Saturday, 27 April 2013


New project!

With 2 weeks to go, Rob asked me if I wanted to start a new project... of course I did!

So here he is, wee iR, rigged and ready to go!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013


Today's progress so far-

  • Finished the skeleton
  • rigged the arms
  • rigged the legs
  • rigged the hands
  • rigged the feet 

...and I am now half way through rigging the tail. 

Right now, the rig looks like this-

Home for dinner and a wee sleep, then back to work!


The Kelpie rig is done!

I finished the rig a few nights ago, but I have been putting off writing a blog. So here it is!

I'm not gonna lie- the kelpie's rig has been largely based on the DigitalTutors "rigging quadrupeds" tutorial. Something that really annoys me about resources like DT, is seeing countless versions of the exact same rig. Our studio is a fine example of this- with not many people specialising in rigging, and no one really teaching us anything, DT is the first stop for creating rigs. I fully understand this, but it saddens me that people are generally copying these tutorials step for step, rather than learning from them and attempting to put their own creative spin on things.

I have tried, where possible in this rig, to use a collection of my learning. For the majority of the time, I would watch a bunch of DT videos without working along, and then I would take a break. I would then open up the Kelpie file, and start building from what I had learned. Anything I didn't know how to do, things which I hadn't really "learned" from the videos, I would then use google and my own rigging books to try to find the answers. I have found this method a good way to understand what I'm actually doing, rather than re-hashing someone else's work.


The kelpie 

The controls are pretty typical. The controls displayed as Box Curves affect the area they encompass- this can be seen in the video at the top of the post. 

The hip control is displayed as a H, and the Joint Control Curves are used to direct the knees and the neck. The star shape is the Global Control.

Many of the controls on this rig have Custom Attributes.

LEGS. The foot controls, for example, contain a foot roll.

SPINE. The controls along the horses spine, and the controls on his neck, contain a 'broken hierarchy' option, displayed as a "Lock" attribute.

This allows the control directly down the chain to either follow or move independently.

Another set of Custom Attributes shown on the Thoracic Control allows for quick and easy animation of the upper body. The kelpie can Sway, Twist and Curl with this control. 

HEAD. The kelpie's head works as a typical control curve, but also contains a custom attribute- Show Facial Controls. When this value is set to 1, controls for use on the Kelpie's eyes, ears and jaw become visible. The ear controls work using attributes, too.


After ceasing production on my own film "Wee Monsters" for various reasons, I have been well received by other production teams who were looking for some help. One of those teams was Krokodi.

The film blog can be found here-

For this project I will be rigging the Crocodile character.

I've only been working on this project for a few hours (over the last week), but it now has my full attention. Tonight I built the main skeleton, and I just have a couple of things to work out-

- how to position the clavicle to get most functionality
- how should I rig the spine
- how should I rig the forearm
- how to create "bulge" in chest, for when Croc eats hunter

As the character is a sort of biped/quadruped hybrid, I am having to solve these problems rather creatively. Rather than being "problems" per say, I am enjoying learning through rigging this model. 

Here is the skeleton I have so far- 

I see no reason why anything shouldn't work so far, although I'm sure I'll come across some problems soon enough! So far, everything's going swimmingly and I'm thoroughly enjoying being able to combine elements from my previous rigs.

To do list for tomorrow-
  • Rig arms (inc. add forearms)
  • Rig spine [have decided to use Pat Imrie's tail tutorial- I'll post a link tomorrow!]
  • Rig hands
  • Rig foot (inc. foot roll)
  • Create controls.

To do list Thursday- 
  •  Bind Skin
  • Paint skin weights
  • Rig face- eyes/lips/eyebrows/cheeks

All going well, I should have this rig back with the Krokodi bosses by the weekend!