Controller Tools

controllers pannel
This is the Controllers panel in Normal mode.

select controller icon Select Controllers

Click the Select controllers button to select all the Controllers in the composition.

show controller icon Show / Hide Controllers

Shows or hides all (or selected) Controllers found in the composition.

If there is no layer selected, this will show of hide all Controllers in the composition, or else it will use the layer selection.

extract controller icon Extract Controllers

In most cases, it is easier to have rigs (for characters or other items) in their own precompositions, but this is not the most handy way to animate, especially when you have several characters in the same shot or if you need to see the background.

To avoid assembling all the rigs and the background in the same composition, you can keep the rigs in a precomposition and Extract the controllers. This way, all the controllers are available in the same main composition, with the background if you wish, but the rigs stay precomposed. This is especially useful when there are a lot of layers for the rigs, and if you want to render proxies for character animations in order to improve performance when compositing the shot.

extract controller icon Extract controllers options

You can choose to extract controllers using expressions or Master Properties.

select controller panel


Master Properties are available in After Effects CC2018 and above only.


Master Properties can be very powerful. If you want to use them safely, follow these steps:

  1. Rig the character as you’d do in any case.
  2. Put the rigged composition into another composition, let’s call this one the “Animation Comp”. The rigged composition is now a precomposition inside “Animation Comp”.
  3. Select this rigged precomposition, and extract controllers with Duik, using Master Properties.
  4. “Animation Comp” can now be duplicated; each new copy can have its own animation, and this way you can have as many animations as you wish with a single rig.

edit controller icon Tag Controllers

Sometimes, you may want to use custom layers as controllers (for example, if you designed it yourself in Photoshop, or want to use any existing layer as a controller).
In this case, you can use this tag tool on these layers so Duik can recognise them as controllers when using other controller tools, like Extract controllers.

Duik will add a new layer marker on the first frame of the layer, named Controller.

edit controller icon Edit Controllers


Available in Standard and Expert modes only.

In the edition panel, you can adjust the appearance of the Controllers (Normal and Expert mode).

All changes made in this panel will affect all selected Controllers and the creation of all other Controllers.

edit controller panel