Introduction to Duik, or
what is a Duik & why do I need one?
Although not created for character animation, Adobe After Effects® has been adopted by many filmmakers to produce some excellent animated films. Duik Tools is a free After Effects script that offers many automated features to assist you in rigging puppets for character animation. Duik was created by Nicolas Dufresne, also known as Duduf (Duik = DUduf IK), a French animator and filmmaker. He, and several others, continue to work on new versions of this open-source software, which has brought many new features and improvements to Duik.
While Duik has much to offer, the feature that makes Duik an indispensable tool for rigging puppets is its ability to apply inverse kinematics (IK) to puppet rigs. If you attempt to manually code this kind of rigging with After Effects expressions you’ll need some advanced coding skills and a hefty bit of time. Duik simplifies the process by giving you some sophisticated control over your puppet construction without sweating the need to write complex expressions1. You can rig an entire puppet automatically, once you do some preliminary setup work, or rig body parts separately to customize your puppet’s build.
Duik has many other features related to rigging and animating.
Duik is free, but if you find it useful, I encourage you to donate what you feel is right (or a token amount if funds are short) to allow Duduf to develop Duik further. Donations can be given through Rainbox Productions, a cooperative formed by Duduf and Mickaël Carton.