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Isia
03-29-2007, 07:22 PM
Hey guys.

I am really stuck with rigging at the moment. I can't seem to find a good 'order' to learn things in. I understand the basics of rigging, but find it difficult to understand the more complex stuff.

I have heard that Jason Schleifer's DVD are a must have for rigging, but have a few questions on them.

1. The website http://homepage.mac.com/jschleifer/HomePage/dvds.html#Anchor_calendar1 seems to have broken links to the DVDs to actually buy them.

2. Which DVD should I buy and as a beginner, will I be able to understand them?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

SubjectEgo
03-29-2007, 09:25 PM
The "Animator Friendly Rigging" series is a very good place to start. "Part I" starts you off with very important concepts for how to approach every rig you'll ever construct. You will be guided through the creation of a ball rig (it sounds simple, but any seasoned rigger here can tell you that it's both mildly intricate and important to learn).

"Part II" takes what you learn in "Part I" and applies it to the creation of a biped. Many more important concepts are introduced in the second part. Based on what you've told us in your post, I feel that Jason's series is an ideal place to start. They are very straightforward and thorough, and will help you advance your understanding of rigging without any headaches.

"Animator Friendly Rigging, Part I" (http://estore.autodesk.com/dr/sat3/ec_Main.Entry17C?SID=19515&SP=10023&CID=0&PID=911122&PN=1&V1=911122&V2=&V3=&V4=&V5=11033743&CUR=840&DSP=&PGRP=0&ABCODE=&CACHE_ID=0)

Another resource that is fairly respectable is CGToolkit's "The Art of Rigging" series. There are three parts, all of which are very informative. However, they are not the best resource for beginning rigging students. They are detailed, but tend to get drawn-out and over-elaborate with their explanations. It's the equivalent of reading a college textbook on rigging, versus a more condensed how-to guide. Still, don't discount them. They can be invaluable once you get to the more advanced material.

As for the "order" in which to learn things... I don't believe there's any universal order to learning rigging (or anything, for that matter). The best way to approach this material is to be task-oriented. Don't just do the examples from the books/dvds and move on - take what you learn and apply it to a project of your own. You will gain a better understanding of the material if you are constantly using and appending it in your own work, rather than just the exercises.

I hope that helps you.

"He who takes a second step without taking a first will find himself falling backward."

Isia
03-29-2007, 10:30 PM
Thank you for the very imformative post SubjectEgo. What you said about applying what I have learnt so far to my own projects has brought on another question. How am I best to go about doing that, should I create new models to rig or just re-rig an existing model I already have. Or would it be best to go out and find some free models to download, if any?

I also have a few other questions if I may.

Do you have any links to the "Animator Friendly Rigging: Part 2" as I can not seem to find it on Autodesk's site (The one you linked me)

-Edit- I just read on Shh-Life that Part 2 is not actually released yet, which would explain why I could not find it :)

Also you said you felt that Jason's series would be a good place to start. Is this refering to the Animator Friendly Rigging Series, as it is different from the one I link in my first post here. (that link was taken from the Rigging Tutorials sticky thread in this forum)

There was also another series on AutoDesks site called "CG Academy - Intermediate Rigging" by Paul Neale. That also looks promising but wanted to ask if you have any comments on the series too.

LucentDreams
03-29-2007, 11:21 PM
Jason's Animation friendly rigging series is the best series I've ever read for rigging. Definitely the thing you want to start with. after that I'd say the art of rigging and Fahrenheit digital's 3 disc feature rigging series are good, and Jason's two older DVD's though they don't seem to be available anymore from what I can see.

AFR is the best series in my opinion is you build a really capable rig, but jason's very good about how he describes things. More why than any other series covers. You really see the thought process.

SubjectEgo
03-30-2007, 03:25 AM
Originally posted by Isia:
How am I best to go about doing that, should I create new models to rig or just re-rig an existing model I already have. Or would it be best to go out and find some free models to download, if any?
It all depends on what you want to build. I'd look at what progress I'm making in my studies, determine what new ideas from those studies I'd like to explore, then find a character that would take advantage of those idea. If you have a character mesh already in your inventory that suits those needs, then I'd recommend sticking with it. Though, if you don't have what you need, or if you would like to explore a different design, then you'll need to seek it out through whatever outlets are available to you.

There aren't too many decent resources for free character meshes online. Most reasonably well-made meshes are either hard to find, or they cost WAY too much money (intended for commercial use). If you already have some characters in your inventory, you've got a definite head start. If not, your best bet is to search through some of these forums:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/
http://www.highend3d.com/boards/
http://strutyourreel.com/forum/
http://www.creaturetd.com/forums/
http://threedy.com/site/forum/index.php

Perform searches such as "free mesh", "need rigger", etc. You'll find that there is a fair number of animators with meshes they'd like to use for a character, and who are looking for riggers to provide for them. You may also find screenshots of meshes made by modelers, who might be willing to allow you to rig them if you approach them. If you find someone willing to share their work with you, it's always best to offer them the end result of your efforts.

You should also do searches on those forums, as well as on Google (http://www.google.com/), for animation portfolio websites. I have found a great many meshes and rigs available for download from animators', riggers' and modelers' personal portfolio sites. A major bonus to this is the wide variety of character types. It will provide you with the opportunity to use different approaches to character rigging, all depending on the demands of the character type (cartoon vs. hyper-real, etc.).

Also, no matter where you acquire a mesh, regardless of if it was free, shared, or purchased, note who created it and where to find them. If you rig someone else's mesh, and end up using it in your portfolio in the future, you'll thank yourself for keeping track of the credit (or hate yourself for never writing it down).

Originally posted by Isia:
...you said you felt that Jason's series would be a good place to start. Is this refering to the Animator Friendly Rigging Series, as it is different from the one I link in my first post here.
Yes. When I referred to Jason's series, I meant his "Animator Friendly Rigging" series. Seeing as how those links were all broken, you'll have better luck with a more current list of Autodesk's training products here (http://estore.autodesk.com/dr/sat3/ec_Main.Entry16?SP=10024&PN=51&xid=19515&V1=11033743&V2=11033743&V3=1&V5=&V4=10&S1=&S2=&S3=&S4=&S5=). Though, I'd advise doing some research on the items they have available. Some of them are rather unhelpful.

Originally posted by Isia:
There was also another series on AutoDesks site called "CG Academy - Intermediate Rigging" by Paul Neale.
The products from "CG Academy (http://www.cg-academy.net/index.htm)" are meant for 3DS Max. Although the two platforms are drastically different, many of the ideas (and I stress "ideas") are universal. You will struggle, however, if you try to achieve the results of a 3DS Max tutorial in Maya, and vice versa.

That brings me to a question of my own: Which software package are you using?
I've been assuming you're using Maya, since this thread is regarding Jason's Maya-oriented series - but, that could just be an ignorant oversight on my part.

Originally posted by LucentDreams:
I'd say the art of rigging and Fahrenheit digital's 3 disc feature rigging series are good...
Having forgotten to mention Fahrenheit Digital (http://www.fahrenheitdigital.com/)'s series, I should note that I agree with LucentDreams for that part. I haven't delved too deeply into the material in that series, having mostly skimmed for relevant ideas from time to time. But, from what I've seen, I'm anxious to get through to the rest of it. Depending on your learning style (visual or textual) you might gain more from either the "The Art of Rigging" or the Fahrenheit Digital series, respectively. They share much of the same information, but present it in different ways. Though, I'd have to admit, "The Art of Rigging" still has more information (which is both an advantage and a hindrance).

LucentDreams
03-30-2007, 08:55 AM
yeah art of rigging is definitely more thorough and advanced, and sadly Aaron's not as good as putting things into words. (not to mention he's not the most exciting speaked to listen to for 30 hours)

Art of rigging and the Fahrenheit digital are as you said a matter of your personally learning tastes more than anything. Jason's stuff is gold though, even if you think video learning is better his test is so well written, its fun to read and easy to follow and his explanations just make sense. Much of what he writes feels obvious after reading it because its so sensibly explained.

Isia
03-30-2007, 11:58 AM
[/url]The products from "[url="http://www.cg-academy.net/index.htm"]CG Academy (http://strutyourreel.com/forum/)" are meant for 3DS Max. Although the two platforms are drastically different, many of the ideas (and I stress "ideas") are universal. You will struggle, however, if you try to achieve the results of a 3DS Max tutorial in Maya, and vice versa.

That brings me to a question of my own: Which software package are you using?
I've been assuming you're using Maya, since this thread is regarding Jason's Maya-oriented series - but, that could just be an ignorant oversight on my part.

I am actually using 3Ds Max at the moment. However, in my next year at college we will be using Maya. The reason I still wanted to get hold of Jason's DVDs is because I have heard from every where that they by far the best Rigging DVDs out there, dispite your application. I also went to the AutoDesk open evening for Maya 8.5 (in the UK, London) the other night and was highly impressed, and so I wish to get hold of Maya some time before my new year starts.

You said that you feel it would be difficult to take one tutorial and apply it to another application. I am hoping that with these DVD's/books I will learn the reasoning and techniques used to create a rig and why it is constructed in such a way. Not neccessary a step by step walk through on how to do something in a particular program, if that makes sense. At the moment, I feel stuck because I do not understand/how to approach the more complex items. From what you said though, it may be best if I skip the CG Academy series, if I will not be using Max for much longer.



Thank you for all the advice and help, it has been extremely helpful to me.

Isia
04-01-2007, 01:02 PM
I just wanted to post an update incase anyone else is trying to get hold of Jason's DVD's.

I e-mailed Autodesk about the broken link and the reply was that they are aware of the problem but do not have an ETA for when it will be up and running :(

PEN
04-16-2007, 01:58 PM
Some of the suggestions for the Maya rigging DVD's and books are right on and are definitly the best choice if you will be rigging in Maya. If you are in Max and want to learn to rig there then my DVD's would be a good choice. Don't forget about the tutorials that ship with Max as they are very good.

As was pointed out by SubjectEgo the ideas of rigging from package to package remain the same. The base math that is used in all the packages is the same and you run into the same issues in all of them. The tools that you use to solve those problems are different. ONe package might have a tool that directly addresses an issue where another you will have to jump trough a few hoops to get a solution working. Good DVD's and tutorials will point out the strengths and weeknesses of the package that it was designed for and give you the work around that will get the job done.

doude
05-15-2007, 08:18 AM
Hello all,

as isia said, the link to buy jason schleifer's dvd are broken. Probably since Autodesk owns Alias.

Now, if people like me wants to buy thoses precious DVD, where is it possible to do it?

Thanks for your help . :)

csc2h
05-16-2007, 11:26 PM
Go to www.cgtoolkit.com and buy The Art of Rigging: Vol 1,2,and 3 ... They are VERY worth your money and go from beginning concepts to production worthy concepts.

Jason Schleifer's DVD is definitely worth it. I was at the Master Class in Boston for Animation Friendly Rigging and it is definitely good for starting out and also has a lot of advanced concepts also.

http://www.jonhandhisdog.com/

That is Jason's webpage, there is some information about the DVD on the website and where to order it, etc...

-Chase Cooper-
Character TD
www.3dcooper.com

doude
05-17-2007, 03:58 AM
Hey chase, thank you so much for your help.

:thumbsup:

cem
05-17-2007, 06:27 AM
Has anyone from Australia had any luck in buying Animation Friendly Rigging looks like it's by download only and Autodesk's stupid store won't let me purchase it. It said to look for a store in my region but that's a bit hard when there isn't one. At least when Alias was in charge I could buy training materials from them even though they wouldn't let you buy the software.

Isia
05-17-2007, 04:56 PM
csc2H: I did buy 'The Art of Rigging' series and I definately recommend them for any others starting out like me. It has been said many times, but more approal never hurts ;)

That said, I was extremely disappointed with their sales service. My product was a month late and it took cgToolkit 3 weeks to reply to my email, just a quick warning doude. I would personally advise you to purchase them from some where else if possible.

doude
05-18-2007, 02:56 AM
:) Ok Isia, I'll try to be careful.
Especially cause i need it quite quickly.

Thanks.

Mechis
05-20-2007, 06:11 PM
Does anyone know of an ETA for Jason's animator friendly rigging dvds? I know the first one was released, but it seems like he's been done with the other 3 parts for a while now and autodesk hasn't released them......
~Mechis

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