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Rigging Workshop 1 Breakdown

Introduction to the features in Maya used to create a complex character rig. This is an animator friendly approach that doesn't require previous rigging or scripting experience. Learn the tools and tricks of the character rigger further more. This second part will focus on the deformations and skinning of your character rig. (The cost of this 11 week workshop is $999) | APPLY


Week 1: Introduction to Rigging

We'll define rigging and looks at some example rigs.  We'll talk about the relationship between the rigging department and the other departments in a character pipeline.  We will cover some essential terminology and definitions.

Week 2: Objects, attributes, and transformations

We'll start looking at Maya's basic structure and how to best use it as a rigger.  All objects in Maya share certain information and basic structure.  We will see how Maya handles positional information and how to manipulate it.  We will learn about transformation nodes, attributes, and pivots as well as the heirarchical structure of Maya.  The channel box, attribute editor and connection editor will be covered.

Week 3: Joints and skeletons

In this class students will learn about joints and skeletons in Maya.  Building off the week before, we will learn why joints are special nodes in Maya and what advantages they have in rigging.  We will also see how a skeleton is created from layering joints and we will talk about proper joint placement.  We will learn about orienting joints correctly as well as joint rotation order.

Week 4: Constraints

Maya allows complex relationships to be created between nearly any node and any other node in Maya.  Constraints are rigging tools which simplify creating these relationships.  Learn how to pin one object to another, or how to aim a characters eyes.  Constraints are used in every aspect of rigging and this class will define how and when to use each of Maya's constraint nodes.

Week 5: Forward and Inverse Kinematics

Character rigs can be manipulated in many ways.  Two of the most used methods of controlling a character are forward and inverse kinematics.  Students will learn how to organize an FK skeleton, how to create an IK handle and how to control it.

Week 6: Animation controls

Animators need to use the character rigs.  We will begin to learn what an animator needs in a rig to be able to create an incredible performance without being slowed down by the rig and it's interface.  Animator friendly controls and how to create them will be covered.

Week 7: Intro to deformations and skinning

Important tools and definitions will be introduced.  Students will be provided a simple character model to begin skinning.  We will learn about manipulating an object's shape node as well as the deformation stack. Info from Part One of the class will be reviewed as the students will create a simple rig for their new character model.

Week 8: Blendshapes

Blendshapes or morph targets are some of the most powerful and important tools in the riggers toolbox.  Students will learn how to create and manipulate blendshapes and use the blendshape editor.  The blendshape node and how to manage complex sets of shapes will be covered.

Weeks 9-10: Skin Clusters

The real workhorse of the deformation rig is the skin cluster.  Nearly every character or creature will need a skin cluster to look natural.  The creation and manipulation of skin clusters will be covered.  This is the core of Part Two and will take 2 weeks to get comfortable with Maya's skin painting tools.

Week 11: Putting it all together

Students will learn how to layer deformations for a more natural and complex skinning.  Also packaging the rig for use by the animation department and referencing will be covered.  Students will put the final touches on their first rig.


Click HERE to apply for the Rigging Workshop.

Our Instructors

...can both do and teach! See their bios HERE

Our Characters

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