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Part 2: Why & how to find, download, & install Duik

What is a Duik and why do I need one?

After Effects icon

Although not created specifically for character animation, Adobe After Effects has been used by filmmakers to create some excellent films.

Duik is a free After Effects® script that can save you a lot of time when rigging puppets for animation. Duik was created by Nicolas Dufresne, also known as DuDuf, a French filmmaker.

Using Duik you can create rigged puppets which have inverse kinematics applied to the limbs and body. If you attempt to manually code this kind of rigging with After Effects expressions you’ll need some advanced coding skills and a hefty bit of time. Duik simplifies the process giving you some sophisticated control over your puppet construction without sweating the need to write complex expressions1. The script also has many other features that I’ll explain in future tutorials.

Duik is free, but if you find it useful, I encourage you to donate what you feel is right (or a token amount if funds are short) to allow DuDuf to develop Duik further.

A choice between:

A quick read…

  1. Go to the Duik page (opens in new page).
    • [This step optional, but cool] I recommend that you watch the 3 minute video on this page, as it gives you an idea of what the script can do for you. Well worth the watch.
  2. Click on the download button under the video which takes you to step 3.
  3. On the download page, select your operating system and download the file.
    • With After Effects not booted up, click on the downloaded file and it will give you the standard set of questions for installing software.
      Note: It will ask if you want another script called Dugr installed. This script allows you to identify groups of layers so you can shy (hide) and unshy them as you work. Quite useful on complex puppets or animation projects where layers can run into the hundreds.
  4. To access the script panels, go to the window menu in After Effects and they’ll be listed at the bottom of that drop down menu.

A quick video…

This two and one-half minute video will show you how to be the proud owner of a Duik 15 script.

Please note that the link will forward you to Nicolas Dufresne’s new website (links have been updated on this page). To get to the Duik page follow this direct link to Duik.