Rig Any Character for Animation with Duik Bassel in After Effects CC

Rig Any Character for Animation with Duik Bassel in After Effects CC

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Now that we’ve rigged some simple
humanoid characters with Duik, let’s rig something completely absurd to show that
you can rig anything your mind can imagine in Duik. The first thing is to
import our character file. Go to file import, file. Select your multi layer
Photoshop file and import it as Composition Retain Layer Sizes. Double
click on the composition. Here we have our composition this is a coconut, some
fried chicken, a weird fish thing and some frog legs. Let’s rig this with Duik.
The first thing to do is to solo one of the layers. I’m going to start with this
leg which is the characters right leg. In Duik we have many different structures
that we can create. If I click this button I can choose instead of a
humanoid leg I can get a digitigrade leg. This is better for what we are doing
so I’m gonna click create. Here you can see the similarities between the leg
that Duik created and our frog leg but first we need to add bones to the frog
leg. Click the leg layer, then the puppet pin tool. Here we need a pin for
the thigh, a pin for the calf, a pin for the foot, a pin for the claws and a pin
for the tiptoe. Now under the puppet tool twirl out the mesh, twirl out deform.
Press ENTER to rename the pins. This will be tiptoe. Puppet pin 4 will be Claws, foot,
calf and thigh. Select all of the puppet pins then in
the Duik links and constraints panel click Add Bones.
Now we can move this structure on top of the bones it is a good idea to make sure
that you lock all of your artwork layers because we don’t want to accidentally
move them so I’m going to do that now. I will move each of the the structures
above our character. Notice with this structure there is no heal because it is
not used. Now I can hide the visibility of all those structures and bones so
it’s not confusing. Next let’s do the second leg. Unlock the layer and solo it.
Select the puppet pin tool. We need one pin for thigh, one pin for calf, one pin
for foot, one pin for claws and one pin for tiptoe. Twirl out the puppet pin
layer and under deform label the puppet pins. This will be tiptoe 2, claws 2
foot 2, calf 2 and thigh 2. Then select all of the puppet pins. In the Links and
Constraints select Add Bones. now we can lock our artwork layer so it doesn’t
move and create a new structure. Make sure we click Digitigrade and then we
can move it into position. Put all the pivot points where the bones are. Now we
can hide the visibility of these structures as well as these bones and
then unsolo the leg layer. Now let’s move on to the arms. Unlock the first arm and
click solo. Remember even for tasty fried chicken arms you need four puppet pins
for an arm. Select the puppet pin tool. Click one for arm, one for forearm, one
for hand, and one for armtip. Twirl out the Puppet Pin Deform mesh and label
the puppet pins. Armtip, Hand, Forearm and Arm. Select all of the puppet
pins then under Links and Constraints Add Bones. Under the robot arm create an
arm structure make sure to lock our artwork. Move the structure into position
above the puppet pins. We can hide the visibility of those structures and hide
the visibility of these bones. Unsolo the arm layer. Now let’s do arm 2 unlock arm
2 and solo it. Go to the puppet pin tool. One pin for Arm, one pin for Forearm, one
pin for Hand and one pin for Armtip. Twirl out the puppet pins in the deform
panel and label them. Armtip 2,
Hand 2, Forearm 2
and Arm 1. Select all of the puppet pins Then in Links and Constraints,
click Add Bones. Back at robot arm add another arm structure. Make sure to lock
our artwork then move the pieces into position.We can hide the visibility of
these structures and hide the visibility of the bones. Next let’s rig up the body
before we do that though we want to pre-compose parts of the face. I’m gonna
press the tilde key to make the timeline fullscreen. Here I have eye 2, eye, nose, mouth and coconut. I’m going to unlock these layers and pre-compose them and call
this layer Face. I’m going to unlock Coconut select Face and Coconut,
right-click, pre-compose and label this Body. That way I can animate different
attributes of the face and body separately at a later time. Now I will
solo the body layer press the tilde key again and now I will add pins for the
body. Select the puppet pin tool. Add a pin for
hips, a pin for spine, a pin for spine 2, a pin for neck, a pin for head and a pin
for spine tip. Twirl out the mesh Label the puppet pins. Spinetip, Head, Neck,
spine 2, Spine and Hips. Select all the puppet pins. Then in Links
and Constraints, Add Bones. Under the robot arm create a spine and then move
it into position. Remember to lock the layer that way it does not move around
while you’re positioning the structure. Now we can hide the visibility of these
structure, hide the visibility of the bones and unsolo the layer. The last
thing we need to do is add puppet pins for the tail. Unlock the tail and solo it
for the tail we can add a puppet pin for Tail, Tail 2, Tail 3, Tail 4 and
Tailtip. Twirl out the puppet pins and label them. Tailtip,
Tail 4, Tail 3, Tail 2 and Tail. Select all the puppet pins then
in Links and Constraints, Add Bones. Now, let’s create a structure for the tail.
Click on the tail and decide how many layers your tail has then move the tail
into position. Now we can hide the visibility of the
tail structure and we can hide the visibility of these bones. Un-solo the
tail. Now we need to parent the layers together. To do this I will press the
tilde key. I’m going to start with the first leg. The bone leg goes to the
structure leg. so I will use the pick whip to drag it there. The bone tiptoe goes to
the structure tiptoe. It is convenient to begin shying layers
away click the shy guy and the layer will disappear. Then Claws goes to
structure Claws, shy. Foot goes to structure Foot, shy. Calf goes to
structure Calf, shy. Thigh goes to structure Thigh, shy.
Armtip goes to structure Armtip. I will now speed this up. You just parent each
bone to its appropriate structure Now I’m ready to select all of my
structure layers and auto rig them. With all of the structures selected click
Auto Rig. Duik will now create controllers for
each of the layers. When Duik is done Auto rigging it tends
to have the controller layers twirled open. To clean up your timeline twirl
them shut. Now we can click shy. The only things I have left on my timeline are
the Duik controllers and my artwork layers. I want to make sure my artwork
layers are locked so I do not accidentally move them. Now if I
highlight all of the controllers and press P shift R, I can see where all of
my keyframes are. Notice that these numbers are very hard to remember. If I
click Zero, Duik will create null objects where each of the controllers are and
then parent them to those null objects. That way I can remember where the zero
is. I’m going to close the layers. Now, it’s important to check to see if Duik
is working properly. Let’s start with the leg. So, if I move the leg now I have this
great action happening with Duik. Press Command-Z. Let’s check the arms, oh yes,
the arms seem to be working. This arm is backwards so I will reverse it. In the
next video I will show you how to make a walk cycle with a four-legged character
like this. Stay tuned.

4 thoughts on “Rig Any Character for Animation with Duik Bassel in After Effects CC”

  1. Thank you for forever planting coconut sloth in my head. I would watch an animated series on him for sure!

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