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Foggy African savanna landscape
Lens flare effect for Lions template

For Adobe After Effects

Lens flare element

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Lions - After Effects (Create Custom Lion Animations)
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Lens flare design element

What is it?

The Lions template allows you to create custom lion animations in Adobe After Effects. Included are a male and female adult lion. You can animate one lion, or create an entire pride, and insert it into your motion graphics or 3D scenes.

With the easy-to-use controls, you can “program” your lions to do almost anything (keeping a profile-view). Assign any combination of the nine “primary actions”, such as walk, run, or jump, and smoothly transition from action to action. Use the “secondary action” controls to animate the head, paws, mouth, tail, ears, eyes, breathing and more.

Create custom lion animations in After Effects!

Lioness stalking prey in African savanna, made with "Lions" effect for Adobe After Effects

How It Works

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

The nine preset movements, called “Primary Actions”, range from walking to stalking to lying down. You can assign any combination of primary actions to a lion with a few clicks of a mouse, while maintaining control over the timing and duration of actions, and smoothly transitioning from action to action. Each lion is on a single layer, so once you have chosen your primary actions, all you need to do is animate your lion layer’s position to move across the frame.

Secondary Actions” offer even more control, allowing you to make custom movements of the paws, head, tail, mouth, and more. Secondary actions have simple controls, so you can keyframe the different properties. Twitch the ears, blink the eyes, sniff the nose... even adjust the intensity and speed of the breathing. For animators who need even more control, the pins on the lion can always be adjusted. 

Anamorphic lens flare
Learn how to make custom lion animations in this After Effects tutorial for the "Lions" template

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

Lens flare and lion animation FX

Need to Know

Lion snarling effect made in Adobe After Effects with "Lions" from Creation Effects.
  • This template uses After Effects’ new Advanced Puppet Pin tool, and is only compatible with Adobe After Effects version 16.0 (CC 2019) and up. Works on both Mac or PC. No plugins required.

  • This template includes two adult lions - a male and a lioness.

  • Each lion has 9 primary actions: Stand, Walk, Trot, Canter, Run, Stalk, Jump, Lie Down, and Stand Up.

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

  • At 100% scale, lions are approximately 3100 x 1600 pixels when standing.

  • You can edit the original images to change the look of a lion, as long as your edits stay within the edges of the original lion shape. For example, you could overlay a texture on a lion, but you could not add a saddle to a lion, since the saddle would be higher than the lion’s back, extending beyond the boundaries of the original shape. (However, something like a saddle could be composited onto the final moving lion effect).

  • This template only includes the lions. 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 Lions 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 CC 2019 (16.0) as well as all later versions of After Effects.

Lions 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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