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Part 4: Going beyond basic auto rigging

Published: 31 Jul 2016 through 11 Aug 2016 | Updated: 5 Nov 2016

What this tutorial covers

This tutorial is in two installments, even though the video claims there are three. You will be rigging Stickman once again, but with a significant twist. The Stickman 2.0 file has been slightly modified to enable his feet to switch their appearance as Stickman turns to the left or right. Instead of auto-rigging Stickman in one go, we’ll be using Duik to rig him one section at a time. Doing this will allow us to customize his rigging so that we can create the illusion of him turning to his side, or turning in a circle if we wish. We will also be able to move his arms behind his back when the need arises.

These modifications will require null layers, expressions, expression controls, and time-remapping. Don’t sweat it if you don’t know what any of those things mean. Although it all may sound complicated, like many things, it is easier than it sounds once you learn how it works.

What you should know before beginning this tutorial

Although this video is intended for people who have rigged Stickman using the Duik-Stickman tutorials on this website, especially 1.3b Auto-Rigging with Duduf’s Duick Script and Don Q’s Stickman, it isn’t necessary to have done so. However, you should be familiar with the After Effects interface and basic After Effects project construction. This tutorial often skips explaining information in detail that has been covered in the previous tutorials in this series.

inverse kinematics | property | expression | expression control

1.4a Prepare Stickman 2.0 for rigging

Published: 31 Jul 2016

There are several steps that have to be applied to Stickman before we can use Duik to work its magic. Here’s what’s covered in this first installment:

  • Placing the foot layers in a pre-composition and preparing them for time remapping.
  • Duplicating and parenting several parts of Stickman’s body parts for later rigging.
  • Creating null layers to use as movable connections between Stickman’s limbs and body.

1.4b Duik, Expressions, Time Remapping

Published: 11 Aug 2016

This installment covers just what the title says.

  • Auto-rigging Stickman’s limbs and body one section at a time, then connecting the limbs manually
  • Time Remapping the foot compositions and connecting the feet to expression controls.
  • Writing expressions to control opacity in the limbs.
  • Creating a null layer to hold the expression controls and connect those controls through expressions.

What happened to installment 4c?

If you watched the two installments in Part 4, you’re aware that they refer to a third installment (4c). The short answer to why installment 4c is missing is that it became part 5 of this tutorial series. The long answer is here if you are curious.

*Don Q Media  and Jared Mark Graham have no affiliation with Adobe Systems Inc.