In this tutorial, Ben Pohl shows you how to use the automatic, procedural walk cycles of iExpressions with an After Effects character rigged with DuiK.

DuiK is a very powerful tool to rig and animate characters in After Effects. But creating walk cycles with DuiK is usually a tedious, manual process. But with the procedural, automatic walk cycles of iExpressions your characters walk fully automatically. Just animate the position of the character and the walk cycle iExpression moves the the legs and arms accordingly! Of course, you also have many options to influence the style of the walk cycle.

By default iExpressions walk cycles only control the position of the hands and feet. But for even more realistic results, with our just released update the automatic walk cycle can also control the rotation of hands and feet and even animate DuiK's dedicated heel raising controls.

Apart from the technical aspects, Ben also talks about his experience with iExpressions walk cycles in client projects. In particular how it helped him not only to animate much faster, but also react much more flexible on client feedback.

iExpressions Walk Cycles with DuiK - Key Points

  • For an overview of iExpressions walk cycles, see this tutorial and this tutorial series (in particular part 3)
  • When applying the walk cycle iExpressions, do not just select the controller layers. Instead, select the actual properties of the layers that should be controlled by the walk cycle, i.e.
    • position and rotation foot controllers and
    • position and rotation of hand controllers (if hands should move with the walk cycle)
    • DuiK's foot roll properties (if your character supports foot roll).
    This is necessary because by default, iExpressions applies the walk cycle only to the position of the controllers. By selecting rotation and foot roll explicitly, iExpressions will control those properties, too.
  • When you have a character with heel raising controls, in the iExpression parameters choose one of the walk cycles labeled with "no heel raising". Otherwise you will get both the heel raising of the heel raising controller and an additional heel raising integrated in the movement of the foot controller.
  • Make sure to update your iExpressions library! The heel raising features have just been added in the iExpressions library 4.01 of iExpressions V2. If you have an older version, please make sure to update (automatic update is available in the iExpressions settings).

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