Rig a retro-future film monster in 7 steps

The project has been set-up by VFX veterans Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma, who left roles at some of   the industry’s biggest studios to make their first independent film. 07. These questions will guide my work and ensure I meet the expectations of the director. These locators are generated with a script I wrote and will be created in the centre of my selection. Controls, blendshapes set driven keys
Once all the joints were in place I created the controls using a script I wrote that would place them in the correct location and name them correctly. I need to ask some questions to fully understand the concept behind the creature and its wider story. Once all the locators are in place, I snap joints to the locators and move on to other parts of the creature. Words: Dave Lo
Dave Lo is a character TD who has worked for Disney Animation, Digital Domain, ILM, Sony Imageworks, and Rhythm Hues. Jaw rigging
I look at fish skeletal structure: often their jaws have multiple points of rotation as well as translation. 06. We lay the foundations for the animators to do their job and bring these creatures to life. Rigger, creature technical director, or puppeteer, whatever the name or tag for the role, it’s all the same – we make the models ready for their performances on screen. 02. Make sure that you delete the keys and set the joints back to the proper bind   position. Liz Bernard, animator at Digital Domain, used my rig and provided me with feedback with any issues that she encountered. I lock and hide unnecessary channel attributes to prevent distraction or potential issues with extra curves. Kickstarter ensured the project got funded, but that was merely the beginning… Painting weights
Setting rotation keyframes on joints and playing it while I paint weights is an easy way to interactively see how the skinning is affecting the model. I usually start from the base of a joint chain down to the end joint. As you can see in the image, the first is a neutral pose, the second a pure rotation, and the final image is a combination of rotation and translation. Facial rigging
I create Control Curves to help guide the animator to activate certain shapes. I need to know how it moves, what type of animation is expected, and whether it will move in a realistic or cartoon-like, exaggerated fashion. This constant communication is extremely important for a rigger and helps for a smoother performance. I add channel attributes to control breathing shapes to the jaw controller; since the creature would breathe when the mouth is open. 05. The last one also has an open jaw specific Blendshape to help create wrinkles and nice fleshy movement. This article originally appeared in   3D World   issue 184. 01. Not only does a rigger need to know how to place joints and paint weights, but also knowing a scripting language such as Python or Mel can be really beneficial. Before I start to rig The Ningyo, I need to know some information about the creature. Skinning a creature
With all the new innovations in painting weights included in Maya and third-party plug-ins, skinning a   creature has become less intimidating. Laying out locators and joints
Before I lay down a single joint, I lay down loads of locators. 04.

Updated: 30.11.2014 — 01:12