Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

The Puppet Overlap tool

From: After Effects Apprentice 13: Paint, Roto, and Puppet

Video: The Puppet Overlap tool

I am going to quickly clean up my display by closing the Smoother panel and if you like, you could go ahead and Close All to close your other compositions. There are two more Puppet Pin tools we haven't experimented with yet. One is called the Overlap tool. So if you have the files, go to the Comps folder and double-click 05-Puppet-overlap*starter. I'll click the Puppet effect to see my pins inside the User Interface panel and I'll show you a little bit of a problem with Puppet tool. Initially, this is flat artwork and After Effects does not know if any of these pixels are supposed to be in front or behind other pixels.

The Puppet Overlap tool

I am going to quickly clean up my display by closing the Smoother panel and if you like, you could go ahead and Close All to close your other compositions. There are two more Puppet Pin tools we haven't experimented with yet. One is called the Overlap tool. So if you have the files, go to the Comps folder and double-click 05-Puppet-overlap*starter. I'll click the Puppet effect to see my pins inside the User Interface panel and I'll show you a little bit of a problem with Puppet tool. Initially, this is flat artwork and After Effects does not know if any of these pixels are supposed to be in front or behind other pixels.

For example, if grab his pencil and drag it upwards, you will see that it crosses his neck, but if I drag it downwards, you will see it actually goes behind his hip and leg. Well, what if I wanted the opposite, what if I wanted to pass in front of his hip here? To do so, I need to give sections of this mesh priority in terms of how in front or how behind those pixels should be. I am going to undo to get back to my original position and just to cut down some of these odd distortion, I am going to select my Puppet Pin tool and add another Puppet Pin, right here at his bowtie, just to go ahead and cut down on the amount of distortion, while I am trying to do this bending and overlapping.

Now I am going to go back up to the Puppet tool and select the Puppet Overlap tool. This is how I set those in front or behind priorities. Puppet Overlap pins are completely different than the animation pins you have been creating so far. So to set priorities, you basically need to create a brand-new set of pins. After Effects is showing me the outline of the original undistorted character. Again, After Effects freezes the mesh based on the outline when you create your first pin, that's why it's showing me this for reference and I need to place my Overlap pins inside this original outline, not wherever the character is distorted to now.

In this case, I'll place it in the middle of this pencil. I'll click once and you will see a section of it has turned light white. Basically, those triangles of my mesh have been given an In Front priority, in this case 50%. If you've not set any Overlap pins, After Effects assumes that all of the mesh triangles are priority zero. So by making something in front 50% that means those pixels or mesh triangles should be in front of those that are zero.

However, only those mesh triangles that are highlighted, get this overlap value. To make sure the entire pencil as well as his arm all get the same priority, don't go creating more pins. That creates an unnecessary amount of work. I am going to undo, back to my original pin, make sure it's selected and scrub its Extent value. I am going to do so until the whole arm and pencil are encased. If I have a little bit trouble where it's creeping into his body one place, but not the other, you can actually move these pins after the fact and see what influence that has on the position of the Overlap pins.

I am going to go ahead back this off to were its just the arm and none of the body. I am going to return to the Selection tool to clean up my user interface and see just the rendered results. I still passed in front of the upper body like I did before, but now I passed in front of the hips and legs which is a change over the way it behaved before. And again so you can see the difference, I am going to put the pencil, in front of his thigh, go into the Timeline to the Overlap pins, twirl that open, twirl open Overlap 1 and change the In Front value.

If I change it to a negative value, less than zero, you will see that pencil and arm have popped behind his hips. I drag it to a positive value, it pops in front. If my extent was too small, you will see that I lose parts of the arm and pencil behind his body. That's why we had it set to the entire length of the arm and pencil, so that all of those triangles inside the mesh would now be rendered in front of those with priority zero. You can create multiple pins. For example, I'll drag this arm to where it's now overlapping the bowtie as well.

Let's say I want the bowtie to come in front of the arm, but I don't want to change the arm's behavior where it comes in front of other parts of the body. Well to do that, I can give the bowtie its own overlap pins. I'll reselect the Puppet Overlap tool, look for the outline of the original shape, click somewhere in the middle of the bowtie. I see that the last value for extent that I set is actually a bit too big, it's covering a part of his body as well and I back that down. I see that I am losing part of the tip of his bowtie.

I'll just pick up and move that pin, so it's more centered and balance the Extent value. What if I decided the tie should be behind the arm after all? Well, I just need to change its Overlap value. The arm's In Front value is 20%, so I need to set the Overlap value for the bowtie to say 10% and as soon as I do so, you will see the tie has now popped behind the arm. I am going to back to Selection tool so this renders more cleanly. Pen comes in front of the body, still goes in front of the thigh as well.

By setting up overlap regions on different parts of a character and animating the In Front values, you can go ahead and make different appendages pop in front of or behind the rest of the body. For example, you might go ahead and swing once in front of the body, animate back out here, reduce the In Front value and have it swing behind the body, come back out again. So the Overlap tool is really handy to create a lot more complex interaction inside one individual flat layer incased by the puppet's mesh.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects Apprentice 13: Paint, Roto, and Puppet
 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed After Effects Apprentice 13: Paint, Roto, and Puppet.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.