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AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation

COW Library : Adobe After Effects Tutorials : Andrew Devis : AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation
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CreativeCOW presents AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation -- Adobe After Effects Tutorial



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Standard character animation in After Effects uses a process called 'Forward Kinematics' in that we animate down a linked chain - for example, upper arm linked to forearm linked to hand. To get animation we need to move the items down the chain one at a time. Inverse Kinematics creates a link back up the chain such that moving the hand would also move the forearm and the upper arm without breaking that link. This is a simpler and easier to control form of animation often used in 3D programs such as C4D and 3ds max etc. and allows us to control the animation for the complete chain through a single controller.



Play Video Tutorial
To have IK inside of AE we are going to use a FREE script from DuDuf. This first tutorial goes through the process of downloading and installing the script in AE and then creating a very simple character, Forward Kinematics and then creating our first IK chain.

The second tutorial will create more IK chains as well as setting up various other controllers to be able to control our character simply and effectively.


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  Adobe After Effects Tutorials   •   Adobe After Effects Forum
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Re: AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation
by Alan Baker
Hi Andrew,

Your tutorials are so good. I'm new to AE 5.5 and beginning to explore the possibilities... I used to teach basic IT, MS Office, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Illustrator. And I appreciate a good teacher when I come across one. Your tutorials on IK (as others) are so clear and easy to follow. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to help those like me to develop our skills using this software.

I also love telling stories...

All the best.

Alan
Re: AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation
by Colin Darling-Hewitt
Oh scripts how I love thee.

Great tutorial Andrew!
Looking forward to the next one :)
@Colin Darling-Hewitt
by Andrew Devis
Hi Colin

I totally agree, it is an awesome script!! So very helpful and easy to use.

Also, part two is up already here http://library.creativecow.net/devis_andrew/AE_Inverse-Kinematic_2_300th/1 and I've also got a couple on creating a walk cycle to the beat of a music track up as well if you look out for those (links below).

http://library.creativecow.net/devis_andrew/AE_IK-Character-Animation_1/1

http://library.creativecow.net/devis_andrew/AE_IK-Character-Animation_2/1

All the best
Andrew

... because it's all about stories ...
Re: AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation
by Rob Bellon
Hey guys,

Andrew — great video. Looking forward to the next one!

This might be more relevant to the next one (when you do the full rig), but I made a DuIK reference guide to help me remember how to set up an entire rig. It also helps me visualize the relationships between the character's parts so I actually understand what's going on.

Camille — unfortunately it's meant for profile view too, so I'm not sure it would help with a front view of a guy going down stairs. But maybe it's at least conceptually useful?!…

Anyway, here's the link if you want to check it out: http://www.robbellon.com/2013/02/27/duik-for-after-effects-in-one-simple-in...

Hope it helps, and let me know if you have any questions!

Cheers!

-Rob
+1
@Rob Bellon
by Andrew Devis
Hi Rob

Brilliant! Thanks so much for posting the link :o) it's going to be very helpful for everyone using DuIK!

All the best
Andrew

... because it's all about stories ...
@Rob Bellon
by Greg West
Thanks Rob, gotta love the community aspect here.

greg

Greg West
Crew member TVCogeco (local cable)
Learning: AF & Motion 5
Re: AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation
by Camille Katz
Really cool tutorial. thanks a lot!
What I really want to do is make a picture of a guy run for a song of mine.
How best do you think I could do this?

Thanks
Camille
@Camille Katz
by Andrew Devis
Hi Camille, great to hear from you :o)

I am planning a tutorial to show exactly how to do this in AE. It may be a week or so before I get it up, but it should show the whole process for you.

The only thing to bear in mind to start with is that the guy should be 'broken up' into the parts that will animate. So, foot, shin, leg, body, arm, forearm, hand, pelvis, body, shoulders, neck & head. Then, you put him back together, move the anchor points for each layer to the place where they will rotate (ie ankle, knee, hit, wrist, elbow, shoulder etc) and then parent them up - foot to shin, shin to leg, leg to pelvis etc) and then you will be ready to animate.

Next, do what I show in the IK tutorials so that you have the IK links all set up (including on from shoulders to back to pelvis if you want the back to animate). Then you are ready for the actual animation which I will try and cover in the tutorial (I hope) which will include adding markers to audio files, things to think about with animation and a helpful expression.

So, get your man ready and watch this space.

All the best
Andrew

... because it's all about stories ...
@Andrew Devi
by Camille Katz
Hi Andrew,

That would be sooooo cool just what I need for my song!!
You are the best teacher. thanks so much!

I think the chopped up bits way will work for profile view but I'm not sure it will work for front view of a guy going down stairs or would it?

Do you think it would be possible to use a video of the running legs of one guy against a green screen and then mask out my other guy who can't bend his knees and connect the first guy's legs to him?

Sorry bothering you and I'll be waiting excitedly for your next tutorial.

Have a great week!

Camille


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