Breakdown of a character animation – Acting

I’ve just finished a new character animation from an illustration by Justine Cunha.
I’ve recorded this three-hour animation work (excluding character rigging). Here’s the accelerated video – three hours compressed in 8 minutes – and a few explanations about the different steps of my animation process for an acting like this in After Effects with Duik. You can watch the finished animation at the end of the video or in the end of this post.

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Designing Duik 16 icons: “My” theory

The “My” word in this title might sound a bit arrogant, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Read next…
Working with icons is new for me – the icons of the previous versions of Duik were not designed by myself – and I discovered how hard it can be to design icons which are: intuitive, clearly “readable” – even when they’re as tiny as only 14 pixels wide – and beautiful. Yes, I’m trying to make Duik16 at least a bit less ugly than Duik15, but this is a bonus, I’m actually working really hard to make it intuitive and quick and easy-to-use.

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Behind the scenes: From illustration to animation!

I’ve been very happy to work on Justine Cunha’s wonderful illustrations recently, and I’m going to share my process with you. What’s interesting is that those characters were… Well, illustrations. They were not meant to be animated at all, so it could be a bit tricky to adapt them. The technique I used, Duik in After Effects, seems to be one of the easiest way to do this, animate illustrations, without having to adapt the style.

What’s great with animation in After Effects, is that you work on the actual illustrations, you don’t have to re-draw them. This means they can be very detailed, with textures, shadows and small details, which would be impossible if you had to draw each frame by hand like with more traditional 2D animation.

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Easily transcode any media to any format using FFmpeg

When working in motion pictures, it can be a big pain to export/transcode/deliver medias in some formats, and the transcoding process itself can take a very long time. FFmpeg – a cross-platform free software – can help you a lot: it’s lightning fast, and supports any formats you may need, even proRes on Windows platforms for instance. Using it may seem difficult as it’s a command line tool, but I’m explaining here how to easily and efficiently use it!

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Using the command line on Windows

We’re all used to using the mouse and nice user interfaces when working on a computer, but sometimes using a command line can be very useful! For instance, it’s the best way to encode videos and audio using the excellent FFmpeg, or using the command line renderer of After Effects. I’m going to explain here the basics of the command line on Windows.

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