REALISTIC RIGGING  by Ludovic Habas 

A long-time goal

The cows had to be as realistic as possible in their movement. The fat, for example, should be able to felt during the movements of our two characters.

The challenge

One of my goals when I started 3D animation was to make a character as realistic as possible. So I was very excited when Mighty Nice offered to do the rig of their cows for the Almond Breeze project.

A good challenge because I still had little experience in this kind of rig. Moreover, to add to the challenge, the project delays limited my time in research and development, a step often time-consuming.

Limit the risk

To limit risk taking, I decided to use mainly techniques that I usually use in rig. So I avoided to use the true simulation systems that would probably have taken me too much time testing and research and development. So I rigged the fat with standard tools, but effective, once well adjusted, like the spring for example. I then limited research and development only on the muscular part of both legs. The most satisfying solution I have found to "simulate" the muscle movements of these parts in the allotted time is a combination of space warps tools with modifiers like flex.

Almond Breeze with his realistic cows will remain a very rewarding project on which I learned a lot.

Sheep and lamb

The project for Harrison Spinks with the Flipbook studio is newer, but also very interesting for me.

On this project the challenge was that the sheep would walk throughout the film. The rig work was done in close collaboration with the animator Paul Claessens to obtain a rig that is as pleasant as possible for him to animate. This collaboration was very rewarding and allowed me to improve my neck and head rig.

The facial

It was also necessary, as for cows, a facial detailed enough to have enough control so that the expressions are realistic in their movements. The facial rig is therefore entirely based on a rig system based on bones and skin. Few morphers here to allow the animator to have maximum flexibility and freedom then to the animation.