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What is a Duik Bassel & why do I need one?

This article is a combination of two past articles that have been updated to reflect changes in Duik.

What is a Duik Bassel?

Although not created for character animation, Adobe After Effects® has been adopted by many filmmakers to produce some excellent animated films. Duik Bassel is a free After Effects tool kit that offers many automated features to assist you in rigging puppets for character animation. Duik was created by Nicolas Dufresne (Nick-o-la Du-fren), also known as Duduf (Duik = DUduf IK), a French animator and filmmaker. He continues to work on new versions of this open-source software, which has brought many new features and improvements to Duik.

Duik 16 was released on the 9th of July, 2018, and its approach to rigging was radically changed. So much so, that Duduf has christened this new version with the name Duik Bassel. Duik Bassel is named in honor of Bassel Khatabil (a.k.a. Bassel Safadi), who was executed by the Syrian authoritarian government in 2015. Bassel was a software engineer who was a strong advocate for free open source software, as well as being an activist who believed that a peaceful Syrian revolution was possible

Why do I need one?

The 7 minute video below was created as part of a post announcing Duik Bassel’s release. It will give you a general overview of structures, but there is much more to Duik than that part of this incredible tool.

If you watched the video, you can see that Duik Bassel has much to offer. One of the features 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.

The addition of structures to the rigging process also makes it easier to modify and customize rigs. Duik has many other features related to rigging and animating, and my Duik Bassel Series will be sharing some of the tools I’ve found to be great time savers.

If you want to try it out yourself, use the link below to find out where you can get Duik Bassel.

1Of course, you may find yourself writing complex expressions for things not covered by Duik : )

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