Best Arm Rig EVER! | Jared Freitag | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Duik Bassel

    • 3. Rigging Styles

    • 4. Design

    • 5. Design pt 2

    • 6. Rigging

    • 7. Attaching Arms

    • 8. Thank You

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About This Class

Using Duik Bassel and After Effects, we'll create the most versatile arm rig possible. This is hands down the best arm rig I've ever produced, and it's by far the easiest one to make. With this method of rigging you'll feel like a pro and achieve a rig that offers the most flexibility possible.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jared Freitag

Animation Supervisor


I have been squash n' stretching in the animation industry for 8 years; primarily as a freelance animator. I walk the line between Character animation and Motion Graphics to bring stories to life. I run a small animation studio named Backwoods Animation where big things are happening.

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1. Intro: Hey, guys in jail with backwards animation. And over the years as an animator, I've created numerous rigs, and they all have one thing in common. They all of arms, arms could be one of the most simplistic things to create, or they can be very complex. So I'm gonna show you a solution using Duke Fossil. That is, by far the most efficient way of greeting an arm rig. By the end of this course, you're gonna have a pair of working arms that you can add to any character that you have on gonna function by far better than anything you've ever created. So I'm excited to showing this course, so let's get into 2. Duik Bassel: In order to take this course, we're gonna need a download. A plug in called Do Bassel. Luckily, it's free. It's uncredible tool, so I highly recommend it. But you're gonna need this plug in and order to take this tutorial. So let's get started. Before I start this tutorial, I want to give a shout out to Motion Boyd. I have a link below to instagram account. Feel free to follow him. He's got some really cool stuff on his page, different design elements and animation stuff. But the real reason I want to give him a shout out is because he turned me on to this whole way of rigging the arm. I knew it was possible, but he posted this tutorial on his instagram page, blew me away. So feel free to follow him, and I just want to thank him for the inspiration as well. Using a newer version of Duke, Bassett will be able to do some things that he wasn't quite able to do with his rig. It plays very similar to what he does, but we have a few more things that we could do. So the very first thing that you're gonna need before you start. This tutorial is do a fossil point to It's a free plug in, so there's no reason that you shouldn't have it, so go get it going. Rain box lab dot org's. And once you're there, you click on this Duke Bassel, too, and it's going to take you to this download page and, um, yeah, just get it. It is an amazing plug in, and the fact that it's free is kind of it just blows my mind. Obviously, they take donations, so please donate if you feel inclined to, and once you have it, we can start our tutorial. 3. Rigging Styles: Now I'm gonna walk you through a bunch of different types of arm rigs. There is a lot of ways that you can rig the arm, but by the end of it, I'm gonna show you my preferred method. It's, in my opinion, the best way to reach the arm. You're not necessarily gonna be able to dio different shapes to the arm. This is more in style with the tube shaped harm. It's a common trend nowadays just to have a very basic arm that's just a tube shape. So we're gonna get into it, and I'm gonna show you how I created this rig. So starting up, I have a bunch of different designs in rigs for arms. I wanted to show you guys all the different ways that you could rig an arm, and at the end of it, I'm going to show you the very best way. The first way that I'm going to show you is probably the very worst way that you could regain arm. I used to rig arms this way for so long. This is called using the puppet pen tool. So essentially what you dio is, you have you have a shape, layer the soul of this out. You have a composition with your arm inside, and then you manipulate these puppet pin tools. You can see it starts to form. It doesn't look good. It's got weird bends in it. You can fix that, using the starch tool and other different plug ins that help manipulate the way it moves. But I just never looks right. So please never use the puppet pin tool. Plus, you don't have the ability to scale it. Once you've set the pins, you basically baked that asset and you can't scale it, so don't use it. The next way is a more archaic way, another way that I do not recommend. But basically you take these shape players. So basically, you take this stroke and you moving around. All right, so it's pretty straightforward. You just a stroke and it becomes an arm, and then you have to counter animate the hand. So now the hand has to follow where they are went, and so you're gonna be moving to objects, arm into position and then a hand into position. It's a very labor intensive way of animating. I don't recommend it for long. stints of animation because you're going to be wearing yourself out trying to keep track of these things. So that's another option that I don't recommend. The other option. This one is called F K. It's forward Kinnah Matics. So basically what you do is you can rotate the top of the arm, the bottom of the arm and also the hand, and you're using everything Onley in the rotation attributes. So you animate the rotation in the arm, bends and then you attach. You attach the upper part of the arm. Teoh your torso. That way's fine. It works just fine to do F K. A lot of people do it. I don't find it. I don't find it to be the best way because you can't get grounding with your hand. In other words, if I move my body or my torso, the hand moves with it. So if I want to have my character put their arms on a table or hold something like a steering wheel, uh, you'd have to counter animate all your limbs to get that hand back to where it needs to be . That's kind of a labour intensive way to animate so I don't like doing f K, but for short stints of animation for characters that you're not gonna reuse or use very long, it works just fine. Uh oh. Let me let me mention this is also made with Shea players. So if you decide to add, um, things like this what? Let's just call this dirt. If you decide to add something like this dirt here and mask it out, you're going to start to run to the problem where you get a lot of shape. Players in your view port. You know, this whole thing is gonna be full and you want to keep this. You want to keep This area is simple is possible if you can, so it's not maybe the best way to do it now. If you have all your assets on that one shape layer, then it works. Fine. But this is another way is to create compositions and then attached everything to the compositions. So it essentially works the same as the last arm. Except all my assets or attributes are inside compositions. So I'd go inside this composition and I'd add things to it. So all my layers pile up inside this cop. And when I come back to my main body comp, there's only one layer. So that just simplifies, um, how many layers and shape players that you have in any given calm the next ways by for my favorite, it's called I K Inverse Kinnah Matics. In the way that it functions is that it uses the joint rotation in the position of this control to manipulate the arm. And it gives that nice ball and joint movement. It looks, really the other thing it gives you is the ability to move the torso or the shoulder and ground the hand, which is essential when you're animating characters and you want them to look somewhat believable. So this is the one that I love the most. But there's something even better, this rig right here, which is my favorite. It's kind of a mix between this I k one that I just showed you and this guy right here with the stroke and let me show you why I can move the arm around just like a human being or, you know, an animal. But I also have the ability to adjust the stroke. Look at that. You create. You can adjust the curves and create some pretty cool shapes. Another thing that makes this thing so amazing and so versatile. Watch what happens when I pull this controller out. Lou, that arm it doesn't look good at all. Watch what happens when I pull this one out. It stretches. It fills in the gaps and just gives a seamless stretch to it. That, my friends, is why it is the most superior in best rig for the arms and legs. And that's what we're gonna talk about. I'm gonna show you how to make this arm and, um, really kind of get you on the right foot to creating awesome arm and leg rigs, So let's get into that section. 4. Design: So now that we've seen on the different kind of Riggs you can create and we've seen the preferred method that I've shown you, I'm gonna show you how to actually design the arm so that it can be rigged up in that method. That's very simple. So let's get into it and have some fun. Go to composition new composition and make your settings. However you need them. I'm gonna do mine at 1920 by 10. 80 and leave it at a frame rate of 29.9 seconds. Next, come up to your your pin tool and we're going to start to dry out on arms. Do one point there, hold shipped on the keyboard to keep your lines straight. Then I'm gonna I'm gonna put this, um, elbow position somewhat in the middle of my shape. Okay, so that is looking pretty good. I'm going to adjust the stroke. One all Just the color. We'll do more, babe, Flesh tone. I'm gonna increase the stroke. We'll do 80. Um, And if you're really confused as to where your elbow joint is and how it looked like in position to the center of your arm, you can see that this little white dot is the center of my shape layer. And this is where my elbow is. So I'm gonna move my elbow down a little bit to get it to the center and right there is good enough. All right, So I have the beginnings of an arm. Another thing you want to make sure is that you don't ever just grab the the shape on the inside and start moving it around. You want to actually grab the paths of the shape and move those around, because that's what we're gonna create our rig with on. If you move the actual object, you might throw off where the joints get placed. So next. What I'm gonna do is I'm going, Teoh, I'm gonna change the stroke of this arm and I'm going to do instead of a but cap, we'll do around cap. And instead of a miter joint, I'll do around joint. I'm gonna duplicate the shape now I have shaped to, and I'll rename it so we can keep it clear. So we'll call this one arm and then I'll call this top one sleeve next. What I'll do is I'm going to change the color of this to white and expand it just a little bit, and this will be our sleeve. I'm also going to select the sleeve path or a sleeve shape, and I'm gonna add a trim paths. So if you pull it up, you'll see that we get a sleeve to it. We'll do like 30. Maybe it sounds good. You see, it doesn't really look like a so leave. It's kind of rounded. So I'm going to read, uh, redo these things, too. But caps. Then I can leave it a round joint. That's fine, but you'll see that we're starting to break through the sleeve at the top where the shoulder is. So I'm gonna go ahead and add a trim path to the arm, so make sure you're selecting these shape layers within cheap player one. If you don't, it'll at the effect to everything within your shape. So we'll go back to trim path, and now I'm going to pull it down. So just pull that shoulder down toe. It's behind this sleeve, all right, we're getting somewhere. Next, I'm going to expand my path. So arm path one expanded open sleeve path one expanded open, and I'm going to attach using the pick whip the path of the sleeve to the path of the arm. So now when I animate or move my arm path, my sleeve path will follow along, select your layer, and also make sure that your fill is turned off. We don't need to fill. All right, Is there anything else that I want to do? Well, since I have this, um, arm basically getting ready to go, I'm gonna have a few things to it. Then maybe give it a little bit more character. So, one, I'm gonna duplicate the arm and put it behind that. I'm gonna change the stroke to Black. I'll expand it to give myself a nice little stroke, Just like so. Then I also need to attach the path of the stroke to the path of the arm. So all taps his path up here and we're good to g o next. Don't duplicate the sleeve. Pull it behind the sleeve and I'll change that 12 black as well. There we go, groups. And then in order to get that stroke on the bottom of the sleeve, I'm just going to adjust this until it fits. That might not be a good one. It's no wrong way. Let's try 31. Good enough? All right, so now we have a stroke around the arm, and that's how you're going to achieve your stroke effect because we're only were already using strokes to design our shapes. You can't add a stroke. Well, I mean, you could you could right click and go stroke. But it's not gonna give you the inside strokes that were looking for um, so if this is a better option for you to use this effect, that's fine. I'm doing it just a little bit differently. All right, so we got the basics of an arm, and it's looking pretty good. Um, but what else can we dio? Maybe before we rig, It's always a good I. Good idea, Teoh. Duplicate your layer because it makes it easier to rig the other harm. So I'll call this one left arm and then I'll call this one right arm, okay? And let's just see what happens if I move it over. This might cause problems, but we'll find out later 5. Design pt 2: before we get into the rigging portion of the sectorial, I wanted to show you guys some examples of what you could create. Using this system armed to is essentially the same as arm One, the original one that we designed. But the only difference where those two differences one is we have this rolled up sleeve here in the front, and I'll show you what I did. I used trim paths to to create, um, this rolled up effect and you can see if if I offset it. It's just a very small stroked line with rounded with round caps, and you can move the sleeve around. You'd have to adjust the forearm shaped to match up with it. But that's how I achieved that look. And then the sleeve behind it has some wrinkles in it. In the way that I achieved the wrinkles is you. Once you have it, once you have your paths trimmed to the distance that you want for the distance that you need, Um, what you can do is select your sleeve layer. Come up here to add click this arrow and we're again. We have a few different kind of attributes. We can add to it, but the one that I used for this was called zigzag. So if you click on zigzag, it gives you this, um, adjustment controller, and you can kind of pick the size of your ruffles. It will expand it out and you can expand. You can pick the number of ruffles that you would have. It's called ridges per segment. So I did eight and then I did the same thing to the stroke on the back. So now we have a stroked wiggled line. Next we have a sleeve with some stripes on it. This one was very easy to create. Essentially, all you do is go to your, uh, recreate the arm one expand sleeve down to the wrist, and then on these little yellow lines, you trim the path so that it's very small. Or is it? There it is. So this is adjusting the upper arm, so you trim the path so it's very small and then used offset it to where you want it. So you see how it's moving down the sleeve as I move the offset. It's really that simple. And once you get one the size that you need you just control de duplicate, come to trim paths and then move it down to the next position. I think I did an offset of, like 30 degrees for each one. So in order to keep it uniform instead of this one being 23 degrees, it would now be 53 degrees. And you just go up in 30 degree increments from there. Now, I must reiterate, because we're dealing with a lot of shapes in here. I have to reiterate that everything within the left arm five shape layer all of these need to be parented to one root layer. So my route layer is called arm. That means that if you rig if you rig up your arm and you see, let me just show you let's say you've rigged up your arm when you see that this isn't following. You're like, Hey, I did it right. Why isn't that working? It's simply because you didn't. You didn't attach your path to the proper path channel. So if arm is my route, I'm gonna grab Arm two, which is my stroke, and attach it to my route layer and everything will work now. So it's really that simple. Okay, so I hope that's clear and everything's going smoothly. Now let's look into this guy, not transform contents. So he's this one has quite a few things going on. I have I have this big, bulky section appear up top, and I have a small, bulky section. But not only that. I also have I also have a sleeve for me. Oops. Let me see if I can show you guys. All right, so I have a sleeve here in the middle to cover up the arm. And then behind it, I add my big, bulky section. And then in front of the big, bulky section, I had my forearm, and this is achieved the same way as the role of shirt. I simply select the layer that I want to manipulate, and I add is exact to it. And then I adjust this exact so that it looks exactly how I wanted to look. There are some limitations, and it doesn't work perfectly, but it does a pretty good job of mimicking some rolls in a shirt and then finally or not finally, But next we just have this long, elongated sleeve. Uh, this one's fine. I really wish that we could get some rounded corners right here on the back portion of the sleeve. That would make it so much cooler. But for whatever reason, it just isn't working. Actually, let me try something and see if it works. I think that we can kind of create something pretty cool here. Okay, so I've got this sleeve here. Actually, let me do this. Leave in the back. So I'll due back late, this sleeve in the back. You know what? I don't think I'm gonna be able to get it small enough. Let's just see. So I'm gonna call this, um, cuff and then we'll call it Cuff Throat. So coming here to cuff, I'm going around this cap. Yeah, it's not gonna get small enough, but I think it might look better. Let's just see. Pull this down. I didn't do anything. I like the height. Perhaps it goes too far, so I can't really see what I'm doing. So I gotta fix that. Let me. Yeah. I can leave that. Let me turn off the sleeves in the back, you know, term come stroke. So back to cuff. So I'm gonna expand it to make a little bit bigger. So you see what I'm doing? Pull this murder. It's going real slow. So with me, we solo this arm. All right, Let's see if we can do this. Now. Go there. And it's unfortunately is Smalls. We can make it. But, you know, I guess it could work. Maybe it looks better than the other way. I don't know. All right, well, since we got that one now, we'll turn cup stroke back on, play around with these guys as well around joint, will expand the stroke line to be big enough. And then I think that this was, like, 88 87. That's good enough. All right, let's see if that looks any better. There you go. You got to walk you guys through it a little bit. All right? I guess it looks OK if it looks better, I don't know, but it looks different, that's for sure. And we're starting to see a little bit of the sleeve from the bottom breaking through, um, and we'll just trim the path. I'm that guy, and that should fix it. All right, so that's a different version of the long sleeve on, then. Finally, this muscly arm is really just three shapes. It's, um we have the shoulder shape, which is actually down here. On the bottom we have before are the bicep shape here, which is just a larger version. And then we have the forearm shape, uh, and again these air just to give you some examples of what you could do. So have fun with it. Unleash your creativity and see what you guys come up with. Alright, guys, let's move on to the rigging section. 6. Rigging: it's another arm is designed. We get to rig it. It's a very simple process, so it's not a lot to it, but it's a lot of fun to do. And when you see your arm come to life, you're just gonna be blown away. Eso let's get into it and I'll show you how to rig up this arm. Okay, so coming back in the left arm, I'm gonna find my arm point. So select your arm because everything's parented to the arm. This is where do it comes into play. So hopefully you have do it installed already, and we're good to go. Once you do, you're going to come over here to links and constraints. And after you've gone toe links and constraints, you're gonna come down here and click add bones. It's gonna work its magic and give you a thana junk. I mean, most of its useful, but it's not. So the things that are not useful are all of these transforms. I don't know what their therefore have no clue. Maybe you can figure it out, but I don't need it. The next thing we're gonna do is we're gonna delete some of these blue ones. Some of the teal ones we don't need. How do we find out which ones we need in which ones we don't? Well, it's easy. Select one and pull it around. If it does nothing, you don't need it. If it adjust the forearm are not the foreign but the bicep. You need it, so make sure you just pull it straight down straight down into the forum. Next will come to these guys. Move it around. If this one adjusts the forearm, you need it. Pull it straight down, just like so, and you can delete the other one. And then this means that these two green, these two teal ones that control the wrist you don't need, So that leaves us with three orange bones and to teal control arms. The next thing you need to do is we're going to set up a hierarchy of how these things air parented. So this is my my risk control or my hand control, and I'm gonna parent it to the elbow. Next, I'm gonna parent the elbow to the upper arm, and it has to be parented in that order. Finally selecting the wrist. I'm gonna create another controller. Come up here to this hand. It's called Create Controllers. And I'm gonna add this cross with a circle around it. It's gonna position it right over the hand control. And we are just about ready. Next, rename this one. See, uh, what are we left hand see left. And you want to make sure that it's naming? Um, his name is is in line with all the limbs it it goes with. So finally, this is crucial in this order, and it must be this order, so follow closely. We're going to select the wrist, hold control. It's like the elbow, the shoulder, and finally, the hand controller. That would just made once you have all four of these selected. Now we get to come over here and we're going to click on links and constraints one more time. And at the very top, you're gonna find something called Auto Regan. I k click it and watch the magic happen. Whoa. Doesn't that just look amazing? Yes, it looks amazing because it is amazing. Next, I'm gonna just turn off this I k line. I don't need the i k line and it gets in the way because you end up clicking it for some reason, and we don't need it. So let's see what we got. We have an arm of the Benz. We have an arm that deforms. We can do some amazing things with this and get some really good control out of our rig. Um, the next thing you're going to see is a problem that we're gonna fix. So this looks like just a tube. It's not very cool. It's not doing, um, quite the arm bend that you want, so we're gonna fix it. We're gonna get increases here in the arm. How do we do that? We'll come back to our arm, and we're gonna, um we're gonna duplicate these two guys. So both arms, we're gonna put them actually above the sleeve. Okay, Next, what we'll do is we're going, Teoh. We'll start with the top one, and we're gonna trim the path so that it comes so that it comes all the way down just here to the elbow, and then we'll close that down and we'll go to Arm three. We're gonna do the same thing with that trim path, and we're gonna pull this one down until it it goes behind armed four. And now when you look, we have this nice crease in the elbow and it looks so much better. Doesn't know better, and it bends along with it and everything looks beautiful. So now we're getting some really good, um, arm Arbenz in our movements. And you can also see that right up here something called reverse. You can reverse the elbow to the other side in that crease moves right along with it. All right, let's move on. All right. Sometimes you get a Z even kind of close to get the right spot. Anyway, guys, this is the most versatile way that you can animate your arms. I I can't emphasize it enough. Don't use another method. This is the best method on if you disagree with me. That's fine. I don't mind your disagreement. That is your opinion, So yeah, we have arms. They're looking good. Everything stretches and moves how we wanted Teoh. So then we'll go through and we'll do the same thing to the other arm. All right, guys, we now have two functioning arms and they both look really good. They're bending an identical uniforms fashion. They both have controllers that can manipulate be bend in the stroke 7. Attaching Arms: so you got arms, but you've got to attach it to something. So I'm gonna show you how to attach it to the torso. I'm gonna create a very basic torso and just attach the arms to it, just in case you need a refresher course on how to do so. So let's get into it. Finally, what we're gonna do is we're just going to attach him to a torso. Uh, this wasn't a full character rigging tutorial. This was mainly just for the arms. But I'm gonna show you how you can attach to to a torso and, um, yeah, how you would animate said limbs. All right, since we have a stroke, I'm going to go ahead and maybe do that's too small, maybe five. And I'll fill it with white because there sure is white. We're gonna rename this torso, and I'll pull it to the bottom. So it's very simple. The way that you attach these limbs to the torso is you find the shoulder of each of our our rigs and just parented to the torso. So now on the torso animates the arms, move with it. It's really that simple. Um, and you can go ahead and let's say that our characters gonna be facing the other way. It would be something like this. So now our character is facing the opposite direction. Maybe like Hi, guys, how you doing? So that's basically how you would set up here character rig and start to animate away. Now, obviously, you'd have more stuff like, I don't know, legs and hips and a head and neck. The beauty of it is that the legs are gonna function the exact same way. So you can use the same simple style rig to add to the legs. Uh, which there was, like, a very easy way to just kind of select everything and, you know, duplicated. But unfortunately there is not. It doesn't work that way. You have to do everything from scratch. So sorry, guys. But luckily for you, it's very easy. It's not a hard thing to rig. It's literally just a few clicks. Boom. And then you can rig it. It's that simple. It's really that simple. Guys, baboons, groups. There you go, just like that and we have movement on then finally, if you don't want these, you can delete them all by the way you can delete him off. Except for the orange ones, which are your bones. And, um, you can make it real easy on yourself. Okay? So finally, what you would do is you would just add little control there. Call it, You know, whatever you want to call it. And, uh, now you're you're making it happen. All right, so that's just another duplicate of how you'd create a leg. Okay, guys, So it's super easy. You have no excuses for making awesome stuff. No excuses. Now go forth, create things that are beautiful, and show me anyway. That's it. Thanks for watching guys feel free to like and subscribe, and, um, go create. 8. Thank You: So that was it. You guys have completed the course? Uh, hopefully it was very simple for you. And I hope that you guys have fun with it and you can create some really cool rigs using some very powerful tools at your disposal. Um, post away. I want to see what you guys have created. I'm sure it's beautiful. I'm sure it's awesome. And I can't wait to see it. If you did like the tutorial, please consider subscribing or following me. And as always, if you have comments, please leave them down below. And I will do my best to respond. Thank you guys. So much for watching.