Steve Kirby - Freelance Animator and Director


Limber is an IK system for After Effects that makes limbs for character animation. I was tired of setting up layers in Illustrator or Photoshop and then spending ages moving Anchor Points or fiddling about with Puppet Pins and Nulls just to get to the point where I could actually start animating.  I wanted something that was quick to set up and style, could blend from IK to FK, ran fast in the comp, and would adapt to more complex rigging and customisations when I wanted it to.

I could write expressions but I didn't know how to make a script.  At Blend 2017, I met Mike Overbeck whose excellent tools I'd already been using. We started working together to make Limber and Mike did so much clever stuff that it ended up far better than I could have imagined without his partnership.  We released it in March 2018 and within a few months it had already been used by some incredible animators and studios, like Cub Studio, The Furrow and Imaginary Forces.

Making something that helps other people create amazing work is hugely rewarding. Whilst working with Joe Bichard and Kristian Andrews at Studio AKA, I realised that easy foreshortening was something that more traditionally trained animators really wanted in a tool like Limber, and couldn’t get with any of the tools currently available for After Effects. Mike came up with a brilliantly simple idea to achieve it, and along with a bunch of other improvements we quickly rolled out a major new version 1.5 in December. With the update, it felt like Limber had really come into it’s own identity as a tool. I’m looking forward to maintaining it and seeing the great work that people make with it in 2019.