HOW-TO: Combining Handmade Models + After Effects

Tiny Inventions

Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter, the cute animation couple who runs Tiny Inventions, created this video explaining their quirky work process that combines handmade models with After Effects puppetry. They applied this technique most recently to the short film Something Left, Something Taken, which is their most elaborate work to date.

(via Motionographer)


  • Andrew Riding

    Amazing stuff! I always love seeing the behind the scenes side of animation. Thanks guys!

  • Emily

    I’m so appreciative of animators who are willing to take the time to show their processes with the rest of the animation world. Beautiful animation too–I love the handcrafted aspect to their work. Like Andrew (above) said, thanks to them!

  • http://www.davidcowles.net David Cowles

    Max and Ru are the best!

  • Galen Fott

    Fascinating and inspiring! Thanks for this!

  • secret goldfish

    Awesome and inspiring, anyone lacking the imagination to see After Effects as more than just a motion graphics tool should watch this and be both educated and inspired.

    Then again this is a ‘Cartoon Brew’ talkback so quite a few of the folks here are probably still coming to grips debating whether this ‘non hand drawn, non cel based but keyframed’ work is even animation.
    The blasphemy of using a computer, a Cintiq Wacom and god forbid photographic imagery must make the decision on that definition even harder, thank heavens the presented work wasn’t for a video game!

    Luckily Ru and Max are both hip and respected for their work (and rightfully deserve to be!) so they might just scrape through the ‘Cartoon Brew Elitist Luddite Talkbacker Challenge’.

    PS Also Loved that their studio with Cintiq, greenscreen photo studio, macs etc was so similar to mine but is used to make much cooler stuff than what my studio is used to create.

  • http://www.josesaenz.com Jose Saenz

    Thanks, Amid! A couple of days ago I actually went through all your posts again to find the original posting of “Something Left, Something Taken”. I’d love to do something using this method one day and so I was looking for the behind the scenes blog they created. This is even better!

  • tom k

    This is amazing. I am surprise that there isn’t much of comments compare to those Amid’s controversial posts…

  • Paul N

    I expected this to be a short vid on the main points of their process. 20 minutes in, I had to stop watching because I have other stuff I have to do today! :0) Very cool behind the scenes look. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of it soon.

  • http://beaudetteblog.blogspot.com Grant Beaudette

    Very thought provoking. I wish they would’ve shown the expressions running their little controls instead of forcing me to guess.

    • http://www.tinyinventions.com Max Porter

      No need to guess, Grant. Sean McBride, the brains behind that setup, has generously shared a couple of the expressions on the Red Giant vimeo pg. Check it out here:
      http://vimeo.com/14014197

  • Ben K.

    The character rigs and 3D car setups are mind-blowing! I wish I knew how to work with After Effects like that. Really amazing work, and I appreciate the short film even more now having seen all the handmade and digital work that goes into it.

  • http://www.daintyproductions.com Dainty

    Cool video!

  • Thomas

    That is exactly what I needed! Thanks to all who contributed to that video.