Create structures

Warning

Never duplicate nor copy and paste Structures in After Effects, always create new Structures or use the Duplicate button in the Structures panel of Duik.

Internal unique identifiers are associated with the Structures, which won’t be updated when you copy or duplicate the Structures in After Effects. The Auto-rig and other rigging tools in Duik need these identifiers to work correctly and may fail if they are not set properly. The Duplicate tool does this.

Icon Hominoid

This tool will create Structures for a complete hominoid with a spine, two legs and two arms, using the settings of the individual limbs set in the Structures panel.

Note

Hominoids (Hominoidea) are a branch of tailless anthropoid primates native to Africa and Southeast Asia. They are distinguished from other primates by a wider degree of freedom of motion at the shoulder joint. There are two extant branches of the superfamily Hominoidea: the gibbons, or lesser apes; and the hominids, or great apes (orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, humans).

Hint

[ Alt + Click ] on the button for a demo of what Duik can do!

Types of walking animals

The rig, and the animation, of the animal you’re working on depends a lot on how it walks. There are three main ways of walking among vertebrates.

Type Description Examples Notes
Plantigrade Animals which put the whole foot on the ground, with the heel touching the ground when they walk. Primates, bears, rabbits… The ones nearly equal to humans.
Digitigrade Animals which walk on their fingers. Dogs and all canines, cats and other felines, dinosaurs, walking birds… The friends of humans.
Ungulate Animals which walk on the tip of their fingers, who usually have hoofs. Horses, cattle, girafes, pigs, deers, camels, hippopotamuses… The ones humans eat.

For each limb you can create with Duik, you have to choose the type of walking animal it is (for arms and legs), and which parts of the limbs must be created.

Arm

Creates a Structure for the arm or the front leg of a quadruped.

Click the ○ button to adjust the settings for the arm.

You can check which part of the limb is present on your character. The autorig will adapt to every configuration, but using all of them (except for claws when rigging humans) can ensure a nice rig and a more realistic animation.

Arm Animation
Animation by Jissse

Leg

Creates a Structure for the (rear) leg of a biped or a quadruped.

Click the ○ button to adjust the settings for the leg.

The autorig will adapt to every configuration, but using all of them can ensure a nice rig and a more realistic animation (with a proper foot roll).

Spine

Creates a Structure for the spine of any vertebrate.

Click the ○ button to adjust the settings for the spine.

You can check which part of the spine is present on your character. You can divide the spine and the neck in as many layers as you want (or none). The autorig will adapt to every configuration.

Tail

Create a Structure for the tail of any animal.

Click the ○ button to adjust the settings for the tail.

You can divide the tail in as many layers as you want. The autorig will adapt to every configuration.

Fish illustration
Illustration by Jissse
With tails, you can even rig fishes very easily.

Tip

In the Autorig options, you can choose between rigging tails using Bezier IK controls or FK (with automatic follow through and overlap) controls. The latter achieves a natural motion more easily, but IK could be needed in some cases, like if the tail interacts with anything else.

Custom Structure

Creates a standard, custom Structure.

You can set the number of elements in the Structure, and choose a name for it.