Character Rigging With Duik Bassel | Jake Bartlett | Skillshare

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Jake Bartlett, Motion Designer

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22 Lessons (3h 47m)
    • 1. Course Trailer

      1:18
    • 2. The Rigging Process

      5:44
    • 3. Character Art Overview

      8:45
    • 4. Building Joints

      21:25
    • 5. Joint Markers

      9:52
    • 6. Building Precise Vector Joints

      15:02
    • 7. Installing DUIK

      2:43
    • 8. Setting Up the Workspace

      3:37
    • 9. Importing to AE

      8:21
    • 10. The Puppet Tool

      7:16
    • 11. DUIK Structures

      15:12
    • 12. Puppet Pins & Bones

      9:20
    • 13. Parenting Layers & Bones

      11:26
    • 14. Auto-Rig & IK

      13:54
    • 15. Rig Walkthrough & Cleanup

      21:49
    • 16. Puppet Starch

      5:23
    • 17. Rigging Trevor

      13:59
    • 18. Rigging Stu

      18:48
    • 19. Rigging Red

      15:39
    • 20. Auto Walk Cycle

      11:57
    • 21. There's So Much More

      4:03
    • 22. Thank You!

      1:32
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About This Class

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In this class, I'll show you how to design and rig a character for animation in After Effects! Rigging is the setup process of your artwork that streamlines the animating workflow. You'll learn everything you need to get up and running with character animation.

I'll be teaching you how to use free Duik Bassel script to rig our characters. Duik Bassel introduces an entirely new way of rigging characters in After Effects through its structures system. Structures allow you to build a character rig independently from the character artwork, which is a much more efficient and flexible way to rig.

The great thing about this technique is that it isn't limited to any design style. You could create a flat vector character in Illustrator, or a hand illustrated and textured character in Photoshop. If you can design it, I'll show you how to rig it. 

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Class Outline

  • Character Complexity. By adding complexity to your character, you add complexity to your rigging. You’ll get a preview of different levels of difficulty of animation design by going over four different character shapes.
  • Design Requirements and Guidelines. To start, you’ll learn how to make your animation character large for rigging. You’ll also learn how to overlap separated joints for your character, and make guide layers for your character’s joints in Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • Install DUIK, and Import Your Artwork. DUIK is a free After Effects script. It includes multiple features that will help you rig your character. You’ll see how to set DUIK up in After Effects. Otherwise, prepare your composition settings, including comp duration and pixel resolution. Then you can begin rigging.
  • The Puppet Tool. This tool is key for After Effects animation. The puppet tool can determine how your character moves, as well as its distortion resolution. You’ll learn to place pins with the puppet tool, as well as how to use puppet starch to customize the puppet mesh. Then you’ll use DUIK to control those puppet pins.
  • Rigging an Arm with IK. Starting with your character’s arm, you’ll learn how to build an IK system with Duik's structures. After placing pins by using the puppet tool, you’ll rename your pins, in order to keep better track of your process. Then you’ll learn how to attach separated parts of the arm by “parenting.” Next, you’ll learn how to animate one part of the arm in a way that makes the rest of the arm move aroundbased on that single, localized motion.
  • Rigging the Legs and Body. The process for rigging your character’s leg is the same as the one used for the arm. So you’ll get a brief refresher before moving onto the body. Once you lock the limbs and anchor your character’s hair to its head, you’ll see how to parent the limbs to the body. Then you can ultimately ensure that different movements in your character correspond to one another.
  • Clean Up Your Timeline, and Lock the Neutral Pose. You’ll find out tips for remembering how to distinguish the multiple controllers for your character’s movements, and you’ll learn to lock certain characteristics of your work. For instance, your scale stays the same as you animate.
  • Rigging Stu. Since Stu has a longer body, he represents the type of character that will require multiple movement points in his torso. You’ll learn where to add anchor points, in order to create comprehensive body movements in a long-bodied character.
  • Automatically Animating a Procedural Walk Cycle. Finally, you’ll create a full, animated walk cycle loop with all the skills you’ve learned so far. 

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Looking for more inspiration? Head here to discover more classes on After Effects.

Transcripts

1. Course Trailer: Hey, I'm Jake Bartlett and this is character rigging and after effects with Duik Bassel. Duik Bassel is a free after-effects script full of tools for character rigging and animation, but if you have never used Duik before, all of the buttons and Menus can be extremely confusing. On top of that, your character designs have to be created in a very specific way in order to be able to work well when you go to rig them, and if you don't know how to do that, you are just going to get frustrated. It's a complex process that can be very intimidating at first, but in this class I'm going to walk you through every step of that process. So that by the end of it, you will have a great understanding of exactly what the rigging process does, for the class project you'll design and rig your own character or use one of the four character designs that I'll be providing. This class is for anyone looking to get into character rigging so they can start making their own character animations, but you should definitely have a good grasp on how After Effects works first, if this is your first time using After Effects, this is not the class you should be watching. Instead, check out one of my other classes like the beginner's guide to custom gifts or hand lettering and motion. Character rigging doesn't need to be frustrating and once you understand it, you'll be able to create custom character rigs for your own projects.I'll see you in class. [music] 2. The Rigging Process: Character reading is such a massive topic and it's a very big multi-step process from getting your character created to actually, getting it to a state where you can start animating with it. But, it's critical that you follow the process and that you think through things and plan for how this character needs to be rigged before you do anything inside of After Effects. So, I want to talk a little bit about what the purpose of rigging even is. If you think about a character, a full body character, there's so much detail and so many things to move around that if you were to try and animated by hand with no rig, I mean, you'd have so many layers to have to move around it being impossible. It would be a total nightmare to try and animate a character just with the basic transform control like you would with any other character. That's where rigging comes in. It's going to help us kind of group layers together and eliminate as many properties as possible. So that we're basically turning our artwork into a puppet, that we can move around. We can grab the hand and move it, and the arm is going to follow it the way that it should or the way that you would expect it to. So, it's going to eliminate the number of layers that we have to deal with, the number of properties that we have to deal with, giving us a bunch of controls for how we can pose and animate that character while reducing the number of actual controllers and layers that we have to deal with at any given time. So a good rig is going to do that. It's going to reduce all of that character artwork into as few controls as possible while still giving the animator full control over the character. So let's talk about what this process actually looks like. First of all, we need a character obviously. So, you're going to have to design a character or use one of my characters I have for in this class that you'll have access to work through if you'd like. But, thinking of how you want to design that character, directly affects how that character needs to be designed. A couple of my characters have a outline around the entire character and you wouldn't think that that would complicate things too much. But it actually makes things really difficult and can kind of break the illusion of the character if you don't set it up properly. Whereas if you were using something more like a vector character that was solid colors, no real texture, very clean edges that I'll kind of just go into each other, then, that's going to be much easier to rig because you're not going to have to hide a bunch of joints in these little seams, which we're gonna get to. You'll see that in a little bit. So all that being said, the first step of the process is designing your character and really thinking through how the style is going to affect the rigging. From there, we have to actually prep the artwork for rigging. You can't just take a character illustration like a flat layer and expect to be able to translate that into a character rig. In the design phase, you'll be creating your own character in layers. Every single part that needs to be able to move is going to be on its own layer. But then we need to prep that artwork in a way that it's going to be set up to be rigged in after effects very smoothly and easily. Next is actually bringing the artwork in After Effects. Importing it, opening it up, making sure that your composition is setup right, and that you have all of your layers nice and organized. Then we can actually start creating some things for this rig. So we're going to use doing to build structures for your character artwork, and those structures are basically like a skeleton for your character. It's what's going to be the framework for all of the movement, of your character. So, we need to create those structures and then align it to our artwork so that it fits our character designs, body proportions. Then we're going to set up puppet panels. You're most likely going to be using the puppet tool to make distortion and transformations on your artwork. So, we'll set up all the puppet pins at all the joints in all the places that we need to deform the artwork, and then we're going to create bones using Duik, to convert and control those Puppet pins into something that we can then parent to the structures. Once all that's done, we can actually rig the character and enable all of the IK systems that will drive the limbs and make the entire rig really easy to animate with, and the last step is to just clean up our workspace, make the controllers look the way that we want them to, and, get them organized in a way that's easy to animate with. So, that's a massive process, but I'm going to walk you through the entire thing in this course. The reason I wanted to walk you through that entire process at the beginning of the class is so, you can go into this understanding that this is a big topic. You're probably going to make mistakes, and you're gonna have to re-watch videos to really get this ingrained in your mind. I know I did when I was learning character rigging. So take it slow. Don't be afraid to rewind, re-watch videos, take some notes and ask questions if you run into any issues. I'm here to help work through any problems that you might have. But, rigging is just, I think a lot of fun. It takes some getting used to and understanding of how all of the behind the scenes stuff works. But that's exactly what I'm going to teach you in this course. I want you to understand what is actually happening when you're pressing all of these buttons and parenting all of these things. I want you to know what's happening behind the scenes, instead of just pressing the buttons and following the instructions and having a rig that works at the end. If you understand what's actually going on, then you can better diagnose what's giving you problems if you run into any issues along the way. You can kind of figure out what might be causing a certain thing not to work the way that you're expecting it to. And one last thing about the class project. You have complete creative freedom with designing your own character. But, if you have any doubts as to what's going to work as a character to rig up, then I would suggest just use one of mine, one of the four characters that I've provided in the attachments on the class project page. So that you can just follow along with me in the course videos, and once you have a good understanding of what's going on, then you can create your own character and apply this whole process to it. It'll be much quicker and easier, and you'll have a much better understanding of what kind of design decisions you should make when you're creating your character once you've seen the whole thing. So, with all that said, let's get started. I can't wait to see what you make. 3. Character Art Overview: In this class, I'm going to be walking you through four different character designs. So I have this first one, which I've appropriately named Jake. So this is just a standard human character. It's very textured. I drew this on my iPad in procreate, and then I brought it into Photo shop, which I can then bring into After Effects. Then I have Trevor, which if you've taken the previous animating with character class for rigging that I made it, then you've already seen this character, but I've just gone ahead, and included him in this so that we can take a look at a different type of body. Clearly he's not a human. He's a monster. He doesn't even have a torso or a body for that matter. His body is pretty much just ahead. So it's going to be a very different approach than a human character that has the forelimbs, a torso, a waist, a head and a neck. His whole body and neck and torso, everything is contained right here in his head. So that's going to be a different approach. We're going to have to approach that rig differently. Then we have Stu, and this is another one of the monster characters from the original animating with character class, and he does have more of a torso but no neck. His head is just going straight into his body. So that's going to be a different approach as well than either of these other two. All three of these characters are very textured, and very stylized. They're not that perfect. If I zoom in here, you see that I went for a very sketchy style. I was not concerning myself with perfection here. That's going to be a unique approach for all three of these characters. They're very textured, and like I said, not so perfect. Whereas I have a fourth character here in illustrator who I named Red, and this is a vector character I built him in Illustrator, so he's very clean, very straight in precise lines and this is going to take a little bit different of a process in order to transfer this into After Effects in rigged up so that it animates well and looks good as deformations are taking place on the arms and legs and everything about this character. It's going to be a different approach using this illustrator character than any of these Photoshop characters. Now, you are welcome to design your own character, but you're also more than welcome to use any of these four character designs. I am including them in the downloads for this class. You can find them in the attachments underneath the your project tab right here on this class. So just go to the your project tab and then over to the right, there should be an attachments section under the project description. But the first step of this whole process is the character design, and there's some very important things you have to understand before you go to actually design your character. Because you can't just expect to draw something like you would normally like an illustration and then turn that into an animation rake. A lot of things have to happen that artwork before it's ready to be turned into that rig. So let's take a look at how I prepped this artwork. Well, first of all, the first thing you'll probably notice is that his arms and legs are basically perfectly straight up and down, and that was very intentional. I did not draw him in a more natural-looking pose, where his arms are slightly bent, he has a little bit of bend in his knee, and maybe his spine is bent a little bit, is very stiff and rigid, but this is really important for rigging. It's something that you need to do. The limbs need to be as perfectly straight as possible, and you should be creating this character in a very neutral pose. I did the exact same thing for my vector character in illustrator here. You see that the arms and legs are straight up and down. He's standing perfectly straight up. Everything is nice and stiff. If we take a look at the other two monster characters, same thing, arms are straight up and down. Legs are straight up and down. Now the reason this is really important is because once we go into After Effects and actually start rigging. This is the starting point that we need our characters to be designed that in order for the rigs to function properly. Another thing I want to point out is that all of these are very high resolution. If I zoom into 100 percent, you can see just how high resolution this is. I'll press "Command Option C" to change the canvas size, and you can see right there the width and height of my document is 4,000 pixels. So at 100 percent, I could zoom in this far to my character, and this video resolution is 1920 by 1080. So I can get into a very extreme close-up of my character in 1920 by 1080 frame if I ever needed to. That's really important because if I designed him much smaller and then tried to zoom into that head shot, it's going to be very pix-elated because of the low resolution. So it's very important that you design at a high resolution. There's not really a standard resolution. I generally create mine around 4,000, between 4,000 and 6,000 pixels square. The reason I do squares because you want all this extra room for your controls once we move into After Effects, and the arms are going to be able to swing out this way. So you want to have a lot of margin around your character. So I would suggest a minimum of 4,000 pixels square for your document size. But really, you should give yourself as much resolution as you can as long as your machine can handle it. A good test is to do just what I did, zoom to 100 percent, and see if that is enough resolution for your character. Even though my illustrator character is vector and I could zoom in on this infinitely, and that would be no problem, I'm not going to be using these vector layers as vector shape layers once I'm in after effects, I am going to treat these as raster layers, so my art board is 4,000 by 4,000 as well. Keep that in mind. We're not going to be using vector layers inside of After Effects. They're going to be rasterized even if you created them inside of illustrator. Next we need to talk about the actual structure of these layers. So if we take a look at my layers palette here in Photo shop, you can see that I pretty much have everything broken out into its own layer, everything that needs to move. So we have the right arm, we have the hair up at the top, we have the head and this is actually a folder. Inside that folder I have the face and then the head behind it and inside that face folder I have all the different facial features. So this is in case I ever want to be able to animate the individual face features separate from everything else. But I want it bundled into a folder that's inside the head and I want the head layer and the face itself to be bundled into a folder as well. Because once we import these in After Effects, this folder is going to show up as a single layer, pre-comp, which is great because that contains everything inside that head in its own composition, which really helps keep everything organized. Next up we have the torso, and this is also a folder because I have the torso layer, we have the neck layer, and then I have the hips layer down here. So those three layers I keep them in a folder instead of merging them altogether just in case I ever want to make some tweaks to those individual elements. It'll be a lot easier to make a tweak to this neck if it was its own layer rather than if it was attached to the torso and the waist. So my rule of thumb is basically merge as much as you can. But if you have any doubt as to whether or not it would be easier to edit something if it was separate, just group it instead of merging it, because a group will effectively be merged once it's imported into After Effects. But that way, it's less destructive. It's something that you can still go in and edit if you need to. Then I have the right shoe in the right leg, I have the left shoe in the left leg, and then in the back, I have the left arm which I'll just bring out so you can see it, there you go. Then the background layers, and that just consists of this speckle texture in the background, and I put that into a folder and lock it just so I can't move it around. Now, the reason why these layers are in this order is because that's the order that they should appear in relationship to each other. So the right arm is the very front-most layer because if I were to rotate his arm up, I want that to go in front of his head and his hair, not behind it. So yeah, that wouldn't really make sense. That doesn't look very natural, but in front of his head makes more sense. The same thing with the back arm, that left arm, I don't want that in front of the torso because he's angled to his left to our right. This is basically a three-quarters pose, and you can see that his eyesight is slightly off to the right, his left arm is behind his torso, the hips are just ever so slightly slanted up and to the right, and then his feet are offset. They're not going to seem ground plane. So that's indicating that he's rotated just slightly to his left. The reason why I'm using that three-quarters pose is because it's very versatile. If I wanted to, I could come in here and grab his eyes and just shift them over a little bit, and now it looks like he's looking directly at us. So it just gives us a wider range to work with at this three-quarter pose. It works as both facing to the side and facing towards the camera view. 4. Building Joints: All right, so now that we've seen all the layers that I have to make up this character and the reasoning behind the order. I want to point out that I separated the shoes from the legs, but I didn't separate the hands from the arms. That's something I actually want to do right now. When I originally drew this character, I kept his hands as part of the arm layer and I kept his shoes separate from the legs. Now, you could leave the hands attached to the arm and the feet attached to the legs. But that might produce some weird distortion when you actually go to rig and animate your character. Most times I find that having the feet and the hands separate from the legs and the arms looks much more natural. So if I were to just rotate this layer by moving the anchor point over to where it would be rotating around the ankle, somewhere like that, and then I move this, you can see that that basically looks like the ankle is bending around that point. So I wanted to do that same type of thing with the hand and the arm. So here's how I would approach doing that. First, I'm going to turn off everything but that arm so I can just focus on it and then I want to think about where the wrist joint would be on this arm. So if you think about that watch, we can use that as a reference point. You'd basically put that right over or maybe just above where that joint would be. So the wrist would probably bend right around here. So that's where I want to split these layers in two. But I can't just take a selection. So let's make a rectangular selection up to where that joint is, and then I'll press command ''X'' to cut and then command ''Shift V'' to paste. Now, I can't just do that. Yes, the hand is separate from the wrist now. But if I move my anchor point to that center point of the layer where we just split it and then I rotate it, oops, let's try that again. I rotate it, we get a broken joint. That doesn't look good at all. Obviously, this is the first important thing that we need to think about when prepping our artwork for character rigging. Your joints need to be rounded and as close to perfectly circular as possible, as well as overlapping with the other portion of the limb that is connected to that joint. So let me explain exactly what I mean by that. Let me undo back to where that was, just one single layer. So there we go, we've got the right arm. Then I'm going to grab my ellipse tool over here and make sure that I am drawing a shape. So it's just going to fill it with a bright magenta color but what I want to do is make a circle where the joint is the width of the limb. So basically from here to here, so I'm going to make a perfect circle by clicking and dragging, holding shift on the keyboard and then holding down space bar to reposition this so that the center of that circle is right where I want the anchor point or the pivot point of this joint to be. I actually think I want this to be up a little bit more. Because remember, I'm looking at the center of the circle so it's okay that that is overlapping the watch a little bit. This is where I want the hand to rotate from. So with that shape created, I now want to make a selection at its widest point. So I'm going to grab my rectangular selection tool, draw a box around this hand up to its widest point of that circle, so the middle point right there. All right. Then I'm going to press ''command'' or ''control'' on a PC plus the shift key while hovering over the thumbnail for that ellipse. That's going to add to my selection when I click. So now I have a perfect semi circle on the top portion of this arm limb as well as the entire hand. What I want to do is make sure that I'm on the arm layer and press command C to copy, command shift V to paste in place. Now I have just that hand with that circular overlap. All right, let me turn that layer off, turn the arm back on, and then I want to do the same thing but for the upper portion of the limb. So I'm going to make a rectangular selection again M on the keyboard, to get your rectangular marquee tool, then I'm going to drag a selection all the way down and zoom in and make sure that I line that up with the widest point of that circle again. So it looks like probably right there is the middle point of that circle, and then again, I will command or control on a PC shift click on that ellipse thumbnail to give me the selection of that circle as well. Then I'll go on that right arm, command C to copy command shift V to paste in place. Now, I can turn off that right arm layer and that ellipse layer, and I'm left with that perfectly circular overlap on the wrist joint. So if I turn that layer on in the first layer that we duplicated on, and then I change this blend mode to multiply, you can see that perfectly circular overlap between those two portions of the limb. So now if I grab the hands anchor point and I move that right about where the middle is, of that overlap and rotate it, it's going to give me a really nice looking bend. Now there are some issues that I have to deal with, so let's take a look at those now. First of all, if I turn that multiply off, the hand still has that watch artwork on it, so I need to get rid of that. This is actually pretty easy. All I have to do is lock the pixels, so I'm going to click on lock transparents pixels and that way I can't paint outside of this layer, then I'll just undo that and I'll press S to get to my rubber stamp tool or my clone stamp tool. I'll make my brush smaller by pressing the left bracket on the keyboard, left and right increases or decreases the size of your brush. And then I'll just hold down option or Alt on a PC and click where I want to sample from. Then move up to where I want to paint and scrub this out. Just like that, the watch Is gone. All right, that was really easy. Let's go ahead and name these layers. This would be the characters right hand. That's something I also want to point out that, generally, when you're naming these layers, think of it in terms of the characters left and right. So even though according to looking at this as a whole, that's the left side of his body for more work from our perspective, it's his right hand. So that's why I named it R for right hand. All right, then let's go to this other layer and we'll name this R arm and make sure everything else is off. All right, now let's take a look at the joints. First of all, the hand needs to go below the arm so that it's not overlapping the watch. Let's just grab that and move it down. That's pretty seamless. All right, let me turn them multiply mark on so I can see where that overlap is and I'm going to rotate that wrist one more time. There we go. I'm going to rotate it 90 degrees and then apply that, and then it turned that multiply off. What we're looking at here is an issue with this portion that doesn't have that black outline around it. Now if your character doesn't have an outline, this probably won't be an issue at all. Can you imagine this being all the same color. So if I just took this line off all the way up, you know, this isn't really going to cause any issues and I should be careful that watch, but this is just an example. Let me clean that up a little bit and then take the line off and this as well. Right? Then you're pretty much never going to notice that there's any kind of a scene there. Now the texture does give it away to a little bit, but it looks way less noticeable now. But because I chose to design my character with this outline style, it is a lot more noticeable and so I need to do something about that in order to preserve this style and to make it look natural. So let me undo until before I rotated that hand and then turn that arm off. What I really need to do is continue this line all the way around this half circle. And that might not make a lot of sense, but let me show you what that does and then it will make perfect sense. So really I just need a little bit of a textured brush. I originally drew this in procreate, but I'm just going to find a brushing here in Photoshop that has something similar. So let's look for maybe dry media. This charcoal pencil might be good. Let's see what that looks like. Yeah, that's got some good texture. I'll just bring that down and make sure that it's going to give me enough of a width. So something like that. Yeah, that should be good. I'm just going to sample this color just in case it wasn't pure black and sure enough it wasn't. It was more of a brown color. Then I'm just going to do this on a new layer just in case I need to adjust anything a little less than destructive that way and I just want to paint a line around this limb, right around the seam here. Now this character is not very precise. Remember this is a very sketchy look, so I'm not too worried about this being 100 percent perfect. Something like that should probably work just fine. I'm going to just merge that down to the right hand layer and then turn the right arm back on. All right? Now I'm going to turn that, multiply off, and that line goes away. But if I rotate this hand, right where that center point was, which it's kind of hard to do without the guide but somewhere around there. As I rotate this, I moved it around a little bit just to demonstrate what I'm trying to show you. You can see that, that circle that I just painted in is now kind of completing this outline as long as I rotate this exactly where it needs to rotate. So let's turn this to multiply one more time and try that again, right about there. That line should pretty much line up perfectly. There we go, so let me turn that back off of multiply, and that's pretty good. It's not perfect, so one thing that I can do to kind of fix this is just extend that black line out just a little bit more, so maybe make it a little bit thicker up at the top. It looks like, it might have flattened out that top portion just to touch, and now this should work out, so let me put that right in the middle again. Rotate, and turn that multiply off, and there you go, we've got something that looks a little bit more like a natural seam. On the upper layer also notice that I left the line above that midpoint because I want that to kind of create a seam when that wrist bends. Now I want to clean it up a little bit because we see some of that black line still showing up here, so let me grab that layer, lack the transparency, and paint that out again. There we go, just get rid of those black pixels, and that should do it. Another thing that might help is removing just a little bit of this circle, so what I'm going to do is just make a selection of that ellipse, transform the selection, go to "select"," transform selection", and then scale it down while holding option to scale proportionately. Just until it hits the inside of the black line on either side, and then I'll carefully erase just the skin portion. Actually I need to invert my selections, so select "inverse". Then I'll unlock that transparency, and then erase very carefully just the skin portion, that portion up until the black line, and that way we have just a little bit more showing through to the background to where that black line will be when I rotate the hand, and that way it'll look even more seamless, so let me just estimate that one more time, and there you go. You see how that is now kind of hiding that, and we've got that little crease with that line halfway up the limb there. So that's exactly what I wanted, and I know I spent a lot of time on that, but it is very important to know how to do that because you might also want to do that at the elbows, and this is actually a good opportunity to jump over to my vector character, and just take a look at his right arm, so let me turn off all the layers except for that right arm, and if you notice over here in the layers panel, I have three separate layers for the entire arm. Whereas over here I just have the one for the arm, and one for the hand. This was very intentional because this character, which is very kind of cartoony, it's way less precise, it's very stylized. I want these arms to bend, kind of curvy and bendy like a noodle, or a rubber hose. That's actually a term used for limbs that bend very cartoony. They're called Rubber hose limbs. I want that for this character, but on this character I want everything to be very straight and rigid. So I want the joints to bend at more of straight angles rather than the entire arm bending like a rubber hose. So again, let's just take a look at this arm and see how I constructed it. First of all, you see at the top I have kind of that same structure going on where the lines, and halfway up this perfectly round semicircle for that overlap of the shoulder, but if I turn that upper arm layer off, you'll notice that I also have a lower arm, or a forearm that has that same type of joint, so let me turn the upper arm on, select it and move it over. So this layer is behind this one, and that line connects all the way around that joint, but on the forearm it stops halfway up. Just like the hand on this character, so the circle goes all the way around here, but the arms outline doesn't have that. Now, in this case, the arm is on top of the hand, but in this case the forearm is on top of the upper arm, so think of it like that. The layer that is on top is what should have the missing outline if your character has that outline as a design direction it. Again, if your character doesn't have the outline, you don't need to worry about stopping that line halfway up that joint, but because that is halfway up, if I select the forearm and the hand, and rotate around the center of that joint. There you go. We've got this nice crease in that joint. It looks very natural. This is nice and straight, very nice and straight. That's exactly what we're looking for, and let me actually show you what I mean by that. In this example, I have three different setups for the same arm. This first one is a bendy two-layer reg, so this rubber hose look what I'm talking about, and when I grab this hand and move it up, you can see that the arm is bending very cartoony. It's very rounded when that arm bends. Now the hand, specifically I can control independently because the hand is a separate layer from the arm, so I can rotate it around. I've got that complete outline. You can see how that's working here, so that is my bendy two layer. Let me get this back to where it was. The next one is the bendy one layer limb. So this entire arm, including the hand is one single layer. It's all pre-composed into one, and that looks like this when I bend the Elbow. So you can see that we've got kind of this S-shape going to the hand as opposed to this joint at the wrist. I can still bend this around, but as I do this, you see that it's warping a lot of the rest of the arm at the same time. Now, that might be the look that you're going for. Like this is kind of like a gumby style arm, a very bendy looking arm, and there's nothing wrong with that. Just be aware that if that's the look you're going after, go ahead and put your hand or your foot in the same layer as the arm or the leg, but if you want something with a little bit more control, keep the arm bent nice and curved but the rotating the hand doesn't affect the rest of the limb. Then you're going to want to separate the hand or the foot from the arm or the leg, All right. Finally we have this third leg which is the stiff three layers, so instead of bending when I bring this up, you can see we have very nice, more realistic looking bends, so this is basically what happen in real life. You have bones in your upper arm, in your forearm, and in your hand. They don't bend as your arm bends like these regs do. Because they're all created very precisely in Illustrator, and I've got all these overlapping circular joints, it looks very natural, and it's very clean and crispy, and we get this nice little overlap crease in the joint as the arm bends. This is separating the layers out into three different sections, so we've got the upper arm, the forearm, and the hand. That's really something you should think about right up front at the design fields. Do you want your character to end up bending and being more cartoony? or do you want it to be a little bit more realistic? The style doesn't have to be realistic. You know obviously that character that I designed with this arm doesn't look like a photo-realistic human being, but we can rig them in a more realistic way, so that its joints bend more like they would in the real world. So think about that as you're designing your character, do you want to have a bendy limb with control for the hand that doesn't affect the arm. If you do, then you're going to want to have a single arm layer, and a hand layer, just like all of my Photoshop character, or do you want to have something that's very curvy and flowy and bendy through the limb into the hands of the foot. Then you're going to want to put all of those layers into one single layer, or do you want to have something a little bit more realistic, more clean, more geometric like this jointed, stiff rig. If so, then you're going to want to break up your limbs into every section, so upper arm, forearm and hand. Now I'm going to come back to this character in a little bit to discuss how we can make something this precise, but for now let's just go back to this character, and finish off prepping him for after-effects. So let's do the same thing that we did with this hand to this arm over here. I'm going to turn off everything except that layer, take that ellipse and duplicate it over to this side. So actually let me turn that arm and hand back on, and I can get rid of the original arm. I don't need that anymore. Which reminds me I deleted that layer that was very destructive of me, but this is not my original source artwork. If you notice, all of my layer or all of my PSD's are named with Rig after the name of the character. This is not the source Artwork. It's the specific artwork that I am prepping to rig in after effects. So I always have my original source artwork in case I ever need to get it. Character rigging definitely needs to be done in a non-destructive way, so try to work in that way where you're always preserving basically the last thing that you did just in case you ever need to make a modification. All right, so with that inside and kind of just eyeballingness, but this hand is just slightly above that hands. So I'm just going to move it up maybe that much, and then over here, and then again, I want to make sure that it fills the width of the wrist. So right about there, maybe move it up a little bit more. Now I need to detach the hand from the rest of the arm, so I'm going to make that rectangular selection for that layer halfway of the circle. So right about there let's say, I'll add to my selection command, or control plus shift, and click on that ellipse. I will copy, and then paste in place "command shift V", and then I'll do the same thing for the arm, so let me just make a big selection around the whole arm, zoom in here and make sure that's positioned correctly right about there. Then I will add to my selection one more time. Make sure that I'm on that original artwork. Copy, command shift V to paste it in place. Now we can turn that original artwork off. I can turn off that ellipse, and there we go. We now have two layers that overlap perfectly, and I need to match this overlap. So the actual arm layer needs to have the black line removed, and a little bit of that skin removed, then the hand needs to have that black line completed. So let's start with the arm. I'm going to turn off the hand, take a look, and remember, I'm just going to make a selection of the ellipse, and I'm going to transform that selection. Hold down option while scaling down to make it the width of the inside of those black lines. That might be just a little too much, right about there, and then erase the skin outside of that selection. So I need to invert my selection first select" inverse", grab my eraser "E" on the keyboard. Make sure I'm on the right layer, and then carefully erase just the skin portion basically up to where that black line starts. Get rid of all that, make sure I get everything. That should be good to go, and I'll rename that L arm. I'll turn on my other layer and name that L hand, and turn off the arm. I need to complete this black line around that circle. I'll switch to my brush "B" on the keyboard, which is still on that texture charcoal brush. I'll make a new layer, and then paint this in a little bit at a time, so there we go. Just following the contour of that layer, going a little bit on the outside, basically aligning it to the center of that shape. Then I'll turn that arm layer back on, move the arm above the hand in that texture, and then try rotating both of those layers at the same time to see if that works, so obviously my anchor point was a little bit off, but there you go. That looks like it's going to create a nice seem, so I think I can merge those two together. I select the top layer and press "command E" to merge down and now those two are one, and my arms are ready to go. So I can get rid of that original layer, and turn everything else back on, and the artwork itself is now prepped. Everything is separate into its own layers that needs to be, and I can move on to the next step. 5. Joint Markers: What I want to do now is just mark where all of the joints are going to be on these limbs, because knowing where those joints are will make rigging much easier and much more precise. I already have the two wrists, so that's what these two ellipses represents. So I'm just going to select both of them and press command G to group them and I'm going to rename this joint markers. Then let's focus on this right arm again and basically I want to find where the elbow would be and where the shoulder would be. So if I turn the torso off, this will make the shoulder much easier. But the elbow, you can basically think the upper arm and the forearm are generally about the same length. Your forearm might be slightly shorter, but between your wrist and your elbow is almost the same distance between your elbow and your shoulder. So since I know where my wrist is and I know where my shoulder is, I can basically look at the center point of that layer and say that's where the bend for the elbow should be. So that's what I'm going to use as my guide. So I'm just going to duplicate this ellipse by holding Option or Alt on a PC, clicking and dragging and then clicking on this layer to find that center point. Now, if you're not seeing this bounding box that gives you that anchor point, then just make sure that show transform controls is checked up here. If you're not seeing this anchor point, just press Command or Control T to transform and make sure that this checkbox right here is enabled. That will turn that on and off. All right. So that is my center point but I'm noticing that the bounding box is going beyond the shoulder joints. That's telling me that I have some stray pixels up here that I need to get rid of. So let me just switch to my eraser tool, E on the keyboard erase up here where there shouldn't be anything and check again. So it looks like a little bit is left. Just a little bit of these invisible pixels will increase the outside bounds of that layer. But that looks like it's just about right. All right. So that's good. Now we can use that anchor point more accurately and just move this one up. There we go, it's in the center. I'm just going to widen this a little bit while holding Option to scale from the middle. There we go, that should be the center of this elbow. So that's right where that arm is going to bend. Then I'll duplicate it one more time, Option or Alt click and drag and then put that right up at the shoulder joint. Something like that. All right. Now I can take these two and pretty easily just move them over to this limb. This actually brings up something, you'll notice this layer does not have the outline cut off like it does on the front arm and that's because you don't see that portion of the arm on top of the torso like you do this limb. Because I erased that black line on the right arm, I can move this arm around very similarly to the way that you can with the hand and that will create a nice, pretty invisible join between the shoulder and the torso. Whereas this back arm, you're never going to see that portion of the artwork. So it really doesn't matter that it's there. All right. Back to the joint markers and I want to make sure that these are lined up nicely. So let's just take this down a little bit, fit it into that socket of the shoulder there. That looks good. The elbow should be right there. So let's move this to the center of that layer. That looks good. Then the wrist is already in the right spot. So there we go. We've got our arms taking care of. Now I need to do the same thing for the legs. So I'm just going to duplicate this ellipse and start at the hip. So let me make this about the size of this leg, and this is a great time to point out, the way that I drew this leg is basically the same as the joint of the wrist on each of the arms. You know, I have that half-circle roundness on the top of the limb and then that way it can rotate around this point and it will hide any sharp edges. Whereas if it was just cut off straight, it would break the illusion and it wouldn't look very good. Now, the torso is also covering up a portion of that. So I have the t-shirt and then this little bit that I'm calling the hips, that's like the pants, but that's going to hide some of that rotation. So it's going to look more like this, as the legs are bending. So that might be a little bit high, but that's one way to approach a torso and the legs. All right. Let's put these joint markers together. We've got the upper portion, basically that right hip, and then this leg is actually really easy because I drew the knees in. So I know that's where I want this layer to bend. It doesn't always have to be directly in the middle of the layer. In this case it looks like it's a little bit off but that's totally fine. I'm just going to go with the width of the leg at that point and call it good. All right. Then we need the ankle, now if I turn the visibility of the shoe off, I can just line that up with the base of that limb. All right. There's the ankle. I'll turn the shoe back on. Then just duplicate these over. So I'm going to select all three of these, and actually before I do that, I'm just going to change the color of these two cyan just so I can differentiate the arms from the legs a little bit more easily. All right. So and then I'll just duplicate all of these at once. Then reposition each of them. So this one, it's right about there, and actually that looks a little small. Let me turn off the arms. They're getting in the way a little bit. I'll just turn off everything but those legs. I think this one actually should be a bit bigger, just so it fits the width. I think the width is a little bit more important than the height in this case. So I'm just going to make these both a little bit bigger so they fit the width of that part of the leg, there we go, that looks a little bit better to me. I'll go down here, reposition this knee, and then make sure that this ankle is also right where it needs to be. All right. There are all of my joint markers. So, remember this character I want the arms and the legs to bend very neutrally, very rubber-hose-like so that's why I didn't separate the upper leg from the lower leg, the upper arm from the forearm. I'm keeping those as one layer, it'll make a lot more sense once you get into After Effects why that matters. But just know at this point if you're designing your own character and you want them to have very bendy limbs, this is how you should set it up. If you're not sure what type of limb you want, you could always set it up to be jointed, like this character where the limbs are very precise, and perfect and in three separate pieces. The hand, the forearm and the upper arm. If you don't like that look, you can always precompose them once you're in After Effects and then treat them as if they were one layer. So when in doubt, just break them all up. But if you know ahead of time, it will save you a lot of time not needing to break those layers up. All right. The last thing I'm going to do is press Command or Control R to bring up my rulers and then just add a guide at the ground plane for each foot. That way I know where that ground is, these will transfer into After Effects and it will just help me with alignment. So I'm going to save this now and then move over to these other rigs and show you that I also have those joint guides or joint markers for this character. This character I also want to have those noodly, a rubber-hose limbs. So that's why they are not broken apart. Same thing for this rig over here. These are my joints. If I turn off the torso, the body, you can see that this is one big layer. I want all of these characters to feel much more cartoon-y and bend a lot. Whereas this character I don't. I want these limbs to be very nice and straight and a little bit more realistic. Another thing I want to point out is that all of my characters are basically in that three-quarter pose remember they're kind of slightly looking off to the side, but it gives me enough range that I could make it look towards the camera if I needed it to. But these three characters have off-set feet on the ground and this character doesn't. The shoulders are at different heights, which puts the hands at different heights. But I decided to keep the hips perfectly straight and I put the feet on the exact same ground plane. This is purely a stylistic choice and I know it's not that accurate but it's something that I wanted for this character. I wanted his feet to exist on that exact same ground plane. So there are no real rules on how you need to have your character posed, but to follow along with me in this course, it will be best if you do a three-quarters pose. We're not going to do any front views where the character is walking towards you or away from you and I'm not doing a perfectly profile view either. To do that, you would basically want your limbs to exist in the exact same spot horizontally, so the shoulder joints would line up and you wouldn't really see the chest of the character. You'd just be seeing the side of the character when the arms aren't in the way. Same thing for the hips, they would be jointed at the exact same spot right in the middle, rather than being offset like this and the feet would perfectly overlap each other. You don't have nearly as much range with those poses but they do have their place. But in this case, the three-quarters pose is going to give us a lot of range. So that's why we're going to be working with that in this course. Now on these joint guides, you'll notice that I also have one for the neck and the tip of the neck. Now, I could've done that on my Jake rig over here, but that is a way less vital joint to be precise on. The joints for the wrists and where you have these perfect circular overlap between two layers. That's really important to get perfectly precise. But once we're in After Effects and we're rigging the character, we can be much more relaxed with where those rotation points are. But in Illustrator, this was really easy to just add in and be very precise with. So I went ahead and did it. 6. Building Precise Vector Joints: What I want to show you now is how you would make a character very precise in a clean vector format like this. Again, let's just take a look at this arm. I'm going to turn everything off, except for that right arm. I'm just going to duplicate this so that I can adjust things and show you what's going on. This group of objects here is the upper arm, this group is our hand, and then this group is our forearm. Now, if you're going to build a character inside of Illustrator and doing much more vector look, then I want to show you exactly how you can be very precise making that character in a way that it's going to work once you rig it, and you're not going to get frustrated inside of After Effects. We take a look at the structure of this limb again. You'll notice that it has those perfectly circular joints, and those joints overlap on those circles perfectly. If I press Command Y to get to the outline view, you can see that I actually have perfect circles as part of each of these layers. That way, it's very easy to grab this and just snap it over there, and know that that's perfectly aligned with the rest of the limb. So how would you go about making something like this? Well, first just start by making a rectangle. Just do a perfect rectangle. Let's just grab a rectangle, I'll make it about the size of an arm, and then add perfect circles to it. I'm going to switch from the Rectangle Tool to the Ellipse Tool, and then click and drag. I have my Smart Guides enabled by the way. Under View, Smart Guides, you want that enabled so that I can perfectly select the top left corner of this rectangle. Click and drag while holding Shift, and snap to the width of that rectangle. I also want to point out that this icon over here, Align art to pixel grid, is unchecked. I do not want that. I want my parts to be able to snap to each other perfectly, so make sure you do not have that on. Also, do not align to the pixel grid. Make sure both of these are unchecked. But now I know I have this perfect circle the same width as this rectangle, and I can click and drag the center of it up to the top edge of this rectangle, and now that is perfectly aligned to the top of that joint. This is basically my shoulder joint. Then, I can duplicate this again, down to the middle of the rectangle, there's my elbow, and then I'll do it one more time, and there's my wrist. Now, I basically just have this pill shape that's really nice and long. From here, I can start breaking things up. Let's say that I want it to be a jointed limb, where we have this nice straight sections. Well, first I'm just going to resize this rectangle down so that it goes to the center of the circle. Now this is hard to see when it's all the same color, so let me just grab these circles, and I'm going to make them this yellow color. There we go. Then I'm going to bring this rectangle down so that it's only between the wrist and the elbow. There's my forearm. I'm going to Command C to copy, Command Shift V to paste, and then I'm going to resize it upwards instead of down, and there we go. Now we have our upper arm. So if you want an arm that's perfectly straight up and down, then there you go, you're pretty much done. I'll just make all these the same color, and then if you wanted to make a sleeve up here at the top, like I did here, then we can make this yellow, and we could add in another rectangle. I'll copy this Command Shift V to paste in place, and then bring that up to maybe about here. Make that the same yellow color, and then I could copy, paste in place one more time. Bring this down to make the cuff, which is that gray color, and there we go. We have a framework for this limb. It's working. All that's left is basically making this shape for the hand and then aligning it to this circle. Now, this is important. If you look at the outline view, you can see that the actual shape of the fingers matches up to that exact center point of that circle, that perfect circular overlap. That's really important. A way that you could do this, is basically start by drawing a hand by clicking on that anchor point. Then you can come down, draw that pinky, draw another finger, draw one more, and then a thumb out here. Obviously, you can take more time to make this look good, but you want to end on that path, that opposite side of that circle, and that connects perfectly now. There we go. We've got our limb. Now what's important is that you preserve that circle on each part of this arm as you break it up into multiple layers. If I grab this hand and cut and make a new layer for hand, Command Shift V to paste in place, then I also want to copy this circular overlap. So I'm going to copy, click on the hand and then press Command Shift V, and now I have that circle as a part of that hand. Now let's grab the upper arm. I'm going to grab those layers that make the upper arm and cut, Command X, make a new layer, and I'll call this upper arm. Then Command Shift V to paste in place. Then I want to grab that circular overlap copy, select an object on that new layer, and press Command Shift V to paste in place. Now I have my upper arm, I have my hand, and I have that forearm. All with those perfectly aligned overlapping circles. But as I'm sure you can tell, I added in a taper basically to this limb. Now, this was actually really easy to do. All you have to do is, change the size of these circles. If down at the bottom we want it to be this wide, but up at the top we want it to be thinner, I'm just going to make this circle up at the top, the shoulder joint, a little bit smaller. So let me scale this down to maybe that size, and then I just want to change the size of this rectangle. Now, I've already added multiple rectangles in here, that's messing up the workflow, so really you want to start with just the one rectangle, but I basically just want to bring these anchor points in. I'm going to switch to my Direct Selection Tool, A on the keyboard, click and drag this anchor point and snap it into the right side of that circle, snap this one into the left side of the circle, and now that's tapering from the shoulder to the elbow. Then I want to do the same thing for the elbows, so I'm going to zoom in a little bit and scale this down, not the same amount, but probably about halfway between. Remember, we have two copies of that circle, because we have the two portions of the arm using that same joints, so I'm going to just delete the other one for now. What I want to do is, with my Direct Selection Tool, that A on the keyboard, I'm going to select all of these points by clicking and dragging, and then bringing them in to that circle. Again, it's easier to see an outline mode. I'm going to make a selection to these points, bring them in, make selection to these points, and bring them in. From here, if it's off a little bit, it actually is looking pretty good, but I could just select all of this at once with my Direct Selection Tool, that I'll grab all of the anchor points within that selection. Then I can just press the S to wrap my Scale Tool, click hold Shift and drag up or down to increase or decrease that taper. This way, I can make some fine tuned adjustments. If I had gone too far, I can bring it out just a little bit more. Something like that. Looks like a nice even taper. Now I just need to make sure that I copy this back over to this layer. Select it, Command C, click on this portion, Command Shift V and there we go. We've got our overlap, and that's tapered. Now I think that's more subtle. Again, if I wanted to, I could just select this, press S on the keyboard, and because the outermost anchor points are making up that circle, it is in the perfect center of that circle. You can scale it down a little bit more, maybe even a little bit more, and then do the same thing here. Scale it all down. Just so it feels nice and tapered from top to bottom. Now it's a little bit more difficult to break up this shape into the different colors. But basically what I would do is just take a line and draw it across where I want the sleeve to end. So maybe right about there, select both objects, go up to window, pathfinder, and then click on this icon right here. This is the divide operator, that will split those in two, but it groups them. So I need to select it, press Command, Shift G to ungroup. Then I can select this upper portion, make it the same color with my eyedropper as the sleeve. I could do the same thing for that gray portion of the cuff. Working in this way makes everything very perfect and precise and preserves those perfectly circular overlaps that are so important once we get in After Effects. One last thing I want to point out about this particular example is that outline. If you're wanting to do a character with an outline, let's take a look at how I did the fill of this joint. So I'm going to ungroup everything and take a look at the two different objects. I have the perfect circle that doesn't have an outline, and I have the rest of the arm which doesn't have the line at the top. If I zoom in nice and close, you'll notice that the fill is actually coming in from the path just a little bit. It perfectly aligns with the stroke width. That's important because if it came to the center of the path, like it would naturally do, as this limb bends, it would be covering up a portion of this black outline which would make it look thinner than the rest of the outline and it just looks inconsistent. If I grab this and bring up the appearance panel, you'll notice that I have an effect applied, Offset Path. This is a very simple effect and it literally will just offset your path based on a pixel value. So if I open it up, you can see that I'm offsetting the path by negative two pixels. The reason I chose negative two is because the stroke width is four. Because this would normally be aligned to the center of the stroke, or actually the stroke is aligned to the center of the path, half of that width is going to be overlapped without that offset paths. So there you go, you can see it overlapping the path right there. So I just added offset path by selecting the object coming up to effect, going down to path, and then offset path. Brought it in those negative two pixels on each side. Now I have that perfect looking shape. I did the same thing for the shoulders and the hand. That was a really easy, non-destructive way of bringing in that feel without actually changing the paths. Let me turn everything else back on. I can delete all of these layers as I don't really need them for this rig. You don't even have to limit yourself to these perfectly straight limbs. Like these arms are just nice and straight. That's just the design direction I went with this character illustration. If you wanted to, I'm just going to duplicate these layers over for this arm, you could make this character's arms look muscular and have this bulge out a little bit here. Maybe make the entire elbow joint just a little bit smaller and it's just a unique look. I mean, that's a little weird, but you can see what I'm saying is you can play with the shape of the limbs. What's important is that the joints, no matter what you do between them, that the joints are as perfectly circular as possible. In Illustrator, you have no excuse. They should be absolutely 100 percent circular, but don't be afraid to play around with the shape of the bicep or the forearm, the upper arm, anything like that. Maybe your character's hands aren't big, like this gets bigger from the shoulder to the hands, but maybe your hands get smaller. So I'm just going to select everything down here, press S, and then click once right in the center of that circle so that it scales from that point, scale it down while holding Shift, and there you go. Now the hands are smaller and the upper arm is the biggest. My point is that you don't have to limit yourself to having these perfectly straight, very clean looking designs. You can play around with the shapes of your characters' limbs. All right, I have all of my joint markers and everything is separated out into the layers that they should be. Now, in this particular case, I kept all the facial features on the head. But that's just because I know that I can easily extract those elements inside of After Effects because this is a vector character. So if I ever decide I want to animate his face, it'll be fairly easy to do inside of After Effects. I did separate his hair, however, just in case I want to flop that around a little bit. All right, I'm going to get rid of these extra layers that I had made. Once you're done designing your character, make sure that you have separated all the layers out properly, that they're in the right order so that the layers that should be behind others are actually behind the others. Name them very clearly and in an organized fashion. So again, the limb on the characters right is what I named as right hand, right forearm. Include all of your joint guides or joint markers. We can move on to actually rigging these characters up in After Effects. All right, so we just spent the better part of an hour talking about artwork prep before moving into After Effects. So I hope that you can appreciate just how complex this whole rigging process really is. As you go to design your character, it is it very important that you think about these guidelines as you're doing it. So start by designing at least 4,000 by 4,000 pixels or larger if your machine can handle it, and choose an art direction, two of my characters have a black outline all the way around them and that significantly increases how difficult it is to rig. So if this is your first time rigging, don't do an outline character, use solid colors, or do something textured like the monster characters. Go easy on yourself. Then design your character in a three-quarter pose. Remember I'm going to be using the three-quarter pose on all four of my characters it's going to be too difficult if you try to do something different and still follow along with this class. Draw all of your characters limbs perfectly straight, up and down. Once you have your character completed, duplicate that source, PSD or Illustrator file before moving on to prepping it for After Effects. You need to make sure that you create circular overlaps at all of the joints, or at least as close to perfectly circular as possible. How many of those joints you need depends on the style of limb that you want. Remember, if you're going to have bendy limbs, then you're not going to separate the upper arm from the forearms. So you're only going to have a joint at the wrist or if you want something really nice and bendy, like it was made of rubber or clay, then you might not even want to detach the hand from the arm. So the entire arm all the way to the hand would be one layer. You don't really have to worry about circular overlaps except at where that arm attaches to the torso. Make sure to add joint markers at all of those joints. They should be perfect circles. Don't forget to name all of your layers based on the character's point of view. So what you see is their left arm is probably their right. Think of it from their perspective. Once you have your character designed, if you have any doubt as to whether or not your character is going to work well to be rigged. Just post a screenshot of it to your class project page, and I'd be happy to take a look. 7. Installing DUIK: All right. Now if you remember at the beginning I said that character rigging has a process and it's important that you follow that process because of how long it is and how hard it is to change things if they don't work out in the end. So you want to make sure that you follow everything step-by-step. We've already talked about how to design your character with rigging in mind, how to actually prep that artwork for rigging in After Effects, and even different scenarios on how to prep that artwork depending on how you want your character to look once it's rigged up. Now we're ready to actually bring that prepped artwork into After Effects and start the rigging process. So the first thing you need to do is download Duik. So there's a link in the notes of the video right now that you can click to go to the website to download Duik or just Google Duik, and it should be the first result. Once you're there, you need to click on "Download", scroll down and make sure that you download the version for the operating system you're working on. So I'm on a Mac. That's going to download a zip file. I can open this up when it's done, and this will have a bunch of files in it. Now we need to put this in a specific folder. You can always look at the "ReadMe". So just open that up and scroll down a little bit and you'll find the instructions on how to install Duik, and you need to copy them into the "Script UI's Panels" folder for the version of After Effects that you'll be using. So this tells you where it is on Windows. For Mac, I need to go to the specific application. So I'm just going to select everything and copy. Go to my "Applications", go to the latest version of After Effects. I'm on CC 2019, at this point. Go in to "Scripts", in the "ScriptUI Panels", and paste here. Now I've already done that, so it's installed for me. But once you have it pasted in there, just restart After Effects if it's already open or open up After Effects and you'll be able to find Duik under Window, Duik Bassel. I'll click on that and it will load the script. Here it is, I already have it docked. Yours will probably be floating around like this when it first starts up, but you can just dock it anywhere you want. I'm going to leave it undocked for now, and this is very important. The first thing you should do if you've just installed Duik, is come over to this little wrench icon, the "Settings", and make sure that you are on the "Standard User Interface View". If you're on a "Rookie", which is what it is by default, then it is not going to give you all of the controls that you'll need to follow along in this class. So change that from "Rookie" to "Standard". Then click "Apply Changes". It will refresh and you can go back to this little rigging icon. Now, as you can tell, Duik is massive. There are many, many controls up here for you to go through, and within each one of those, there are multiple options. All we are going to be concerned with in this course is the "Rigging" tab. So this is what you should be on. And we're going to work our way through a few of these menus throughout the rigging process. 8. Setting Up the Workspace: The next thing I want to do is set up my workspace and after effects in a way that's a little bit more conducive to character rigging in animation. The standard layout isn't that great because we're going to have a lot of layers that we need to deal with all at once and this real estate down here at the bottom for the timeline and the layers, isn't going to be enough. So here's how I set up my after effects generally for character rigging. I'm going to start by undocking my timeline and moving it over to the far left side. So it's taking up this entire left section. So this is where all of my layers are going show up, okay? Then over here I have my project and my effects controls and this is the same place that I want to put Duik. So I'm going to grab Duik and dock it at the base down here, not the green highlighted at the very bottom of the window but on this specific column down at the base right there. And that way it puts Duik at the bottom of this column. So I have my project and effect controls up here. I've got Duik down here and my timeline over here. Then I've got my composition and I don't need my render queue open, so I'm going to close that. I don't need any of these panels. So I'm going to click on this menu and say close panel. I'm going to do that for all of these until I'm left with just these four sections. Alright, now I can rearrange this space. Obviously, this is where my composition is going to be viewed. So I want space to see that but I also want all of this vertical space to be able to see as many layers as possible at the same time. Because like I said, we're going to be dealing with a lot of them. Now once you have your panel set up like this, I highly suggest that you save it as a workspace. So I already have one set up for my character rigging and I even made one specifically for recording a skillshare class. I'm gonna click on that and there we go. We've got my panels snapped to exactly where I left them last time. To save your own, once you have your panels laid out the way that you want them, just click on one of the drop-down menus right here next to one of these items and say save as new workspace and then you can name it whatever you want. So character rigging, for example,, then click okay and then you can jump between any of your layout. So I can very quickly go back to my standard layout just by clicking on this and then jump back to character rigging. There we go. So that's a really useful tool inside of after effects for managing work spaces. Another thing I like to do is have only one of these options enabled and it's going to be easier to see if I make a composition. I'll just make a new composition and just add some solid. So I'm just going to add some layers in here. So what this is allowing me to do is only see a certain number of columns in my layers palette at once. You see when I have all of these open, I have these two switches. My layer switches pane and the transfer controls pane. That's taking up a lot of this space that I just set up for my layers palette and I have this tiny little space right here to actually see the layers and any of the properties, key frames, if I set any of them in there. So what I like to do, like I said, is just turn one of them on and then I have this little button right here. This is toggle switches slash modes and that'll let me switch between seeing things like blending modes track mattes or my shy switches, the collapse transformations or continuously rasterized, those kinds of things. While I'm rigging, I need my parent and link column there but it is something that I do hide when I actually go to do character animation because that gives me even more room to focus on the key frames and at that point, I shouldn't need to be parenting anything. That's part of the rigging process. But if you didn't know, you can just right click up here and go to the columns to enable or disable any single column. But that's how I like to have mine set up. 9. Importing to AE: Now that we've got that set up, we can bring in our artworks. I'm going go to my project tab, right-click and say import file. Now I'm going to be walking you through all four of these characters, but I want to start with just one at a time. Let's just start with this character right here. I'm going open that up and it's very important that you import this with the right settings. I want to import it as a composition and retain layer sizes. If I didn't retain layer sizes, every layer would be the size of the entire document or the composition. We're going to say "Composition - Retain Layer Sizes". I'm not using any layer styles, so this doesn't really matter. Now I'm going to click "Okay" and that will bring in the composition, so I can double-click on that. There we go, just like I had it in Photoshop, all of my layers, and like I said, any of the groups are now showing up this pre-comps. If I go into the head, I've got the face, and the head. I can go into the face, there we go, all the individual pieces, so that's how that works. I've also got all of my joint markers, and as you can see, those guides came in for the ground plane for each one of the feet, that's great. Really quickly, I'm actually recording this after I've finished recording the rest of the class, but I made a mistake right here and I didn't catch it when I originally recorded it. What it is, is that when I imported this artwork, it took the duration from the last time I made a composition inside of After Effects and applied that to my imported artwork. I didn't catch that, it's only five seconds long and chances are, this rig is going to be needed for more than five seconds. Unfortunately, I have all of these groups, the pre-comps that reflect the groups that we had in Photoshop and Inside of those are also only five seconds long. I have to do a lot of work to fix that and you'll see me actually do that in a little bit. But what you should do if you imported your artwork and your composition isn't that long, just undo, just get rid of all that. Make a new composition and change the duration to five minutes long, and a quick way to do that as is just type five and then dot for seconds and then dot for minutes and that'll give you five minutes worth of time, likely more than you'll ever need for a single take of a character animation. But now that that's done, I can actually delete the comp and re-import the artwork. I'm going to import my same Jake Rig, "Composition - Retain Layer Sizes", Click "Okay" and now that is five minutes long and everything inside it is two. Until you see me correct that mistake in a little bit, all of my layers are only going to be five seconds long. Also, if your artwork was made in Illustrator, the import looks a little bit different. I'm going to import my Red Rig just to show you, it's not exactly the same dialogue box, but you want to make sure that your import kind is composition and that your footage dimensions are the layer size, not the document size. That will import it exactly the way that it needs to so that every layer is the size the layer. Back to what I was saying. Now, unfortunately these groups default to being the size of the composition. If I double-click into that, you can see this is just a head floating in the same space as the document. I want to start by cropping these in to the size of the layers of the artwork. Unfortunately, I can't just easily crop this, because it's going to reposition or relocate the layer in the main composition. What I need to do first is just take a screenshot or what After Effects calls, a snapshot. I want to make sure that I'm at a full resolution just so it's nice and crisp and clear. Make sure that's set to full resolution, and then click on the little camera that says take snapshot. You would get that little sound and now you can click and hold to show this snapshot at any point. If I were to move this layer, I can see it what my snapshot was just by clicking and holding on this layer. Now that I have my snapshot, I can go into that composition and zoom in nice and close. I'm going to use a tool down here called region of interest. Click on that, and this is going to allow me to draw basically a bounding box around this artwork, and you can think of this just like the crop tool. I'm going set this region of interest to contain the entire layer, making sure to get as close as possible to the artwork without trimming any of it off. Then what I can do from here is come up to composition and say "Crop Comp to Region of Interest." There we go. Now this composition is the size of the artwork within it. I can close that out and you can see that the bounding box is shifted, but the head actually hasn't changed. That's because I have this continuously rasterized switch checked, I need to just uncheck that and there we go, now it's shifted out of place. I want to move this up to roughly where I think it was supposed to be and zoom in nice and close, and then hold down the snapshot, the show Snapshot button to see how far off I am. Then I'm just going to use my arrow keys, shift arrow to go on a bigger increment and just nudge this around until it's lined up perfectly. There we go, that's the exact spot. I'm going to do the same thing now for the torso. Let me just turn off that collapse transformation. Double-click into that pre-comp and then crop that comp to the region of interest again. I'm going to draw that box around all of the artwork. Get as close as I can without trimming anything off. I think it's a better idea to give yourself a little bit of a margin rather than get too close, but I think that should work pretty well. Composition, crop comp to region of interest and that should be good to go. Now, I just need to reposition this, so that it lines up with where it was supposed to be. Show my snapshot, get this positioned with my arrow keys, zoom into 100 percent and there we go. That's exactly on the money and I can move on. From here on out I'm going to be constantly saving. This is something you've got to get in the habit of doing because this is very meticulous, very precise work, and you don't want to lose any of it. Just get used to constantly saving every time you change something, and don't be afraid to version up your project files too just in case one goes corrupt. I'm going to save this and I'll call it "Character-Rigs-V1". Then, I'm just going to put that in my project files folder, click "Save" and I'm good to go. Now the background layer, this is really just for reference in this comp. Yours might not even have a background layer. So if I turn off my background, this could be what you're seeing, or you could be seeing a black background. If you want to see the transparency grid, just click on this "Toggle Transparency Grid" button, or if you want to see a background color that's not black, just go into composition settings and change the background color to whatever you want. A really good background color is 50 percent gray, just because you can see all of these other values on top of it, whether it's perfectly black or perfectly white or anything in between. I'm going to leave my background on just for fun and I'm going to right-click on it and say "Guide Layer." That way it won't render if I put this rig comp into any other comp. Then I'll just lock that layer so I can't move it around. I'm going to right-click on the joint markers layer and also make that a guide layer so it never shows up outside of this composition. Like I said, I'm going to be walking through all four characters rigging process in After Effects using Duik Bassel. Each one of them is going to have slight differences because of the different body types, but also the different rig types. This character, we're going do the rubber host style limb with detached hands and feet from the legs and the arms. The character I made in Illustrator is going to have those rigid, stiff limbs that are more geometric and realistic. If your character design is like the illustrator character that I've made with those style limbs, I don't recommend that you skip this video and just jump to that one, because we're going to be building on the rigging process as I go through each one of these characters. You'll probably miss things if you just jump straight to that video. Even if your character design isn't exactly the same style as mine and the limb types are different, doesn't mean that you shouldn't watch this video. To recap, when you're importing your artwork in the After Effects, make sure that you import it as the layer size, whether it's from a PSD or an Illustrator file. Also, make sure that your computeration is long, something like five minutes. Then you need to make sure that you crop any pre-comps, anything that has any layers inside it to the layer size since they get imported as the document size. Once your artworks are all ready to go, we can move on. 10. The Puppet Tool: To deform this character, to be able to make those bendy limbs we're going to be using a tool in after effects called the Puppet Tool. I'm going to give you an explanation of what that tool is, what it does, and how it works right now. Let's just start with the right arm and hand. I'm just soloing those two layers and I'm going to zoom in. Obviously this is just a layer, a raster layer right now that I can't bend, I can rotate it, I can scale it, I can move the position around, but I can't bend this unless I add an effect to it. Even then I can't bend it in that much of a controlled way with most effects. That's where the Puppet Tool comes in. Right up here in your toolbar. The last one is called the Puppet Tool. This particular one is the Puppet Position Pin Tool. I'm using After Effects CC 2019 and this is what the Puppet Tool looks like in this version but Adobe is constantly improving and adding features to the Puppet Tool. Your list might look a little bit different, but at its core, the Puppet Tool is going to function the same so you want the Puppet Position Pin Tool and the icon should look like a little push pin. If I click on that, I can now come over to my layer and then click on any point of it. I'm just going to start right up here at the top, where the shoulder would be and then I'll put one right in the middle where the elbow would be, and then down here where we decided the wrist will be. You see these three yellow circles that have been added. Now as I added those, a lot actually happened in the background. First of all, a puppet effect was added, and then we have a mesh that was generated. If I come up here and make sure that show mesh is checked, you can see what that mesh looks like. It traced the alpha channel of that layer and then triangulated this mesh within it. This mesh is what's going to allow us to distort and deform this layer and make character animation possible. If I just click and grab this wrist, you can see that the arm is now bending with it and I can grab the elbow, move that around, shoulder. It gives me the specific points wherever I want on this mesh that I can distort from. Let me undo and go back to where I was. I want to talk a little bit more about the mesh. You can probably see that the mesh is going beyond the bounds of the layer. That's because of this setting right here that's called the Expansion. If I turn this down to zero, it's going to snap to the edges of the artwork. The reason for the expansion is to catch any stray pixels that you might be missing. If I zoom in real close here, if you take a look at the top edge right here with that mesh selected, you can see that some of those pixels, those yellow pixels are actually outside the mesh. That's exactly what the expansion is for. It's so you can give basically a margin of error to capture all the pixels within that mesh because you could even go to a negative number and then nothing outside of that mesh is going to be affected. Obviously I don't want that, so I'm just going to set mine to five, but you should set yours to whatever you need to make sure that all of your artwork is contained within that mesh. I should mention at this point, you do not have to be following along with me. This is not part of the rigging process. I'm just explaining to you how the Puppet Tool works. All right, like I said, Adobe is constantly working on improving the Puppet Tool and adding new features. One feature that I want to draw your attention to right here is the Puppet Engine. I believe this came into play in CC 2018. If you're using an older version, this is not going to be an issue for you. But there are two different Puppet Engines, the Advanced and Legacy. When it comes to rigging with Duik, the advanced Puppet Tool engine is not going to give you the best results and instead, you're going to want to use the Legacy. Like I said before 2018, Legacy was all there was so you're not going to have this option, but go ahead and switch that to Legacy and I'll remind you of that as we actually start rigging. But that's just going to change a little bit of the behavior of the mesh and the puppet pins. But it's also going to give me some more options for this mesh. I want to point your attention to this triangles property right here, which we can also see up here. Expansion, we already talked about, but the triangles is basically the resolution of your mesh. You see that my mesh is actually made up of a bunch of triangles. If I turn the triangles down, they're going to get bigger. The less triangles you have, the less resolution your mesh actually has to distort. If I were to turn this way down, we're going to get just a few triangles in here and it's not going to warp nearly as cleanly as before. I can push the expansion out a little bit, but that's just not going to produce nearly as good of a bend as if I were to turn this all the way up to 1500. When you're doing character animation, there's no reason to have anything less than the best resolution. Fifteen hundred is the max triangles you can have. That's what I'm going to suggest that you always keep yours at so long as your machine can handle it. But there we go. I can distort this now, and that's great, but my hand isn't attached to that pin and unfortunately, there's no real way for me to attach it to that pin. On top of that, if I go into the deform section of this mesh, you can see the three different Puppet Pins and each one of them has a position value. But that value is relative to the layer, not to the composition, which complicates things even further. I can key frame these properties, which is nice, but I can't parent things to them. I can't easily link things to them. As you can see, as I push and pull this around, it's very easy to accidentally elongate a limb and turn this into something that it really shouldn't be. So on its own, the Puppet Tool is not that useful for what we needed to do, but that's where Duik comes in. This is a script that really allows you to unleash the power of the Puppet Tool for character animation. Let me undo back to where we were. I'm just going to turn off the visibility of that mesh. I don't need to see it anymore and I'm going to rename these pins. I'm just going to click on the first one and type in shoulder. Flick on the second one and call it elbow. Then click on the third one and call it wrist. All right, then I'm going to select that layer, come over to this second tab which is Links and Constraints in Duik and this button right here that has that same puppet pin, pushpin icon, it says "add bones." I'm going to click on that. Duik runs a little bit of magic, generates some new layers and suddenly I have these shape layers that are controlling those puppet pins. Through expressions, these puppet pins that I created are now linked to external layers that I can treat it like any other layer. For example, I could parent the wrist to the elbow, the elbow to the shoulder, and I could grab my hand in parent that to the wrist. Now if I open the rotation for all of those layers, then I can rotate the shoulder and everything rotates with it. Or I can rotate the elbow and the wrist rotates with it. Or I can rotate the wrist and the hand is going to move with it. Now, I wasn't very precise so that, that seem on the edge isn't lining up. But this is just an example. But now you can see why Duik is so important in the character rigging process. Combining the Puppet Tool with Duik allows us to control these limbs in a way that we need to. But it also takes it so much further than just giving us more control over puppet pins. 11. DUIK Structures: I'm just going to undo back to before we added in any of those bones, I'm going to delete all of those effects, the puppet tool effects, and we're back to where we started. Now that we have a good understanding of that puppet tool, we can actually rig this in a more precise way. I'm going to zoom in again, nice and close, and now I'm going to turn on my joint markers and I want to point out that because I left this composition as continually rasterize, I'm actually able to see the bounding boxes for each individual circle, even though it's a one layer, for example, I can take this right arm and snap it to the center of this circle by clicking and dragging while holding "Command" and snapping into the center of that circle or any one of these circles for that matter. That's going to be very helpful for positioning things in just a little bit. The first step of the process for rigging an arm with Duik is to make what's called a structure and as you can see, this is laid out pretty logically, it put the structure's section on the far left, that's where you want to start. You can think of structures like the skeleton of your character. We're going to build basically a skeletal structure which will be the actual rig, and then attach your character's artwork to it. This is the new rigging process that Duik Bassel brought, and it allows for so much more flexibility and advanced control over your character rigs. Down this list you can see that we have things like the arm, the leg, spine, tail, custom structures, and a bunch of other controls as well as this one at the top called hominoid. A hominoid is basically just a character with two arms, two legs, a spine, a head, just a human style character. So I could click on arm and Duik is going to generate this structure that looks just like this for an arm and it has one, two, three sections to it and if we take a look at the actual layers that are labeled very logically so S for structure then a divider, and then arm, forearm, hand, and then arm tip, which you can think of like the fingertips. I'm just going to move this over here and you can see that everything moves with this tops section, the arm, because Duik also automatically parented these layers in a proper order. So this is what a structure looks like, and you could do this one limit a time, you know, generate another arm, generate a leg, generate another leg, a spine all the way down the line, or I'm going to undo here, you could just click on the hominoid button, when I click on that, it's going to take a little bit longer, but it's going to build all of the structures I need for my character because my character is a human, it is a hominoid structure system. Now it's going to take a little bit of time to do this, but once it's done, you have all of the structures that you need to start rigging and hopefully you can see the form in this structure, there's the spine, the arms and the hands, the legs and the feet. Let me un-solo everything actually, since I'm doing all of this basically at once, I'm going to go ahead and just show the entire character and I'm going to turn off that background just because I think it's a little bit easier to see on that gray background. Now I know this is probably a little bit overwhelming to look at and a little bit confusing, so we're just going to focus on this arm right here but before I even do that, I first want to select all of my structures and click on this edit button down here, so this is edit existing structures, and then I want to change the size from small to custom, I have mine set to 50 and you can see that automatically updated right away, if I click through this, you can see how they change. I think the default is small and honestly I think that gets in the way of the artwork, it makes it kind of hard to see things, so that's why I want to change this to custom and I set this to 50. Now that, that's set up, it's going to be a lot easier to see things, so I'm just going to move all of these other structures out of the way for now, grabbing the root of each one of the structures so the hips is the root of the spine, I'm just going to move it over there, and I'm going to grab these two legs at the same time and just move it as well, that way I can just focus in on this one arm. Let me zoom in here and I'll show you what we need to do. Again, this first section of this arm structure is labeled arm and that's basically the upper arm, then we have the forearm and the hand and the hand tip. What I want to do is take the anchor point of this first section and align it to the center of the shoulder joint for that arm and that's exactly where these guides are going to come into play, so if I click and drag on this anchor point with my move tool and hold down "Command" while I'm near the center of that circle, it should snap perfectly, and there we go, I can let go of my mouse and I know that that joint is exactly where it needs to be in order for the structure to rotate right where it should, then I'm going to grab the next section of this structure and do the same thing for the elbow, click and drag that anchor point hold down "Command" until it snaps right in the center of that joint and I'll do the same thing for the wrist, click and drag, snap, and that's perfectly aligned, then I want to zoom in and this hand tip or arm tip is the last part of the structure. This is going to go at the longest part of the limb, so the fingertips in this case, so I'm just going to move this over here, and because my limb is perfectly straight up and down, I want to open up the position of this layer. So P on the keyboard with that selected and take the x-axis and just set it to zero and that way I know it's only moving straight down from the parent structure, which is the hand. So only on the y-axis is that moving in all of these structures should pretty much be in a perfectly straight line now. Now that that's done, I just need to repeat the process for the other parts of this structure, so let's do the same thing on the other arm. Even though I can't see it, I can see the joint markers and that's really all I need. I'm going to move the first section of that structure over to the shoulder, snap it in place, do the same thing for the elbow, make sure that's nice and centered there, and then do the same thing for the wrist. Now I do need to see the hand, so I need to find the left leg and turn the visibility of that off, zoom in here and move that to the tip of the hand, this doesn't have to be a 100 percent precise either by the way, this is really just for reference for Duik and just roughly getting that at the tip of the hand is okay, it's the joints that really need to be 100 percent precise to get the best results. All right Let me turn that leg back on and we can move on to the legs. Let's just do that next. I'll take this leg here, snap it to the center of that hip, grab this joint snap it to the knee, grab this joint snap it to the ankle. You'll notice the foot is going in the opposite direction and I'm actually having trouble here because it's trying to snap to the guides. I'm going to go up to View and turn snap to guides off and now I should be able to snap that right at the center of that circle. But what I was saying is this foot is going to the left and my feet are going to the right, so the next part of the structure is the toes. All I have to do to correct this angle is literally just to move it. I'm just going to move this over to where I want the shoe, or the toes, to be able to bend. If you think about the joint of where your toes connect to your foot, that's going to be probably right about here on this character. I'm just going to put that roughly in the center, vertically on that shoe. Something like that. Next in line is the tip toe, and this is exactly what you would think, it is the tip toe, not up here, but where it meets the ground. This is actually really important because dulk is going to give us some advanced controls, for being able to do something like put your character on its tip toes. And this is the point at which it's going to rotate on. So if you put it up here, then it's going to look like your character is floating because it's rotating from the halfway up the shoe and you want it to be on the ground. Basically take a look at where this curve is touching, where the toes would be on the ground. This drawing is not perfect. Again, this style of character, I was not too worried about being super precise with, but I basically want to find that point where it stops curving, and turns into more of a straight line. Right around there, I'd say. Actually I'm going to push it out a little bit further, you want to think about how it rotates, and if I would actually put it this far back when it rotates, this much of the toes would go straight to the ground if you rotate it at 90 degrees. I'm going to fall it back up halfway between these two points, so rotates it right about there and call that good. Then we have this section that got pushed all the way over here, it's the last section of the structure in the list for a leg called the heel. This is going to be the exact same thing as the toe is just on the opposite side. We want to put this where we would want the shoe or the foot to be rotating from on the heel. I'm just going to move that right to the back corner. That's much easier to see where that should be rotating from, that one's good. Now let's see the same thing for the other leg. Snap this in place, you can see how this process can actually go pretty quickly once you understand what goes where, and you have these joint markers to guide you, it really helps to build snap to those. Let's just place these where they should go, we can move on to the spine. I'm going to move this rotation for the toes right about there, maybe a little bit higher, then grab that heel. I'm in need to see that heel which turn the left or the right shoe off, so we can see that back portion, move that right there. That should be good for that foot, that whole leg, and all that's left now is the spine structures, I'm going to save. The first part of this structure is the hips, then we have two sections of the spine, the neck, and then the head. The hips are going to basically go between the two hip joints for the legs, split right between the middle. I'm going to grab that ankle point, and move this halfway between those two points. The next structure is the spine, and this is the base of the spine, this ankle point anyway, you can think of this like the top of the pelvis. The hips are at the base of the pelvis, and then the spine would be at the top of the pelvis. I'm going to say, somewhere around here. It doesn't have to be a 100 percent precise, but put it where you would imagine the top of the pelvis would be for your character. Next section is spine two, and you can put this at a point in the torso where you want it to bend. If you just right now bend your torso, you can tell that the spine is bending around the base of your rib-cage. That's where you want to think of putting it this point. I'm going to move this down just a little bit and call that good. It's in line with the elbows on this character. Next is the neck, and this is going to be the base of the neck, the ankle point for it anyway. I want to put that right about here. Now you'll notice that I'm shifting this over to the right a little bit. Generally, when you're making your structure lines, you want them to go in a straight line. It doesn't always have to be perfectly vertical. But since these two structures are straight lines, and then suddenly we curve, I'm going to balance that out in just a little bit, and shift these points over just a tiny bit. But we'll get to that in a second. What's more important is the ankle point for the base of the neck is where it should be. You can kindly think of that as a point between the two shoulders, the halfway point between those two, but ultimately you want it to align with your artwork, so make sure that it's working with that and then move on to the next step. The next structure is the head. This can go where you want the head to rotate. If I turn the head off, I actually wanted that to rotate pretty high up. I'm going to use my neck layer, which is part of the torso as my guide and say right there is where I want the head to rotate. Then finally we have the spine tip, which if I turn off my hair, you can see that that's kinda like where I put the tip of the head. This isn't that crucial again, just like the tips of the fingers, but generally just somewhere around the top of the head is where you want that last section to be. Now let's fix this little structure shape. Like I said, I want this to be in more of a diagonal all the way through. But the problem is, if I grabbed this structure and move it, everything above it in the parent chain moves with it. Well, fortunately, there is an amazing tool that the creator of Duke has included called Edit Mode. Right here, this button toggle Edit Mode. If I click it while having that structure selected, you see the name of the layer has been changed to edit. I can zoom in here and you see that I have this extra circle around the structure now, what this allows me to do is move it around freely and the other structures still attached to it, but not moving with it. So basically, I just want to move it over to the right a little bit so that we've got this slanted angle between this portion of the spine and the neck. As soon as I'm done, I'm going to click on Toggle edit mode one more time, so that goes back to the way that it should be. Then I'll move down to this structure below it, toggle edit mode again, tap that over just a few, clicks on the keyboard with my right arrow key. Toggle edit mode one more time to get out of it. Now that's in a more slanted line all the way up the body. All right, and with that, all of my structures are aligned to my character artwork. But before we move on to the next part of the process, I want to point out the naming structure for the structure layers. We have S, for structure then the divider and then the name of that structure, you can rename these whatever you want. We also have these markers on each one of these layers that are telling you what the specific parts of the structure are. We have the regular parts of the structure and the structure end. Now, Duke is an incredibly sophisticated script and there's lots of stuff happening in the background with expressions, to help it identify which layers are, what and what they're supposed to do and how they should be rigged. You can actually rename these whatever you want. I want to be very organized with the way that I named them. I'm going to come up to the arms and the legs and make sure that I put left and right on each one of these layer names. For this arm, this is the characters' right arm. I want to put an R, before each one of these structures sections. I'm just going to rename it by pressing Enter and then go here and type in R arm. I'll do that for all of these layers. You see that on the second arm it's actually just called arm two and forearm two all the way down. I'm going to take off the two and put L before the name of the structure on each one of these. Then I'll do the same thing for the legs. Now, you might think, I mean, a little bit obsessive about these layers, but it's very important that you can easily identify which structure belongs to what part of your character rig. Because in a little bit we're going to be doing a lot of painting and we want to be able to identify that kind of thing very quickly. Like I said, you can name these structures whatever you want. Any of your layers can be named however you want, but this is the naming convention that I work with and have found to be very useful. 12. Puppet Pins & Bones: Now that that's done, let's move on to actually adding the Puppet tool to the parts of our character that need it. What's great about having these structures in place first is that it makes it even easier to know where to put these Puppet Pins on the artwork. We want the Puppet Pins to be in the exact same place as the joints because the joints are in the exact center of each one of these joint markers. I can actually turn the joint markers off because I know that my structures are exactly where they should be. Let's start with the right arm. I'm going to select that layer, grab my Puppet tool, and then click on the center of this joint and I'm going to zoom in all the way because I want to be as perfectly centered on that marker as possible. There we go, I clicked. First thing I want to do is change my Puppet Engine from advanced to legacy just so I don't forget. I also want to make sure that my mesh is going beyond that layer enough. Let me solo the layer, click on the mesh and sure enough, that looks like it's covering everything. Now that that's set, I can un-solo that layer, zoom in nice and close again and move on to the next pin. I'll click right in the center of that one and I'll turn off my mesh. I don't need to see that anymore and then move down to the wrist and add one there. Remember that's the last section for this arm. With that done, I'll zoom out and I'm going to click on my layer and press U to bring up all the key frames. As you add Puppet Pins' after effects automatically adds a key frame for those pins so pressing U will bring up all of your key frames and in this case, show us all of our Puppet Pins. I want to rename each one so that they correspond to the part of the limb that they're over top of. My first pin was the shoulder and you can see that's the one that's select because it has that tiny little yellow dot in the middle of the circle. I'm just going to rename this shoulder. I don't have to specify right shoulder because Duik is going to name these bones with the source layers name involved so I don't have to be specific on which side of the body this belongs to. Then I'll go to the next pin and name this elbow. Then I'll go to the last section and name this wrist. Now you could name these arm, forearm, and hand so that they match the corresponding structures. But it just makes more sense to me to name them after the joints that they're placed on. This is how I am naming them, but feel free to change these names if it makes more sense to you. With that done, I'll close that up and move on to the left arm. Let's go to that layer. I can't even see it, but again, it doesn't matter. What I really need to see are these joint markers from the structures. I'm going to select my Puppet tool, click on the center of that marker, change my Puppet Engine to Legacy, then pan down by holding down Space bar temporarily, clicking and dragging. Click on the elbow, pan down and click on the wrist. Then I'll press U to bring up those pins and rename the Puppet Pins: shoulder, elbow, and wrist. Then let's do the same thing for the legs. I'll grab the right leg, grab my Puppet Pin tool, add that pin, switch this to legacy. You can see that I'm going faster because I've done this so many times. If you're feeling overwhelmed at this point, don't get stressed, just pause the video and make sure that you're actually doing each one of these steps just like I am. Add the pins generally in the order from the root of the limb, so the hip or the shoulder down to the tip of the limb and then rename them. I'm just going to continue doing this for all parts of my character that need it. Go to that knee and go down to the ankle. Press U, bring up those pins and rename these hip, knee, and ankle. Then do the same thing for the left leg. All right, now we can move on to the torso and we're going to do this in the exact same process. I want to add Puppet Pins at each one of these points on the structure. I'm going to grab my torso layer, I'm going to grab my Puppet tool and I'm going to start at the hips. I'm going click on that anchor point, I'm going to zoom in nice and close again. That looks like it was accurate enough but the closer you are, the more accurate you can be. Just work my way up this structure. The neck base and the neck tip and that's where that will stop. However, we do need to add some additional pins that aren't part of this spine structure and that is for the shoulders and for the hips. Let's start down at the hips. I'm going to click right here in the middle of that one and then I'm going to do the same thing for the shoulders. I'm doing this so that I have a place for these shoulder structures to be attached to the torso and the same thing with the hips. This one looks like it was a little off, so I'm going to delete it by selecting it, clicking on it, and pressing the Delete key and just zoom in nice and close and make sure I get that nice and centered. Even that wasn't very good so let me zoom in one more time and there we go, right in the middle. Now that that's all done, I need to name them all. I'm going to press U and start at the base so hips, pelvis, belly, or depending on where you placed that, you might call that the chest. We've got the neck base, the neck tip and then we've got the hips and the shoulders. This should be the right and left hips so this is our hip. Now this time I do need to specify our hip because I have two different hips. That way I don't have two Puppet Pins with the exact same name. That would mess up Duik and it would mess up our entire rig. Make sure you specify these as right and left hips and the right and left shoulders. Now this one I believe is his left shoulder, so L shoulder and R shoulder. All of those are named and everything in my rig that needs Puppet Pins has them. I can know which layers have Puppet Pins because those are the ones with effects so the right arm, the torso, the right leg, the left leg, and the left arm. Now that I have all of those selected, I can come over to the second tab in Duik, the links and constraints and come down to Add Bones and add bones to all of these all at once, just like I did in our example. I'm going to click on it, Duik will run its magic and now I have bones for every single one of those Puppet Pins that I added. I'm going to save this. You see that we have lots of layers and let's take a look at how they're named. We have B for bone, then the name of the layer that that pin belongs to so in this case torso, and then the name of the Puppet Pin. That's why I didn't have to say right ankle because it automatically gives us right leg, the name of the layer that it belongs to. I just type in ankle, knee, hip, ankle, knee, hip but on the torso I had to specify right and left shoulder, right and left hip since there were multiple hip and shoulder pins for that layer. At this point, I want to duplicate my rig comp. Right now I have Jake_ Rig. I'm going change this name to Jake-Structures & Pins. This is giving me just a backup basically, it's a point in the process that's now complete and duplicating this comp will allow me to always come back to it in case I ever need to for any reason. I'll duplicate that composition by pressing Command or Control D and I'm going to rename this Rig. This is where we're actually going to do the rigging. Make sure you double-click on that duplicate so you're not still working in the structures and pins rig. Then I close that out and we can move on to actually rigging this up. A quick recap for this section, you need to create structures using the hominoid button. That'll generate all the arms, the legs, and the spine. Then you want to align your structures using the joint markers, hold down Command or Control to snap those anchor points to the joint markers anchor points. Then use the structures as a guide for adding Puppet Pins to your artwork. You can use the anchor point, that little black circle on the structures so you can get those pins in exactly the same spot. Then name all of your structures and the pins logically. Remember you're naming them based on the character's perspective so what you see as the left arm is actually his right arm. Then select all of your layers that are using the Puppet tool and Add Bones, which you can find under the links and constraints menu. Once you've got all that sorted out, we can move on. 13. Parenting Layers & Bones: First thing I want to do is rearrange my layers a little bit. I love how Dulk labels your layers with specific colors. So structured layers are all this green color, bones are all blue because this makes it really easy to select them. If I just click on the label color and say select label group, now all of my bones are selected and I can easily turn the visibility of them off or on. Same thing for the structure since they're green, I can select all of them very easily. I like to move my structures in the layer stack so that they are next to the layers that they actually belong to. I'm going to grab all of the spine layers and move that just above the torso bones. Then I'll do the same thing for all of these other ones. So the right arm goes over the right arm bones. The left arm goes over the left arm bones which should be at the bottom. The right leg should go over the right leg bones and the left leg should go over left leg bones. I want to make sure that that shoe artwork and goes below those structures. There we go. We've got the leg, the bones for the leg, the shoe, and then the structures. Now that that's nice and visually organized, I'm going to move my joint markers to the bottom by clicking on it and pressing command it shift left bracket because I don't need to see them anymore. I may just going to go ahead and lock that layer. The next step of the process is parenting all of the artwork to their corresponding structures or in the case of the layers that use the puppet tool, parenting their bones to the corresponding structure layers. Let's just start at the top of the list and work our way down. We first have the right arm, which consists of the actual artwork layer for the arm and the hand and then the three bones controlling the puppet pins we attached to the arm. Before I do any of this parenting, I want to show you that if I grab the arm layer and try and move it, nothing happens and that's because the puppet tool is now controlling the visibility and the position of that layer. No matter where I put this, you're never going to see it move because those pins are holding it in place.So let me undo that. I bring that up because this can actually cause some issues if you move your pins away from the artwork too far. As a pair these puppet pin bones to the structural layers, I'm actually going to pair the artwork to the structures as well. For the right arm, I'm going to select the right arm layer and the shoulder bone and pair both of those to the first part of the structure, which is the arm. I'm going to grab both of those, grab this parent, pick whip, click and drag to the right arm and let go. Now both of those are going to follow that part of the structure. Next we have the elbow and that is going to be parented to the forearm structure. I'm going to pick whip that to the forearm. Then we have the wrist and that's going to go to the hand structure. Now this is the part that I said was a little bit confusing. I like to name my bones after the joints, but if you'd rather name them after this corresponding structure, you can say arm, forearm, and hand and that we might be much easier for you to identify which layers they should be parented to. But like I said, I prefer it to be named after the join so I'm going to leave it like this. Then finally I'm going to grab the hand in parent that to the same structure as the wrist bone. So the right hand, which makes sense, the hand artwork and goes to the hand structure. All right, that's done. Let's move on to the other arm just so we can see how that's done again. I'm going to go to the bottom of the list and parent these in the same way. So the left arm artwork and the shoulder bone are going to go to the arm structure. Parent those then I'll go to the elbow and that is going to go to the forearm structure and then the wrist as well as the hand artwork are going to be parented to the hand. All right, simple as that. Now we're just going to repeat that process for the other limbs. Let's go to the right leg, which is right here. I'm going to grab the right leg in the hip and parent those to the thigh structure. Then I'll grab the knee and parent that to the calf. Then the ankle and shoe, both to the foot. Now we have these three remaining structures for the toes the tiptoe and the heel and like I said, these are going to give us some advanced for controls for being able to warp the foot. However, I didn't add any pins to the feet so there really is no way to be able to mess with them. Now, I purposely left this step out until now, just to show you that even if you forget something, you can still work on it even if you're in the middle of something else. Right now I'm just going to zoom in here on this foot and we're going to add some puppet pins to it and turn those pins two bones. With the right shoe selected, I'm going to grab my puppet tool and add puppet pins to these three points of structures. I'm going to click on the ankle. I'm going to change my puppet engine to legacy. I'll add one right here where I want the toes to rotate around and then run right here at the tip of the toes. Then I'll press ''U" on my keyboard to bring up those pins and rename them ankle. I'll call this middle one foot and then this one toes. I'll do the same thing for the left shoe as well while I'm at it. I'm going to add a puppet pin there. Change it to legacy. One here for the toes and one here for the tiptoes. Press "U" to bring up the bones or the pins rather and change this to ankle, to foot and to toes. I'll select both of these layers. Click on, add bones underneath links in constraints tab to generates those bones for us and it puts them directly above the layer. Easy to find that way. Now I can parent the rest of this up. I've already done the leg and the shoe, but I need to now parent the pins that modify the shoe to the corresponding structures. So the ankle is going to go to the same place as the shoe and the ankle for the leg. That's layer 31, which we can find right here that R foot. So the ankle goes to R foot. The foot goes to toes. This probably could have been named a little bit better. Instead of foot maybe I should have just named it toes and this tiptoes because the toes bone doesn't go to the toast structure, it goes to the tiptoe. If you're ever in doubt, just click on the structure to see where it is and then click on your pin to see where that is or the bone for the pin. That's how you can know which should be parented to which. Since I've got this naming convention already going for me and I've already generated the bones, I'm just going run with it. Let's just move on to the left leg and do the same thing. I'm going to grab the left leg and the hip and parent those to the thigh structure. Then I'll grab the knee and parent that to the calf structure. The ankle of the leg, the left shoe artwork and the ankle bone for that left shoe all go to the foot. The foot will go to the toes, and the toes go to the tiptoe. All right, I'll save that. Everything is good for the limbs and now we can move on to the torso. Right here is our torso artwork. I'm going to grab that as well as the hips and parent those to the hips structure. I'll grab the pelvis and parent that to spine. Belly goes to spine too. This is very easy to remember because they all are in just a line. The neck bass is going into the neck. The neck tip is going to the head and then we have the left and right hips and the left and right shoulders. I'm going to take the left hip and instead of parenting it to a torso structure, parent it to the left leg structure. I want to go to the left leg thigh. That's where the hip is on the torso. Then I'll grab the right hip and parent that to the right thigh structure. Then I'll grab the left shoulder parent that to the left arm structure. I'll go all the way down here, left arm structure, and then the right shoulder to the right arm structure. This is where these labeled colors come in really handy. Not only are the layer names with the S for structure and B for bone helpful but the colors. It made it very easy for me to identify that this is the structure section. That's where I need to be looking. Not at the bones, but at that structures. All right, all that's left is the head and the hair. Obviously the hair needs to be attached to the head. I'm going to parent that to there and then I'm going grab the head and parent that to the head structure. Now all of my parenting is done. Now one very critical mistake that I just noticed I made was that when I brought in my artwork, I didn't change the duration of my composition. It just took whatever my last composition in after effects was and applied it to it. It's only 20 seconds long and 20 frames. There's a very good chance that this character rig could be used on screen for more than 20 seconds. I really need to change the duration of this composition. The problem is it's not that simple because all these precompositions inside are also the same length. Bear with me, but I need to correct this mistake. This is something that's very important to do and by the time you're seeing this, you've already seen me correct myself at the point that I made the mistake, but let me go ahead and make this change. So command ''K'' to get in my composition settings, I'm just going to change this to five minutes long, five minutes even. Just so it's ridiculously long, I will never need one character rig for a five-minute take but that way I know I'm always going to have enough room. Then I'll just go into each one of these precompositions and type in five dot dot and that's a shortcut for five minutes. Every dot is another increment. Five minutes, which is five with two dots, click ''Okay'' and then I have a precarpin in there. I need to do the same thing. Five dot dot. The issue here is that even though my composition is five minutes long, the layers aren't, so I need to make sure those are extended all the way out. Do the same thing for this composition, extend all these out, and go into this one and do the exact same thing. So five dot dot for five minutes. Select all my layers and extend them out and then in this comp as well, select all my layers, extend them out for the full duration and these two didn't get extended at the background, I will change the joint markers I'm not worried about. Five dot dot, go to the end, trim it down to the end there, and then extend this layer out in lock it backup. All right, there we go. We've got everything, the correct duration, everything is parented, the structures are in the correct place and now we can use an amazing feature of Dulk called Auto rig & IK. Make sure that you're parenting everything correctly. The bones need to be parented to the corresponding structures and the artwork layers need to be parented to the structure roots. In the case of an arm, that artwork layer needs to be parented to the arm structure, the leg artwork, needs to be parented to the thigh structure and then sort out any of the miscellaneous layers like the hair and needing to be parented to the head, not to any specific bone or structure, but to the actual artwork that it should be staying with. Once everything is parented up, we can move on. 14. Auto-Rig & IK: This is where rigging actually starts to get a lot of fun. I realized that we've done a lot of really meticulous, precise work that might be overwhelming you because of how repetitive it is, and if you've never done it before, you might not be understanding why you have to do it in certain ways, but this is where it will hopefully start to make more sense. Before we do the Auto-rig & IK, actually, I'm just going duplicate this comp one more time and rename it to prerig, and that way, I can always get back to this state if I need to. Everything's parented up, everything's in the right duration, we're ready to go. Now because I duplicated it and rename the duplicate, I don't have to reopen this rig comp, it's already there, but the beauty of this version of Duik is that now that everything is set up using the structure system that Duik generated for me, I literally can just click on Auto-rig & IK and all the work will be done for me. All I have to do is make sure that all of my structures are selected. So I'm going to click on this label group, select that label group. All of my structures are selected, and then click on Auto-rig & IK. Duik is going to run a bunch of magic in the background. It might take a little bit of time, but now that it's done, my character is fully rigged and ready to go. I just need to do some cleanup. I realize this looks like a mess, but we're going to make some sense out of it. So what exactly just happened? Let me collapse all of my layers, and take a look at what Duik actually generated. We now have this new label color that's more vibrant green. So I guess this is green and this is Seafoam. I've changed my label colors under the preferences for After Effects. I believe that's under Preferences labels. I've changed the way that these look, so mine might be a little bit different than yours, but I prefer to have more saturated vibrant colors so that's why my color labels might look different than yours, but we now have all of these layers with a C in front of them. These are the rig controls. We have one for the body, for the hips, the spine route, the spine curve, the head, the shoulders and neck, foot, foot 2, hand and hand 2. Don't worry, I'm going to walk you through each one of these and what they do, but it has generated all these controllers for us. It's also rigged up each one of our structures in the appropriate way for the type of structure it was. So that's where this IK part of Auto-rig comes into play. That stands for inverse kinematics. What that is, is a system for driving limbs like arms and legs in a way that makes sense and in a realistic way just by using one single controller. Let me show you what I mean by that. If I zoom in here and grab this hand controller and just click and drag, see that all I have to do is move the position of the wrist basically, and the arm is bending in a way that it should. It's bending at the elbow and the elbow is moving out of the way, rotating from the shoulders position no matter where I put this. Now, it's bending in the opposite direction that I wanted to, but we'll worry about that in a little bit. Let me undo that and show you that the same thing is true for the foot. The reason why the artwork is moving with the structures is because of all that parenting that we did before we clicked on Auto-rig & IK. Now you could have rigged the structure on its own and then parented all the artwork afterwards. There's nothing wrong with that, but I prefer to just get all that work out of the way before I even click that button, just so it's all very responsive as soon as it's done rigging. Let me undo that and just start off by renaming these layers. So this is the right foot, this is the L foot, this is the right hand and this is the left hand. Those are labeled more clearly. The next thing I want to do right after that is open up the position for all of these controllers and show you that all the positions are relative to either the comp or to their parent, and that's fine, but it's not very useful for being able to get to this specific pose. So what I mean by that is if I were to pose this character a little bit with his arms out and maybe this foot up, and that looks ridiculous because the limbs are bending in the wrong direction, but it would be absolutely impossible for me to remember where I need to put these exactly to get them back to where they were, because all of these numbers are crazy values, but Duik has another tool that makes this very easy to remember called Zero. So if I select all of these controllers aside from the hips, and I say aside from the hips because that is already set to zero,zero based on its parent. If the child layer is in the exact same position as its parent, then its relative position to its parent is zero,zero. That's exactly what this Zero button is going to do. So with all of these controllers selected, I'm going to click on it, and what it does is some magic, but what it's actually doing is generating a null in the exact same position as each layer and then parenting the controller layer to those nulls. So the relative position of these layers to their parents is now zero,zero, which means I can grab any one of these controllers now and move them out of the way. To get back to their standard position, all I have to do is select everything and type in zero,zero, and boom, we're back to where we were. That's really important to do at this stage so that if you're playing around with this, you can always get back to this standard neutral pose. Now that this is all working, I can really turn off the visibility of a lot of these things. So I'm going to collapse all of my layers up and select all of my structures, and I'm going to turn the visibility off. I'm also going to turn on this Shy switch and we'll get to that in a second, and then I'm also going to lock them so it can't accidentally edit them. Then I'm going to do the same thing for the bones. I'm going to select the blue label group for bones, turn off the visibility, shy them and lock them. Then I want to grab all of these artwork layers, and because everything between them as locked, I can just shift click from the top to the bottom and I want to shy them as well as lock them, but leave their visibility. That way, I can't touch anything except the controllers for this artwork. So I can't accidentally click and drag on one of these artwork layers and mess them up, and because I clicked on the Shy switch for all of those layers as well, I can now come up to this Shy button, and it just turns the visibility of those layers off. They're still there, they're just not taking up any space anymore and I'm only concerned with the controllers that are actually driving this rig. I'm going to also enable the s-Shy switch for the background and those joint markers, so I'm truly left with just the controllers. At this point, you should really just have some fun with your rig and see what's actually happening. I'll show you how to fix the bend in the limbs. If your limbs are going in the wrong direction, just bend it up. You can see in your effects controls for that controller that we have an IK hand effect. In that there's a checkbox for reverse. If I click on that, then the IK flops and it's now bending in the correct position. I'll do the same thing for the other arm, reverse it. Although if I left it like this, it looks like he has his hands on his hips there, but I'll just reverse that. I also want to point out that Duik made a guess as to which side of the body this limb should be on, and it guessed that it was on the right side, but really it's on the left, it's the characters left. So I'm going to change that to left and do the same thing for this, change it from left to right. Then do the same for these legs, reverse the IK. That actually guessed right that that's the left leg. Then here's my right leg, and the IK is going in the correct direction. Now that all that is messed up, I can bring up the position and select all my layers and zero them out again. Now just play around a little bit. If you grab this body controller right here, it's a little bit hard to do just by clicking in the comp, but you can click and drag this around. You see that the hands and the feet stay in place, but the rest of the body moves with it. Now you also might have noticed this is taking a little bit of time to render now. We are working with a lot of expressions and a lot of puppet tool effects at a very high resolution. So I suggest that you change this from full resolution to auto, or even maybe down to quarter depending on your zoom level. Then you can also click on this little fast previews button right here. I don't have it set to anything, it's always on the final quality, but if you change it to fast draft, this can also improve your performance. So now when I click and drag this, it still is taking some time to update, but generally it will help speed up your previews. Now I want to just take a step back for a second and talk about what exactly we just did. Let's go all the way back to the beginning. We designed our characters in a way that were ready to be rigged. We brought that artwork into After Effects and made sure that everything was organized correctly, all of those precomps were in the right directions, the contents of those precomps were cropped, so like the head and the face where all crop to this size. Then we used the structure system to create a hominoid structure for both the arms, both the legs and the spine, and aligned every section of those structures to the joint markers of our artwork. So you don't need to follow along with me on this, but I'm going to unshy all my layers and actually just unlock everything for a second. The Zero controller is at the bottom, I'm going to leave those lock. Those are what allow those controllers to have a position of zero,zero, remember, but I want to select all of my structures, so I'll select that label group and turn them on. Then I'm just going to turn everything else off. I just want to take a look at what exactly these structures are doing. Let's see, we've got one arm left, that is the left arm, so that should be at the very bottom, there we go. Background can stay locked, joint markers can stay locked. So here we are back at our structures. These are what we placed according to the joint markers of our artwork. This is actually what is driving our rig. This skeletal structure controls how our character artwork is moving. So if I turn on the controllers that we generated, we have all of these again, I can grab the hand and move it around, and you see that those structures are moving in the way that you'd expect them to, even without the artwork on there. The reason why the artwork is moving with these structures is because we parented the individual pieces of the artwork, whether it's just the layer itself or the bones that are driving the puppet pins on the artwork layers to their corresponding structures. So the character artwork is separate from the character rig. That's not how it used to be before this version of Duik. The benefit of doing it this way is that if something is a little bit off in your artwork, you can easily modify it without disrupting your rig. The character rig is separate. So let me just turn everything back on. I'll undo until we're back to where everything was nice, unshy and cleaned up. Let's say I wasn't happy with the shape of the shoulders and I wanted to bring them down a little bit. Well, I could easily go into the torso, find that torso layer and press Command E to edit the original, and now we'll open it up in Photoshop and I could modify the shoulders. Now after I've modified this, when I save it, it's going to mess up over here. Just to show you what I mean, I'm just going to change it a little bit. So let me just grab the torso, transform Command T and then right-click on it and say Warp. I'm just going to bring these shoulders down a little bit. This isn't actually something I want to do, but I'm just making a point here. So I've just brought those shoulders down and I'm going to hit Save then I jump back to After Effects and you see that updated. Now in this precomp it looks fine, but if I come back out here, we're going to get some issues because I used the puppet tool on the torso layer and that generated a mesh based on the original alpha channel before I made that edit in Photoshop. That's going to mess with the alignment of the puppet pins throughout that layer. So really I would want to redo the puppet tool on that layer, but I don't have to modify the structure at all. I can still use those structures to know where to place the puppet pins, create new bones and then parent them over. That might sound like a lot of work, but it's drastically less work than what you used to have to deal with in previous versions of Duik. Now I didn't want to make that change, so I'm just going to undo and Photoshop and save and then jump back, After Effects will update again and we're back to normal. There we go, but you can even take this a step further. Instead of just modifying the artwork of this character, let's say that I had three different characters that were all in a very similar style, all in this same design direction with say, the same body proportions, but maybe they have different skin color, maybe one's a girl, they have different hair, I could keep this existing structure and rig and just replace the artwork layers. It saves you a whole lot of time and these rigs are extremely robust. So why don't we take some time now to walk through all of the controls that Duik has given us with these controllers, but before we do that, go ahead and Auto-rig your characters. Make sure that you duplicate the comp and rename the duplicate prerig, be working in the rig comp and select all of your structures and click that Auto-rig & IK button. Then make sure to label all of your controllers properly and zero out the position of all the controllers that need it. Finally, make sure that all of your controllers for the hands and the feet are set to the proper side of the body. So remember that's in the effects for those controllers under the IK system. You'll see it set to either the left or right side. Also makes sure that the IK is bending in the proper direction. You can just click that checkbox on reverse, whether it's checked or not, to swap the direction of the IK bend. Then we can have some fun playing around with the rig. 15. Rig Walkthrough & Cleanup: I'm going to shine my layers up again so I can't edit anything outside of these controllers and the first thing I want to do is clean up the positioning of these controllers because they are all jumbled together. It's not that easy to grab each one individually. Fortunately, all of the controllers have lots of display options that we can modify. So this first one at the base is called body and if you remember, this is what drives the entire body of the character. It leaves the feet and the hands, but it moves everything else around with it. That's the master controller for this character. So I want to move that away from the body so that it's easier to grab and modify it. So with that controller selected, I'm going to come to my effects controls and total down icon. We have this position property right here. So if I grab the x-value in and just shifted over, what it's doing is just adjusting the anchor point so that it moves the layer contents away from that anchor point. The anchor point is still there, but now this controller is much easier to grab. So I'm just going to back this up to say negative 1,000. So it's nice and easy to grab and then I'm also going to increase the size. That's this property right here and that way it can just easily see, that's my body controller. I can quickly grab it. Now I'm going to do the same thing for this head controller because it's overlaying the face of the character, which obviously is covering it up. So I don't want to see that. I'm going to open up the icon for that controller, move it back negative 1,000 and then maybe increase the size as well. So let's say 350 is the size, I'll make these controllers. So 350 and 350. There we go. So what does the head controller do? Well, if I click and grab it, it actually doesn't do anything position wise at the moment, if I switch to my rotation tool W on the keyboard then I can click and drag it and rotate the head. So that's cool. Let me undo that and then take a look at the next controller down. This is the shoulders and neck. If I click and drag this around, see that it's just moving the shoulders and nothing below it. Just the shoulders and the head and if I rotate that, we get some rotation on that neck. So it's more like he's leaning his neck or his head backwards or forwards, rather than just tilting the head like this. All right, next down the line we have the spine curve and this is a way to bend the torso. If I click and drag while holding shift, I'm just bending the spine outwards or backwards. If I move up or down, it does stretch everything a little bit. But generally I use this just to give some curve to the spine, which is why it's called the spine curve. Next we have the spine root. Let me grab that over here. If I move this around, you can see that that's rotating the hips. Again, I'm holding shift to only move it left and right. You can move it up and down as well, but that's just going to stretch out the two puppet pins between the hips and the pelvis and then down at the base we have our hips so I can swing these hips in and out as well. So maybe you want to make your character dance. It can have his hips swinging back and forth and again, we could rotate these and it just shifts those hips in place a little bit so that can give you a lot of control over the shape of your torso between these controllers. I'll be honest that I have never really used the spine root and a lot of times I'll just turn that off completely. I've never really run into a case where I needed control over the top portion of the hips, but those are the controls we have for the spine. Then we have the hands obviously which we've seen automatically bend. Remember these are using the IK system or inverse kinematics, which is why when I move this hand controller, this pin automatically moves outward from the center. This line connecting the two is really where that pin should lift, but because of the IK expressions that are driving this, it pushes the elbow out in a natural way. I can rotate the hand. We've seen that we can reverse that IK system, but we also have a lot of other controls. So let's take a look at this one right here. This FK. Up here, you see IK is enabled. If I uncheck that, the arm goes back down to where it was and I can move this hand around as much as I want, but it's not going to do anything to the arm anymore. Instead, if I open up FK, FK stands for forward kinematics and now this is driving the animation. Forward kinematics is a much more straightforward LIM system. It's basically just a parent chain. By that, I mean, if I open up the individual controls, I have an upper rotation, a lower rotation and a goal rotation. So in this limb, in the case of this arm, it would be the upper arm, the forearm and then the hand. The goal is the last portion of the limb. So if I rotate the arm at the upper arm using the upper arm control, it's rotating at the shoulder. Then I could rotate the lower arm the opposite direction and then I can rotate the goal. Now this might seem like a lot more work than just positioning the hand and in a lot of cases, it actually is. However, certain animations are much easier to create realistically when you're just using these three rotation controls, rather than having to position his hand, which introduces a motion path. A good example of this is a walk cycle. When you want the arms to just swing back and forth, you can easily just Key-Frame these rotation values to swing back and forth and it will look very natural because the links between the pins doesn't change when all you're doing is rotating them. Whereas if I enable my IK again and you imagine me trying to Key-Frame at the position of this hand swinging back and forth, I would have to find where that extended point is right about here. Set a position key frame and then move forward, say ten frames, back it up to maybe about here, find that extended point, but now that animation is just going to go back and forth in a linear motion. See, it's just traveling along that path and I could add another ten frames. and loop back, but that looks very unnatural, right? We get this pop on the elbow. It doesn't look like his arm is naturally swinging. Whereas if I disable my IK and I position this arm in the way that I want it to be bent on its further back position. So let's just rotate these controls, say it's about there and then maybe there. I'll set Key-Frames for all three of these and press U to bring those Key-Frames up, Shift Page Down to go ten frames forward and rotate the shoulder forward and then bend the elbow a little bit and the hand as well. Then I'll go ten frames forward again, copy this and paste and then just easy, ease everything F9 on keyboard. Now that arm is swinging much more naturally. Now this obviously needs a little bit more work, but it looks way more natural than that position animation. Now, you can use the IK system. There's nothing wrong with creating those motion paths to get that arm to move exactly how you want it to, but 99% of the time FK systems are going to be way easier for this type of animation. I think one part about what's making this not look so great is that this is a cartoon looking character. So this pose on the further back, the elbow, I really just wanted to bend a little bit in the opposite direction. Even though that wouldn't really happen in the real world, it's a little bit more playful and it just looks a little bit more natural. Another thing I could do is introduce some overlap between this rotation and that's actually really easy to do too. If I just duplicate all of these Key-Frame. So I'll select them all, copy and paste and then I shift this over, say five frames. I'll grab the lower and the goal Key-Frames and move it forward two frames, that's Option or Alt on the PC plus the right arrow key. Then I'll grab these goal Key-Frames and move them forward two frames. Preview that again. Now, everything is offset by two frames and you see that I have this much more natural swinging pendulum motion on the arm. All right, so that's really cool, but there's actually something built into this FK system that allows that type of offset that follows through an overlap to be automatic. So let me just get rid of all these Key-Frames and zero them all out and take a look at some controls right above these individual controls. So I'm going to collapse individual controls, go up to follow through and overlap and make sure that follow through is enabled. I'll open this up and now I have a single FK rotation control. So let's go back to the first frame, bring the arm back, this direction. Set a Key-Frame. Go forward ten frames. Press U to see that Key-Frame. Set that to maybe negative 40 or negative 42 somewhere in there and you see that my arm is bent now. So that's interesting. I'll go ten more frames forward. Copy and paste this key frame and then double it up one more time and preview again. Look at that. I've got some automatic overlap and follow through with just one set of Key-Frames. All they have to do to modify this is take a look at the flexibility and resistance controls. So if I just pause this on a frame where the arm is pretty bent, let me turn the flexibility down. You see that that's decreasing the amount of overlap. So here's how that flexibility control has affected the animation. We were at 100 percent. If I turn it down to, say 10 percent, then it's just going to bend a lot less. I'll put that back to 100 percent, and then let's look at the resistance, right now it's at 10. If I increase that to 20, then we're going to get a whole lot more overlap. So this might not be that appropriate for the arm, but it could work really well for something like a tail. By the way the reason why this looks a little bit stiff is because I forgot to add some easy ease. So let me ease those key frames, and now that looks a lot more smooth. If I turn the resistance down to, say five instead of 10, then you're going to get a much tighter overlap. The flexibility is basically how far it's allowed to bend and the resistance is how closely those key frames are offset from each other. If you want it to be very noticeable, you could turn it up high to something like 25, but then you're going to get very crazy animations where the hand is moving all over the place. Maybe the flexibility should be turned down to 50, and there you go. We've got a very cartoony, wavy looking overlap. That's something that very advanced that's built into this auto rig feature for you. I'm going to get rid of those key frames enabled to follow through and then re-enable my IK switch and point out that this is something that you can key frame on and off. If you had a character that was walking and you wanted to him to stop walking and then have control over his hands again using the IK system, it's as simple as switching this key frame on and off. All right, let's put that hand back to where it's at its neutral position 00, and then let's take a look at some controls for the icon of that controller. Right now it's bright red. If I open up the icon, I can change the color to whatever I want. How about we make this something more like a magenta color or maybe a cyan. Yeah, that looks pretty good on top of those colors. I like that, I'll click okay. Then I also have controls for the orientation, so the hand is going the opposite direction as my artwork, so why don't I just rotate that 180 degrees so it matches? But now it's covering up the hand and the watch, so I want to turn the opacity down to say 25 percent. So it's there, I can tell it's there, but I'm not losing sight of my artwork from it. We also have this dashed line showing up that's going the entire length of the arm as well as this anchor point. We see these anchor points on all of the controllers. These things are sometimes nice for reference, but I honestly don't need to see them anymore. With that controller selected, I'm going to scroll down to the IK hand controls and find the display. I'll open that up and uncheck draw guides. That's going to get rid of those guides, but I still have my anchor point, so I'll come back up to the controller section, open up the anchor and turn the size all the way down to zero. Now, just that hand icon is what I'm going to see when I move that around. I could go through and change all of those settings for each one of these individual controls, but a lot of these control settings are shared between all of these controllers. So let me just copy this controller property on that hand and then paste it on this hand. There we go, that's now swapped over. I want the same settings on the hips, but when I paste it, it's going to rotate the orientation and for the hips, I don't want that so let me get rid of that rotation, then copy it again and paste it on the remaining controllers, okay? Down here we also have the feet, so let me paste it on that one and then change the rotation to be 90 degrees so that the orientation matches the foot. But that's a little bit hard to see for whatever reason on top of that color, it's harder to see. So I'm going to change this to maybe a bright magenta. Then I'll copy that and paste it on the other foot, and there we go, we've got those two controllers. Maybe I want to offset this a little bit so that it lines up over the shoe more than it does the actual ankle. There we go. I'm going to change the color of these two as well, so I want to grab this magenta color from the foot. I like that color, and I think it shows up on top of that white background just fine, and I don't need to change the opacity of those because they're not overlapping the artwork. I also want to remove the guides and the anchor points and all the other controls, but I don't want to do them one at a time. Unfortunately, I can't just copy and paste the IK hand to all of the controllers because that's unique to the hand controller. Instead, I can just come over to my layers palette and come up to the search bar with none of my layers selected and type in guides. That's going to bring up every instance of that draw guides effect and I can just turn them all off. There we go, simple as that. All right, now I have two controllers that still have anchor points and it's the head and the body. As you can see, having that anchor point there is actually making the bounding box for both of these layers very big since I shifted the icons over. I again just want to get rid of that anchor point size on each of those and then I should be good to go. Awesome. So I'm going to close that search out, and now my controllers are much less distracting on top of my artwork. Now let's walk through some more of the controls that we have. If I click on the head controller, you can see that there's an effect called head follow and it just has a check box. If I click on this shoulders controller, that has one called neck follow with a checkbox. What these are going to do are rotate the head or the shoulders with whatever its parented to, so if I click on say the body and rotate it forward, right now, the head and the neck are not rotating with it. It's staying upright no matter where I rotate this. But if I grabbed the neck and I click on that checkbox neck follow, then the neck is gonna rotate with it. The head is still staying up and down, but the neck is moving with the body. If I grab the head and check that check box, then it's going to rotate with it. That's kind of a personal preference that you can decide for yourself. If you want the character's head and neck to stay upright while the body is moving, just leave those check boxes unchecked. If you want them to follow the body, check those boxes, and in either scenario you can always rotate the head and the neck using those two controllers rotations. All right, I'm going to get back to my zero position, and I'm going to go back to this spine root controller. Remember I said that I really never use this, so I actually just want to disable it, lock it, and shy it so I don't even see it anymore. The main controls that I want access to are the hips that allow me to rock these hips back and forth or push them in and out independent of the rest of the body, the spine curve that allows me to do this nice bendy movement very nicely, the neck control here, as well as the shoulders, my hands, my feet, my body and my head. All right, these are the controllers that I want to see. Now if you remember when you grab the head and move it around, it's not actually affecting the head position, it's just affecting the rotation. I actually prefer to be able to move my head around using this controller. To make that happen, it's actually very simple. I'm just going to unshy my layers, find the head structure and unlock it, and instead of parenting that to the next structure, I'm just going to parent it to the head controller. Now when I move this around, that structure which is controlling both that portion of the neck and the head is going to follow the controller. Everything else is still going to work exactly the same. If I rotate the body, the head stays upright. If I click on that check box, it's going to snap down. But now I have the ability to reposition the head and have the neck follow it just by using this head controller. That's how I like to have mine setup. So I'm going to leave it like that and make sure I lock that structure layer and shy everything up again. Next, let's take a look at the feet control. Remember we set up some very advanced looking stuff for each one of these feet. I'll just grab the right foot controller and let me lock my guides, and then take a look at what controls we have. We don't need to mess with this controller anymore. But if I scroll down to the bottom, we have this control called foot roll. These controls are what use those specific markers on the structures that we put at the tip toe and the heel. Let's first just look at foot roll, the base. If I rotate this forward, you see that our foot is bending at that point that we put the puppet pin right here. That's really nice because it allows you to very naturally lift the leg off of the ground while maintaining contact with the ground with just this simple little control. The position of the foot controller isn't actually changing, its just the heel is being lifted up. Let me put that back then we'll go up to the toes and rotate this back. Actually, it looks like I have made a mistake. All right, now generally I cut out my mistakes so that I'm not teaching you bad habits, but in this case, it's actually going to serve a great lesson. That is that with really complex things like character rigging, you're going to make mistakes. What's important is that when you come across those mistakes, that you fix them right then and there. Let's figure out why this isn't rotating the toes. I have a pretty good feeling that I just parented something incorrectly. So let me unshy my layers and I need to get to the right foot section. Down here below the torso, here we have the foot sections, so these are the structures. All of that was done automatically by Duik so, I should not have any issues with the actual structures, but the bones for the toes is what I'm suspicious of. Right now I have that parented to the R tip toe which is right here. That's the structure that I parented it to, but I think what I should have parented it to was just the toes, which if I bring up this structure, you can see that was this anchor point right here. I parented the toes bone to the tip toe structure, which is right there. But actually I want it parented to this structure right here so that it rotates when this structure is rotated. So I'll turn those structures back off. I parented those toes to the toes structure, the same as the foot structure. Now let's adjust that control for the toes and see if it fixes our problem. Sure enough, it does. All right, great. I'm going to lock this back up and do the same thing for the other foot. While I'm here, I need to find the left toes, unlock that and instead of the tip toes structure, I want to parent it to the toe structure one layer up the structure chain. There we go. I'll lock that in and now this one should also work. Great. Okay, so that's working. But this is causing an issue, as you notice, when I bend that the foot is curving a lot. The heel is going through the ground and it's not looking very accurate. We don't want the rest of this shoe to really bend when the toes are. We'll come back to that in just a second, for now let me just turn my toes rotation down and take a look the other two, so we have tip toe which brings the foot up on the toe right where we set that marker, which was right about here, and then we have the heel, which is the same thing in the opposite direction. It lifts up the heel on that marker that we placed. All right, so these are the four very advanced controls that are actually really complex to rig, that Duik did for us automatically, and that's awesome. But we have this issue with the toes, so let's talk about how we can fix that problem in the next video. Before we get there though, go ahead and adjust all of your own controllers however you want them to. You can pick whatever colors you want. Maybe you want the left side of your body to have a certain color and the right side to have a different color, I would suggest that you turn off all of those extra guides and anchor points because they're really just getting in the way. Shift any controllers off of the body that you don't want on top of the body and resize any of them however you need to in order to be able to work with them and easily. Once everything is nice and tidy, we can move onto the next video. 16. Puppet Starch: We have this issue with the toes. So, let's take a look at that and how we might solve this problem. There's another tool within the puppet tool suite called the puppet starch pin tool. What starch is? Is basically a way to stiffen up portions of your mesh so that they don't deform as much or at all. I want to find that right shoe artwork layer, because that's the layer that has the puppet tool on it. I'll press E on the keyboard to bring up the effects and go into the puppet tool. Go down to mesh one and click on it. We can see the outline of that mesh. I have the mesh disabled, so we're not seeing that. I actually don't need to see it. So, I'm just going to leave that unchecked. But we have the outline of the original shoe. Basically, I don't want the heel to deform at all and I might even want to keep the ankle, the part that goes around the ankle of the leg to not move much either. Applying starch is very similar to pins. You're going to pick points on your mesh to add these starch pins too. I'm just going to click on the bottom left corner, and that's going to add a pin. Right away you see that, my foot has straightened out a lot and the toes are now sticking up, but nothing else is affected. Let's look up at the controls we have up here, we have an amount and an extent. Amount is" basically how stiff that starch is going to make the mesh, and the extent is like a radius for how far out from where you clicked", that is going to affect the mesh. This dark purple that we're seeing, let me zoom in nice and close. Is a radius or an extent around this red puppet starch pin that I placed. If I dial this back. You see that now it's much more of a circle and it's filling in a section of that mesh.So, I can push this out. The further out it goes, the more of my artwork it's affecting. I want to come up close to where that joint is so that when it bends, It's not affecting anything before that joint. So, that actually looks like it's working fairly well. Let's select our controller again. And then just modify these toes a little bit. You can see that we're still getting a little bit of rotation on that foot, but for this kind of cartoon. Bendy character, I think that's actually going to be okay. I could try to increase this stiffness. So, under my mesh you see that we have are deform for our puppet pins, but we also have now a stiffness for our starch pins. I could come to the amount and increase it a little bit. You'll notice that I only have it at one percent and that's doing a lot. If I were to crank this up to 100 percent, then that foot is not going to move nearly as much. But just because of the nature of the puppet tool, it is going to have some variation to it. There's just no real way around it. Honestly, one percent is almost always more than enough. You can really think of zero to one percent, as zero to 100 percent stiffness. There's almost never a reason to go above one percent stiffness. I don't know why it's so sensitive, but it is. Sometimes I turn this down to 0.05 percent and you can think of that like a five percent stiffness. For this particular case, I think one percent is going to be great, so I'm just going to leave it as is. Then I just want to make sure that all the other controls are looking fine as we do this. This isn't really affecting the mesh at all because it's rotating the entire foot. Same thing for the heel. Then the foot role is just combining bending the toes with lifting the foot. But I think that looks pretty good considering that this is all one layer. If I wanted to complete control, I would cut off the toes and make a circular overlap around that joint, just like we did with the hands and the arms. That way the toes can rotate independently on the rest of the foot. But on this particular design that would be really hard to hide the sim that we have. The outline and going around that joint. I think in this case, we're going to just leave it as is and call it good. But let's do the same thing for the other foot really quick. I'm going to open up the left shoe, press E on the keyboard to get to the effects. Make sure that I'm on the mesh that I've already created, grab that puppet starch. And then add a pin on the bottom left, right where the heel is. Again, that's going to cover basically the same area because the shoe is very same shape. But I just want to cover everything up until about where that joint is. I'm not going all the way to the joint because that is the point of rotation. Maybe I want to back it off just a little bit more, but now I should be able to rotate these toes and the foot doesn't move all that much. Let me show you what would happen if I were to move that starch past the joint. Then we're going to get this really weird bend rate here cause it's trying not to warp this part of the mesh, which is in turn making this part of the mesh distort a lot more. I don't want to push the starch that far forward. I'll back it off the joint a little bit. So, we get a little bit nicer of a curve in that distortion. That looks pretty good. I'm going to lock that layer and put those toes back down. Great. We'll be using some puppet starch on some other of our characters, but on this particular character, I think the shoes are really the only place I need it. 17. Rigging Trevor: Alright, let's move on to some of our other characters. I'm going to go through these a little bit more quickly because the process is going to be very repetitive. But I'm going to focus on the parts of these characters that are different from the one we've already seen. So let's bring in our other artwork and actually before I do that, let me just make a folder for Jake and put all of the comps and all of the artwork that belongs to Jake in that folder and then I'll make a new one and we'll call this one Trevor and inside that folder I'm going to press command I to import, select my Trevor rig and click on open. Make sure that composition retain layer sizes is checked and click OK and I'm going to double-click on that princomp, so here we go. So because the last time I made a composition adjustment was set to five minutes, all of the layers on import were set to five minutes, so I don't have to worry about that, I'll go ahead and make that background and the joint guides, guide layers, lock-up that background and think about how we need to rig this character. So we have two arms and two legs, just like before, the hands are detached from the arms and the feet are detached from the legs, nothing new there. The main difference between this character and the Jake character is the torso, the head, the neck, the body are all contained in this one circle shape. So it's a much simpler rig, so let's think about how we would actually set this up to rig. Well, here in Duik on the rigging, you'll notice that for the arm, leg, spine, and tail, there's this little circle next to each one of them and these are for editing how these structures are going to be created, so the arm options, leg options and so on. If I go into the spine options, we have control over how many structure layers are actually generated when you click on that spine button. So for this character, I don't need a head structure and it doesn't even have a neck, so I don't need one there either. So let's start by just unchecking head and turning the neck layers down to zero. For the spine, there's no bend to this body, I mean, it's just a ball. So honestly, I don't need any spine layers either, so I'm going to turn that down to zero. The hips makes sense because the legs are going to be attached to the body at a certain point, but I really think that's all I need. So let me just click on create and see what that does, that's going to give me one structure and I'm going to lock my joint guides and actually just turn them off for now, but that gives me this hips and a spine tip. So that would allow me to put my hips right where they need to be and then move this spine tip up to the top of the head. For this character, that's really all I need. Okay, so what's cool about this is that now that I've set my options, Duik going to remember what those options were. So instead of having to create all of my limbs individually, I can get rid of those two structures. And now, when I click on hominoid, it's going to remember, what I set up for the spine. So let's see what happens, it's going to generate the arms and the legs, as well as that single structure spine that I just set up in the options. So I wanted to show you that so that you can go into any of these, that arm and choose how many sections of the structures that your characters arms need, as well as the legs and the spine and after you've set those settings, click on the hominoid button and it will generate all the structures at the same time so that's very convenient. Now that that's done, I'm going to go through and rename all of these structures and align everything to the joint guides and I'm going to time-lapse this because you've already seen me do this. I'm going to pause right here for a second and point-out that I'm putting the third pin for this foot, pretty much straight out from the toe. So remember we have ankle toes and then tiptoe. I believe on the last character, I put that pin right where I put the tip toe marker. But as we found out, that really wasn't where I wanted that pin be because, I want this pins to rotate based off, of this point and putting it down here might make a weird mesh distortion. Whereas if it's just kind of straight out, then it's going to bend more naturally. So that's why I'm sticking that pin right there. Okay, my structures are aligned, I've added all of my puppet pins, now let's create the bones, I'm going to just collapse everything, find those layers that have effects applied, so I know those are the ones that have the puppet Tool, go to my Links and Constraints tab and click on Add bones. Now I quickly just want to rearrange my structure layers, so that they match the artwork layer. So the left hand and arm is actually labeled improperly. So this is interesting at this point, what happened was that in my original photoshop artwork, it must have been labeled from my perspective and not the character's perspective. This is the characters left arm and left hand, but I've already created my bones, so it probably be smart if I just undid at this point before I added those bones and rename the so let's change this, everything is backwards, so this is my left foot, this is my left leg. So even though I named them improperly in Photoshop, I can quickly rename them in here in after effects, and it'll still update when I add all of those bones. Now I'm going to add those bones one more time and they should be labeled properly, so left arm is on his left side, then I will now just quickly rearrange the structure layers. So this is basically my pre-rig state. So I'll duplicate it and then I'll rename the duplicate pre-rig, making sure that I'm still on the Trevor Rig, not the pre rig, and now I can continue to make my changes. So now I'm just going to parent everything up, to what it needs to be parented to. Now, something I should point out is that I did not add puppet pins to the body for the joints at the shoulders and the hips, that's probably something I should do, so I'm going to do that really quickly. So I added five puppet pins to this body, one at each shoulder, one at each hip and then one right where the base of that spine is going to be, right between the two hips. So total we have these five pins, I'm going to add my bones and now parent all of these up. So the right shoulder goes to the right shoulder structure or the right arm structure, the left shoulder goes to the left arm structure, the right hip goes to the right thigh, left hip goes to the left thigh and then the hips are what are going to connect to the hips structure. All that's left are the mouth, pupils and hair, so all of those can just be parented directly to the body artwork, at this point none of them need the puppet tool. So I'll make sure to save and I've actually versioned up, you can do that by pressing command option shift S to save and that'll increment and save, It'll be different on a PC. But now that everything is parented and layered properly, I should be able to go ahead and break my structure. So I'm going to select that label group, come over to Duik and click on "Auto-rig and IK". Even though my structures have different numbers of structures this time around, Duik is still smart enough to identify what needs to happen in order to get this controlled. You see I have fewer controls obviously because none of those spines structures were there. But I can grab this one single controller and move it around and it looks like it's working properly. So again, first thing I want to do is just grab all the controllers. Anything that doesn't have a value of zero, zero already on the position, which is everything but the hips, zero that out. So I'm just going to click on the Zero button, all of that is done and I can turn off a lot of these layers. I'm going to turn off all of my structures. I'm going to shy them and I'm going to lock them. Then the same thing for the bones. I'm going to select them all, turned them off, shy them and lock them, and then lock all of the artwork as well. I'll shy all those layers. I forgot to turn off the shy for the artworks, let me do that real fast, and the background and the joint guides as well. Just rename these. So this should be my left foot, this is my right hand, the left hand, and the right foot. There we go. Our character is fully rigged and I can just do things like reverse the IK on the limbs and make sure they're on the correct side of the body, left and right, that's correct, and actually that one did not need to be reversed. Let's test out this leg that's looking good, it's on the left side of the body. This one as well, the right side of the body. Great. Let's test out the foot role on this foot. Very nice. I'd say that looks good. Let's test this one out. Yeah, I don't think I'm even going to need to do any puppet starch because you're not seeing any outlines, any seams, and he doesn't have shoes on, it's all the same color. So I think that's going to work out just fine. Everything on this rig is already to go. All that's left really is adjusting the display options of my controllers. But you've already seen me do that, so I'm not going to repeat that. But I do want to take a look at the spine controls because there are a couple of controls in here that we probably don't really need. The body controller obviously that's going to move everything together. It moves the shoulder joints, the hip joints, and in the entire body altogether. The only difference between the body and the hips is that the hips are going to move just the shoulders and the hips, and rotate the body from that top point. So that's the significance of this point, the spine tip that we added at the top of the head. It's basically rotating the body from the top, instead of moving the body as a whole. If I go back to zero, I move this left and right, this controller moves with it. If I move this left, this stays in place and it rotates. Now, that might be useful to you. If it is then by all means leave it there. But I don't think I'm going to be needing that type of control for this character rig. So I'm just going to lock, hide and shy that controller. The same thing for this top one, it doesn't really do anything on its own other than rotate from this point right here. But moving it up and down, it doesn't do anything, it's just a rotation point from the anchor point of the body controller which I can change just by rotating the body controller. There is no reason for me to have a separate controller to rotate the body when I can do it right there. This is another one of the controllers that I don't really need for this body rig. So I'm going to hide it, lock it, and shy it, and I'm left with just controllers for the body, the hands, and the feet. Now you've probably noticed that at this point using the hominoid structure system doesn't give you any controls for facial features. That's because head rigs are their own beast and it takes a lot of work and a lot of customization depending on what your character design is. But for something very simple, like controlling the eyes of this character, I'm going to show you how to set that up. In this row of controls, we've looked at the structures and the links and constraints, but there's this create controllers tab, I'm going to go to that right now. There are all of these different templates that you can choose from to create a controller for. This one right here is an eyeball, so it's appropriate that you would control your eyes using that. I'm just going to first, find the layer for those pupils and select it. So I'm going to unshy my artwork, go to the pupils, unlock it and select it, and then click on the eye controller and that's going to create a controller in the exact same spot as those pupils. Now, I can link these pupils to the same place that the pupils are already linked, so the body. I'm going to parent the pupils to the body layer. Then instead of parenting the pupils to the body, I'm going to parent the pupils to the pupils controller. Now I can click and drag this controller to move the position of those pupils. But I want to make sure that I zero that position out because right now it's relative to the body which is its parent, and that's not zero, zero. So I'm going to go back to my links and constraints and click on the "Zero" button. Now that's zero, zero. Then I can reposition that icon. So I just twirl down the icon menu for the controller and back it up off the body. So it's out of the way, and obviously, I still need to do that for this body controller. I'm not going to get to customized in here. But there is about the position that I'd want those two controllers and because this is parent to the body, it's going to follow the body controller. But from there I can click and grab it and move it around however I want. One thing to note though, is that I could rotate this and that's not really something I ever want to be able to do with these pupils. So there's actually a really helpful lock property feature of Duik. I'm going to press "R" to bring up the rotation and click on that property and then click "Lock property", and that's just going to write an expression that lacks that at whatever value it was at. I'm going to do the same thing for the scale, I'll press "S" on the keyboard and actually automatically made the scale locked at 100 percent because you really aren't ever going to want to scale your eyes up. So now I can only move the position of this around. If I get rid of that anchor point, then it's going to just be a bounding box around that icon. There we go. We've got a little bit of a control over the eyes. So that's a very simple way of adding an eye controller to your rig. 18. Rigging Stu: Let's take a look at the third character here, Stu. I've already brought him in. It's going to be a very similar process. His body is just slightly different than my original character, the Jake human character. The big difference is that he doesn't have a neck, his head goes straight into the torso. So before I create my structures, I want to go into my spine settings and make sure that there is a head controller. So I'll be able to rotate his head even though it is attached to the body. No neck layer. Then we'll do two spine layers and hips. That way we will start at the base. We're going to have a hips controller, the base of the spine or the top of the pelvis, halfway up the spine or the base of the rib cage, basically where we can rotate from. Then the head, which will give us the structure for the base of the neck and the tip of the neck. That should be good to go. Now that I've set that up, I can create my hominoids structure because everything else is fine the way it was. Duke will run its magic. From here, the process is exactly the same as the other two characters so I'm not going to make you sit through it and watch me do this. I want to point out something with this particular leg and that's that this leg's hip is kind of off to the right. If I solo this layer, you can see kind of why the joint guide ended up going where it did. I think that might cause some issues. So I think what I'll do is just cheat a little bit. The reason why it's off is just because of the way that the character is designed. I probably could have done a little bit better job of making this leg limb straight up and down. What I'm going to do to fix this is just move the knee off of the joint guide a little bit. I'm going to make sure that I toggle edit mode first and just bring it out a little bit so that this is in a straight line or close to it. I just want to make sure that I'm not bending the knee backwards because that might cause some issues with the I K system, but I'm just going to move it off that joint marker a little bit and hopefully that will fix the problem. So I'll turn edit mode back off. My structures should be all set up ready to go. I'm going to turn off those joint guides and then I want to zoom in here on the foot and talk about this for a second. So far all we've done with the feet is added puppet pins in the single foot layer and I'll just solo this. What I mean is we put one at the ankle one are about right here for the rotation and the one at the tip. I think this is a perfect foot to give you an example of how we could split the layers up so that we won't need to use the puppet starch to kind of keep this part of the foot in place. I'm actually going to edit my PSD. I'm going to select that layer and press Command E. This is going to mess up the art work just a little bit, but I already have a snapshot saved of the original position, so I'll be able to reference that after I make this edit. Once Photoshop opens here, what I want to do is just make that circular overlap for another section of this foot. So I'm going to take the foot and actually I'll duplicate this guide first, but I'll put that about where I want it on this foot so that the toes can rotate around this point so something like this. Then I'll make a selection of that ellipse, find that foot layer and then I'm just going to actually use the rectangular marquee tool to add to this selection. Hold down shift to add to my selection, drag a box about halfway up that circle, and I even got to guide right there telling me that's halfway, so that's perfect. I'm going to copy and command Shift V to paste in place and rename that L toes. This is what that layer is now. Then I'm going to do the same thing for the rest of the foot. So I need to make a selection of that ellipse again, find the right foot layer or left foot layer, add my marquee selection up to the other side of the foot, copy, paste in place and rename that L foot. I should be able to turn off the other layer and see both sections of that foot. That's great. I'll get rid of that and because I changed the size of the L foot layer, it is now just this. That's obviously going to mess up the alignment and this layer isn't even in after effects, it's a new layer. It's going to take a little bit of work, but we'll get there. I'm just going to save and then do the same thing for this foot. I'll speed through this a little bit. Now because these two joint markers are also new, it's going to be hard to distinguish when I go to import them in after effects, which ones they are. So I'm just going to rename the really quickly and call this L foot joint and name this one R foot joint and it'll make sense why I did that in just a second. I'm going to save that now that all my layers are split up and I have the new joint markers go back to after effects and the artwork is going to refresh and move out of place. First things first, let's just move the foot layers that are there to the correct position. I'm going to use my snapshot, show snapshot feature and just back this up until it's aligned and it's actually really hard to do with this adaptive resolution or fast preview on so I'm going to disable that for a second. I just switched it to final quality and then use that snapshot feature again. There we go. I'm just kind of looking at the texture here because that's a pretty good indicator of whether or not it's aligned and there we go, that's aligned up. I'll go to this layer and do the same thing. Now I need to bring in the other layers that I just created into after-effects. So I'm going to go to my Stu-Rig layers folder, import command I or control on a PC. Find the Stu-rig and click on open. I'm actually going to just re-import it as a composition. I'll click okay and here's the new composition. I don't actually need the composition, I just need the stuff that's in it. So I'm going to find the new layers in this new composition. I'm going to turn off the joint guides for now. I'll get to that in a second but what I really want are the right toes and the left toes. I'll copy those two layers and I'll go to my Stu-Rig and paste and it puts them exactly in the same spot. Just need to make sure that I actually have them in the correct layer order so this should go over the left foot and the right toes over the right foot. There we go. Then I'll go back into the Stu-Rig 2 into that version of the joint guides and find those two new joint markers and copy them. Close this close that, go into the actual joint guides and paste and there we go. Now I have those two new joint markers and I can lock that up again. Before I do anything else, I just want to get rid of that Stu-Rig 2 so it doesn't confuse me, I don't accidentally work in it, and I need to make sure that I grab those new layers out of this Stu-Rig 2 layers and before I delete that folder. Let's find the left foot joint, the left toes, the right foot joint, and the right toes, and drag those back out into the actual layers folder that I'm using and then delete that folder and that should preserve everything else. I know that was kind of a process, but that is a way to do things If you've already gone further along in the process, then you probably should've, while maintaining all of the work you've already done. Now I just want to modify these structures so that they line up with the new joint markers. I'll toggle edit mode on this joint and snap it there, turn off edit mode and do the same thing on this one. That way these are going to rotate right off of the layer or the point that they should. Now we just need to add my puppet pins for the feet I won't need to because I have the two separate feet layers that are going to allow that bend to happen without the puppet tool. So I'll time-lapse through this process and then we'll see the working rig. I hit the auto rig button and all of the controllers are red. They are very similar to the character. I'm going to very quickly select all of them just by going to the Controller's tab and saying Select Controllers, and then click on Edit, and then all at once I can change the color right here. I'll just click here and then change this to probably a bright cyan color. There we go. They're all update. You can also change things like the size all at once here. If I change this from small to medium, they're all going to get a lot bigger. Maybe I like that on this rig, so I'll just leave it like that and hit Back. Now, I'll clean up all of my controllers. Everything's set up, now I can just check my IK. That's working for that arm, looks like it's working for that arm. This foot and leg look good, same for this one. I can move the body around. I can grab the head controller and move it around. Since I didn't add a neck, this is basically doing what I wanted to and just giving me the ability to move the head up and down, just by positioning the Head controller. But I can also rotate the head to get a little bit of rotation on the top of the head. The real reason that's happening is because the shoulders aren't actually parented to this. When I rotate the head, the shoulders aren't moving with it. Now, that typically isn't what you would want to do because the head would be independent of the shoulders. But really this character's head is sunken right between those two shoulders. When I rotate the head, I really want to be rotating the entire shoulders, that whole section of his body. I'm going to unshy everything and just find those shoulder structures. That would be the right arm structure and the left arm structure. Let's find that L arm structure. I'll select both of those. They're currently connected to spine too, which was a structure that goes down here around the belly area. I'm instead going to parent that to the head structure right down here, and now when I move this around, you see that the shoulders are moving with it, and if I rotate it, I'm getting a lot more of a head turn. Now, this is going to mess with the arms. You see as I rotate the head, it's going to stretch them. But it's going to give me a little bit more flexibility with how I can make this character look around, even though it's just very subtle. I'm going to lock those up and shy everything one more time. I think this rig is ready to go. Let's take a look at the feet. I'm just going to move this off to the bottom so we can see the entire foot. Take a look at the new system that we're using, where we split the foot in two. If I do the foot roll forward, you can see that that front part of the foot stays exactly where it should be, and the foot bends off of it. There's no distortion at all. If I set that down to zero and I back the toes up, you can see that it's just rotating in place. They're not affecting the rest of the rig. That's working beautifully. It really depends on your character design and what you need for your character rig as to whether or not you should try to do a two-layered foot, or just keep it all as one and use puppet pins to warp. But now I want to take a look at one other issue this rig is causing right here. Let me turn off this hand controllers so we can see. When I lift up the leg, this completely goes out of alignment. This leg was drawn in a way that the texture and the pattern of this fur goes straight into the torso. But as soon as I bend this in that rotates, that whole illusion is broken. You can see the layering and it's not good. It does not look great at all. We're going to solve this problem using some extra puppet pins and attaching them to the torso. Let's unshy our layers one more time and find the left leg. That is right here. Press E to bring up the Puppet tool and go into it and find that Mesh, and then switch to my Puppet Position Pin Tool. Now, the parts of this layer that need to not move are where the seam is between this lighter colored fur and the darker red fur. In order to be able to see this a little bit easier, I'm actually going to use a blending mode on this layer. I'm going to click on my Toggle Switches and Modes button down here, and change this blending mode from Normal to Multiply. That way I can see both layers at once. Just undo for reference one more time. The leg layer is on top, so this right here, this is where I'm concerned with. I need this point of the Mesh to stay right where it is. If I just add a pin right there, that adds it to my Mesh, there we go. I might want to add one down here as well. I don't want to go beyond this joint really. I want to keep at the same level or above, but I'm going to try and put one right there and see what happens now when I lift this leg. Let me turn that Multiply off and I'll just name these, say Anchor 1 and then Anchor 2. I'll add bones for those two pins. There we go. We've got Anchor 1 and 2. I need to attach those to the torso or the body layer, but I need these bones to have corresponding pins in the body artwork as well, otherwise they're going to drift around. I need to go to the body layer and open up the Puppet Tool for that layer, and add some pins in here as well in the exact same spot. One right here, one right here, and I'll name this L Anchor 1, and L Anchor 2 and create bones for those. Now, I want those two Anchors to follow the hips, so I can just parent those to the hips bone. That way they'll follow wherever that bone goes. Then I want to take the Anchor 1 from the leg and parent it to the Anchor 1 on the body, and Anchor 2 to Anchor 2. Now, if I grab this Controller and lift it up, see those two pins are staying in place. Now, that is causing quite a bit of distortion. But I might be able to counteract that with some Puppet Starch. Let me get to that Mesh, grab my Puppet Starch Pin Tool, and I want to try and get this part to not bend as much. I'm going to go to about here in the Mesh and click and see if that helps, and it does. That definitely strained out that part a little bit better. Now, if I grab this Controller and move it around, basically this portion of the leg is not going to distort as much. That seem right there on that line between the two colors of fur is basically staying where it should be. I think this is going to work out. Let me turn off the bones and see how that looks. There's the leg bending. I think that's way better than what we had before. I'm going to call that good. Let's do the same thing for the other leg. I'm going to lock those bone layers and the leg artwork, and then find the right leg. That's right up here. I'm going to need to turn off some of these other layers just so I can see a little bit better. Let's find the arm and hand and turn those off. Then set this to multiply one more time. I'll grab my puppet pins and make sure I'm on the puppet Mesh that we've already created. I'm going to add a pin right here where that line is, and then maybe one right here, right where the back of this thigh, where his butt is, attaches to the torso. I'll add those two, press U to bring up the puppet pins and rename these Anchor 1, Anchor 2 and add bones. I only had that one bone selected, so that's why it only created one bone. There we go, Anchor 1 and 2. I'll collapse that. Then on the body I'm going to put pins in the exact same spot. On the body inside that Mesh, I will add a pin here, add another pin right here, and rename them R Anchor 1 and R Anchor 2. I'll add bones to those two pins and parent them to the hips. You know what? It would actually probably make more sense if I parented them to the right hip structure. They're the right leg structure. I'm going to do that instead. Let's find the right leg hip right there. I'm going to re-parent the other two anchors to the left leg hip. Because that joint is closer than the hips, and it'll probably produce better distortions. There we go. I'm going to lock those up and hide them, lock the body up, collapse that, and then find these two new anchors and parent them to the corresponding anchors on the body. There we go. It should be able to lock and hide those and turn Multiply back off of that layer, and then lift up this leg. There we go. Actually now the body is rotating around that joint because those two pins that I added are rotating with the hip. I bet re-parenting the pins over here, is making a better looking distortion or at least a little bit more natural looking distortions. The body and leg layers look like they're part of the same layer now. I think that's going to help things with this distortion. Now that I've done that, I just want to see what happens if I take the stiffness, the starch off of this leg layer. Because I have a feeling parenting those bones to the left hip rather than the actual hips controller or structure, might be better. Let's take the stiffness off and see what happens. I think that solved our issue. It's really just putting a pushpin in this spot and this spot through the leg into the torso and they're all moving together now. I think that's going to work out better. Let's turn the other artwork layers back on that I hid. Make sure everything is on that should be. I need to make sure these new bone layers are shied. There we go. Then I can shy everything, turn all of my controllers back on and this rig is ready to go. Let me just zero out this foot. There we go. Now, I can move the body around in this torso just naturally curves into those hips way better than it was before. Awesome. 19. Rigging Red: Al right, we have one character left to look at, and his setup is very similar to the Jake character because they're both humanoid characters. But, I created him in illustrator and it's very clean, very precise. We're not going to have the limbs be super bendy and curvy like this rig, like all three of the rigs that we've already done. Let's start by importing that artwork. Here's my Red rig. This is an Illustrator file, so it's going to look a little bit different when you go to import it. You want to make sure that you import an illustrator file as a composition, just like before, and that the footage dimensions are the layer size, not the document size. Click on okay, and there we go. So I'm going to make a folder and call this red. Bring those new items into that folder and open up that rig. This document didn't have a background, so I'm just going to borrow one. Let's just take the background from the Jake character. I'll put that at back and make sure it's centered in the computer, this should be 2000 by 2000. I'll set that as a guide layer and lock it. Most of this process is going to be pretty similar to what we've already done, one difference is that everything came in as a flat layer. These joint guides aren't actually something that I can snap to the individual circles at this point, what I need to do is right-click on this layer, come down to create and say create shapes from vector layer. That replaces the illustrator layer with a shape layer and now, I am able to snap to any one of these circles. So that's going to be very useful. I'll make that a guide layer and I can just put the joint guides all the way down to the bottom, shy it and lock it. I'll shy the background while I'm at it, I'll go ahead and make my structure. This process is exactly the same as before I just need to make sure I have the right number of layers. One neck layer, two spine, head, and hips, that should be good. I'll make my hominoid. Okay, so I've got all of my structures, everything's labeled nice, it's all lined up and ready to rig. So I'm going to first duplicate this comp and re-name the new one pre-rig, and then select my structures and auto rig them. Now I'm doing this in a little bit different order than before, but it's just for demonstration. I'm going to go ahead and rig up my structures so that they're all functioning and I have my controllers and then work forward and a little bit different way. So let me go ahead and rename all my controllers quick, so this should be right foot, left foot, right hand, and left hand. Okay, I'm going to zero out all of the controllers except for the hips because that's already at 00. Really quickly I'm just going to change the appearance of all these so that they are where they need to be. Okay, great. So what I want to point out first is that I don't have to use the puppet tool if I don't need it. So many apparent all of the artwork layers the same way that I did before there just aren't any bones to go with it. So the head is going to go to the head structure, the hair is going to go to the head, the right upper arm goes to the right arm. Remember this arm is split up into three layers upper arm, forearm, and the hand. Pair it to the forearm into the forearm and the hand to the hand. Actually let's just stop right there. Now let's see what happens when I click and drag this. It's actually working just fine, right? This is exactly what you'd expect, no puppet tool required because of the way that I set up my artwork. So there's nothing wrong with doing this except that if I push this beyond where the maximum length of the arm is, you see how they sell stretches out and that doesn't work at all. Now, I can disable my stretching if I come to my controller effects and go down to the I-K hand, that there's a stretch. I can un-check auto stretch and then that hand, no matter how far out that controller goes, the arm will never go beyond that distance. So, if you don't need any kind of stretching to your character rig, that's exactly how you want to do it. What I'd like to do is have the ability to stretch out the limbs but not have any kind of curve, when the arm is shorter than its max length. So to do this, let me just undo back to the neutral pose with our stretch enabled. The process for doing this is very similar to what we've already done. Instead of having three puppet pins to drive this arm, we're going to have one in the shoulder, one of the elbow for this layer, one and the elbow for this layer and one in the wrist for this layer, and then parent them all to the right structures. So there's a little bit more work going on here. I'll show you how to do it with the arm and then I'll fast forward through the rest of the limbs. So let's just start with the upper arm. I'll open up the puppet tool and put a pin right there. Then one right there. I just need those two pins, make sure that that's not an advanced and I'll rename those pins, shoulder and elbow. I'll grab the forearm and add those pins again, one at the elbow, one at the wrist legacy engine and rename them elbow and wrist. Al right, now that those are set, I can select those layers and add bones and I can pair those bones to the right layers. The shoulder, It's going to go to the arm, the elbow, as well as the elbow for the forearm are both going to go to the forearm layer. Then the wrist bone is going to go to the hand. Now when I grab his controller, it still looks the same when I'm bend it this direction but as soon as I stretch it out, the puppet tool is allowing it to stretch. Now we're still getting some issues here. If I pull this out quite a bit, you can see that those limbs are still being pulled out just because of the way that the puppet mass has being distorted. However, we can fix this with some puppet starch. So I'm going to go back into the forearm layer, open up the puppet tool go on that mesh we've already created and change to my Puppet starch tool. Basically what I want to do is add some starch, that covers this entire joint as well as this entire joints. So I'm going to click right on top of that pin and then just dial back the extent until it basically just fills out that joint. I don't want to leave any of that joint uncovered, but I also don't want to push it any further than I needed to. So it looks like about that much will do it and I'll do the same thing for this joint. This is basically just allowing that section of the mesh to maintain its shape and only allow the parts between these two starches to distort and stretch. Now that hasn't solved the problem yet, because I need to do the same thing for the upper arm. So let me open up that mesh and add some starch here, turn the extent down and make sure it covers the whole joint. Then I'll do the same thing down here, push the extent out to fill that joint. Now that joint has locked into place. If I turn off this fast draft, it's gonna look a little bit more clear. Now, this is causing an issue, however, with the stripe in the sleeve. But we can solve this with even more puppet starch. So I'm going to just add a pin right here. I'm guessing that's about where the stripe is on the mesh, and turn my extent way down. I want it to be about the size of that stripe so really what I need to do is put this controller back down to 00, so I can actually see the mesh overlaid on top of the layer un-distorted. Then I'll grab that starch pin tool and align this so that it's covering just that section of the stripe. Now unfortunately, if I push the extent out so that it covers more, it's going to also go up and down. So I just need to add a bunch of pins across this entire surface until it covers the whole stripe, trying not to take up too much of the yellow and too much of this skin color. I'm just going to space these out so that they're covering up that whole line, that whole curve, until we get to the opposite edge. Maybe push the extend just a little bit more on that last one. That should fix the problem. So now when I stretch this out, this is maintained, the joints are maintained and only the parts of the layer in between are distorting that you don't really even notice. But when I bring it back, it looks like a regular jointed layer that doesn't have any puppet tooling going on. That's exactly what I need to do for the other arm as well as the leg. I'm going to time-lapse through this since you've already seen me do it. You don't need to watch me do it again. But that's how you can use Puppet starch for this type of rigged to maintain your joints and the qualities of your artwork. Now on these feet, let me turn off my controller so we can see things a little more clearly. You might have thought that cutting this up into two separate foot layers might have made more sense. But because of all the complex stuff going on here with the shoelaces and the two tone of the shoe, it actually would be really difficult to get that to look natural. So I'm going to use the Puppet Tool and Puppet Starch for the feet. Let's do that now, I'm going to add some Puppet Pins where they need to go, and you'll notice the ankle includes the cuff of the leg and that's so that when it rotates around the leg, the cuff is moving with it very naturally. There's the ankle, we've got one for the joint where the toes are going to bend and then the tip toe. This actually is in the exact same place as our marker on this particular case because the shoe comes to a point. I'm going to leave that where it is, and my Puppet engine needs to be at advanced and I'll rename these pins and I'll do the same thing for the other foot. As I'm doing this, you can see that I'm having to constantly turn layers on and off. That's why this really should have been done before I moved all my structures around. But I just wanted to be able to show you how this process is a little bit different and why it's different, so that's why I'm doing things a little bit out of order. But I would suggest that you figure all this out before you do all of your layer organization in rigging, get all of your pins where they need to be, all of your structure is laid out before you move on to this phase. Let's see what happens if I grab this controller and then just adjust the foot role. Obviously we're getting some really crazy distortion here. So we're going to need to add some starch in. So let me grab this layer and open up that mesh. I press here to bring up those key frames and we're going to add in some starch probably to most of this section of the foot. I'm just going to add one rate here and make it nice and big, just pushing it pretty close to this joint right here. I wanted to take up that entire back part of the foot so that it doesn't distort with the rest of it. But I don't want to get too close to that joint, so we'll say rate about there's probably good and then I want to also straighten out this part of the mesh so that the toes aren't curbing so much here. I'm going to add a starch pane right here and then back it off of that joint about the same amount in the opposite direction. There we go. That's looking much better. I think I'm just for safety, you going to add some starch rate up here to cover that cuff. It doesn't have to be very big, is something like that. To maintain that artwork of the shoe for basically everything except for this part that I want to be able to bend. So that looks much better and I'm assuming we're going to need to do the same thing on the other foot, so let's go ahead and do that. I'll set the controller back down to zero on that foot role, and then we'll grab the left foot control and bend it up. Yeah, that's going to give us the same issue. Let's grab that layer, open up the pins by pressing U and add some starch in the same spots. Nice and big section right here are covering most of the foot. We're going to put one right here, much smaller just to complete that cuff. There we go. Then we'll put one right here and make that bigger so it gets closer to that joint. Somewhere around there looks pretty good. Maybe you just pushed this one forward a little bit more and I think that's good. All right, collapse that up, set that rotation on the foot roll back down to zero and what's left is the torso, I haven't done anything there. So I'll speed through that and then we'll take a look at a rig. All right. This guy is all rigged up and ready to go and you might be wondering why I pushed these two controllers so far to the left. It's because his arms are really long and there's a good chance that they could get in the way of these controllers with the arm extended this far in a favor of stretch this out, then that could get messy. You basically just want to push these off however far you need to in order to have the room you need for the rest of your rig. But obviously they are pretty far over there, so just try and find a good spot for them to live. Now this head controller is not controlling the position of the head again, the way that I want it to, so I'm going to go to the head structure right here and instead of parenting it to the neck, again, parents that to the head controller right there. Now this will move around the way that I want it to. Lock that backup, makes sure everything else is locked and I can shut it all, and now this is a fully functioning rig. If I drop the body down, you can see that we've got these really nice overlaps with the joints because of the way that we set up our artwork it looks like this nice crease in the elbow. Obviously there are limitations to every rig at this point on the on the leg the way that the food is rotated and the leg going into it, it's not very realistic, but the chances of me needing to have the foot bent that much are very slim. I'll probably just have to keep an eye on this one I'm animating and not rotate the foot any further than that, or maybe I can shift it a little bit more like that. But I'll probably never need to go that far. Up here at the waist, we do have a little bit of an issue where you see this a line that is creasing right here from the waste into the leg, that is kind of difficult to avoid because of that outline. Again, if there was no outline, you wouldn't notice that at all, but that's just a limitation of this artwork style and It would take a lot more work to get this to be responsive to the leg moving in order to hide that, but I don't think it's worth the trouble for this rig. I don't think it's that distracting or noticeable. So I think we're good the way that it is. 20. Auto Walk Cycle: All right, now you should have a really good foundation for rigging your character designs. While I'm not going to teach you character animation in this course, I am going to show you how to get your character up and running a little bit, or rather I should say up and walking. Because under this tab right here, this automation tab. There's a lot to dig into, but this one button right here is labeled walk cycle, and you can see it's a procedural walk cycle tool. This is a really amazing feature of Duik Bassel. But before I click that, I first want to duplicate this rig. This is going to be my basically master rig that I make duplicates of for any animations that I apply to my character. I'm always going to duplicate this first and then I'll name this one walking and make sure to open that one up. Then I just need to select all of my controllers and click that walk cycle button. A few things happened. We've got this new walk cycle controller which overlays on top of the character. The position of this doesn't actually do anything. I'm just going to move it off to the side, but I'm also getting some expression errors. Now, this is because of the current version of After Effects that I'm using in the current version of Duik Bassel that I'm using. In After Effects, CC 2019, Adobe introduced the entire JavaScript language as an option for your expressions engine instead of the legacy extend-script language, which is based on JavaScript. This version of Duik doesn't work with the JavaScript expressions engine when it comes to this walk cycle tool. I'm going to undo real quick just before I did that and fix this. Just by going over my project tab and clicking on this little button to open up my project settings. Then I'm going to go to my Expressions tab and change this from JavaScript to legacy extend-script and I'll just click okay. Then with those selected one more time, I'll click on the walk cycle tool that should generate this time with no errors.There we go. I'm going to move this out of the way. Zoom in here on my timeline and give myself some more space here and just play this back. Just like that, my character is walking. If that's not very mind-blowing to you, then that just means that you've never had to animate a walk cycle yourself before. But believe me, it's incredible that this is being done automatically, procedurely through Duik Bassel. I know it doesn't look exactly right right now, but let me walk you through the controls to show you how we can get this to look a little bit better. First of all, this arm is sticking out to the side and that's probably just because of the way that I was playing around with the FK stuff when I was showing you that follow through an overlap. Let me turn that back down to zero. With that set to zero I'm going play this again. Actually I want to find a point in this animation that it loop. I'm going to take a snapshot of this first frame and then go forward probably around 24 frames. That's probably about where the loop point is. Somewhere around here, it looks like that's the frame that's closest to the loop point. I'm going to back up one more frame page up on the keyboard so that I don't see that frame twice when it loops around and press N on the keyboard to set my outward area. Then if I play that back, it's going to cycle around that area and there I have my walking character. What's so great about this is that it's taking full advantage of the entire rig. Let me zoom in here on the feet and show you how even the heel roll is right there on these frames. It's bending up so that the heel lifts off the ground and that toes bend there. We're getting a little bit of follow-through and overlap on that arm. The hips are just ever so slightly rocking back and forth. We've got some nice overlap with the head bouncing. This is a completely acceptable basic walk cycle. Now I have an entire class on how to animate your own walk cycle. If you go on to take that class, you're going to see just how complex this kind of thing is and why it's so amazing that you can have a procedural walk cycle built-in to do with bassel for free, especially when you take a look at the controls that you have, because this is procedural and it's based on a bunch of values. In this effect, we can change the way that this character is walking. Right now it's just a very steady, mellow pace. But if I turn the general motion up to 200 percentage instead of 100, then we're going to get much bigger strides. The body's going to bounce up and down a lot more and it's just going to look like he's moving a little bit faster. Maybe I'll turn that down to 150. Then I'll jump down to the main parameter section in total that open. You can see there are lots of labels in this to guide you through what everything is doing. But we have some main parameters for the character, like the height, the weight, the energy, and the softness. All of these are going to change the way character is walking. This is measured in centimeters. If you're like me and you're used to the imperial system where we're using inches. You're going to need to do a little bit of math to convert this, but it will affect a little bit of how your character is walking. If you make him heavier then the walk cycle will look slightly different because he's got more weight to move around. But as you can see, adjusting these parameters is also changing the speed at which they're walking. This is not looping perfectly on that frame anymore. I'm just going to undo that for now. But let's just turn the energy up to 25 and see how that changes things. Can see that now these feet are bending a lot more at that point and he's bobbing up and down a lot more. That doesn't necessarily look that great. But playing around with these values can really change the way that your character walk look. I'm going to undo that and go back to 10 percent. I also want to point out that, at any point you can still grab these controllers and modify them. If I want my character to be lean forward a little bit, maybe I want them to look like he's looking down at the ground inspecting something there, I could still pose him. However, I feel like I need to maybe bring them down a little bit closer to the ground and shift his head forward and this walk cycle is still going to work. You can even add in your own animations while this procedural walk cycle is going on. It's incredible how flexible this really is. Let me undo back to the straight up and down pose and then go through some more of these parameters. I'll close up the character and go into the walk cycle. Then this is where we can change the walk speeds. Right now it's at 3.5. If I wanted to go faster, I could change this to seven and now those strides are much bigger. The loop point is the same, but the distance traveled by those legs is much bigger. That's what you can think of as the walk speed is how much distance the character is putting between each step. I'll undo that back to the default to 3.5. I also just want to point out that if your characters facing the other direction, he's probably going to be walking backwards. Setting the limbs to the left and right side correctly should work. But if your character is walking backwards, just change this number to a negative number and it will walk in the opposite direction. I undo that and then take a look at this type. We have two different types at this point in this version of Duik, realistic and then dancing. Dancing is really just a double bounce walk cycle, which was pretty much made famous by Mickey Mouse. Let's go back to the realistic walk cycle and then look at the secondary control. This is where you can adjust how much of basically everything is happening. Start at the neck and head. You can control how far that head is swinging or the neck is swinging. I'll just double that and you can see that now the head is much more wobbly. You can also increase or decrease the softness so that's basically adding more or less overlap as the head is wobbling back and forth. There it is at 20 and here it is at five. There you can see it's much more stiff. The overlap isn't as much as before, but the swing amount, the six degrees is still there. Let's go back to what we had and take a look at the body. We have the same thing for the body swings. If I pause on a frame, maybe like here where the body curved forward and I change the body, swing up a little bit. You can see how that's affecting the animation. Maybe I'll turn that up quite a bit and see what it does. Now is really rocking back and forth quite a bit. Doesn't look all that great, but that is a parameter you have access to. We can also adjust the body up and down motion. Right now is just moving up and down pretty nicely. But if I could turn this up to say 15 percent and he's going to bounce a lot more. Legs are going to go out more straight as he's pushing off the ground. Again, that might not be the best look for the walk cycle, but it's something you can change. Then we have the hips swing. This is just going to change how much the hips rock back and forth. Probably don't need to change that very much if at all, unless you're going for something very specific. Let's undo that and go down to the next section. We have the arm swing this is going to change how far those swing back and forth. Why don't we just pause it on a frame where the arm is back right there and then adjust the arm swing so that's going to increase how far everything is swinging. But we also have this shoulder swing which actually doesn't affect this rig because we didn't use any shoulder structures when we built the character. It's not something that I really needed for this rig. If it was more advanced, this would be affecting that. But then we also have the arm softness. This is basically how much follow through an overlap is showing up as these arms are swinging. Let's see what it looks like at five percent, the default. We're actually getting a little bit of a snap there because it's starting at the front. But if I just offset this time forward, then the follow-through and overlap will already be there for the arm. Let's just preview this and there we go. We've got this nice flowy swinging motion. Now if I turn the softness up to say 15 percent , then we're going to get a lot more bend in everything. You see those hands are really flying back and forth. Maybe that's a little bit too soft. I'll just back that down to 10 percent and that'll probably give us a little swing on those hands and then finally we have the feet. This is going to change how far up the feet are rising off of the ground. I can increase that feet height and you see how that leg is being lifted up can also increase the foot rotation so that it rotates back further. Then this last parameter hit the ground is right here just before the foot hits the ground, you see how the toast swings up. If I increase this, you see how that backs up even further. It's basically how hard is your foot going to slap down on the ground as your character is walking. You can play around with all these parameters, get just the walk cycle that you're after its really robust and incredibly fun to just play around with. But it's never going to be able to work for every scenario. Most of the time you're still going to need to be able to know how to animate your own walk cycle and have very precise control over how your entire character is moving. But if you're working on a project where you just need somebody easily walking across the screen or maybe you have some background characters that aren't quite as important, they're not the focus of the animation. This is a huge time saver and perfectly acceptable. You can get away with a lot using this procedural walk cycle. The last thing I want to point out with all of this is that this general motion slider can be key framed. Let's say we want it to be key frame here and then for the next second, go down to zero. When I turn that to zero, you see how it goes back to its neutral position. I'm just going to drop this down a little bit so that the knees are just slightly bent. Select my walk cycle controller, impress you so I can see the key frames and then preview this. Just like that, my character walks to arrest. It's really incredible. At this point in the animation, I could grab the hand controllers, re-enable the IK switch, making sure that there's already a key frame for it and then just move the hands around again. I'll just enable this one and then I could animate this hand just like before. It's a really incredible tool and a lot of fun to play around with. 21. There's So Much More: Okay, we've reached the end of what I am going to be teaching in this class but I've got to tell you, we've barely scratched the surface of character rigging and all of the tools that you have access to in doing [inaudible]. It's really astonishing just how much is in this script that is 100% completely free to you. So, under create structures, obviously we only looked at the hominoid structures which are arms, the legs in the spine. But you can go into these and change the type of structures. So, if your character isn't human or supposed to be like a human, the technical term is plantiegrade, as you can see here. Maybe it's more like an animal, like a dog or a cat, or it has a hoof. There are options for all of these types of structures and these check boxes down here update as you click through them. So it's extremely customizable and there's also the tail structure which you can add and customize the number of layers for that structure or if none of those presets work, you can make custom structures and just completely build your rig structure from scratch. You could do this for things like hair or a cap coming off the characters neck and under the links and constraints we only talked about the auto -Rig and IK, add bones and zero but there are so many other options in here which are all really useful and by the way, this add bones button, this does more than just add bones to puppet pins. So, I'm just going to make a new [inaudible] quick and show you just being a 1920 by 1080, and I'll make a rectangle and just scale it down a little bit and then convert it to a Bezier path. If I have that path selected and I click on add bones, It's going to run a bunch of scripts and then it's going to give us bones for the actual vertices on that path. This is something that was added in, I think in CC 2018, the ability to control these vertices using nulls and expressions. But let me just undo that for a second and add in some tangents here. I'm just going to try and do this all once with my pen tool, that convert vertex tool. There we go. Another handles on everything, you can see them there. Someone, again select that path and say add bones, not only does it give us control over those vertices, but also the tangents and that add bones function automatically parented those tangents to the vertex so I could grab that and move it around and I can rotate it, which gives you so much more control over your vector paths that is pretty much impossible to do any other way. Prior to after effects CC 2018. But do it just makes it so simple to be able to just click one button and easily control those paths. That works with basically any special properties so even things like an emitter on a particle generator, you can add a bone to it, which will basically just parent the emitter to a structure that you can then parent to any other layer and have way more control over and under the automation tab, we just looked at the walk cycle, but there's a lot more in here. All of these tools are just under the first rigging section of Duik Bassel. There's also an animation tab which has some great tools for easing key frames, Being able to copy multiple key frames across multiple layers and duplicating them over, the're a camera tools. It is the most fully featured script I've ever seen for After Effects and it is 100% free. So, I am showing all of this to you to let you know that there's much more than what I am teaching you in this class to character rigging and you can learn a lot more about this online. My best advice to you is to just read the user guide that's on Duiks website and I'll put a link to that in the notes, the video right now. But you can also find other great tutorials online, searching on YouTube for Duik Bassel tutorials and even in my personal YouTube I'm planning to cover some more of these features like the connector right here. This is a really great tool for making head rigs or just getting certain elements to respond to other elements. A good example would be, say, a bicep on an arm when the arm bends, you want the bicep to flex. You can basically parent or connect that bicep, scaling up and down based on the rotation value of the elbow joint. There's just so much to do it. It's such a fun script to explore and learn more about and see what you can do with it. So I hope that from here you go on and you dig a little deeper and learn more about this script. 22. Thank You!: Congratulations, you made it to the end of this course and I know this was a massive amount of stuff to get through. So your brain's probably hurting. You should probably give yourself a pat on the back and go take a break from looking at the computer screen for so long. But I hope that you really have a good grasp of what's going on behind the scenes with character rigging, especially with Duik. Duik is such an amazing tool, and I want to take this opportunity just to give a huge thank you to Nicolas Dufresne, the creator of Duik. I'm supporting my just Duik shirt right now. I'm a huge, huge supporter of what he does, everything that he creates he shares and gives away for free. So I really want to encourage you if you've ever used Duik or if you feel like you're going to be using Duik in the future, especially if you're using it to make money, please consider donating to Nicolas either directly through his website or become a patron. I'm a patron for him on patrion and I'd give to him every single month because his tools have made my life easier as a motion designer. I'm going to put the links to both of those donation places in the notes of the video right now. Thank you so much for watching this entire course. I know it was a beast. I hope that you really got something out of it. Please let me know whether or not you liked it leave me review. Follow me here on skill share if you're not already and if you create something from this course, makes sure that you post it to the class project. And if you post it anywhere on social media, tag me at Jake in Motion so I can see it and like it and just leave you a comment. I really enjoy seeing my students work out there online. Thank you so much for taking this class, and I'll see you in the next one.