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DuIK frustration - Puppet distortion

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Tom HawcroftDuIK frustration - Puppet distortion
by on Sep 18, 2014 at 11:43:30 pm


I hope the sages of the forums can come to my aid once more...

Created a segmented puppet in Photoshop, then imported to AE to set up the hierarchies and eventually IKs with duik. I had to do a bit of manipulation of the scale with limbs (prior to parenting), duplication too (original leg duplicated to make the opposite side, same with the arm), ensuring all have different layer names.

Infuriatingly after all this, if I rotate the leg 90 degrees it squashes and becomes shortened. And if I create an IK chain it jumps slightly, and the controller doesn't stick to the ankle as it should it just floats away when moved around. Same does not happen on the arms!

Could this be because I altered the scale of the original psd pieces? That it's in a pre comp? Pixel aspect ratio...?

Life throws these challenges at us, but I need outside help!

Many thanks in advance for any advice...


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Dave LaRondeRe: DuIK frustration - Puppet distortion
by on Sep 19, 2014 at 12:30:19 am
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Sep 19, 2014 at 12:49:04 am

If you put the scaled body parts in a nested comp, it should behave like any other of the layers. AE won't see scaling, just a layer.

And when doing work of this kind, you should ALWAYS work in square pixels. Doing anything else simply makes for unncessary complications. Save the Pixel Aspect Ratio stuff for the very end.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: DuIK frustration - Puppet distortion
by on Sep 19, 2014 at 8:15:24 am

I always prep my puppets in PSD before going to AE. However, as Dave said, a precomped layer should not throw off your parenting - that is unless the precomp has a different size that the layer, in which case it will mess up your parenting. If your layers where imported cropped to the size of the objects in them and you precomped at the full size of your frame than you will have these issues.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Tom HawcroftRe: DuIK frustration - Puppet distortion
by on Sep 19, 2014 at 11:50:02 am

Hi Dave, Ted,

I think I've figured it out, feel a little embarrassed to take up your time but it may be useful to others so here goes:

The problem is not DUIK, it seems to have been caused by scaling the pieces and then parenting them together. Once in AE I realised some segments were not quite right, so for instance I scaled a thigh segment to 115% x 80% which looked fine, but when rotated these proportions seem to affect the child layers so that they become warped.

This free video explains it pretty well:

You can use a null object in the middle of a hierarchy to soak up the non-uniform scale properties of a parent. Not sure that would be the best solution for a puppet however.

I guess the lesson here is to make sure your proportions are spot on BEFORE you import into After Effects. I think I'll have to create an image sequence and then import it back in, then rename it all, redo the anchor points, etc etc...

Many thanks for your help, as always much appreciated.


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