short movie pipeline

Hi everybody.

I’m all new on the forum, and as any newbie, I’ve a couple of questions :).

Let me first start by quickly introduce myself. I’m a French 3D movie Director (so sorry for my English), even if right now, I’m working at Double Negative (a vfx company in UK) as a lighting TD.

During my extra hours, I’ve developed a new movie that I should start soon. And I’m looking for a good pipeline to do it. I’ll definitely use Blender, which is getting better and better.

However, I have two main question regarding this pipeline. The first one is about rigging. I don’t feel very confident with that part of the production. And I’m wondering if there is any automatic bone setup including in Blender, or as a plugin. I’m not sure that make sense… Here is an exemple of what I’m looking for (but it is for maya) :

Do you guys have any idea about that ?

The second one is about the renderer. For me, Blender internal renderer is not as good as the rest of what Blender can do. I know they are working on it with the Sintel project, but I’m not sure it will be enough for what I have in mind. I’m not saying it’s not nice :), just that I used to work with renderman and mental ray, and that I really need good shading engine (real SSS, accurate hair and fur shading), efficient anti-aliasing, a renderer that support a lot of heavy textures, subtle indirect lighting… I had a look to some of the other external renderer (yafaray, povray, luxrender, sunflow, thearender, indigo…), none of them seem to be complete though (and actually, Blender is probably the most interesting one). There is always something wrong, like really noisy renders, no SSS or no hair and fur shader, not adapted to an animation project…
I found that TheaRender is probably the most advanced external renderer about all those one, but I’m not sure it’s working for moving characters (or maybe we can export some animation cache ?).
I’m pretty sure I missed something, so I hope you’ll have good advice for me :slight_smile:

I think that’s it. Thank you very much for your attention.