The Dancing Can

Learn various After Effects techniques for creating a dancing can animation. In Part one learn Puppet Pin tool basics and how to use the motion sketch feature to animate to music.

Part two demonstrates After Effects Shape Layers, Fractal Noise and Grid effects to create background elements, and animating them using the Convert Audio to Keyframes feature.

Part three continues with using Layers to add organic, auto-animating elements to the background.

In Part four, learn how to use the After Effects’ Color Link effect to integrate the can into the background, work with various Layer Styles, create a 3D text animation and add other finishing touches.

  1. tAlpA

    Thank you!!! This was something really new for me to learn, and I appreciate very much!

  2. Loay

    I think this series will be extremely awesome !
    Thanks & can’t wait to see the next one.

  3. Ben Hood

    Hi John,

    Top job on this first part of the tutorial… clear, concise and very informative! Loved the video in video of you talking too, felt like a one on one lesson which is pretty cool!

    Looking forward to the next installment.


  4. pixelos

    Nice John! I liked the live video of yourself in the beginning. Adds a nice touch to the tutorial.

  5. William

    John, I enjoyed this tutorial and look forward to more. Now I know how to properly use the starch tool. I also got a kick out of seeing the little inset box with your countenance!

  6. John Dickinson

    Glad you like it, and didn’t run away screaming when you saw me 😉 Also, Todd from Adobe reminded me of a better way to reset puppet pins, I’ll add this to Lesson 2.

  7. Jonathan Clegg

    This has been a favorite tute of mine for a while, there have been a couple of times when I could have done with a better explanation of the puppet tool. This offers a great explanation. Worth checking out.

  8. kamal98

    hey this is great should coming handy thanks allot

  9. Spiro

    Fantastic. Looking forward to Pt. 2!

    I’m also looking forward to the next MILG! Any word on that? :)

  10. Brett Perry

    Hi John,
    Thanks for the tutorial. I hadn’t really gotten around to playing with the “puppet” tool until you inspired me. I made myself a dancing Guinness can (at least I think it was dancing – ha). Maybe I just drank the Guinness and imagined it dancing. I’m already thinking of new ways to use it. I saw a tutorial where it was used to create smoke streaming over the outline of a car to show aerodynamics. The layer used a directional particular effect and then was precomped. The puppet tool was used on the precomp to “mold” the directional particles over the top of the car. Thanks for all the help you give. It is greatly appreciated.

  11. John Dickinson

    No word on MILG 6 yet but stay tuned. Brett, I know that tutorial by my buddy Jim, a creative use of the Puppet Pin tool to be sure.

  12. Dave

    Hi John, Thanks heaps for sharing these tuts.
    Luv your work. D

  13. Spiro

    Regarding MILG 6 … please, please, pleeeeease cover AE + C4D. I’m tellin’ you + John Dickerson + AE + C4D would make a killer combination! :)

  14. erickson

    great tutorial, i wish it could be more often.

  15. Boreale

    It’s just a great PLEASURE to look to this tutorial !

    I can’t tell you how greatful I am for your blog, which joyfully feeds my passion for AE.


  16. viktor

    i love this tutorial… quiet funny and fantastic

  17. Matt

    Fot some reason the pop-up won’t play on my mac. Any thoughts?

  18. John Dickinson

    Matt try right clicking on the link and saving the movie to your desktop.

  19. julhas

    Imagine this tutorial.i like it very much.

  20. morsiiii

    Thanks much John, Amazing tutorial btw Please how I can find the source file of the can, thanks again.

  21. John Dickinson

    Hi Morsiii, that file is copyright but you could do a Google search for Red Bull perhaps and find a can?

  22. George Andreoni

    Ball’s Show Man
    When you want to come to Brazil for one of these wonderful workshops?

  23. Aebeginner

    Hey John,

    Sorry for asking but where did you get this awesome music you used? Hope your still reading here. Greets from a true fan! 😀

    • John Dickinson

      Hi there, that track came with the Adobe Soundbooth install :) Best, John.

  24. chris

    awesome tutorial. I’m always watching video tutorials and I truly appreciate this one for its clarity, resolution, and directness. You waste no time on irrelevant topics. Definitely the best tutorial I’ve ever watched.

  25. Anes

    how to record can dance???

    • John Dickinson

      Move your cursor over a pin point and hold down the Command (Control key), the click to start recording. Best wishes, John.

  26. Anes

    That Works…Thank you,and sorry for my bad English..

  27. Jose

    Hi, could you please tell me where to get this music? i mean, i cant seem to find one… Please reply

  28. Cec82

    Great tutorial! It’s exactly what I was looking for :)

  29. Cátia

    Really great Tutorial, a just have a question … Where can i find the part 2 of this tuturial?

    Thank you!

  30. Noe

    How can I watch this in fullscreen, I only get partial

  31. pooja

    hey i lke ts 1 animation… whr can is dancng wth d music.. n hw its work lke step by step wth d music…
    m gonna make tht…. pls tel me d latest techniques.. n which software r cmng…

  32. kamal sharma

    Great tutorial…!! and great work…

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