Rigging Creatures for Animation
Part of the Animat Habitat™ studio series: Creating Creatures for Animation.
Continued from Maya 201.
1/ The Node Editor
We'll start by importing texture maps and connecting them to a shader network already assigned to the creature in Maya; then, continue on to cover other key node networks, integral to the rigging pipeline, particularly for controls and deformers covered later on.
2/ The Graph Editor
For young animators, the animation principles are often worth revisiting; here, we see some applied in the context of animation curves in Maya, and we go on to explore the ins-and-outs of the graph editor.
3/ Rigging Creatures, Part 1
We consider reference from Maya 201―class 3―and the profile of the creature now, and position joints to build a physically plausible skeleton with focus on techniques that apply universally to quadrupeds (and more 'peds with a little imagination).
4/ Rigging Creatures, Part 2
In part 2 of this creature rigging mini-series, we learn techniques for layering a practical, robust control rig over the skeleton that we designed in part 1.
5/ Rigging Creatures, Part 3
Part 3 of 5 walks us through the creation of custom deformers, then packaging a muscle system and fitting it to our Maya skeleton and control rig as an influence object.
6/ Rigging Creatures, Part 4
Before finally binding our geometry to the skeleton, we first review a bit about face, and about discrepancies between animation pipelines for games and cinematics, addressing the application of a proxy rig system to help streamline animation.
7/ Rigging Creatures, Part 5
We skin the creature, covering the basics of painting weights, where it does not work well, and the recent trends away from traditional approaches to binding, given advancements in computer graphics and simulation.
8/ The Walk Cycle
We conclude this mini-series with an overview of the animation principles that were overlooked in class 2, plus apply the creature rig that we've studied in this workshop, with a look at the animated walk cycle for a quadruped.
Author: Dane Aleksander, computer animator and CDO at Animat Habitat™ · graphic artist in Halifax, Canada.
Animat Habitat™ studium is published in part for all students of animation, and to advance the craft of wildlife visual effects for interactive multimedia and motion pictures. For a studio workshop or scheduled program, please contact: inbox [at] lifeasplay.ca.
* Curriculum is in development.