Characters Rigging WIP

New project, create a lego rig.

Here is the lattest update found bellow of this thread :slight_smile: Rene first walk cycle.

Last Update: Mouth shapes for Rene.

Hi everyone,

My name is Mathias Aubry and I’ve been using 3D software for 20 years, and blender which I love, for 10 years…
I love 3D but especially animation, and so I also learned to rig so that I could animate anything I want!!!
I’m french but trying not to act like one! :stuck_out_tongue: and I’ve worked in Canada and the States as an Animator and Rigger.

Blender is a great software, I love to animate with it… (I even prefer blender over maya… but shhhh, it’s my POV). However, it is still difficult to find affordable but quality rigs to use and to learn on… there is some on CGcookies and they are great, but I feel that the community could use more diversity and that’s why I’m opening my RIG WIP!

On this thread, I will show you the progress on some of the characters that I’m working on, and if everything goes well, they should be on the blender market at a very affordable price.

Here is the rig that I’m finishing up!

I think that a 2 legs character is really helpful when you want to learn animation since it allows you to just concentrate on a few controls. This one is especially nice since it really looks like a character on this own. And it’s a good exercise to give weight on your animation since… well… it looks like he has a lot of it!!!
As you can see on the video above, it has a lot of features.

  • full character scale
  • IK/FK switch AND SNAP
  • Squash and Stretch
  • 3 bones system
  • some ShapeKeys
  • and so forth…

here are the 2 small animations by themselves done with this rig:

By working on these simple “Characters” I’m also improving my rigging skills in blender and little bit by little bit getting closer to a full and professional human rig with the controls that I love to use!

Some of my next rigs are going to be a “super Hero silhouette” a sort of shadow, with all the legs and arms, some fingers, a face but no facial… this rig will be cool to use for some action exercise. Then a dog and a cat, then a cartoon character… so keep in touch! :wink:

also if you have some suggestion for rigs or controls, feel free to drop a line on this thread!!! :smiley:

By the way, My hand rig is already on the blender Market.

Enjoy!!!

Mathias.

Attachments


Today I created some rendering to present the twoLeg rig :slight_smile:




Great idea!

I shall be watching this thread with interest - and watching the videos too

Cheers, Clock.

thank you Clockmender for your nice comment.

So TwoLeg should be released soon on the blenderMarket, it’s time for me to work on my next project. I didn’t want to go directly to a full character but I think it would be good for me to go at it!

So I’m rigging a character that I created a while ago named Rene, but I restarted the rigging process from scratch to use new Technics that I learned on Maya to see if I can implement them on blender.


So I started with one of the more important deformation of the face, the eye and eyebrow… so here is a video of a blink rig test. :slight_smile: I’m pretty happy of the result so far!

I will be happy to get your feedback!

Mathias.

So I worked a bit more on the mouth controls, I’m getting closer to what I want but there is still a lot of work on it… The mouth is the most challenging thing for me to do in a face, so when it will be done, I will be happy!!! :slight_smile:


Mathias

Worked a bit on Rene, added some more controls… some squash and stretch on the face, nothing big. :slight_smile:

Things that I still need to add
controls for the nose and nostrils
controls for the cheeks, and under the eyes
controls to play a bit with the ears
controls to puff the cheeks

I just wanted to say thanks for taking your time to share some of your knowledge you have gained over the years. Its always nice to get trick of the trade from someone who has worked in the industry. I like your rene character…it will be fun to see him in motion:)

Good jop Mathias. Hi level rigging examples. I think Rene rig will be great for Blender community when finished.

Hi Mathias!

Excellent work! I’m looking forward to giving your rigs a test run! The leg character looks like a lot of fun… great options in there, and I’m very excited to give Rene a try, too. :slight_smile:

With the leg character, I’m thrilled to see the 2-bone knee system in there. How does that work with the FK solution? Do you have to use FK for both the top and bottom knee, or are you driving the 2 bone knee with a single bone knee?

I’m also curious if you have a bendy limb system in there (i.e. being able to bend the legs a little bit along the thigh and shin). I’ve found that these can really help craft a beautiful pose and are especially handy when doing insane scrambles and things like that.

If you need any testing for these guys… let me know! I’d love to give them a whirl!

cheers,
Jason Schleifer

Hey DerekG1080,
Thank you very much for your comment! it’s very encouraging to see that there are some interested in rigging and animation on the forum! :wink: I also checked your blender market… really nice work there! :slight_smile:

Thank you very much Y4Lc1N, I hope there will be people interested in Rene when he is done!!! I checked your video on Vimeo, and some of them are really cool. I really liked the jumping character… nice weight and motion! :slight_smile:

Hi Jason Schleifer… are you THE Jason Schleifer from:


If you are… WOW, what an honor for you to check my work and comment on it!!!
I actually used to manage animationlounge.com and we had an interview of you there.

(if you are not the same Jason Schleifer, no problem, no pressure :P)

I will be happy to send you the files for you to play with them. I will pm you my email address!

As for your questions, both the IK and FK are done with 2 bones which drive the three bones system, so the controls for the FK are done like the usual way with only one for the top-leg and one for the calf.

For now, I didn’t put any bend controls on the limbs, it’s something that I was going to look into in the future, but I have the bad habit when I work for myself to try to make everything “perfect” with many controls and deformations… and at the end I never release/finish anything… So I’m trying to restraint myself… Also for me it was kind of a gadget control, those that looks nice in a rigging demo reel… but knowing that it’s something you seem to use regularly, I will take them more seriously! :wink:
There is actually a system implanted directly in blender to do that, I should check if it would work with the rig.

As for Rene, I still have a lot or work to do on it, but when he will be close to be released, I will definitely be happy if you test him and give me some feedback!

Are you using Blender a lot?

Thank you again for your message, it’s very encouraging!

Mathias.

Haha :slight_smile: Yes, that’s me. :slight_smile:

That’s cool that you used to manage animationlounge!

I’ll connect with you over PM to exchange contact info.

That’s awesome that the IK and FK are done with 2 bones, driving the 3 bone system. That’s what I was hoping for, but I’ve seen people not do it that way in the past, so I had to check. :slight_smile: Bendy limbs are hugely helpful… I used them all the time at Dreamworks for pretty much every pose. They really help with the flow of a pose.

I’m just getting into Blender… trying to use it with it’s default hotkey setup and everything w/out customizing it to work like Maya (or Dreamworks internal tools). I figure I should learn it the way it was intended to be created before mucking about with my own preferences. :slight_smile:

But, if you have any tips… I’m open to them!

cheers!
-jason

Hi Jason,

Behind the scene, the 3 bones system is a bit complex… but I tried a few setup, and that’s the one that worked the best, especially since I wanted to have a button to snap the switch IK/FK.

I definitely understand why you want to learn blender the way it was designed. For me it makes sense… apart from a few things here and there, and I actually use the default blender UI/hotkeys.

I find that blender is a lot better than Maya for reusing armatures and adapting them to other characters. There is many really cool and stable functions for rigging. but there are also a few things that I missed from Maya and some functions that for me aren’t done properly like the stretch IK which is a real pain!
I’m looking forward to seeing what you are thinking of rigging in Blender, to see what kind of setup you use, and what do you miss… I think someone with your knowledge in this field of rigging and animation is going to bring a lot to the community and I hope to the development of blender.
If you have any question about method for rigging, where to start, pros and cons of different things… I would be happy to share what I experienced so far!

anyway, Welcome to the community! :slight_smile:

Mathias.

here is the progress on the face!

Most of the controls are there, now I need to tweak them and fix them, since you can see that some weight painting are not right… But at least it’s going toward the right direction! … I think.

Looking forward to reading everyone’s feedback!

Mathias.

Here is an update on Rene,

I’m still tweaking and updating the weight painting on Rene’s face.
So to see if he could already speaks, I used the audio of this month 11 second contest. (I’m not participating, it’s just a quick lips sync test).

I didn’t really take the time to prepare the animation, so the eyes and eyebrows are a bit floaty and not right… but I feel that it already gives the feeling of life… so that a good start :stuck_out_tongue:

I still have to tweak and work on the secondary eyebrow controls connected with some shapeKey, the secondary control of the mouth need a bit more work too, the eyes, and the puff in and out of the cheeks.

C&C on the rig are welcome!

Mathias.

Fantistic work! I want your rigging brain in my head now.

Hi Hammers!

Thank you very much for your message!!! I’m just experimenting a lot! :slight_smile:

So, It took me a bit of time, but I did most of the body rig. I still have to add a lot of deformation fix, but here are Rene’s first steps!

:slight_smile:
Mathias.

Very nice work, sir!

I am impressed by the three bone leg rig. Mainly because I was working on something like that a few months back. I never understood why everyone only used two bones since this causes scissoring when the thigh and the shin are bent together. It’s nearly impossible to get proper deformations in the leg without it, IMHO. There needs to be a bone or the shin need to be disconnected from the thigh entirely.

I was trying a four bone leg rig to simulate the “L” shape of the thigh bone where it connects to the hip socket. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s nice to see other solutions.

Some day I’ll find the time to return to that project…

Keep up the good work and good luck!


Hi DanPro, thank you very much for your comment and your words of encouragement!

I would love to see an animation of your system, it looks really interesting!

I agree with you, I feel that the 2 bones system has a big issue for deformation. But the 3 bones system that I’m using adds so much complexity to the rig, especially when I also want to have a snap button between FK and IK… I’m still working on simplifying the system… I hope I will be happy with a system at some point! :wink:

Thank you again for your comment!

Mathias.