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If you’re animating, and you don’t have Duik you’re wasting your time.

Duik is a piece of software / plugin for After Effects that is invaluable in any animation, especially with characters.

It allows you to rig characters and focus on the animation, instead of wrestling with layers to try and do what you want. That’s all well and good (and it is very good), but it also includes some little scripts that are absolute lifesavers – (well timesavers anyway).

One of our favourites is the ‘Spring’ tool. This automatically adds “bounce” to your animation, based on the layer’s movement. Allowing you to get nice eases, and add life to your animations with the click of a button (and some minor tweaking to the settings – the defaults never seem right to me).

In the example above, the effect is applied to the grasshopper’s antenna and body.

It’s also useful on non-character pieces, we sprinkled it quite liberally over the new homepage’s background video (the one with the circles and squares bobbing about).

I’m not going to go into everything that Duik can do. Firstly because I don’t have the time; but most importantly, it’s so packed with stuff I’ve yet to touch half of it. One thing I will point out which will definitely, 100% save ALL after effects animators time (and therefore money) is the “Copy Anim” and “Paste Anim” buttons. These do what they say on the tin …but… they do it over multiple layers at once.

You’re absolutely right. It shouldn’t be a big deal; and after effects should be able to do that anyway.

But it is, because it can’t.

The truth is, there’s a boatload of features in Duik that are worth having, the fact that they’re all bundled together in a free package is just the developers spoiling us.