Pastiche 2.0 User Guide

Table of contents


Pastiche is a plug-in for Adobe After Effects CS6 or later, that allows you to fill a source layer with a collage of layers.

Pastiche In A Nutshell Pastiche Close-up
Pastiche in a Nutshell

If the source layer changes over time, Pastiche is able to animate layers so that they morph from one collage to another.

Example of Animation 1 Example of Animation 2
Examples of Animation

Pastiche starts by finding a set of points in the source image among non-zero alpha pixels. The points are then converted to position, and used to compute scale, rotation, opacity, fill and stroke colors (for shape layers) of the collage layers. Every 2D layer of the composition is used to create the collage, except adjustment layers, null layers, locked or video disabled layers.


Getting Started

For a quick test of what Pastiche does, you can follow these steps:



Pastiche provides many parameters that help you to customize the look of the collage, from options that affect layers scale and rotation, to animation controllers such as keyframe velocity and temporal offset.

User Interface
User Interface

Source Layer

This parameter specifies which layer must be used as source for Pastiche. Typically you would select the layer to which the effect is applied (the default selection), but you can choose any other layer.


Pastiche affects the Transform properties of every 2D layer (ignoring adjustment, null, video-disabled and locked layers), by setting a new value or by adding a keyframe.

If you don't want to modify a specific transform, select the Ignore option in the popup.

When working in animation mode, it is often desirable to display the same collage during a couple of seconds (freeze/stop) before starting morphing into the next collage. You can do that using the Use Previous Value option: Pastiche will use the same Transform values than the previous ones, and the resulting collage will look identical.

If want to loop your animation so that the last key corresponds to the first key, you can select the Use First Value option for the last key. This option is available for each Transform property.


This parameter controls the way layers are positioned over the source image. The following options are available:

Grid Distribution Organic Distribution Random Distribution Radial Distribution Stipling Alpha Distribution Stipling Luma Distribution
Position Options


Empty Cells
Empty Cells notification in Info Palette

Position Options

When Stippling Alpha or Stippling Luma is selected, the following option is available:


This parameter controls the way layers are resized when creating the collage. The following options are available:


Scale From Alpha Scale From Inverted Luminance Scale From Luminance Scale From Neighborhood Random Scale
Scale Options

Scale Options

The following scale options are available:


This parameter controls the way layers are rotated when creating the collage. The following options are available:


Rotation From Alpha Rotation From Inverted Luminance Rotation From Luminance Orient Towards Center Random Rotation
Rotation Options

Rotation Options

The following rotation options are available:


This parameter allows you to control the transparency of the collage layers. The following options are available:


Opacity From Alpha Opacity From Inverted Luminance Opacity From Luminance Random Opacity
Opacity Options

Opacity Options

The following opacity options are available:

Fill Color

This parameter allows you to control the fill color of the collage layers. This setting only works with shape layers. The following options are available:


Custom Fill Color Random Fill Color Fill Color From Source Color
Fill Color Options

Stroke Color

This parameter allows you to control the stroke color of the collage layers. This setting only works with shape layers. The following options are available:


Custom Stroke Color Random Stroke Color Stroke Color From Source Color
Stroke Color Options

Color Options

The following color options are available:

Layer Order

When enough points (non-zero alpha pixels) have been found in the source layer, they are converted to position values that are then assigned to the collage layers. This parameter controls the way Pastiche assigns points to layers.

Layer Order
Layer Order

You can choose one of the following options:



By default Pastiche creates a single collage at current composition time. However, Pastiche also supports animated source and is able to create multiple collages at once. To achieve that, you can either specify the rate at which Pastiche must produce a collage, or add layer markers to indicate keyframing times.

Frames to Render

This parameter allows you to select one of the following render modes:

Interval (frames)

This parameter specifies the number of frames between two successive collages.

For instance, if you have a source precomposition that contains a text layer whose source text is animated, say a keyframe every second (see image below), you would set the Interval to 30 (or whatever the composition frame rate is).

Keyframe Interval Example
Interval Example

Force Keyframing

This parameter allows you to force the creation of keyframes when creating a collage. It is available only when the Current Frame render mode is selected.

Temporal Interpolation

This parameter sets the temporal keyframe interpolation by adjusting speed and influence of keyframe velocity. The following options are available (speed in/out is set to 0% for all presets except for Custom):

Keyframe Interpolation
Temporal Keyframe Interpolation Presets

Speed and Influence

These parameters allow you to specify custom values for the speed and influence of keyframe velocity.

Spatial Interpolation

This parameter sets the spatial keyframe interpolation. The following options are available:

Spatial Interpolation - Linear Spatial Interpolation - Elastic Spatial Interpolation - Inner Half Circle Spatial Interpolation - Outer Half Circle Spatial Interpolation - Random Inner & Outer Spatial Interpolation - Random Spatial Interpolation - Step Spatial Interpolation - Zig Zag
Spatial Interpolation Presets


This parameter controls the elasticity factor when Spatial Interpolation is set to Elastic.

In/Out Elastic

This parameter specifies where the interpolation must act. You can choose between In, Out or In & Out.

In/Out Tangent

These parameters control the length of the in and out spatial tangent vector. A value of 0% indicates a linear spatial interpolation, whereas 100% would produce a circular motion.

Offset (frames)

This parameter controls the number of frames between the first keyframe of the first layer and the first keyframe of the last layer in the collage. By default the offset is set to 0, which means that all collage layers start moving at the same time.

Temporal Offset (5) Temporal Offset (15)
Temporal Offset

Offset Method

This parameter specifies the sort function used by Pastiche to determine the order of layers when offsetting keyframes in the timeline. The following methods are available:

Temporal Offset Method - From Left To Right Temporal Offset Method - From Right To Left Temporal Offset Method - From Top To Bottom Temporal Offset Method - From Bottom To Top Temporal Offset Method - Distance From Comp Center Temporal Offset Method - Distance From Image Center Temporal Offset Method - Random Temporal Offset Method - No Offset
Offset Methods

Motion Blur

This parameter activates the motion blur switch for all collage layers.


You normally would not need to change these parameters. However, in some occasions they may be useful.

Random Seed

Some parts of the plug-in call a random number generator. By default Pastiche uses a random seed for the generator. This produces a different collage at each execution. Deactivating the Random Seed option enables a Seed parameter that allows you to specify a custom seed.


The Seed parameter allows you to specify the seed of the random number generator. Each time Pastiche is executed, the same sequence of random numbers is used in the calculations.

Create Button

This is the main command that tells Pastiche to start working.

Remove Existing Keys

This parameter allows you to remove all existing keyframes before executing Pastiche.



If you import a project made with Pastiche 1, the values selected in the Transform > Position/Scale/Rotation/Opacity drop-down lists may differ from the values saved in the old project. Since we added new options to each list (ordered alphabetically), item indices in the new version don't necessarily match indices in the previous version. All other parameters are handled correctly.

If you detect a bug or have any questions about Pastiche, do not hesitate to contact our customer support team.

Please visit Motion Boutique website to be informed about Pastiche updates, tutorials, and more.