Sunday, October 30, 2011

Making of The Smurfs

Very informative and interesting video showcasing the breakdown and making of Sony Pictures Imagework "The Smurfs" movie. See how the 2D characters are brought to life!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Workshop Assets

A compilation image for some of the assets used during the training purpose! Check out The pupPetEEr's Lounge webpage showcasing some new training workshops for Workshop ON Demand. Cheers :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rigging Survey

The above image has nothing to do with this post, it's just a bit of a humor I say!

Like any other form of art and technology, rigging is constantly evolving. As a character rigger need to adapt to evolve. What I think, is keeping stuff simple and organized! We shouldn't miss out reference (live, image, video, etc), after all rigging or building a puppet is a way to mimic the natural organic or inorganic world as close as possible and this includes a study of art and building tools to ease the workflow.

A proper naming convention, structured rig hierarchy, directory structure, skeleton layout and orientation (understanding the anatomy) are some of the crucial factors. Creating a clean, fast and functional rig in time demands a clean rig layered with base rig, deformation, automation and dynamics as needed and art directed.

Rigging being a bridge between modelling and animation; during production, there tends to be some back and forth between each departments that deals with aritistic and technical changes and it's a challenge for the rigger to keep the flow and this includes efficient workflow, tool building and referencing. Working closely with modeller, animator and every other department is vital to deliver better output. There will be many challenges and hurdles, as a rigger we need to stand up to it and that's how we learn and avoid problems.

Cheers :)

Pigeon Rigging by Wesley Schneider

Bird rigging demo by Wesley Schneider. Lovely character design and beautiful rigs!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Go ahead oh mathematical one!
Very small brain indeed ...
Funny :)

New Müller ad 2011

Indeed a Wonderful stuff!

Animation The Transformer

Ever wondered what it takes to bring the inanimate robot to life that transforms. A glimpse into Animating and Expressing the Transformer by Matt Miller. Click Here...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Making of Diablo 3: The Black Soulstone

Behind the Scenes look at the Making of Diablo 3: The Black Soulstone Cinematic at BlizzCon 2011 by Blizzard. A lot of work goes into making these cinematics! Pure Awesomeness :D

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Key Points on Animation!

Useful points and key notes/quotes to keep in mind and follow during animation...

1. Rhythm, Timing, Beat & Spacing ~ Pattern, Texturing, Timing!
2. Learning drawing is vital!
3. Anticipation ~ Every movement in animation should have! Anticipate force being applied...
4. Arc ~ Every single thing in body should have!
5. No overshoot, No energy ~ exaggerate first and then pull it back until it's fit with animation (Don't be afraid of exaggerating too much)
6. Focus on PRINCIPLES ~ Staging, Posing, Anticipation!
8. Contact Frame ~ Right before and after the energy applies, foot touches the ground, legs stretch. Look out for contact key poses!
9. Video Reference ~ Cool motion, we could get the acting that people can't think of consciously. Push things more, search what makes animation unique!
10. Graph Editor ~ Be careful about the gaps between keys. Smooth out until the keys are faded out. Ease-in and Ease-out!
11. At least 3 frames are required to let audience see what it going on the screen!
12. Heavy ball takes a lot more frames to stop. Root is the heaviest part of the body!
13. Every frame should be able to tell a story. Posing is very important!

P.S. Notes assembled from a Romit studying at PIXAR :)

Maya UI Layout Elements Codes

Layouts determine how all the UI elements in a window should be placed. All menus and windows you see in Maya are created in MEL using specific UI commands such as layout, slider, field, button, etc!

There should be many cases when you must be wondering or getting frustrated to figure out the right UI element or layout? For this reason Matt created a really useful resource on documentation for UI elements so that we can pick the right one without much of a hassle. Click Here for the PDF documentation! Here is the original post from

Also check out this documentation on creating MEL UI Layouts. Useful resource for UI creation. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Guillaume Hoffmann - Rigging Reel 2011

Nice rigging reel by Guillaume Hoffmann. Facial setup seems very intuitive and fun to work with!

Auto Rig Tools Workshop

A new Workshop ON Demand has been added to the Menu!!!

"Auto Rig Tool workshop will focus on creating a fully customizable bipedal character rig using automated tools. Using these tools one can setup a character rig in a matter of minutes with just a click of a button saving both time and resources to deliver quality rigs. The workshop includes setting up an interactive user interface to create and connect custom rig set for body parts such as head, torso, arm, leg and finger. Tools are created using MEL."

Please check out The pupPetEEr's Lounge webpage for more info!

Cheers :)

HEPHAESTUS // short film ~ Fund Raising

Hephaestus is a short film directed by Alexander Curtis. The short follows the story of Hephaestus, an aging robotic soldier who finds new purpose in the care and protection of a young girl, Kaylee. But when the duo find themselves trapped in a war-zone, Heph must venture on to the battlefield once more.

Currently the short is running a campaign to raise some funding for the volunteer project for resources such as music, software and food!

Being a part of the rigging team I assisted on creating Kaylee, the lead character's hair and goggles setup as a volunteer support! Please feel free to support the movie and the talented artist by making a small donation :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Facial Animation Basics

A step by step tips on creating fast and quality facial animation by DJ Nicke! These tips and techniques are really good resource for not just animators but also riggers to create quality, interactive animation friendly facial rigs that delivers what the animators are looking for! More tips on animation...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tracker system by Igor Stefanovic

Technical study of a realistic hand. The setup is based on tracker system by Igor Stefanovic currently working as a Character TD at DreamWorks Animation. Below you can check out the demo on implementation of the tracker tool on a full body setup.

This setup seems to be different from the traditional corrective shape, pose-space deformation or muscle based deformation. It seems like the setup is a bit like an intelligent set driven key (kind of) or some history dependent math connection applied on individual joints or controller binded to individual mesh component for smooth fleshy and realistic articulation. This is simply a really big milestone on rigging tools for realistic deformation. A good share by Igor, awesome job and deserves two thumbs up!

Beyond Black Mesa

A short Independent fan film Inspired by the Half-Life Video Game series directed by Brian Curtin. Simply Superb but again Acting could have been a little better!

I have always been a big fan of the Half-Life games, played every chapter, prequel and sequel! Watching this movie makes me feel like being a part of the game, short of flashback of the atmosphere, the look, the sound and the stuffs like the little health pack and so and so :)

More info and Behind the Scenes!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Blue Project, Dan Roarty (3D)

CGChoice Award Winner Portrait by Dan Roarty for "The Blue Project". I really liked the realism! Check out the post over CGSociety for information and techniques that he applied to create this fine piece of art.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Crowd Simulation Using Expression!

Here is a 4 part video tutorial on creating crowd simulation using MEL and expression by Autodesk. Check it out! Useful tips, tricks, ideas and resource :)

Click here to download the asset file used in this tutorial...

Sintel ~ Facial Setup Overview

An overview of facial topology , shapes and setup for the lead character from the "Sintel" short movie. Check it out, it's a good resource for any package :)

Additionally feel free to check out other video resources by Ponder Studios.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Squash and Stretch (Part 1)

Useful post on Squash and Stretch by Mark Kennedy.

"One of the first concepts you hear about when you're studying animation is "squash and stretch", which is the idea that living forms (and certain types of inanimate objects) have a certain amount of flexibility and that they change shape as they move around under their own power, react to external forces or change expression."

WWF ~ We are all connected

Very true and very nicely done!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Anime Looks Cute Rig Reel

I find this rigging reel by Cheng Yining cute! Really liked how the texture maps are being played around to give those cartoony anime cry baby looks...

dpAutoRigSystem v2.0 by Danilo Pinheiro

Here is a nice demo on a freeware python based modular auto rigging tool by my friend Danilo Pinheiro on creating customizable rig. Support him by using, troubleshooting, feed-backing and mentioning the tool and his works!

You can download the tool from his blog!

The Art of Puppetry

In this video, the puppeteer plays a double role as a rigger and an animator to bring the puppet to life. Think of those strings controlling the puppet to be IK Handles! :)

Looney Tunes Smears & Multiples

Really cool 3D smears and multiples references from Looney Tune animated short "Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner" by Josh Carey!

Source Link!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tools based on Osipa by Liu

Automated tools demo for facial setup based on blendshapes created by Liu derived from Jason Osipa style joystick based blendshape driven facial setup. This could be a good reference for anyone trying to recreate Osipa style setup quickly and efficiently using custom tools.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Anamaris Cruz Animation Demo Reel

Check out the latest animation done on Sinka by Anamaris Cruz. Nice customization, animation and style! Love to see Sinka coming to life :)