Saturday, May 19, 2007

Housekeeping: Links, tutorials, rigging and such

Reader Patrick Barroca felt he would offer another attempt at translating my old Pose-to-Pose Organized Keyframe tutorial into French. Now I’m no French scholar, but he felt there were issues with the first translation. So I’ve put Patrick’s French translation alongside of the French translation done by Pascal Hang. I’ll let all you francophiles decide which is better. All I can say is a big thanks to both Pascal and Patrick for their kind efforts to translate the tutorial into French.

Another reader, Dwayne Elahie, is a technical director. He has created a video tutorial (WMV or QT) that adapts a version of my facial rigging into 3dsMax using bones. So for you Max folks check it out to see the concept applied in your particular flavor of CG-ness.

I’m almost done rigging another new character. He’s about the 4 or 5th different R&D rig I’ve made in the last year or two- all in an effort to keep refining what I want to use in my own rigs with an emphasis of reducing the technical distance between the animator and the CG puppet. At times I have folks write me and ask if I’d be willing to rig their characters (for hire, that is. I don’t rig characters for free unless I REALLY like you and I have known you for many years. Heh. All I can say is that I’m not a terribly good production rigging TD. I’m more about R&D, exploring new ideas. The practical necessities of production rigging are too exacting for my tse-tse-fly mind to keep track of. Production rigs tend to need watertight solutions- be as close to unbreakable as possible. My rigs, much like my MEL scripts, are buggy and leaky affairs. Fine for me- I understand their quirks and problems- but a sure fire recipe for frustration and pain for anybody else. So I’ll take this as another opportunity to suggest that Maya users who need solid, production ready rig making capability to spend $99 and get Anzovin’s The Setup Machine for Maya. It does a fine job and it does it affordably, quickly, reliably and has a built in level of consistency that all production environments require. Not to mention it’s a pretty nice rig. Last I heard Raf’s team is developing a facial auto-rigging tool as well. I don’t know where that’s at, but you can check out some early R&D videos and such here. Rumor is it may ship soon.

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