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AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation PT 2

COW Library : Adobe After Effects Tutorials : Andrew Devis : AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation PT 2
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CreativeCOW presents AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation PT 2 -- 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 way to control animation and is 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.



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In the previous tutorial we set up a single IK chain, but in this follow on tutorial we set up multiple chains and then an additional series of controllers so that the item we are animating can be quickly moved and rotated as needed both as a single item and with the individual IK chains.

A copy of the completed project in CS5.5 and CS6 is included with this project.


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Re: AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation PT 2
by Ionut Bondoc
Andrew,
Some really nice tutorials you do on CreativeCow and i want to show you my appreciations.

I was recently watching on video tutorial you've made and i wanted to ask you if you would not like to use some of our vector files from VectorVice.com for your animation tutorials. We will offer them for free so you will have them for creating your awesome tutorials on CreativeCow.

Please have a look on our website and let us know if you like them.

Best regards,
Ionut from VectorVice.com
Re: AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation PT 2
by Andrew Devis
I've uploaded an image of what I think the problem is. In CS6 there is a button you can click in the timeline panel that disables live updates (no longer in CC). I suspect you have clicked this button by mistake. So, if you click it again you should be able to see the changes you are making as you make them.

If the image isn't showing let me know.
All the best
Andrew



... because it's all about stories ...
Re: AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation PT 2
by Gerald Hapeman
VERY SORRY to bother you... but I gave up animation and Duik for some time as I'm just overly frustrated. I'm trying it again and up to the point of using the null controller (foot) to move the entire leg, but it's not moving as gracefully and fluidly as it should. It's very choppy when I move it and thus impossible to animate as I move the null controller, the leg catches up later in a choppy move. I'm even using low res just in case, changing to auto bezier, etc, trying to just find something to make this simple move... simple! HELP!? I think it's just something I have to turn on or off to get back the fluid movement?!
Re: AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation PT 2
by Joseph Urso
Thanks Andrew for the excellent tut. I use AE on a daily basis and this has to be one of the coolest things I've ever created! I used cutouts images of a standard wooden artist's dummy to make the body parts instead of shape objects and the results were fantastic. Thanks again.
+1
@Joseph Urso
by Andrew Devis
Hi Joseph

It if for feedback like yours that I do these tutorials! I am really pleased to hear how well you're getting on with the fantastic DuIK script and producing really cool results - :o)

Thanks for stopping by the COW and letting me know - it is greatly appreciated.

All the best
Andrew

... because it's all about stories ...
Re: AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation PT 2
by Gerald Hapeman
No. The same. Frustrated. I even wrote him in his comment section and asked what could be the problem, but as I hit sent, it wouldn't send and said that function no longer works and erased my message without warning me to sign up first or...?

One thing I did notice while watching his video is that when he creates his Null Controllers (such as in the foot) and in your tut video, it creates an additional 'footgoal' layer and hides the original... but in his tut, that doesn't happen at all. Maybe it's an older version, I don't know. Either way... My legs and arms IK won't stay attached to the body when I move the body or master null. What could be the problem. I've rearranged the the parenting of the controllers in various ways to see if that would work and I still get the same exact results. These are not Shape layers, but PS layers cut up from a digital painting I did. The shape layers work exactly, so I'm doing things correctly, but not on the PS file. What's up please!? Should I post a video of it?
@Gerald Hapeman
by Andrew Devis
Hi Gerald

Sorry for the slow reply, I've been out training all day!

Could it be an FK problem? What I mean is have you checked your parenting strucker? Are the arms parented to the body? Check your layers are parented properly and also check that your anchor points are in the correct place for each layer.

See how you get on with that.
All the best
Andrew

... because it's all about stories ...
@Andrew Devi
by Gerald Hapeman
Thanks Andrew. (And Rob did write me back - mentioned everything you did and are things I did investigate, but said he was, as I know you are too, a bit too busy too help) So I can't thank you enough, and Rob, for at least getting back with me.

I did post a video of the problem to get a better idea. Mind you - I created a character as you did in your tut completely out of Shape Layers only and did not have this problem. I've checked and rechecked and then rearranged stacking, parenting, etc etc to see what would work. At one point, in one mixture, I finally got the arms to stick to the body, but the hands were then (though still attached) remained frozen in place, creating a new problem) I don't know. If you look at the video, I've moved things around in terms of parenting. Plus, I uploaded the highest quality video and for some reason, the quality is quite poor. Maybe you'll see something I don't!?

https://vimeo.com/64816819
@Gerald Hapeman
by Gerald Hapeman
And P.S. You'll see how I parented (as part of trying different things) on the video, the C_Legs and C_Arms to the C_Body as opposed to the C_Master - as either way, gave me the same results.

IK chain checks out. Hand to forearm to upper arm to body.
@Andrew Devi
by Gerald Hapeman
Hey Andrew... Sorry for the onslaught of replies, but I think I have it working. Call it an AE bug or... well, I really don't know. Many thanks Andrew. Many!
@Gerald Hapeman
by Andrew Devis
Hi Gerald

No problem, just get back in touch if I can help.
All the best
Andrew

... because it's all about stories ...
Re: AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation PT 2
by Andrew Devis
Hi Gerald

Have you seen this post by Rob Bellon in the comments for part 1? http://www.robbellon.com/2013/02/27/duik-for-after-effects-in-one-simple-in... It is a great place to start to make sure you've got everything connected up correctly. Start by working through that and see how you get on. If you still have issues we can go from there.

All the best
Andrew

... because it's all about stories ...
Re: AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation PT 2
by Gerald Hapeman
Having a bit of a problem with the IK chain moving everything seamlessly with the 'Body' Null. When I did this with just the shape layers, following your tut, everything works fine and the arms and legs stay tight to the body. But I have a paper cut animation character, PS file, where I applied everything precisely, but when I move either the Body null or the Master null, the arms and legs move, but don't stay tight to the body and flop all over the place. What can I do or what am I doing wrong!? I could send you the file... Really appreciate your help... Otherwise, my walk cycle will be quite painful to get thru!!! Many thanks!!


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