Animata is open source real-time puppet animation software. Think of it as your gateway drug for higher-end animation apps.
More and more of us video editors are branching out – not just into complex 2D compositing, but into sophisticated 3D animation as well.
The Puppet effect works by deforming part of an image according to the positions of pins that you place and move. These pins define what parts of the image should move, what parts should remain rigid, and what parts should be in front when parts overlap.
The Puppet tool is simple enough to use but still requires the laborious use of inserting keyframes.
Enter Animata. How to describe what it does?
Lester Banks, on his always-helpful compositing and animation resource site, puts it best:
The software makes it really easy to create scenes with virtual puppets, which can be moved according to live input signals received from various physical sensors, microphones or cameras.
With OSC (Open Sound Control) communication technology, you can use physical sensors or cameras to create a direct correlation of your body movement to that of your puppet character.
There is good documentation on that process here.
Animata was created by the Hungarian developers Kitchen Budapest as a way for creatives to make interactive background projections for concerts, theatre and dance performances.
But why should they have all the fun?
Even though Animata doesn’t integrate with professional apps like After Effects or Cinema 4D it gives animators a way to pre-visualize character movement and scene creation.
As a creativity incubator, Animata gives us a virtual sandbox for ideas that we can later execute in traditional compositing software.