Rigging is Getting there, Slowly!

Hey everyone,

So today I've spent most of my time fulling rigging up DaniSaur.  I've managed to set up so far:
  • Both arms with IK and elbow pole vectors.
  • Spine, with SplineIK, enabled clusters and 3 body controllers
  • Tail also with SplineIK, clusters and 3 tail controllers.
I'm close to finishing this simple rig, I just need to set up the following:
  • Jaw
  • Tongue (with stretchy bones)
  • Hand controllers
  • A few Facial controllers.
Hope to post some more stuff up later this evening.  Hopefully I can start binding soon.  :)


More work out.

Okay I've found a much better and simpler tutorial on muscles in Maya:

Also this guy is my muscular LIFE SAVER!

Issac Biju's Youtube Page on Maya Muscles



So in the meantime of muscle tutorials, I'm also working a few collaboration projects.  One being a mtion capture feature short with humans versus an alien race.  One of the aliens is structured a bit like a gorilla so I'm researching some anatomatical information regarding them.

Found a really interesting pdf file regarding a gorilla's facial muscle and layout.  Should come in handy when facial rigging.

Primates Volume 14, Number 1 - Understanding Gorilla Facial Muscles

Only a little bit to read, but still pretty useful.
Another useful link is the following:

Information About Gorillas

Basically the ins and outs of a gorilla.  Quite interesting regarding the feet - opposable big toe looks frigging cool!  Another brilliant resource.

You'r Muscles are Strong. You Work Out?

Just thought I'd kick start the morning with a little work-out in Maya.  Little muscle work here and there, to begin with I found a really nice tutorial video by Fahrenheit Digital:
Maya Tutorial Muscle Rigging - Fahrenheit Digital

(Okay it's not that nice!)

So I found a nicer tutorial:

Very simple, and the guy also includes a nice little pre-test with a cylinder too.
Also came across this little chestnut!
Looks pretty impressive and nicely layered out, hopefully I can get to something of this standard for my show reel.  SO MUCH TO LOOK AT SO LITTLE TIME!

So back onto muscles, I'll probably post up a video later of my demo.


This site is REALLY good for help files.  Obviously they have help for 3ds Max and other software, but Maya is the top-dog I'm workign with right now.

3D Buzz - Maya Section

Another tutorial, starting from scratch: Muscle Tutorial - From A-Z.


Maya Rigging.

So over the next few weeks I need to have researched A LOT of work on Maya and 3ds Max- as well as another program I'm yet to dive into.  MotionBuilder most likely, along with SoftImage (looks friggin' sweet!).

For the time being I've been spending a lot of time on Maya.  Seeing as the animation course was so intense for me, I just decided to stick with it (not to mention I can't work Max any more...  D'Oh!).  So I've been trying to sort out a character rig (generally quite basic!) for my DaniSaur character which is ready to go, but as witht he past project I've only learnt how to rig the legs.

I found this useful site, pretty much having everything I need to rig.  Including Spline Spine set up, Ik/Fk switches, controllers, etc.

Check it out!  A lot of useful stuff on there.


Just thought I'd show my rigged legs for DaniSaur!  Foot controllers up and running too.

Both feet at "rest" (or 0) on Foot Controller.

Here's the Heel lifted up -10 on the Foot Controller.

Ball of the foot rotated to the Foot Controller's "4" range.

 And finally the full maximum range of the Foot Controller, up to 10 pointing the toe.


Skinning In Maya

So I found this really useful tutorial on skinning, or as the term in Maya is used "Binding", and I thought it'd be nice to share with everyone.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEAAAASE ignore the terrible American accent.  He actually makes my brain ache.  Although, the tutorial is very good to follow through.  I'm going to be writing up my own tutorial, hopefully simplified too.

Skinning/Binding in Maya



Riggers Ahoy!

Hello everyone,

Major project has just begun.  I've thought about this for a while and I'm really keen on rigging!  Checked out my briefing for the riggers and here's a list I've compiled over what I need to do in this year.

  • Facial Controller Setup
  • Cloth Dynamics
  • Hair/Fur Setup
  • Muscle System Implementations
  • Expressions and Parameter Wiring
  • Spline-based Shapes as Limb Controllers
(Okay I just copied that off the brief... but hey!)  Also I need to learn most of these in 3 different progams (or possibly two in one, two in another and two in a final one).  So I'm going to start off with stretchy bones, which I think comes under "Expressions and Parameter Wiring".  Firstly I'm going to look at it in Maya and then move on over to 3ds Max.

So beginnign in Maya research, I think I should dive into skinning.  I've already learnt how to create a leg rig so I'm considering getting a model off the internet and possibly rigging that and skinning.  I've taking out a few books to help me get started:

  • Inspired 3D Character Setup by Michael Ford and Alan Lehman.
  • Facial Modeling and Animation Done Right Stop Staring by Jason Osipa
  • The Art of Maya
Hopefully I'll be getting a lot of inspiration from these books.
TTFN dudes!


Inspiration Boost.

For all the VFX lovers out there:

THE RAVEN - 720 HD from THE RAVEN FILM on Vimeo.

Nice composited video, shame about some of the effects and animation, you can see where they spent most of their time.  All in all, a nice piece.  HD is sure coming around nicely. :)

Also, another video to brighten up your day if you're ever feeling stuck in a rut:

Parallel Parking from Yum Yum London on Vimeo.

Ahh, s'good to drive.  ;)

Other news, I've almost finished animating my ball with two legs.  MAN is it hard work!  Haven't animated in over a year so I don't think it's going too badly.  Timing is just the problem really, but it's always been my weak spot.  After I've finished this it's onto a 10 second sequence with a pre-built rig from the internet.  I'm thinking of doing something a long the lines of jumping over something, maybe a small wall or a boulard.  Quite possibly thinking of jumping off a few stairs.  Fun fun fun!




Apologise for the lack of posting, returning to uni has never been such a breath of fresh air! And new software! We've been introduced to Maya this year, pretty much 3dsMax's older sister but very Animater/Rigger friendly interface as apposed to Max who's more Artist friendly.

This is the second week of the project and we've started rigging a ball with 2 legs. Fun! I'm enjoying it so far, as difficult as it is, but I like the challenge it sets for me. Had a few issues witht he reverse foot controller but i found this useful and simple site explaining the simiple step-by-step set up.

Javier "Goosh" Solsona's Reverse Foot

Good good! Although it didn't explain how to set the Driver/Driven controllers but they are pretty dtraight forward.

Hoping to get the rig sorted today and beginning animating. Need to do a walk in (1 emotion), small reaction and followed by a walk out (2 emotion). I was considering the classic happy to sad emotions. Although probably over used, they are simple to capture key emotive values.


Side note: A mate recommended this video to help with the entire foot rig.

Maya Legs Rigging Tutorial