There have been plenty of tutorials on the topic of rigging and animating characters in After Effects using a mix of DUIK, puppet tools, and various scripts. There have also been some great tutorials showing how to create reactive and complex physical interactions in After Effects, using the Newton2 Physics engine, which is pretty much the only game in town as far as After Effects is concerned.
a look at how Lok Fu used both Netwon2 and the Connect to Layers Script to create much of the secondary animation
Now the two concepts meet, with a combination of the two elements brought together by Motion Designer Lok Fu. Using Newton2 and the Connect Layers script, both tools from the dynamic duo at the MotionBoutique.
Motion Designer Lok Fu show us how he rigged the head and the neck of his horse using Newton2 and Connect LayersValentin Robert - motionboutique.com
The Motion Boutique posts a look at how Lok Fu used both Netwon2 and the Connect to Layers Script to create much of the secondary animation in the horse characters used in the animation. The post will give you some insight into how the heads of the horses were rigged using Newton2, and how the Connect Layers script for After Effects came into play.
Check out the post with a quick tutorial for Creating soft bodies in Characters that react to a predefined animation using Newton2 and Connect Layers here.
Newton2 is a 2D physics engine that works within After Effects, supporting AE’s 2D layers, masks and shape layers, and will allow you to create physical interactions between objects in After Effects. this can give you some really great opportunities to “automatically” add animation as a simulation to your AE compositions.
Newton2 supports most of the features of a traditional physics engine incorporating Static, dynamic, kinematic, “AEmatic” and dormant body types, and includes a range of constraints to help control objects and simulations scenarios. You can learn more about the Newton2 Physics Engine for After Effects here.
The MotionBoutique.com have always been active in sharing free workflow script to the community. One of them, the Connect Layers Script, will connect selected layers with segments or triangles created with Shape Layers in After Effects.
The script was actually created as a testing visualizer for the Newton2 joints. Upon finding the script useful for other workflows, the MotionBoutique have made it available as a tool for After Effects. You can find out more about the Connect Layers Script for After Effects here.