with us!

  3. I couldn’t help imagining Rex doing the instinctive “swimming motion” most canines’ll do when held over water or just generally weightless.

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