after effects Tutorial

After Effects: Leg Rig with DUIK

Carter Sheffield
|5 min read
Written by Carter Sheffield

In this After Effects tutorial, Carter Sheffield covers how DUIK works and how to rig a simple leg.


Today, we're going to show you guys how to use Duik. So I have a character already brought in. I'm just going to rig his leg to be quick about it. So, one thing I recommend starting out is, obviously, you got to have all your layers kind of pieced out. This guy's pretty well done, I mean if I don't say so myself.

But anyway, so you put the shy mode on the ones you're working and it makes it a lot easier to find What you're working on. So this is just the left leg, and that'd be stage left, not character left. Okay. So what is Duik? Duik stands for, well, I don't know what the DU stands for, but I know that the IK is inverse kinematics. And what that means is the traditional parenting that you have when you just do this and say this... So this is parented to the shoe now. That's forward kinematics, so what that means is that the bone lower in the chain has no effect on the bones higher in the chain. Only the higher bones up affect the lower bones.

And so that's forward kinematics, but inverse kinematics is exactly what it sounds like. Inverse. So the lowest bone in the chain actually affects the rest of the bones in the chain. I mean, so, yeah. All right. So to get this open, we're going to go over to our window and go to Duik. Duik Basil is the newest version, so open up Duik. It comes up with this. I usually just close this.

We go to rigging. Go to create structures. And then I like to unclick anything that you have selected, and then just add whatever you're working on in this case. I mean, if you had a full humanoid, which we do, but I'm not going to rig that full thing, this comes out with the full skeleton. It'll automatically create a full skeleton. Then you can just align up these points with what they belong to, so when you get right arm, left arm, right arm, left arm, Right forearm, left forearm, and you have a spine right here. I shouldn't have done that. It's going to take a long time. It took a little bit longer than I thought. Anyways, so I'm just going to do a leg because I'm keeping this a little bit simple.

So it's creating the leg, and I might have one too many bones on there. Let's see. Because I have the shorts, then I have the leg. That's to the shoe and that's for the toes. He doesn't have toes. We can try it with this. Let's try it. So just line this up to wherever you think the leg would start. On this guy, I'm just going to put him up just a little bit higher than his actual shorts go.

Then you just move this guy to where the beginning of your next piece starts. You grab the next one in the chain. Move that down. Do the same for this guy. And if you have a heel, this is for heel roll. I haven't used that one yet, so I'm not too familiar with it. Then what you do, as you highlight all of these, go up here, and then if you were doing this, the whole thing, you would just highlight the whole skeleton. Go into here, go to autorig. This will create controls for this system. And the controls are really what you're going to be using to animate. You're not actually going to be clicking on the bones.

So once these are made, sorry, you want to, I like to shy them after you parent these, so you're going to want to parent the leg and all the things that you need to the particular piece that goes with it. So this one would go to the thigh, and you have the leg that goes to the calf. Then you have the shoe. It goes to the foot. Now, this is when you want to... Actually, I like to hide these on the screen, too, because they just kind of clutter everything up.

If you move this, there you go. See how it's coming, how you can control it with just... So you're moving, and right now I have it on stretch, but you can control the whole foot from the bottom bone. Instead of trying to manipulate this in a way that you'd have to start up here, then do this one, then do this one. Next frame. Adjust, adjust, adjust. This is a much more efficient way of creating either a walk cycle or whatever you're animating. If you want to do a kick, you're like, "Yah." And then you just kick him and then you'd have to rotate this. Wait, that was the wrong button. You'd have to rotate it. That would get your foot. So, yeah, if you're kicking. "Hiya." Boom. Kicked. Okay. You guys get the point. All right, guys. So that's pretty much it. You just follow the same steps.


motion design
after effects

Support Us

If this project file helped you at all, feel free to give us a tip.