Animated Short: Rigging and Blend Shapes

Rigging took me a while to get right, it did hold us from creating the animation and it sucked not meeting the deadline we had set for it but now I feel like I could teach anyone rigging after my journey and definitely better than how tutorials actually explain it, they seem to skip over things.

The great James Taylor, who I’m also using for the head model, was really helpful when it came to learning how to do rig and skin weight the joints.

After finally feeling like I have more of a grasp on rigging and skin weighting it was time to have another go on our newly modelled characters. I mapped out the rig no problem and started on the skin weights where I got the arms and legs perfect, I luckily save it as a separate file so that i could always go back and try again if I screwed it up, which I did and you can clearly see this in the below image;


I then brought it Michelle to work on it at the same time as me, this allowed me to teach Michelle how to rig and weight the character, she grasped it really well and we both worked on it together to the point where I had trouble last time. I realised then that I was taking away too much of the weights and not balancing it out enough by doing more smoothing of the weights. By doing and having Michelle copying what I was doing, it was killing two birds with one stone and we finally had the rigging done and dusted!


Here you can see the working rig:IMG_3121

Moving on to blend shapes, we needed a way of puffing out the boys chest to show more acting for when he steps out on to the ice so I asked Alec what the best way to do this was and Alec said to use Blend Shapes and gave me a tutorial on it;

Using this tutorial we were able to make eye shapes but when we tried it with the actual eyes it deformed the textures too much but we fixed this by pulling out the mesh around the eye to create eye lids.




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