Fighting the urge to be unproductive, I locked myself in the house for the past few days to get some work done on a new character TD demo. Been under the weather anyhow and didn’t feel like doing much else, not even surf *gasp!*. Here it is in all it’s beautiful animator friendly simplicity. I plan on extending this demo with character animation tools. I can’t wait to get away from creating demos and rendering video and go back to actually programming and rigging stuff! I have so much more advanced rigging techniques to show and some that haven’t gotten to a finished stage on my characters yet so stay tuned.
From Director/Animator Alex Curtis comes his debut animated short that I luckily got to work on as a freelance pro bono character rigger/td. Here’s a work in progress reel and Kaylee the character I rigged and supervised rigging the hair and goggles with the help of my friend Suchan. Keep in mind this demo is months old at this point and a newer one is out that is password protected so I cannot share until later.
Stay tuned! The final is looking good! Should be any day now…
This demo illustrates the steps taken to develop a character from concept sketches to finished facial rig in a simplified format. This is an actual rig I developed with the use of proprietary rigging tools in Maya utilized daily at work so I’m not going to demo those tools. However, future installments will incorporate the use of tools that I have written and that you can use to aide the building of complex facial rigs such as this, and include overviews of more advanced rigging techniques. I would also like to break the process down into chunks to really go into more detail about things you should be thinking about if you are trying to rig a face. This is an ongoing process so stay tuned, I have lot’s of useful tips to share.
Rigging Dojo Interviews Jan Berger Creator of MCS
Previously I was baffled by MCS, the modular character system used for rigging and animating, and now one of my favorite rigging resources online, Rigging Dojo, is actually having a live online discussion via Vokle.com with the creator Jan Berger! This could be the next biggest thing to hit the rigging world in a long time, and it’s gonna be incorporated into Autodesk at some point. I’ll be tuning into the episode that takes an under the hood look at this technology for sure.
Hamish McKenzie (macaroniKazoo) has put out a new release of his tools, now written in Python as well as good ‘ol Mel–YAY! This is big news since it’s been a whole year since another version has been publicly released! It’s good to know that someone out there is still enthusiastic about sharing with the online community what he’s learned and developed over a long period of time. I hope to bring something as useful to the proverbial table one day. Guess I better keep hitting the books and learn from great the great ones! I feel like such a noob in comparison and it’ll take years to catch up with these guys.
The guys over at Speaking of Animation blog have a post linking to Brendan Body’s page about animating birds that really boils it all down to a science. It makes me want to model & rig more flying creatures. I am definitely saving this page for reference later and keeping Speaking of Animation under my “wing”.
Check out more HD bird reference and of course Brendan’s research:
If you don’t know who Bernhard Haux is, read this interview. I know of him but recently I got re-acquainted with his work via this interview. If there is anyone I look up to as far as being a role-model for rigging, technical directing, and so forth, this person is on the top of the list. Many, many others you’ll find will agree. I really know the upper limits of what the software can do when I take a look at some of his rigging techniques. It’s a little intimidating actually!
Oh, and Haux’s work is online I should add. Just take a look at his “deformation grid” TD demo. Sharing knowledge and information online helps with artist comradery and helps young artist like me find a way to become better on our own, or at least in this case what the possibilities are. I’ve learned way more stuff being out of school than ever before because of the internet but it’s a shame more talented people don’t share their stuff online.
Keep in mind the is made by some STUDENTS in France!! It is un-be-liev-able! The rigging and animation are exquisite, magnificent–astounding!! I love the acting, vivid envornment, and the smart combination of 2D and 3D animation elements. The design is all very well done. I honestly haven’t been excited for an animation like this in years.
Check out the artist’s websites, especially E Sousa Vincent’s rigging reel.
This is truly inspirational stuff. I need to go where they went for school. I am working on a similar reel myself and I need to research how to make some of the faces as deformable as the ones for their animations.
I can’t wait to see what’s next! Looks like another short called Meet Buck.
Their awesome website and blog:
Anatomy for rigging and modeling with Jeff Hesser was an event hosted online by Rigging Dojo just the other night. Improve your work and understanding of joint movement in the Human Body. A must see if you’re a TD, Animator, or Modeler. Follow Rigging Dojo to find out about more events like this in the near future.
Vokle is a place for live webcasts and is very integrated with social media websites so it’s easy to share with your friends interesting events. During this event Jeff had his rig that he created while at Rigging Dojo on the webcast showing people human motion and anatomy. He has unbelievable depth of knowledge on what drives our bodies underneath the surface. Seeing and learning anatomy like this is absolutely essential to creating believable animation and rigs that make creatures/characters move in a natural way.
Here are some links to what I think are major resources in learning anatomy traditionally and in a 3d atmosphere.
- Stephen Rogers Peck – Atlas Human Anatomy
- Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form – Eliot Goldfinger
- Master Class in Figure Drawing – Robert Beverly Hale, Terence Coyle
- Artistic Anatomy Dr. Paul Richer, Robert Beverly Hale
This blows me away. It’s got a lot of things riggers love plus what animators need. I believe at first look it’s a strong tool, but may be a little unintuitive for animators to figure out at first. When it comes to posing, scaling, squash and stretch, matching, foot control, IK, and FK animation, it looks like a breeze. The rig seems so easy to set up with kinematics built in and readily customizable along any stage of the animation process given its modularity.