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Modifying Stickman, part 4:
Rigging artwork for body rotation

In this final installment of the four part series about rigging Stickman for a body turn, we will modify Stickman’s artwork to coordinate its visibility with the previous video’s rigging of the joint nulls. The process involves duplicating the limb layers, rearranging the layer stack order, and then adding some basic expressions to control when duplicates and originals are visible. By building these expression triggers based on whether the sliders are returning negative or positive values,  we can automatically control the opacity properties of Stickman’s limbs which will give the illusion that he is turning or rotating his body.

Important: If you completed the Modifying Stickman, part 2: Time remapping foot animation you can use that file instead of the work files offered below. Save a backup before proceeding with this tutorial, then save a copy of your finished work as it will be built upon in the following tutorials. Alternatively, you can download the work files available on each tutorial page. The After Effects files were created in version 16 (After Effects 2019).

Duik Bassel: Modifying artwork for Body Rotation

Modifying Stickman, part 4: Rigging artwork for body rotation

Downloadable work files: This 315 KB zip file contains the Adobe Illustrator file Stickman 3.0 and the Adobe After Effects (v. 16) File Stickman MS4. The After Effects file is rigged up to the point where I stopped in the last tutorial.

Modify Stickman 4 (315 KB zip) Project Files

Video content:
  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 00:47 Selecting, duplicating, & arranging the artwork layers
  • 03:07 Coding the R Hand layer opacity property (Includes an animated diagram explaining opacity switching)
  • 05:38  Connecting artwork related to R Hand Layer
  • 06:20 Coding the duplicate R Arm layers & test Right Arm
  • 09:47 Coding the Right & Left Legs
  • 12:52 Clean up foot & hand zero layers
  •  13:17 Closing with animated examples
  •  14:20 Credits

Code from the video

The code below is provided as a reference, and was copied directly from the video After Effects file. Expression fields that contained only a pick whip connection are not included.

R Hand original layer opacity property

S=thisComp.layer("Body Turn").effect("X Arm Movement")("Slider");
if(S>=0){
   Tr=100;
}else{
   Tr=0;
}
Tr

R Hand duplicate opacity property

S=thisComp.layer("Body Turn").effect("X Arm Movement")("Slider");
if(S<0){
   Tr=100;
}else{
   Tr=0;
}
Tr

L Foot composition original layer opacity property

S=thisComp.layer("Body Turn").effect("X Leg Movement")("Slider");
if(S>=0){
   Tr=100;
}else{
   Tr=0;
}
Tr

L Foot composition duplicate opacity property

S=thisComp.layer("Body Turn").effect("X Leg Movement")("Slider");
if(S<0){
   Tr=100;
}else{
   Tr=0;
}
Tr
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