I’m gonna go out on a whim here and say that there’s probably been a time where you’ve been watching a film or advert with some CG characters and you thought to yourself, now how was that made? Well Im’ma tell you: Through a bloody lot of effort and learning, that’s how 😐
I mean take a good look at this rediculousness
Numerous buttons and information EVERYWHERE, and that’s just the surface. There are menus……. behind menus. Eventually you learn to sort of ignore some of them to stop your mind from tripping out.
That’s not what I’m here to talk about though. To quickly preface this: A basic character animation requires a few things – First, a 3D model. Then a “rig” which is best described as the skeleton; the part of the body you don’t see that controls our movement arcs.
Recently I’ve been learning about the joys of rigging; and by joys, I mean relentless complexity. Sure it’s quite simple to do a very basic skeleton; it’s a matter of dot to dot (well, joint to joint), but you will find that it ends up looking completely unnatural. To make something look good is a completely different matter.
Reciting what I’ve learnt is as useful as reciting the bible – Those interested will already know all about it; those not interested don’t need to know about it. So I will simply say this – learning to animate requires you to enter a rabbit tunnel – to which there is an end, but only after a very long and dark journey. A tunnel with many different little paths that require different workarounds and puzzle solving to get through. Put more simply – there’s a lot of different tools at your disposal, but each part of the human body will really only work out well if you use a very specific tool and method of using the tool. Rigging is just one of the stages prior to finally being able to animate too 😉 The tunnel just keeps on going.