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Recording Animation

Changing the Position property for each pin at each keyframe worked, but you probably found it slow and tedious. If you were creating a much longer animation, you'd quickly tire of entering precise numbers for each keyframe. Instead of manually animating keyframes, you can use the Puppet Sketch tool to drag the objects into position in real time. After Effects starts recording the motion as soon as you begin dragging a pin, and it stops recording when you release the mouse button. The composition moves forward through time as you move the pin. When you stop recording, the current-time indicator returns to the point at which you began recording, so that you can record the path for another pin during the same time period.

Experiment with this method of animation as you re-create the slipping motion using the Puppet Sketch tool.

  1. Choose File > Save As, and name the project Motionsketch.aep. Save it in the Lesson08/Finished_Project folder.
  2. Delete all keyframes in the Man layer after 2:08. The walking cycle remains, but you've removed the keyframes that animate the character's slipping and falling.
  3. Move the current-time indicator to 2:08.
  4. Select the Puppet Pin tool in the Tools panel.
  5. In the Timeline panel, expand the Man layer, and then expand Effects. Select Puppet to see the pins in the Composition panel.
  6. Select a pin in the Composition panel, and press Ctrl (Mac OS: Command) to activate the Puppet Sketch tool (a clock icon appears next to the pointer).
  7. Continue to press Ctrl (Mac OS: Command) as you drag a pin into a new position. Release the mouse button when you're finished. The current-time indicator returns to 2:08.
  8. Press Ctrl (Mac OS: Command) and drag another pin into position. Use the outline of the character to guide you.
  9. Continue using the Puppet Sketch tool to move all the pins through the animation until you're satisfied with the movement.
  10. Create a RAM preview to view the final animation.

Now you've all used the Puppet tools to create a realistic, engaging animation. Remember that you can use the Puppet tools to deform and manipulate many kinds of objects, not just drawn art. And watch out for banana peels!

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