• Charles Breach

Term 1 - Week 7 - Motion Graphics

We continued with last weeks session this week, finishing off the rigging for our character. First we rigged the limbs, moving the anchor point to the points we wanted to rotate for each section, and using rainbox duik to rig the limbs separately in the auto rig menu. The limbs would sometimes require inverting their rotation direction to make them bend the desired direction, I wanted the pairs of limbs to bend the in same direction, making the character look like they were facing left.

We then used the Set Matte tool on the hair layer, setting the head as the mask, which cropped the hair to the shape of the head.

We parented the facial features, including the hair, which stayed within the mask, to a null entity, which allowed us to move the features around the face, giving the illusion the head was rotating. I also added another null entity and parented the pupils to this, which I could use to control the direction the eyes were looking, which was in turn parented to the other null entity to keep it together. We had a quick 10 minutes to practice animating with keyframes and the positioning of the IKs, during which I made the character glance around briefly, perhaps slightly paranoid, before giving a wave. It was a quick exercise, but I tried to make the movements natural and smoother by using easy ease on the keyframes. I also gave the body and head a small giggle as he bounced as secondary action, again to make the movements natural. I think I could work on the timing with these movements, making the all around movements more coherent with one another, and perhaps give him a little secondary motion as he looks around, which seemed quite robotic and static.

We then practised other ways of rigging, first creating a path with a fill, and using the pin tool, added points that allowed for puppet warp along a leg. these points could be manipulated to move the specific areas they were placed in the path. We then used the duik to turn these pins into bones, and rigged them with auto rig. I see why this method be desirable, but I wasn't a fan of the rubber hose like effect, as this seemed a little hard to control using the specific pin set up we used, and compressed the path in a weird fashion.

We then made a path using stroke instead of fill, and used pen points along the path to define the different joints, instead of adding pins. We then went into the layer menu, and selected the path to create nulls from path points, which added in null entities that controlled each point of the path. making sure to name everything according to its position on the limb, we then used the duik to auto rig the null entities. Instead of the rubber hose effect, this allowed for specific points in the paths to bend, which was slightly more realistic and predictable, and didn't deform the path. Using the layer menu to alter the joint and cap types to a rounded setting also allowed for slightly curved bends, and created nicer movements at the joints, whilst giving it a pleasant cartoony look.

we then quickly made a character using our preferred rigging method from the two new options we were shown. I went for the latter, preferring pretty much everything about it. We were meant to make a more festive character, but ran short on time, so I made a quick box person. I keyframed him doing a fairly jolly little dance, although I did this fairly quickly and could definitely improve on the movement, it displayed how the limbs would move using this rigging method. My favourite rigging method is still the original one we were shown, using anchor points to create the rotation points. It felt much simpler, and kept the layer menu much tidier, like a lot of less work was required to use it, although I see why you might want the rubber hosing effect, or how valuable these other rigging methods are if you didn't have a duik, as they wouldn't necessarily require one to work, the duik simply making it easier to use these methods with auto rigging.

I made this character for the session, but didn't have time to rig it this time. It would be shame not to see him doing something using the skills I've acquired these past sessions, so I'll have to try animating him using after effects in my own time. I imagined him floating through the void of space, an effect I think would come inherently using after effects.

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