Free Rig, Plus Potential Job Opportunity

Hi Everyone

I’m currently working for the Two Rivers partnership, a small animation and VFX studio in London. Recently we’ve been using blender more and more for production work, and we’re now looking at producing some bigger projects using blender. As a blenderhead myself, its really cool to be using it for real projects, and to be able to share that experience with the community.

We are currently working on a test/demo piece, and we’ve created a few characters for it. We thought we’d release one of the rigs to the blender community, with the added sweetener that if you can produce a cool bit of animation with it, we’d be interested in inviting you for an interview, to work on a project what we hope to start in May 2011. The project will last for 3 years, so its a great opportunity.

The rig is avaliable under a CC-BY-NC licence, so you can mess around with it as you please for non-commercial purposes. If you’re interested in working with us, then we have a test piece in mind.

What ideally we would wish to see is the boy running after a falling sycamore seed (something like the feather scene in Forrest Gump) and catching it as it falls. The camera can start by following the seed down, we would then have the boy come into shot as he first jumps to catch the seed. He misses with his first or second attempts, but does catch the seed and is very pleased with himself for doing so. Here’s a link to the kind of style we’re going for, for reference.

The test piece is not for commercial purposes, we’re looking to find people who can animate and put character into the performance.

Don’t worry about having any elaborate scenery going on, or even rendering out the animation. Just a quick playblast of the animation is fine. Post it in the thread or send me an email if you make something with it.

As I say, if you just want to play with the rig. That’s cool too. I’d love to see what people do with him.

Thanks by the way to Nathan Vegdahl, I used riggify pretty heavily in making the rig, and it’s a fantastic tool.

Finally, if you notice any bugs with the rig let me know in this thread or by email ([email protected]), and I’ll try and get them fixed pronto.

Link to the rig (requires Blender 2.5 r35764 or higher due to API changes. The current 2.57 release candidate is fine.)

Blend file of the sycamore seed:

Edit: Updated the link to the rig to turn off some layers so that it isn’t so frightening when opened.
Double Edit: Updated the link to the rig again.

Triple Edit: We are also looking for generalists, and potentially for remote workers as well.

hey thanks! I will definately download this little guy, hes gonna have some fun running from some mean dogs in an alley way ;D

this rigs awesome! Its so simple an easy to use ;D i Like it alot…hahah simple, wow would i even use that for describing a rig???

anyway, now im gonna make a background scene, a minor story board, and maybe a few tests, and then ill post my result!

It’s a pretty heavy rig on my i7.

@AniCator: You can turn off the hair layer (or simply turn off displaying it in in the modifier stack) which should get it working faster. It is pretty heavy though.

Edit: Updated the rig again. Turned down the amount of hairs seen in the viewport and fixed a couple of bugs. See first post for link.

This is such an impressive piece. But then again, we would not expect less from you ben.

Awesome rig !! :slight_smile: Thanks for the info.

To make the rig more responsive, i just simply turn on simplify button in side the Scene Tab and set the subdivision to 0 (it works for my AMD Turion X2 machine). Hope it helps :slight_smile: I just wondering how the contract scheme, is it possible to work remotely ? or relocated to London ? I’m in Indonesia, which is i know it’s hard to have working permit there :frowning:

@Johnatri: Thanks! The job would be London based unfortunately.

oh man, i live in american, can i fly out?..if of course its good enough

3 years. Will it be a feature project? All Blender? And how large is the team?

@Richard Culver: It’s not a feature project. It would be a series of ads.

I’ll take my shot and make a little short (film), jajaja…
I would appreciate knowing what do you expect?, Englishmen or foreign also
Really nice character and rigg! Cheers!

Oh one thing, the seed doesn’t have any materials…

woah. not bad. its rather fluid. good job!

Ben, I really appreciate your effort in making this character lively and shared with us to play with and test. Though, I have few question regarding the facial rig. How does the Shape Keys (for Smile, Blink and Brows) work? Moving the slides, ain’t deform the facial mesh. Am I doing something wrong? The controllers for eye-lids aren’t working smoothly either and how we can add low-poly proxy mesh to run through the animation and refine our test result?

Great character! This is first pro character made using rigify, am I right? Good luck with your project!

@A(rin)dam: Hmm. They work for me. What build are you using? It could be this if it’s very recent.

I haven’t built a low-poly proxy yet. It runs pretty smoothly on my machine so the neccessity didn’t strike me, but if it’s something people really want then I’ll look into making one.

@marceze: If people are willing to travel, we might look into that. I updated the blend for the seed to add a basic material, but don’t worry too much about it tbh. Like I say, an OpenGL preview animation is fine.

I’m guessing people from the EU should have no problems with work related living permits in the UK
(not sure what to call it, guess you can think of something along the lines of ‘work visa’ here I suppose).

Bummer I’m not a animator, seems like a sweet opportunity! :slight_smile:

Although I’m not skilled enough to tackle animation yet, I thank you for “giving it back” to the Blender community. Best of luck in all of your endeavors.

I don’t know if this is offtopic (if this is the case I apologise and please remove it), but here I want to put mi video renders (some first tests and the final video).
This is the first one: the animation test of the falling seed.

It’s bedtime, later I’ll upload the .blend file of the seed textured.
Heres is:

At last I can make some Jake animation test…

@Marceze: Looking good!

We are looking for generalists too, so if you’d like to send a reel or examples of your work, go for it.

Ben, thanks for the really quick update and what would have gone wrong on my side.

Yes, it was the built (I was using r35803) that causing the ShapeKey drivers to break. Got the most recent one, ran the FCurve Driver Version Fix and now all seems to work very much fine.

One more question: What’s the deadline for the final submission of our test/demo results?