Monday, 2 March 2015

Instant Rigging at Instant rigging!
Rigging is one of the more complex and technical parts of the animation pipeline. In brief, rigging is the process of putting skeletons into our digital models. It is the way we bring them to life with controls that can be used to give a performance. The rig in a CG model is a bit like the armature that goes into a puppet. But what if we could automate the process, and speed it up? This would eleminate (at least in theory) hours of labour. One company that is leading the field is Mixamo, creating automated rigs through their Auto-Rigger tool.

How does Mixamo work?
Mixamo provides an online, automatic model rigging service known as the Auto-Rigger, which (according to Wikipedia) "was the industry's first online rigging service". The AutoRigger figures out where the limbs of a 3D model are and inserts a 3D skeleton, or rig, into it. The Auto Rigger will also calculating the skinning weights, which is another time-consuming part of the rigging process.

Do we recommend it?
We haven't road-tested it ourselves yet, but the Auto Rigger looks like a great way to get your character rigged fast and inexpensively. Ultimately, the question with all automated processes is always the same: does it actually work? After all, if it doesn't, you will have to do it all over again by hand anyway.


To sign up for our March classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link. For more information on finding work and surviving in the animation and visual effects business, read our post on how to find a job in the animation industry, and check out our post about what not to do at a job interview. Also see our post on starting your own small animation business, learn how to create an invoice, and see how we are helping our students find work through our film co-operative Nano Films.  Download the free Escape Studios Careers in VFX Handbook. Take a look at how can help you find a job, and read our piece abouthow to survive as a freelance animator. Also, find out what Cinesite look for in a student's demo reel, and read our post on setting up your own animation business. Also see our post about freelancers and taxes.  

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