Monday, April 13, 2009


Somewhere just a little north of a Muppet and VeggieTales, but well south of Ratatouille lies Otto.

click to see bigger-ish
 The parameters for success for me are:
  • appealing & simple character design
  • minimal visual & technical fussiness
  • fun to animate (fast rig)
  • reasonable expressive range without adding too much complexity
  • basically, this needs to be the Anti-Fool's Errand

click to see bigger-ish
The rig still need some adjustments to get just a tiny bit more emotional range. Motion tests coming soon.


Font said...

Wow!! Man oh man does he look like fun to animate with! Can not wait for your motion tests. Great design Keith, well done.

Justin S Barrett said...

Uber-fun, man! Can't wait to see more with this guy!

Stansell said...

Ahhh, Keith, he looks great man! So appealing and expressive. I can't wait to see you work your magic on him.

aabid said...

Awesome - Great opportunity, like its appeal ans facial - waiting for animation tests. Great job :)

Unknown said...


Breadwig said...

Ooooo, I like him. Yes I does.

Keith Lango said...

Thanks for the kind word. He is fun to animate.

KASANA said...

Looking very expressive. Waiting for motion tests

sunny kharbanda said...

Sweet! Simple and fun -- that's what he looks like.

Dare I say, though, that he's got your eyes?

Can't wait to see the motion tests!

LEoNTheRock said...

Look like fun to work on this

Constructed Reality said...

awesome!!! love this character.i agree with sunny in that - we can see a little bit of u in him. waiting for more.

BrandonBeckstead said...

Wow I LOVE this character. So appealing I think. Can't wait to see more!

Anonymous said...


Alonso said...

I've been thinking a lot lately about your fools errand posts (wish you had a label system to track down old posts easier.) And the alter of inefficiency ones.

Something I've been thinking about is ways to simplify, and your Otto is a great example. If you go for a flatter cartoonier look like him then you don't need as detailed models and you can get away with much simpler environments.

Did you see this article? About 250 fx shots in 4 months with 1 guy:
kind of exactly the alter of ineficiency, only focusing time where the eyes gonna be.

Backgrounds can be totally painted like these people did, which is faster then modeling texturing and everything

anyway, thanks for always being such a idea generator Keith :)

Jesse said...

sweeeeet character.

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Looks awesome!

Matt Pidgeon said...

It would be easier to judge how successful the character design is if you did a turnaround. It looks nice though and what's cool is that it's very consistent with your previous work - especially Lunch.
What do his feet look like?

M Davletshin said...

Bitchin' !

Anonymous said...

Is this a Rig you will be releasing for FREE?!?!

If so, thats Totally awesome of you.

If Not.. I am totally confused as to why everyone is so excited?

What about for people that subscribe to your VTS list? Will THEY get this rig?

..just askin...


Elliot said...

I think people are excited to see a fellow artist share his work...

I would much rather have Keith share this character through a story he tells rather than having access to the rig.

I think more CG folks (myself included) would benefit from investing just enough time into modeling and rigging to create their own original designs.

If your design is simple and appealing, there is a lot of mileage you can get out of an FK setup and blendshapes-- something that doesn't require a mastery of technical knowlege, just good judgment.

Anonymous said...

Hello Elliot,

I thank you for your reply to my comment, but unfortunately I could not disagree more.

There are NEVER enough cool rigs out there.. especially ones created by an animator such as Keith.

And as for yourself benefiting from Rigging and Modeling... I also disagree.

Are you So Good at animating that you are willing to spend the time Modeling and Rigging? I doubt it.. and neither am I .. hence my desire for this rig.

Take Animation Mentor for example... they TEACH animation.. they have teams of people dedicated to creating Great Animators. Guess how much of the Curriculum there teaches how to RIG? ... NONE

As for Keith.. yeah.. hes good.. and therefore creating Rigs and Modeling is something he has time for.

Just my 2 cents.. Peace

Anonymous said...

I wanted to say.. in Your Defense Elliot..

That if you want to be a CG Generalist.. then YES.. your right.

(I just noticed you called yourself a CG FOLK... not an animator)

so forgive me for the Hardcore Animator talk if you are aiming to be a generalist.

Take Care

Keith Lango said...

No, I won't be releasing this rig. It's not out of a sense of protectionism as much as it is a defense of my energies. In the past I've released a tool or two and even though I release them with a plain caveat that no tech support will be offered, people still ask for technical support. Heh. So to skip that whole uncomfortable process, I just don't release stuff anymore. I can't keep up with all the requests for changes and fixes.

As for good rigs, I think the free MooM rig for Maya is a great rig. Really. The face is a bit limited, but it's got great range for its limitations. In my VTS videos I animate using the MooM rig. I encourage my APT students to use it as well. It's fast, solid, appealing, flexible, stable and it just works great. It's better than many feature film rig I've used. It doesn't have a ton of arcane bells and whistles- which makes it a great rig. In my experience many film riggers tend to rig to interest themselves, not best serve the animator. A few "get it" and make rigs that are fast and flexible and stable like MooM, but a lot don't.

My rigs tend to be very messy under the hood as they are always progressive works in progress. Every rig I make is really a one-off piece of R&D for myself. There are a TON of hacks in each rig I make. I'd be embarrassed to release any of them to be honest. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Keith,

I TOTALLY disagree! just kidding..

Yeah I used Moom.. Great Rig.. only bad thing I could say about it is that there aren't many others like it. And therefore my Demo Reel has the same character as 234233024 other animators out there.

But yeah..I can only imagine how many emails you would get regarding your rig if you did release it.. I have to admit that is one aspect I hadn't thought of.

All that said.. call me Greedy.. but if I made a cool rig.. you better be DAMN sure I would NOT release it. haha.. I am trying to build my Animation reel.. and would like to have some unique characters on there.

Anyhow.. Thanks for the response.. and have a good one!

ajit singh said...

interesting character can be rat,penguin,seal or vegetable character etc.

waiting for your next update...

Clint Donaldson said...

This looks hilarious and provocative (in a totally platonic 'potential for animation' sense), Keith! Can't wait to see some motion!