Character Rig – Zugern

This character is one of the main characters of an animated short being created by the ATEC students at UT Dallas. The main requirements of this rig were for it to have a very expressive facial rig and natural easy to use hair controls. I was responsible for creating the facial rig, hair rig, painting weights, and adding any extra components to the body.

-Joe Porritt Created the main body rig (IK FK Arms legs and spine)

-Keanu Vallier Created the majority of the facial blendshapes

zugernfacehairzugern.png

Character Rig – STEV

This character rig is somewhat simple with squash and stretch,  an IK spline, FK chain, and follicles used to orient and re-position the antenna. The character is from an animated short film being created by students at UT Dallas’ ATEC animation studio class.

stevstevStretch

Character Rig – Mom-gern

This character is one of the main characters of an animated short being created by the ATEC students at UT Dallas. The main requirements of this rig were for it to have a very expressive facial rig. I was responsible for creating the facial rig, painting weights, and adding any extra components to the body.

-Joe Porritt Created the main body rig (IK FK Arms legs and spine)

-Vanllelyn Garcia Created the majority of the facial blendshapes

facearmexpression.png

Rhinoceros Muscle Rig

This project was one I decided upon for my rigging based Independent study. My objective was to implement a muscle system into a relatively basic rig in order to achieve desirable deformations, and to also learn more about computer generated muscles. Each muscle of the Rhino has squash, stretch, jiggle, and skin sliding implemented. Each of these attributes were fine tuned to mimic the real life muscles of a Rhino. The mechanics of the rig are fairly straight forward; IK legs, IK/FK tail and neck, scapula/shoulder control, basic joint based facial rig, etc. Overall, I believe the integrated muscle system greatly enhances the deformations of this rig and also brings a sense of life and weight to the character.

Disclaimer: I did not create the original model for this rig.

Octopus Rig

This class final project’s objective was to implement all of the different techniques learned this semester, but to also include new ones. Each tentacle of the octopus utilizes an IK FK switch, and the rest of the body uses forward kinematics. Each of the inverse kinematic chains on the tentacles utilize a spline IK so that non-linear deformers could be used to deform the spline IK’s curve in a natural way. Each limb has a squash and stretch system with controls to allow for fine tuning of volume preservation, this also includes the mantle. The face and body of the octopus have numerous blendshapes to allow for facial expressions and fine tuned body deformations.

Disclaimer: I did not create the original model for this rig.

Blendshape Facial Rig

This class assignment’s objective was to create a facial rig utilizing a series of blendshapes, but to also practice good weight painting and topology. In order to sculpt over 70 blendshapes I used Autodesk Mudbox in conjunction with Autodesk Maya to make the process more efficient. Each blendshape’s weight value is tied to the translation or custom attribute of a curve to create the desired deformation on the models surface. Corrective blendshapes were utilized in the smiling, frowning, eyebrow angry, eyebrow sad, and eyelids.

Disclaimer: I did not create the original model for this rig. I only retopologized the high resolution model.

This is an image of the original high resolution model.

This is an image of the original high resolution model.

This is an image of the retopologized face model.

This is an image of the retopologized face model.

Game Character Modular Rig

This rig was created at my work for a video game/simulation. The requirements of the rig entailed compatibility with Unity, and also modularity between different models. Each rig includes an IK/FK switch on the arms, FK spine, IK legs, and reverse foot lock mechanics.

Disclaimer: Models were created by Steven West.

vrgeRig02

Image of the game character rig.

vrgeRig01

Image of the different models for the rig.

 

 

Change of Speed Animation

This project was assigned to me in my college Animation II class. The objective of this project was to create a story while also implementing a change of speed in the character. In order to acquire a more realistic result I filmed reference of myself and created sketches of the main poses. From this project I learned that it is extremely important to properly animate overlapping action and weight.

Character Walk Cycle

This project was assigned to me in my college Animation II class. The objective of this project was to not only create a character walk, but to show personality. In order to acquire a more stylized result, I gathered reference of several walk cycles from other animations and created thumbnail sketches of what I wanted the main poses to look like. From this project I mainly learned how body language can greatly enhance a character’s personality.

Weight Shift Animation

This project was assigned to me in my college Animation II class. The objective of this project was to properly convey the shifting of weight in the character. In order to acquire a more realistic result I filmed reference of myself and created sketches of the main poses. From this project I mainly learned more efficient ways to animate.

Two Week Partnered Project “Cold Turkey”

This two week partnered project was assigned to us at the end of our senior year of high school. The prompt we were given was to make an animation revolving around an idiom. For example, hot potato or best of both worlds. We decided upon the idiom cold turkey because we believed we could make an animation that played on the hearts of our audience. For this animation I directed, storyboarded, modeled, rigged, animated, simulated dynamics, textured, lit, and composited.

This rig is fairly simple. An IK handle was used in the neck, aim constraints were used to orient the eyes, and a global control allows free movement and scale.

This rig is fairly simple. An IK handle was used in the neck, aim constraints were used to orient the eyes, and a global control allows free movement and scale.

One Week Group project “Acoustic Shield”

This animation project started from an engineer and a retired police officer who needed an explanatory video for the technology they had created. In a nutshell, the technology detects gunshots and instantaneously notifies emergency services.

In this project I directed a group of five fellow classmates, modeled assets, animated, rendered, and edited the video. I believe this is the most successful group project I have been a part of to date. The pipeline progressed smoothly, everybody was punctual, and everyone got along.

Disclaimer: I did not help create the animation with the voice over at the beginning of the YouTube Video.

This is a screenshot from the final product visualization video.

This is a screenshot from the final product visualization video.

3 Week Partnered Project “An Arm and a Leg”

This is an image of Waldos rig. I really enjoyed rigging waldo because his arms and legs would need to be detachable. I did this using blend weights.

This is an image of Waldos rig. I really enjoyed rigging Waldo because his arms and legs would need to be detachable. I did this using blend weights.

This animated short was assigned to my partner and I by our Animation II teacher. We were told to make an animation based off a saying of our choice, such as “Break a Leg” or “When Pigs Fly”. We chose “An Arm and a Leg” as our saying and got straight to work. My partner modeled and textured the main characters and props. I rigged and animated the characters, modeled, textured, and lit the environment, and rendered and composted the entire short film.

I really enjoyed this project because I was able to put my rigging skills to the test, go outside my comfort zone when lighting, brush up on my animation skills, and learn how to manage my time wisely.

I am happy to say this short film was an official selection of the All American High School Film Festival located in New York City.

This is an image of the outliner for Waldos rig.

This is an image of the outliner for Waldos rig.

Official Selection AAHSFF

Official Selection AAHSFF

High School Senior Year Project “Rat Race”

This is an image of the outliner for the rats rig.

This is an image of the outliner for the rats rig.

This year of high school I wanted to challenge myself with a monumental project. I decided to work with my friend because I would require his knowledge of lighting, rendering, and texturing. Together, we created a solid story that many people could relate to. Since October I have modeled and rigged the main character, modeled several sets, and have ironed out the storyboard with my partner. It is currently December and I plan to have everything modeled by January for my friend to texture.

About a month ago my partner and I decided to put this project on hold till we had free time (It is currently May 2nd). We decided to pause production because it was taking a toll on my school grades and health. The root cause of this was the lack of man-power. From the storyboard I estimated I would be animating around 5 minutes worth of video. This would’ve caused me to rush the animation (in order to have it finished before school ended), which in turn would create a sub-par short film.

Early Lab Render

This is an early lab render. My partner and I are planning on revisiting the lighting and shading.

Rat Rig

This is the final model and rig for Jyles the rat. This was probably the most fun I’ve had modeling and rigging a character by far.