Thursday, 3 October 2019

Meet Thep - New Free Mummy Maya Rig

Meet Thep!
We're liking this cartoon mummy rig named Thep; he's fun and cartoony and you can get a great performance out of him. You can find him here for free download at the Squiggly Rigs official site.

Thep is the first character made with the Squiggly rig system.  Built to allow plenty of flexibility and exaggeration, Thep comes "equipped with some cool features to allow him to act as cartoony as possible without losing appeal".

Thep is a good choice for students starting on acting and lipsync; he works well with a cartoony voice, such as one from the Sesame Street wav archive.

Consider Thep for acting and pantomime shots, or for short dialogue scenes; he has good facial expressions and a wide variety of mouth shapes.

Thep rig Features

  • Full body rig with a non-switch IK/FK spine system
  • Bendy arms and legs
  • Smear control for hands and feet
  • Hands UI with fingers pose presets
  • Full facial rig
  • Head squash and stretch
  • Detachable head with a space switcher – Neck/World
  • Personality switcher for the eyes – Normal/Evil
  • Personality switcher for the teeth – Normal/Evil
  • Extra set of legs with visibility and taper control separately for leg and foot
  • Extra set of arms with visibility and taper control separately for upper arm, forearm and hand
  • Extra set of eyes with visibility control
  • Fully rigged extra head with visibility control
  • Extra cloth string with the Mgear spring system
Shoulder Control
The control to move the clavicle is a pole vector control in front of the shoulder.

Foot Roll Control

The main foot control does not have a control to bend the foot. To make the foot bend, you need to select the little blue square square on the side of the foot - see image on the right. 

Eye Direction Controller
The Eye Direction Control (named "eye_aim_ctrl") works best when you change the Follow Head slider in the Channel Box from 1 to 0. This way the eyes will still follow the eye_aim_ctrl even when you rotate the head - which is generally what you want.

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 this free video.

Animation with Thep
To see some nice animation with Thep, check out the reaction shot by Paloma Zhu below.  This is Paloma's interpretation of the "phone booth" exercise, which we cover at Animation Apprentice during week 13 of the 30 week course.

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