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Animation with a Mustache: Want to be a Rigger huh?

Over at Oliver Ladeuix’s site, he just recently updated an older post he had written about wanting to become a rigger and many of the thoughts you should consider while undertaking that path. Many of them I feel are important from an animators perspective as well. Understanding the functionality of rigging and what ultimately will be user friendly to the animator will make each workflow better both animation and rigging. I also feel that the collaboration between rigging and animation should be a close one during development, otherwise both can continue to struggle with changes and issues during production. He lays out a bunch of great references.

I’ve always looked at Victor Vinyals rigs as a great standard! Click on the image to check out his stuff.



This great example of a rigging tool from game studio Epic.



New Animation School: AnimSchool

New Animation School: AnimSchool

So if you haven’t heard about this yet here goes. There is a new online animation school set to debut in November called AnimSchool. The school will be run by the creator of 3D Appeal Blog and 3D Appeal Blog Now, David Gallagher. David has been over at BlueSky for quite some time doing Character Development, including rigging and animating. He is very well rounded in all of the different specialties of the animation process. You can check out some of his crits on the 3DAppealBlogNow. The school seems to have two set paths for training: 3D Character program that teaches modeling and rigging and  3D Animation that teaches animation. As I was writing this post I had many questions so I went directly to the source and David was kind enough to answer some great questions about the school. A main difference between this school and others is this will be teaching other aspects other than just animation. The mentors he speaks of will be from a multitude of great companies including BlueSky and Pixar.

 1. Will each student have the same teacher (say they took the 3D Animation course) the whole 21 months or do they have the opportunity to experience multiple teachers with each term?

David: Each term, the student chooses which teacher to learn from. The students will probably be learning from a different teacher each term.

2. I have heard that you are multi-talented as a Rigger and an Animator. Has this allowed you to be able to produce rigs that you know will help the animators achieve great shapes with and will you be teaching “Animator Friendly Rigging.”

David: I’m most definitely trying to teach “animator-friendly rigging”. I think any rigger or modeler who learns some animation will then become better at their craft, understanding the process of actually using the characters.

 3. Will Alumni still have access to the site/school and or Rigs, demos and lectures once they have completed the course? How does that work? How does that work for students just taking one course?

David: Graduates from an AnimSchool will have continued access to existing and future character rigs, as well as video lectures.

For the students taking a single class, they are able to use the rigs for six months after the class.

4. Is there some type of reel review for professionals that want to take a single course so you know what level they are at?

David: People wanting to take a particular course apply for it at the website, sending a link to their reel. That teacher determines whether they are ready for their class.

5. Besides this amazing new venture with AnimSchool, what have you been most proud of while working in the industry?

David: After working in this industry so long, you wouldn’t think it, but I still feel like I’m getting started. I’m madly passionate about animating and modeling and making cool facial expressions. I’m just thrilled to be able to have done some of the shots I animated. Then some facial expression modeling for pre-production development. I’m really inspired and excited about appealing expressions.

6. What inspired you to start up AnimSchool?

David: I wanted to teach the skills that I know well: animating, modeling, and rigging. And there wasn’t a place online where I could do that, so I decided to make AnimSchool, with the help of so many of my former colleagues.

7. Will you be attending CTN this year?

David: We are so busy working on AnimSchool that I won’t be there! But I will plan for next year.

8. How many rigs will there be for AnimSchool or will the one rig be customizable?

David: Right now there are two: the cute skeleton guy and the human guy you can see on 3DAppealBlog or on the AnimSchool splash page. We have plans for a female character as well. I love making characters, so there will probably be others.

There’s only so much you can do with those editable uber-rigs. I personally get more excited about really fine-tuned custom deformations that work well with the character’s natural shape.

and finally…

9. Will the rigs limits be more on an industry level or a student level?

David: The rigs are industry level. Certainly in terms of deformation and facials, since that was my specialty at Blue Sky for so long.

It sounds like an amazing opportunity and there are more answers to your questions found on his FAQ page here. Thanks again to David Gallagher for taking the time to answer some questions. Take a look around and check it out…check back in for updates.

CG Coach: The Feature Animation Process

CG Coach: The Feature Animation Process

Hey Everyone

I recently found this post over on CG Coach’s Blog. It breaks down the feature animation process with definitions and plenty of examples. All the way down the line from: Story, Layout, Modeling, Texturing, Rigging, Animation, Surface Shading, Lighting and Rendering, FX and Compositing. It has breakdowns for just about all of these and seems really helpful. Check it out here: The Feature Animation Process.

Check out the site as well CG Coach, seems like a great resource. Look around and enjoy.

Jason Schleifer and Rigging for Animators

Jason Schleifer and Rigging for Animators

He is a great animator that also has extensive knowledge in rigging. Specifically rigging for animators! I know doesn’t that sound great! He has recently posted on his site shhhLIFE, about a new Automated version of the rigs that he developed . He explains why he supports this and I think it is a very selfless act on his part. He has a great DVD bundle found on his site under the STORE tab. You can also get the Animator Friendly Rigging Part 1 on the Autodesk site here. I have talked with many of my rigging friends and they all have said it is a great system. I myself have done some rigging and am planning on checking these out.

So cruise his site and enjoy what he has to offer in skill and knowledge of the process we all enjoy.
The drawing come courtesy of the Squeeze Studio site.