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Herd of African elephants made in After Effects with the "Elephants" template from Creation Effects
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Elephants - After Effects (Create Custom Elephant Animations)
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What is it?

The Elephants template allows you to quickly and easily create custom elephant animations in Adobe After Effects. Included are four 2D puppets (adult and baby Asian and African elephants). You can animate one elephant, or create an entire herd, and insert it into your motion graphics or 3D scenes.

With the easy-to-use controls, you can “program” your elephants to do almost anything (keeping a profile-view). Assign a “primary action” such as stand, walk, or run, and combine with a variety of “secondary actions”, such as automatic trunk, ear, and tail movements. For more control, you can manually animate the head, trunk, feet, mouth, ears, tail, eyes, breathing and more.

Create custom elephant animations!

An Asian elephant and her calf walking in the jungle, made in After Effects.

How It Works

Elephants uses the Advanced Puppet Pin tool in After Effects on high-resolution profile images of elephants to create the complex and realistic movements. Using the preset movements built into each elephant, the amount of animating work required by you is minimal!

The elephants include four “Primary Actions”- stand, walk, slow step, and run. You can assign any combination of primary actions to an elephant, and smoothly transition from action to action. Each elephant is on a single layer, so once you have chosen your primary actions, all you need to do is animate your elephant layer’s position to move across the frame.

“Secondary Actions” can be combined with the primary actions. They offer a variety of automatic elephant behaviors, such as trunk curling and swinging, ear flapping, tail swishing, grazing/eating grass, and even throwing dirt or water on its back. For animators who need more control, secondary actions also offer the option to add custom, keyframed movements of the head, trunk, feet, tail, ears, mouth, and more.

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Watch the After Effects tutorial for the "Elephants" effect

This in-depth tutorial explains how the effect works, and shows how to animate and customize your elephants in Adobe After Effects.

After Effects animation of large elephant walking in tall grass, made with "Elephants" for After Effects
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Need to Know

  • This template is compatible with Adobe After Effects, versions 16.0 (CC 2019) and all later versions. Works on both PCs and Macs. No plugins required.

  • Includes an adult and baby African elephant, and an adult and baby Asian elephant. Elephants can be customized to look more male or female by adjusting body size, tusk size, and ear size.

  • Each elephant has 4 primary actions: Stand, Walk, Slow Step, & Run.

  • The elephants are created from 2D images. You can place the elephants in your 3D scenes, but the elephants are 2D (flat) and can only be seen from a profile (side view).

  • At 100% scale, elephants are approximately 4000 pixels wide.

  • You can edit the original images to change the look of an elephant, as long as your edits stay within the edges of the original elephant shape. For example, you could overlay a circus paint texture over an elephant, but you could not add a saddle to an elephant, since the saddle would be higher than the elephant’s back, extending beyond the boundaries of the original shape. (Something like a saddle could be composited onto the final moving elephant effect, but it would need to be motion tracked or animated independently).

  • This template only includes the elephants and a few bonus scene elements (grass and trees). Music and 3D scenes from the demo video are not included.

  • This template has been "universalized", so it will work in After Effects running in any language.

The Elephants template is not a plugin, so there is nothing to install. Rather, it's an Adobe After Effects project file, commonly known as a "template" because most of the work is already done and the user needs only to make their own customizations. This template is compatible with version 16.0 as well as all later versions of After Effects.

Elephants contains copyrighted intellectual property. The animations you create with this product are 100% yours and can be used for commercial purposes, but the sharing or online posting of project files with or for anyone other than a client is prohibited. See the Terms and Conditions for more details.

Positive and/or negative feedback is appreciated. Use the contact page to send me a message.

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