after effects Tutorial

Using the Pick Whip Tool & Character Rigging

Michael Lembree
|3 min read
Written by Michael Lembree

In this After Effects tutorial, Michael Lembree goes over how to use the pick whip tool to rig a character, use the anchor tool to correct points so limbs work properly, and how to use the rotation tool to animate characters.

All right guys. So today I'm going to teach you how to animate using the Pick Whip tool and the basic rotation features.

I would not recommend using this as a main form of animation because it's very clunky and doesn't give you very good results.

But in order to begin, got my little guy here and my after effects file ready. And what you're going to want to use right here is the pick whip tool. And what's that going to do? It's going to attach all the little bits and pieces of our guy together. So you're going to want to basically sew them together using this thing, going up from the left arm to the bicep, and then to the torso. Repeat that step with the rest of the limbs, get those all nice and secure; getting that left shin to the left thigh. I think there was a song about this at one point; we learned it in elementary school; right shin to right thigh, get that to torso and the head to the torso as well, just so everything's all together. And you can kind of test that, select everything... Or actually just select the torso here.

And I like to do a quick little rotation. Set this a little bit here to 90 real quick, and you can see everything kind of moved with it. So everything connected perfectly. My guy's moving around very clinically.

Next up. What I'm going to end up doing is I'm going to use a tool called the Anchor tool, because I need to get those anchors to the points where the actual pivot's going to happen. This tool was my friend for this first little bit. Move them as close as you can to the actual joints; move them to the elbows, and the shoulders right now and the arms, like so. And then move the hips and the knees on the legs. And then if you'd like, you can also move the head down to the neck, give yourself a little bit of side to side motion there. Not much head animation when it comes to a stick figure, but all in all it's going to be just fine.

All right. And now you can use the basic rotation tool in order to set different things, different angles of rotation that you would like for your files.

That's a very basic version of how to animate using nothing but the Pick Whip tool, the Anchor tool, and your basic rotation features.

Thanks for watching guys.


motion design
after effects

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