I’ve now added the Animator Friendly Rigging – Part 4 page to the website, complete with example pdf files and links to the example youtube movies.

Here’s an example of the movie for part 4a:

Now that all of the parts are up and available for purchase either independently, or as a bundle, I’m continuing to try and make as much information available on this site as possible. Over the next few weeks I’ll be filling out the FAQ, updating the main AFR page, and hopefully updating scripts and such as they become available.

Thanks again to everyone for purchasing the material, I love that it’s getting out there!



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5 Responses to Animator Friendly Rigging Part 4 examples available

  1. Mats Andren says:

    I got my company to buy the series and just finished going through them! (of course there will be lots of going back again and again). I thought all the way through that they were older (sorry, Ive not been here to the website as often as I should have over the years) since the autodesk copyright in the videos says like 2006 or something doesnt it?? very happy to find that Ive been taking part of not only great rigging methods but also cutting-edge technology as well after all. =D
    thanks for the series jason, its amazing. hopefully its getting me on my way to becoming a (makeshift) rigger!
    by the way. Im guessing this isnt the best forum for it, but Ive got a question about the AFR techniques…but in case youre looking at the comments here sometimes:
    you talk about automating the rigging you do in a script so you dont have to redo everything once you figured it out. does that mean a whole-figure rig-builder to rebuild the rig from scratch should something happen to it (or to build other ones for similar characters). or does it just refer to the various tools and partial automated systems you use throughout the videos? I may or may not have to rig several humanoid characters in the near future and am thinking of how much of a hassle it would be to write a script that builds the entire rig (very similar to yours probably) based on a locator arrangement for all control points in the characters. are many problems likely to arise in automating completely do you think? thanks!
    phew! longest comment.

  2. jason says:

    Heya mats! Glad you enjoyed the series! It was written back in 2006, but I still feel that most of the concepts and techniques still apply. There are definitely updates and new ways of doing things.. but the thought process that I teach is super useful and a great way to extend your rigging capabilities! 🙂

    Now, to answer your question.. 🙂

    What I ended up doing for lord of the rings was build an automated system that would build the entire rig based off components. I had various scripts that would build a hand, or a leg, or an arm, or a torso.. and for each character I would have a “make” script that would define what components would be called.

    The thing that is important in that system is to define a “base” rig that is consistent across all characters that your build system can use to add the various components. Since on LOTR we were using the ASF/AMC format for handling motion capture, we decided that an ASF skeleton was our base rig. This is simply a skeleton that is named consistently with consistent rotation orders.

    Each character would have that skeleton defined first, and had that skeleton in a specific location on disk (in a sub-directory for that character). Then, we could call the “make” file that would then call the various rig components (mel scripts) that would use the common skeleton pieces to build their rigs.

    For example, the directory structure could look like:

    chars > gollum > gollum.mel
    chars > gollum > asf > gollum.asf
    chars > gollum > lowGeo > gollum.obj
    chars > gollum > hiGeo > gollum.ma
    chars > gollum > rig > gollum.ma

    the gollum.mel file looked something like:

    char_addArm “l”;
    char_addArm “r”;
    char_addLeg “l”;
    char_addLeg “r”;

    Each of those char_* scripts would know how to use the appropriate joints from the asf to build themselves correctly.

    does that make sense?

  3. Mats Andren says:

    hey jason thanks so much for taking the time to answer! yes it answers my question well enough =D so its split up by component to be used all over the production, and the components are brought together to fit each individual character in a higher level of script as well, gotcha!
    the only thing I dont really understand is how the scripted rigging is based off of a (presumably FK) skeleton to start things off – all the characters and their proportions and motion capture setup was already set before the animation rigging started? is that what it means? Ive never worked with motion capture like that so… the system there was to make a motion capture rig animatable by hand? if you would rig “from scratch” and want to generate the skeleton, a base rig made of locators or something would work too, right?
    how did you handle/was it a problem where the proportions were different on the motion capture rig and on the cg character? did that influence your rigs?
    let me know if Im asking too much, I know you must be busy. thanks!

  4. jason says:

    Basically we had a single fk skeleton that we would stretch and manipulate to get the correct size for the character. In terms of proportion changes from the actor we captured and the rig itself, that was handled by the software company we were using for our mocap. Giant studios had tools to handle all that stuff.

    However, whatever mocap was doing only influenced our animation rigs in the sense that we both started from the same skeleton. We had much more freedom to do what we wanted on the animation/rigging side.

  5. Mats Andren says:

    ok got it! cool. thanks a lot jason! keep up the good work!

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