In 3D animation when we need to animate a character there are a few extra steps we have to take before we can start to make our characters move. This is where the process of rigging takes place.

Rigging is essentially a digital way of creating a puppet for your character so that you or your peers can animate the character. We first start by creating a “skeleton” for the character, this tells the computer where the arms, legs, head.

Skeleton Picture.jpg

(Image: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/05/6c/c2/056cc23a51cd2fa8aa852344febab472.jpg)

Next we move on to creating controls, so that we can actually can move and position our character.

(Image: http://img.cadnav.com/allimg/141127/1-14112H30H2.jpg)

We may create extra controls so for specific poses, such as tools to deform facial features, or whether we want areas of the skin to move such as the laugh lines on our faces.

The rigging process can be sometimes short or very long as there is no one trick solution to all projects. A simple character may only need a simple rig in which can be completed within a few hours of finalising your character. However a more bespoke rig used on more complex characters could take up to two months to rig. It all depends on the complexity and the style of animation being used - whether you're looking for realistic animated movements or more snappy, cartoony animation.

(Image: https://jaredauty.com/on-the-go/year-2/bird-rig/)

Thoughts by,
Adam