I've spend some time experimenting with character animation in AE, using Duik to prepare IK rigs. I wonder if it isn't simpler to create characters in a free program like Daz Studio or Blender and import videos from there into AE for compositing and other effects. Anyone tried this?
Well, traditionally that's how it's done. With 3d you need to have a comping program for total control, but you would render out image sequences (never JPG) to import into ae. What is this Duik you speak of? In AE the characters are limited to 2d space, no depth, in 3d it's a whole new world out there and you'll spend a lot of time just modeling your characters before you get into rigging and animation. If you are new to the world of 3d I suppose Daz could be enough for you but I have no Idea what the animating process is, and I just though it worked with poser creating poses but I haven't seen it in a long time. I use Maya but I don't model characters nor do I make rigs, I model/animate objects badly as I focus on lighting, textures, rendering and comping.
With Blender there are a ton of tutorials and it would also provide you with more advanced features like fog or fire.
Hope this shines a light!
I thought you could import a 3D model into AE. I'm a newbie so maybe that is wrong. I know I've read tutorials on creating a 3D set by setting various planes as floors and walls. Programs like Maya are great, but very complex and I'm hoping to devise an easier way of animating some characters.