We’ve recently run a crowdfunding campaign to develop and improve the Rainbox Open Tools: new free and open source tools for film and animation production.
The campaign has ended in June, and we’ve raised 26.000€, 185% of the initial goal, which means we’re now able to develop very advanced tools!
There are a lot of things we can and we want to develop. What we’re going to achieve depends primarily on how much we have raised during this crowdfunding campaign. We’ve reached the level III, which means most of the features will be developed, and just a few more advanced tools will be more difficult or take more time to develop, those which were planned at level IV.
DUIK Bassel.3: New evolution with new features
Duik Bassel is the most used and famous software we’ve already developed, a script bringing character rigging to After Effects and easing character animation (and animation in general).
After the first and second updates of Duik Bassel, here comes the third! The two first ones where developed voluntarily by Duduf, this one will be much bigger. Let’s fund it!
Current version: Duik Bassel.2
– After Effects/Windows
– After Effects/Mac OS
- The Kleaner Redux, animation made easy! A new version of the already very powerful Kleaner tool: more intuitive and easier to use, with more possibilities.
The Kleaner is a tool which automatically cleans your keyframes and animation. With this new version, you’ll just have to adjust some parameters like the weight of the object, add some friction, add some energy, and the Kleaner will automatically adjust the animation for you, based on simple keyframes where you don’t need to manually adjust the interpolations anymore.
The Kleaner will also include “behaviors”, like wiggle, swing, blink… which previously were separated tools in Duik. Now they will be assembled in the Kleaner so you can easily combine them together, and automatically control everything with the same simple settings.
The Kleaner will also include more advanced tools, like new keyframe interpolation types for more advanced animators (yes, we’ve found better solutions than Bézier curves).
- Make Duik smarter: there are a lot of fields where Duik can be smarter. What if it could be better at naming your layers and recognizing them by their names? What if it could automatically set the Left/Right or Front/Back names of the limbs of the characters and better rig them accordingly? What if it could parent the layers or the puppet pins in your rig in a faster, more automatic way? These are just a few examples of a lot of improvements which can be done to make it even easier and quicker to use.
- Structure improvements: we’re going to add more predefined Structures, along with the corresponding adjustments to the auto-rig, to quickly rig hair, fishes, quadrupeds, snakes, insects…. And a way to create your own Structure templates along with your own auto-rig instructions.
- An Onion Skin for After Effects: Duik will include a simple onion skin for your compositions in After Effects, with nice and easy controls to adjust it as you need.
- And of course, there’s going to be a lot of tweaks and improvements to the way Duik works and its UI, along with under the hoods fixes to improve stability, maintenance, and performance.
- Rigging Wizard: a step-by-step wizard to help you rig your characters very easily and quickly. This comes with an exporter for Illustrator, Photoshop, Krita and probably Inkscape and The Gimp too. You will be able to prepare the character in your favorite design software, including adding the pivots of the limbs, and the exporter will prepare everything for you and export the needed separated parts into an open format which could then be used in Duik Bassel and Duik for Blender, which will be able to automatically rig them.
- Animation Blender improvement: The animation Blender as it is today is a nice concept, but we fell it’s still too limited. We want it to work with any property even if it already has expressions, and to be more intuitive. We want it to be a full featured non linear editor for animations.
- Connector improvements: There’s still room to make the connector better and smarter. We want to implement new ways of linking properties together, and we’re also going to add the ability to easily connect properties to sounds, depending on the frequency and/or the volume.
- UI Improvements: The UI of Duik can still be modernized, and will need to be renovated to include all these new features. We’re going to work on it to make it the most intuitive possible for beginners, and quick to use fore more advanced users, while keeping it as small and discreet as possible to let you focus on your design and animation.
- Procedural animations: improving the existing walk cycle animation and adding new procedural and automatic animations like run cycles or walk cycles for animals. The controls for these animations can also be improved and made more intuitive and precise, with the ability to transition from one animation to another!
- Remove tool: it’s always been complicated to undo or modify rigs made with Duik. We’re going to implement a tool to remove Duik effects more easily.
- Animation library: export and store your animations in a nice library, and re-import them on the same or other characters.
- Expression baker: when the project becomes too heavy or if you need to export to Json via Bodymovin for example, it could be nice to remove expressions and rigs and convert them to keyframes. After Effects can do that, but it creates one key per frame in the composition. Duik will include an advanced algorithm to re-create an animation as close as possible from the result of the expression, but with as few keyframes as possible, precisely adjusting the interpolations to match the expression when possible.
We need to get to the fourth level to be able to develop the most complex feature, but also one of the most opening one: the ability to import and export a rigged character (along with its animation) in an open format which could be used in Blender for example, or a game engine like Unity, etc.
Don’t hesitate to use the comments below if you have any suggestion. We’re open to all ideas! These will be your tools too, so let’s shape them together!
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