After texturing yesterday I hit myself as I had forgotten my facial edge loops. I went back and added all the necessary items to give my Ape his smiling features. Then I gritted my teeth and got ready to begin my least favourite stage. Rigging.
Rigging is something you either love or despise with a fiery passion. I remember being faced with a board in university that had so much writing on it to teach us IK that I couldn’t see the white in the background anymore. It was daunting.
When I first started rigging I couldn’t see any artistic talent in it what so ever. It was maths and a process of following a weird recipe to get my character moving but as I have worked with different riggers and seen their skills I completely take back my old opinions. Rigging is a beautiful thing when done right. The facial rigs that you see online these days blow me away and I dream of animating them. It does feel, when you’re learning to rig, that you are fighting against the computer at every stage but once you pass the initial terror it is very satisfying.
Obviously this is a refresher course for me and probably the most important one. I have rigged in the past at different companies but the sheer dread that enters my chest when my boss would even mention me and rigging in the same sentence showed I needed more practice. Its something I plan on practicing a lot this year.
As the day has gone on I’ve really started to enjoy rigging my character. It might be because I put rigging on a terrifying pedestal, scared to attempt it after the nightmares of uni but it was so much easier than I remember.
There is always a feeling of copying when I rig. I watch a tutorial and copy every word but I feel like a cheat so a lot of the time I try to work it out myself when it goes wrong. When it comes to rigging you can’t copy enough! (As long as you give 100% credit) It’s a little similar to learning to draw, copy until you make it.
The rig currently has ik legs, ik arms and hands. I am yet to attempt the spine and test it all but so far it’s been enjoyable. A little like playing on a frozen lake*. You know it’s frozen (because old men fish on it every day) but there’s still a tiny part of you looking at the shore, even when you are having fun. Fingers crossed it all goes to plan.