Making templates that preserve hierarchy

Hi all. I have been breaking down photos into photo puppets, a tedious process, and I’ve been thinking there MUST be a more efficient way. Is there a way to use previous puppets, say, by deleting and replacing components? Would the hierarchy be preserved?

Yes, you could do this but, it would require great care and perhaps only be of limited benefit.

First you would have to cut and clear the existing objects from each element in your template after your drag it to the time line to create a blank instance of the template. Then you would have to copy and paste from your new photo cut-outs to the appropriate elements of your blank instance of the template’s elements.

The original hierarchy of the template wouldn’t change, the only change would be in the objects in the cells of each body part element. But here is the rub, so to speak, your rotational pivot points for your elements and groupings would not most likely be in the correct places for your new cut-out character so they would all have to be adjusted and repositioned with the scene ops rotation tool.

So the main benefit of this process would be that you would have a hierarchy of elements that were prearranged. You could build and save an empty character template and thus reduce the cut and clear part of the process for future characters, but you still need to readjust rotational pivot points for each new character because those would rarely be exactly in the same spot. There might be other adjustments required in the case that you have some elements adjusted for location in 3D space as well. I hope this explanation makes sense. -JK