After Effects, PhotoShop and Duik rigging tutorial
After Effects has a super cool and free script that makes it very easy to animate characters and create cartoons. The is script is called DUIK and can be downloaded from its website. You will find the link at the end of this article. Plus you can download drawings for the tutorial for free.
For this effect to work it is very important that you properly prepair the character you want to animate. This means cutting it down to pieces with PhotoShop or whatever image editor you use. Of course, you do not have to draw your own figure. You can also make your video of purchased pictures.
Save the limbs, the chest, the head and the face as separate pictures. This is important to create the bodyparts that are obscured in the original picture. For example if the character is pictured from the side, one arm and thigh will definitely be obscured.
This isn’t really complicared. We solved this by cutting the picture into pieces and simply drew what was missing.
It is important to save these parts with a transparent background. You don’t need to use vector graphics, but it is important to save them in a very large szie, otherwise close ups will look ugly.
Now put these cut up pieces as individual layers into you After Effects composition with the back parts looking down. Then you can use the Puppet tool to mark which parts of the cartoon character you want to move. The video shows you the most useful ones, but if you need, you can use as much markers as you want. You can even control each finger individually.
Using DUIK is very easy.
Once you are finished using the Puppet tool, you just set things up as seen in the tutorial and your virtual “skeleton” is just a few clicks away. Now all you need is to set the keyframes and you can freely move your character.
Thanks to the DUIK’s creators for this great script and the fact that they are made available for free to everyone!
You can download DUIK for free from here.
We made extra high quality images from the drawing. As you saw it, layered, with a transparent background. You can also download them with the background drawing for free and use them freely. (Of course, we always enjoy a link.)
Yeah, you saw it in the video, her name is Nairda. 🙂
Bonus character animation tip:
Try using DUIK with a photo instead of a drawn figure. It looks great and often quite funny. If you don’t overdo the movements you can even put humans into your video theat move despite being photos.
Unfortunately, the video does not show that the background layer was doubled for 45:22. Sorry.