|Meet Dana and David|
Dana and David were created by Gabriel to help create more diverse content for animation exercises in Maya.
Both rigs are attractive designed and visually appealing, and present a full range of facial expressions as well as body mechanics. There are a few glitches but these are fairly minor (see below for details).
On the whole we're recommending both rigs as a welcome addition to the growing range of reasonably priced character rigs for student use.
The Dana and David rigs are not free but they are very reasonably priced - they cost $15 each.
Below are some suggestions on how to set up both rigs in order to get the best results.
Rig Setup - Eye Direction Control
Select the eye direction controller (it is a cross shape, looks like a locator) and, in the Channel Box, change Aim to 10 and Follow to zero. This way the eyes will still follow the Eye Direction Control even when you rotate and move the characters' heads around - which will help you keep the characters' eyes focused.
Create a Face Camera
We recommend always creating a Face Camera when you animate characters in Maya. To do this, follow these steps. Creating a camera, name it faceCam, and parent it to the facial controls. Then tear it off (Panels/tear off) so you can return to the faceCam whenever you need it. This will save you a lot of time when animating facial expressions. To see this process in more detail, watch the video below:
One of the weaknesses of the Dana rig is that the hair controls are not as comprehensive as they might be; Dana's hair can feel a little solid and immoveable at times.
Both rigs scale, but not very well, and this can create problems with your render. If you can, scale the geometry of your set to match the rig, rather than the other way around. If you must scale the rigs, try to avoid scaling them up or down a lot.
David's legs have a few problems; if you lift up the legs to a high point, the geometry tends to collapse into itself.
As ever, feel free to add your thoughts on these rigs in the comments section below. If you've encountered a problem with either rig, please post it below and - best of all - post the solution, if there is one.
To find out more about Animation Apprentice, click here for a link to Frequently Asked Questions. To sign up for our November 5th classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link.