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Part 1: Introducing donQmedia’s Stickman

Published: 4 Nov 2016 | Updated:  5 Jul 2017.

Who is this Stickman you speak of?

Stickman with arms folded.

Stickman is a simple animation puppet construced using Adobe Illustrator.

Because my first tutorial series covers rigging puppets using After Effects and Duik, I created a simple puppet as a free download. Using Sickman can save you some time creating your own puppet; all you have to do is download him, then import him directly into After Effects.

Once downloaded, Stickman is ready to go. You can practice rigging him manually or automatically rig him quickly using Duik’s auto-rig feature. I have added tutorials on how I construct puppets that are much more complex than Stickman, but he’s a good starting point if you’ve never rigged a puppet in After Effects or have never used Duduf’s Duik script.

Please note: although Stickman is an Adobe Illustrator file, you don’t need illustrator to use it. You’ll be importing the file directly into After Effects.

See Stickman in action

Stickman was created, rigged, and animated in just a few hours. Duik not only saves time rigging a character, the reverse kinematics it provides saves loads of time when you animate. This video shows you what can be accomplished with a simple rig. Note that the effect of having the arms go behind the body and being able to fold themselves over each other requires a few more steps in the rigging process which will not be covered in the first rigging tutorial in this series. However, it is addressed in Part 4, and Part 5 will show you how to animated him.

This short video demonstrates what can be accomplished in a short time with the help of Duik. The movement contains a few glitches that I didn’t try to smooth out because my purpose of this video was to focus on the inverse kinematics and the illusion of having the arms go behind his back.