Part 3: Auto-rigging Stickman
What this tutorial covers
This tutorial is in three installments and shows you how to auto-rig an After Effects puppet (limbs and primary body parts) using Duduf’s Duik script. You can download the free Illustrator file Stickman 1.1 (see sidebar) to follow along with the tutorial.
You should have a general understanding of the After Effects workspace and how to create projects. Duduf’s Duik rigging script should be installed on your computer, as well as Duduf’s Dugr script (which you can install at the same time as Duik) if you plan to follow along with the tutorial.
It might be helpful if you are familiar with the glossary terms below (move your mouse over the term).
1.3a Understanding how after effects deals with character files
This first installment is a demonstration video, not a hands on tutorial. You do not need to have After Effects available to learn from it effectively. If you know your way around After Effects or have done some puppet rigging, you can skip this tutorial and move onto Auto-rigging with Duduf’s Duik and Don Q’s Stickman below. If you’re brand new to After Effects, or just want to see how I layout my Illustrator files, then this video is for you.
This video will show you how I construct my Illustrator files, and explain how After Effects interacts with them, including how After Effects handles the many layers in an Illustrator file. It also explains anchor points and how they affect transformations, as well as how rasterized and vector images are handled when imported.
1.3b Auto Rigging with Duduf’s Duik Script and Don Q’s Stickman
This installment shows you how to import and prepare the Illustrator file in After Effects so that the Duik script can work its magic. It walks you through the auto-rig set-up, matching the body parts to the correct auto-rig fields. Then, with the click of a single button, your puppet will be rigged. The auto-rigging is great, but the best part is your puppet will have inverse kinematic scripts automatically written into it so that animating the puppet is a lot less work than a manual rig.
1.3c A closer look at the Duik-Stickman rig
You can explore all of the controls that Duik placed in your puppet when you auto-rigged it yourself, or you may want a walk-through first. If so, this video focuses on all of the puppet controls that were added by Duik. This is an informational video, and you do not need After Effects up and running to learn from it.
*Don Q Media and Jared Mark Graham have no affiliation with Adobe Systems Inc.