Character Rigging: Extras

For the teams animation we had two main characters and then a few smaller roles that required some more character rigging. The first being a giant monster and the other being a small bird.

The Monster

the monster character was created to be used in the background of episode 1.

 

model : Hannah Loughridge

This rig was a difficult one even though it was only playing a small part within the animation. The main problems being that that arms needed to be dragged behind the model while walking and the fact that his legs were incredibly short.

The structure of the rig is the same as Kimmys/Alarm clock but has some slight changes to account for his body shape and weight.

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His legs provided challenging especially when skinning but due to him being hidden in the scene i decided to not worry about perfecting the weights and instead moved on with the rest of the skin.

The more interesting part of this rig came when getting to the back and rigging the butt. This system was made really just for fun out of a few IK handles and constraints to a allow him to twerk, sadly we ran out of time to animate this scene.

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I had to place some joints into the torso of the rig to main weight whenever he bends. This again was to allow for automatic volume preservation in his belly in order to keep weight while being animated.

His arms had to be developed into a different kind of arm rig due to what is required. The arms are built out of a IK spline with clusters attached throughout to control different sections of the arm, similar to a tentacle rig. These clusters were then driven by curves at the top of each limb to provide a nice curve to the arm, tweak controls were then added to allow the animator to move and section of the arm they wanted. This allowed for a better workflow for the animator when striking a pose.

For the pinning control to allow the arm to be locked to the floor but still able to move if needed. i developed a curve and locator system that drove the PIN curves on the arm which had the deformation controls parented underneath. This allowed for the animator to pin the arm in place but still adjust its transform and rotation values without ruining the pin.

Monster Rig in action

 

The Bird Rig

Compared to my other rigs for the project this was the much simpler. The bird itself will be used to chirp at the start of a episode and also to fly around Kimmys head whenever she is struck on the head.

the rig is made of a very simple joint chain with no fancy solutions.

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The main interesting thing the bird has is the ability to bend its wings to give a nice piece of overlapping action if required. The legs of the bird were discussed amongst the team and we thought that being able to bend them backward in a curve rather than with a actual knee would look nicer for the flying section. I developed a system of IK spline being driven by a IK handle leg chain to give the curve effect. The Beak was built through a joint chain and a few simple blend shapes.

Animation by Matt McDyre

For practical reasons this rig was kept simple in order to spend more time on the more complex issues at hand. For example getting the birds to attach to Kimmys head in order to have then fly in a circle on impact.

This was achieved through attaching the birds and creating  there own offset group for each bird to allow for different scale, translation and rotation away from the origin circle if required

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