Rigging training DVD from Nathan Vegdahl

Hey guys!
I’ve been working really hard over the last few months to put together a training DVD for rigging in Blender. It’s part of the Blender Open Movie Workshop series, and is published by the Blender Foundation, so you will be supporting Blender with your purchase as well.

The pre-sale has now started. More info here:

Here’s a silly little trailer me and Ian Hubert put together for it:

And here’s a sample video from the first chapter of the DVD:

I’ve worked (and am still working) hard on this, and I’m really proud of it. I’ve put a lot of great material in here and have taken pains to make the sometimes confusing topic of rigging as easy to understand as possible. So please buy the DVD! :slight_smile:

It goes all the way up through rigging a biped character, with a focus on using the rigs as examples to teach viewers to understand rigging and how to design their own rigs. It’s not just rote step-by-step instructions–I’ve made the DVD so that people can really come away with an understanding of rigging, so they’re not just limited to the rigs I show how to build.

Deformations are, unfortunately, not covered in any depth on this DVD. Rigging is a huge topic, so I had to focus on one aspect for this DVD, which is developing good rig controls and all the theory and practice behind that. See the e-shop link above for detailed contents of the DVD.

I plan to cover deformations in future training material. But the stuff covered in this DVD will be pre-requisite for that, and not to mention extremely important on its own (no matter how good a rig’s deformations are, if the controls aren’t good, it’s not useful to animators).

The sample video was very informative, shall be pre-ordering very soon.

there are any python lessons too?

Not on this DVD, no. I will probably cover a limited subset of Python’s use in Blender (the subset relevant to creating rig UI’s) in future training material, but I’m not going to teach Python itself. There is plenty of existing material out there for that.

The sample video was very informative and entertaining

love the ending “Wheeeeeeee” lol

Very cool Nathan, I will be definitely be buying this puppy! A sense of humour certainly helps such a dry subject as rigging become more watchable.

Good to see that it covers the underlying theory and is not a paint-by-numbers style, as I am guilty of nodding off during these types of tutes :slight_smile:

Looks good. Ordered.

awesome rig explanation in the first chapter, I going to buy this dvd soon, where is my paycheckkkkkk!!!

thanks a lot Nathan! finally a nice rigging dvd training from you!!!

Thanks! Looks awesome !
It would be fantastic if in the next DVD you cover a bit of python. The subset relevant to creating automatic rigs like riggifi, just an exemple like creating automatic arm…

how does this video campare to your rather excellent mammoth rigging dvd?

Oh boy, are you kidding me I think I have been asking for a blender foundation rigging dvd from you for some time now as soon as my pay check comes in I am buying this.

Thanks for the kind words, everyone! :smiley:

This DVD is like the control-rig part of the mammoth rigging videos, except much more in-depth, much more information-packed, and with a lot more of an emphasis on teaching people how to do their own problem solving/inventing/etc.

Many of the rigs I show how to rig in multiple different ways, explaining my decisions, showing the good and bad of the designs, demonstrating the design/problem-solving process. Lots of “This sounds like a good idea, so what happens if we try it? Oops… that kind of sucks, actually, because [insert reason and demonstration here]. How can we make it better?”

For example, I show three different ways to do IK/FK switching, and I do all of it as a problem-solving process. The point of doing that isn’t to give people three different solutions (one of them in particular sucks, actually). Rather, the point is to start people thinking in that “trying things out/problem solving” way, so that when they face rigging problems I haven’t covered on the DVD (it’s impossible to cover everything), they are equipped to overcome them on their own. This is very typical throughout the DVD. In the mammoth series I did explain a lot of the “why”, but this DVD goes even further.

In short, the mammoth series was a tutorial. This DVD is honest-to-goodness training material.

However, do keep in mind that this DVD doesn’t cover every Blender rigging feature (there are so many!). Spline IK is the main one relevant to rig controls. But I fully plan to cover those things in the future. Believe me, if you have an interest in learning rigging, you are easily getting your money’s worth with this DVD. I’ve put a lot of time and thought into it. Making this DVD has been a project of passion for me.

I do not plan to ever teach Python itself. As I said, there are already a lot of resources for that. So any material I create about Blender and Python will already presume a degree of fluency in Python.

But I will certainly consider teaching the parts of Blender’s Python API relevant to rigging. Any in-depth material in that regard will likely be it’s own thing, though, and probably as a text rather than as a video.

Nathan gave me the opportunity to go through the DVD so that I could write a pre-review (I wrote an in-depth-ish review of the Mammoth rigging tutorial). I’ve managed to go through the first two chapters already and it is looking very very good so far. I think later this week I’ll have a full review ready, but I can give you my first impressions :slight_smile:

Edit: lol, Nathan beat me to it :stuck_out_tongue: So a short version of this post is “yep, so far I confirm it’s exactly what he’s advertising”

I had already liked how Nathan approached the Mammoth rigging: having a look at how it should move, then solving one rigging problem at a time and then putting it all together. This DVD is essentially an expansion on that solving step, he thoroughly (and as clearly as possible, this is a tough subject but Nathan does a nice job finding ways to communicate things) explains why each decision is made to achieve the requirements for how a certain character should behave.

The best part for me so far is that Nathan is able to “get it wrong” for us. What I mean is that even though he knows exactly what he’s looking for, he goes through a few steps that even though they seem to fulfill the task they are actually less than ideal for one reason or another. So he’s not just showing why some stuff works, he also shows why other approaches don’t. That process of progressing towards a suitable rig is a mine of knowledge in my opinion.

So so far this seems very true: “It’s not just rote step-by-step instructions–I’ve made the DVD so that people can really come away with an understanding of rigging, so they’re not just limited to the rigs I show how to build.” At the end of the Mammoth rigging tutorial I was sure I could refer back to it when I had to rig something to get ideas on how to do it or even copy/adapt certain parts. I also got the CGMasters’ ninja but because of mail issues on my part I only recently got it (moving home 4 times in 6 months kinda does that…), so I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet but have all the reasons to believe it is on par with the Mammoth in terms of content and will most likely be a great reference too for a thorough human rig. But this new DVD is actually equipping me to stop and think and rationally get to a working solution by myself for any rigging problem from simple to more complex, and for that reason I think there is nothing out there like it at the moment.

Just what I’ve been waiting for. I struggle sometimes with rigging as I’m an animator not a TD, this looks like it’s the robitussin I’ve been looking for!

Will a future version of this video series tackle issues like facial animation pipelines and shoulder deformation issues? If so, sign me up!

Yes, I plan to make training material on deformations and facial rigging in the future. I don’t have a specific timeline for that (and to some extent it depends on how well sales of this DVD do), but it will definitely reference back to this DVD.

In the mean time, you can always hire me to give more personalized training.

Wow, chapter 4 was incredibly informative. Crazy value for money in this…!
Really looking forward to watching chapter 5, review will come next!

Stop that. You are making me jealous and slowing down time.

It’s a good marketing technique tho. Did Cessen put you up to this? :slight_smile: *

Looking forward to the review (even tho I don’t need one to know this will be a gold mine).


*Edit: It worked. You just made a sale.

…now I’m really anxious. Argg.

Sounds swell but I already have 5+ rigging DVD’s I need to mash through so I won’t be getting this one unfortunately :frowning:

I put him up to writing a review, but there were no stipulations about whether it had to be a positive review or not. :stuck_out_tongue:

Glad it worked. Tee hee!

No worries! I don’t expect everyone under the sun to buy my DVD. It will probably make it online eventually anyway (CC license and all), so you could always watch it then. :slight_smile: