Character rigging is the method with which you create a system for animating a character. A rig is represented by two primary mechanics: the skeleton, consisting of hierarchical rotations to drive the motions, and a skin, or method of deforming the geometry that makes up the character model. Essential Skills in Character Rigging is a beginner’s guide to learning and understanding the essential aspects of character setup, evaluation, skeletal construction, and deformation. Borrowing from the author’s extensive experience in the field, it presents the primary theories, constructs, and objectives for constructing a basic rig from the ground up, just as it would be done in a professional studio.
The book explains the basic elements of hierarchies, skeletons, kinematics, deformation, skinning, and creating relationships between nodes. It gives hands-on experience with taking a completed character model and setting it up with a skeleton with kinematics and soft-skin deformation. It also gives specific instructions on using inverse kinematics systems, and how to set up the essential mechanics of a human rig with these systems. All of these lessons are conducted using a simplistic, conversational style that keeps technical and mathematical jargon to a minimum. The book also includes video tutorials corresponding to specific modules.
Essential Skills in Character Rigging takes aspiring character artists through the vital components in the process of taking a 3D character model and turning it into an animatable rig that is ready for production in film or games. It identifies the universal fundamentals at work behind character rigging, and the practical complexities of the process are broken down into simple steps that are easy to comprehend and execute.