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Woldemar Rozhkov
Woldemar Rozhkov

Joystick 'n Sliders 1.6.6: Tips and Tricks to Master Pose-Based Rigging in After Effects





Joystick 'n Sliders 1.6.6: A Pose-Based Rigging System for After Effects




If you are looking for a way to create and animate characters, shapes, masks, and more in After Effects with ease, you might want to check out Joystick 'n Sliders 1.6.6, the latest version of the industry standard pose-based rigging system for After Effects.




Joystick ‘n Sliders 1.6.6


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Joystick 'n Sliders is a plugin that lets you create joystick controllers and slider controllers that can interpolate between different poses of your layers. You can use these controllers to animate facial expressions, body movements, shape transformations, mask deformations, and more.


Joystick 'n Sliders has many features and benefits that make it a powerful and versatile tool for rigging and animation in After Effects. Some of these features are:


  • Realtime path shape rigging (only in CC2018 or later)



  • Switch templates for swapping assets



  • UI sliders for controlling sliders in the composition



  • Move controllers to parent or child compositions



  • Joystick EaseBias for adjusting easing



  • Compatibility with other rigging tools such as puppet pins, Limber, BAO Bones, PuppetTools, DUIK, and Rubber Hose



  • Compatibility with Bodymovin' for exporting animations as JSON files



Joystick 'n Sliders Joystick 'n Sliders is suitable for anyone who wants to create and animate characters, shapes, masks, and more in After Effects with ease. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, you can use Joystick 'n Sliders to create stunning animations with minimal keyframes and maximum control.


In this article, we will show you how to install and use Joystick 'n Sliders 1.6.6, as well as some tips and tricks to get the most out of it. Let's get started!


How to Install Joystick 'n Sliders 1.6.6




To install Joystick 'n Sliders 1.6.6, you need to download the plugin from aescripts.com, a website that offers a variety of scripts and plugins for After Effects and other creative software.


Once you have downloaded the plugin, you need to unzip the file and copy the folder named "Joysticks 'n Sliders" to the ScriptUI Panels folder of your After Effects installation. The location of this folder may vary depending on your operating system and version of After Effects, but you can usually find it in one of these paths:


  • Windows: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects \Support Files\Scripts\ScriptUI Panels



  • Mac OS: /Applications/Adobe After Effects /Scripts/ScriptUI Panels



After copying the folder, you need to restart After Effects and go to Window > Joysticks 'n Sliders to open the plugin panel. You should see something like this:


Congratulations, you have successfully installed Joystick 'n Sliders 1.6.6! Now let's see how to use it.


How to Use Joystick 'n Sliders 1.6.6




How to Create a Joystick Controller




A joystick controller is a layer that can control the position of another layer based on five keyframes: origin, right, left, top, and bottom extremes. You can use a joystick controller to animate facial expressions, body movements, shape transformations, mask deformations, and more.


To create a joystick controller, you need to follow these steps:


  • Select the layer that you want to control with the joystick. This layer should have at least one property that can be animated with keyframes, such as position, rotation, scale, opacity, etc.



  • Set up five keyframes for the origin and the four extremes of the joystick. For example, if you want to control the position of a layer, you can set up five keyframes for the center and the four corners of the composition.



  • Select all five keyframes and click on "Create Joystick" in the Joysticks 'n Sliders panel. This will generate a joystick controller on the stage with a circle shape and four arrows pointing to the extremes.



  • Move and scale the joystick controller as you wish. You can also rename it or change its color by selecting it and using the options in the panel.



  • To animate the layer with the joystick controller, simply move the circle shape inside the joystick area. You will see that the layer will interpolate between the five keyframes according to the position of the circle shape.



Here is an example of how to create a joystick controller for a character's head rotation:



As you can see, creating a joystick controller is very easy and intuitive with Joysticks 'n Sliders 1.6.6. But what if you want to swap assets according to the joystick's position? For example, what if you want to change the character's eyes or mouth depending on where they are looking? That's where switch templates come in handy.



How to Create a Switch Template




A switch template is a layer that can swap assets according to the position of a joystick controller. You can use a switch template to change the appearance of a character, shape, mask, or any other layer that has multiple variations.


To create a switch template, you need to follow these steps:


  • Create a new composition and name it as "Switch Template". This composition will contain all the assets that you want to swap.



  • Import or create the assets that you want to swap and place them in the Switch Template composition. Each asset should be on its own layer and aligned with the center of the composition. You can also rename the layers or change their colors as you wish.



  • Select the Switch Template composition in the Project panel and drag it to the main composition where you have your joystick controller.



  • Select the Switch Template layer and the joystick controller layer and click on "Create Switch" in the Joysticks 'n Sliders panel. This will generate a switch controller on the stage with a circle shape and four dots indicating the four extremes of the joystick.



  • Move and scale the switch controller as you wish. You can also rename it or change its color by selecting it and using the options in the panel.



  • To assign assets to the switch controller, simply drag and drop them from the Switch Template composition to the switch controller's circle shape. You will see that each asset will snap to one of the four dots according to its layer order. The first asset will snap to the origin dot, the second asset will snap to the right dot, the third asset will snap to the left dot, and the fourth asset will snap to the top dot. If you have more than four assets, you can use the arrow buttons in the panel to cycle through them.



  • To swap assets with the switch controller, simply move the joystick controller inside the switch area. You will see that the Switch Template layer will change according to the position of the joystick controller.



Here is an example of how to create a switch template for a character's eyes:



As you can see, creating a switch template is very easy and intuitive with Joysticks 'n Sliders 1.6.6. But what if you want to control more than one property of a layer with a single controller? For example, what if you want to control both the position and rotation of a layer with a slider? That's where slider controllers come in handy.



How to Create a Slider Controller




A slider controller is a layer that can control multiple properties of another layer based on multiple keyframes. You can use a slider controller to animate complex poses, transitions, effects, and more.


To create a slider controller, you need to follow these steps:


  • Select the layer that you want to control with the slider. This layer should have at least one property that can be animated with keyframes, such as position, rotation, scale, opacity, etc.



  • Set up multiple keyframes for the different poses that you want to control with the slider. For example, if you want to control the position and rotation of a layer, you can set up multiple keyframes for different angles and directions.



  • Select all the keyframes and click on "Create Slider" in the Joysticks 'n Sliders panel. This will generate a slider controller on the stage with a rectangle shape and a line indicating the range of the slider.



  • Move and scale the slider controller as you wish. You can also rename it or change its color by selecting it and using the options in the panel.



  • To animate the layer with the slider controller, simply move the rectangle shape along the line of the slider. You will see that the layer will interpolate between the multiple keyframes according to the position of the rectangle shape.



Here is an example of how to create a slider controller for a character's arm movement:



As you can see, creating a slider controller is very easy and intuitive with Joysticks 'n Sliders 1.6.6. But what if you want to control the sliders in the composition without having to select and move them manually? That's where UI sliders come in handy.



How to Use UI Sliders




UI sliders are user interface elements that can control the sliders in the composition without having to select and move them manually. You can use UI sliders to adjust the sliders in the composition with ease and precision.


To use UI sliders, you need to follow these steps:


  • Select the slider controllers that you want to control with UI sliders and click on "Create UI Sliders" in the Joysticks 'n Sliders panel. This will generate a new composition named "UI Sliders" with a slider effect for each slider controller.



  • Open the UI Sliders composition and adjust the slider effects as you wish. You can also rename them or change their colors by selecting them and using the options in the panel.



  • To control the sliders in the main composition with the UI sliders, simply drag the UI Sliders composition to the main composition and place it above all other layers. You will see that the slider controllers will move according to the values of the slider effects.



Here is an example of how to use UI sliders for a character's facial expressions:



As you can see, using UI sliders is very easy and intuitive with Joysticks 'n Sliders 1.6.6. But what if you want to move the controllers to another composition without losing their functionality? That's where the Move To Parent/Child Comp buttons come in handy.



How to Move Controllers to Parent or Child Compositions




Move To Parent/Child Comp buttons are buttons that can move the controllers to another composition without losing their functionality. You can use these buttons to organize your compositions and controllers in a hierarchical structure.


To use the Move To Parent/Child Comp buttons, you need to follow these steps:


  • Select the controllers that you want to move and click on the "Move To Parent Comp" button or the "Move To Child Comp" button in the Joysticks 'n Sliders panel. This will move the controllers to the parent composition or the child composition of the current composition, respectively.



  • If you want to move the controllers back to the original composition, simply select them and click on the same button again.



Here is an example of how to use the Move To Parent/Child Comp buttons for a character's body parts:



As you can see, using the Move To Parent/Child Comp buttons is very easy and intuitive with Joysticks 'n Sliders 1.6.6. But what if you want to animate shape layers and masks without needing to update path shapes? That's where path shape rigging comes in handy.



How to Use Path Shape Rigging




Path shape rigging is a feature that allows you to animate shape layers and masks without needing to update path shapes. You can use path shape rigging to create smooth and organic animations of shapes and masks with joystick controllers and slider controllers.


To use path shape rigging, you need to follow these steps:


  • Create a shape layer or a mask on a layer that you want to animate with path shape rigging. This layer should have a path property that can be animated with keyframes, such as the Path property of a shape layer or the Mask Path property of a mask.



  • Set up five keyframes for the origin and the four extremes of the joystick controller, or multiple keyframes for the different poses of the slider controller. For example, if you want to animate the path of a shape layer, you can set up five keyframes for the center and the four corners of the composition.



  • Select all the keyframes and click on "Create Joystick" or "Create Slider" in the Joysticks 'n Sliders panel. This will generate a controller on the stage as usual.



  • Select the controller and click on "Path Shape Rigging" in the Joysticks 'n Sliders panel. This will enable path shape rigging for the controller and the layer.



  • To animate the layer with path shape rigging, simply move the controller as usual. You will see that the path of the layer will change according to the position of the controller, without needing to update path shapes.



Here is an example of how to use path shape rigging for a character's mouth:



As you can see, using path shape rigging is very easy and intuitive with Joysticks 'n Sliders 1.6.6. However, this feature is only available in After Effects CC2018 or later. If you are using an older version of After Effects, you will need to update path shapes manually for each keyframe.



Tips and Tricks for Joystick 'n Sliders 1.6.6




Now that you know how to use Joystick 'n Sliders 1.6.6, you might want to learn some tips and tricks to get the most out of it. Here are some of them:


How to Use Joystick EaseBias




Joystick EaseBias is a feature that allows you to adjust the easing of the joystick interpolation. You can use Joystick EaseBias to create more natural and smooth animations with the joystick controller.


To use Joystick EaseBias, you need to follow these steps:


  • Select the joystick controller that you want to adjust and click on "Joystick EaseBias" in the Joysticks 'n Sliders panel. This will open a new window with a graph and a slider.



  • Adjust the slider to change the value of the EaseBias parameter. The value can range from -100 to 100, where -100 means no easing, 0 means linear easing, and 100 means full easing.



  • Observe how the graph changes according to the value of the EaseBias parameter. The graph shows how the joystick controller interpolates between the five keyframes according to the position of the circle shape. The more curved the graph is, the more easing there is.



  • Click on "Apply" to apply the changes to the joystick controller, or click on "Cancel" to discard them.



Here is an example of how to use Joystick EaseBias for a character's head rotation:



As you can see, using Joystick EaseBias is very easy and intuitive with Joysticks 'n Sliders 1.6.6. You can use it to fine-tune your animations and create more realistic and expressive movements with the joystick controller.


Here is an example of how to use Joysticks 'n Sliders with puppet pins for a character's hand movement:



As you can see, using Joysticks 'n Sliders with other rigging tools is very easy and intuitive with Joysticks 'n Sliders 1.6.6. You can use it to create more complex and dynamic animations with the combination of different tools.


How to Use Joysticks 'n Sliders with Bodymovin'




Bodymovin' is a plugin that allows you to export your animations as JSON files that can be played on web or mobile platforms. You can use Bodymovin' to create interactive and responsive animations that can be embedded in websites, apps, games, and more.


Joysticks 'n Sliders is compatible with Bodymovin', meaning that you can export your animations created with Joysticks 'n Sliders as JSON files that can be played on web or mobile platforms. For example, you can create a character animation with Joysticks 'n Sliders and export it as a JSON file that can be played on a website or an app.


To use Joysticks 'n Sliders with Bodymovin', you need to follow these steps:


  • Create and animate your layer with Joysticks 'n Sliders as usual.



  • Go to Window > Extensions > Bodymovin' to open the Bodymovin' panel.



  • Select the composition that contains your animation and click on the "Add" button in the Bodymovin' panel. This will add the composition to the render queue.



  • Click on the "Settings" button next to the composition name and adjust the settings as you wish. You can choose the destination folder, the file name, the output format, the quality, and more.



  • Click on the "Render" button in the Bodymovin' panel. This will export your animation as a JSON file that can be played on web or mobile platforms.



Here is an example of how to use Joysticks 'n Sliders with Bodymovin' for a character animation:



As you can see, using Joysticks 'n Sliders with Bodymovin' is very easy and intuitive with Joysticks 'n Sliders 1.6.6. You can use it to create interactive and responsive animations that can be played on web or mobile platforms.


Conclusion




In this article, we have shown you how to install and use Joystick 'n Sliders 1.6.6, a pose-based rigging system for After Effects. We have also shown you some tips and tricks to get the most out of it.


Joystick 'n Sliders 1.6.6 is a powerful and versatile tool that lets you create and animate characters, shapes, masks, and more in After Effects with ease. You can use joystick controllers and slider controllers to interpolate between different poses of your layers. You can also


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