PDA

View Full Version : Starting your career as a rigger


arrow000
11-24-2007, 04:24 AM
I have a question that Iíve been trying to get answered for a few weeks now. Iíve asked a hand full of people, and I keep getting generic answers. I know my question isnít a black and white answer, but I still think someone can give me a better answer.



I recently realized that I want to be a rigger. Iíve done some rigging at school and I am doing as much research as I can. I plan to make a new demo reel soon. I have no idea how much I need to know to be a junior rigger. I understand that different companies will have different requirements. However, I have no idea if itís possible for me to get a job within a few months, or it will take a year or two to understand enough about rigging. Can anybody give me a rough idea of how much I need to know to get started?

dragonlair81
11-25-2007, 01:42 AM
I would say that one thing that you need to learn to do is how to script. From what I have seen and heard is that you need to be able to write your own scripts and create your own tools. So I would say learn how to script then look at some people reels. There are a lot of good reels here where you can see what your up against.

safakoner
11-27-2007, 10:43 AM
hi there!

there is several things that you can do.

Take a look around what`s happining in the market for rigging/character developing
Show clear deformation on your rigged model (which is important)
Show some cool things in your reel (stretch, muscle)
Develop some specific technics (solve and show obvious problems in rigging issue)
Make it automatically. When you develop something, write tools for them. So you can show your skill and productivity.
Learn scripting and tool developing.
If you wanna be a rigger you do not need to know scripting/tool developing, But! do not forget if you know it will be a huge plus.

In time, as soon as you do these stuff you can become a character td. Work hard, gain more expreince and knowledge as much as you can. show your skills, get a job :thumbsup:

arrow000
11-30-2007, 06:21 PM
Thanks for the replies guys! I want to learn scripting, but I think it would be better to be a good rigger before I concentrate on making automatic. It's definitely a long-term goal of mine to learn scripting and becoming a character TD.

Do you guys recommend any books for learning scripting? I've seen a few, but I would like a book that is specifically for riggers. The one's I found were for scripting in general.

Ollarin
11-30-2007, 06:52 PM
Thanks for the replies guys! I want to learn scripting, but I think it would be better to be a good rigger before I concentrate on making automatic. It's definitely a long-term goal of mine to learn scripting and becoming a character TD.

Do you guys recommend any books for learning scripting? I've seen a few, but I would like a book that is specifically for riggers. The one's I found were for scripting in general.
If you want to be a Character TD, the Art of Rigging series from CGtoolkit is an absolute must. It teaches you scripting too. Amazing books!

stewartjones
11-30-2007, 08:39 PM
The Art of Rigging books are very neat, and covers most of the basics. As for scripting learn it as you work, I find it's the best way. Scripts aren't just there for making things automatic, it can be a ton of stuff from GUI to animation Import/Export.

As for demo reel stuff, spend some time going online and finding as many reel as you can. You can then look for inspiration for your own, and it also gives you a good insight into what other people are producing.

arrow000
11-30-2007, 08:56 PM
I am almost done Stop Starring. After that I will do all the DVDs from Fahrenheit Digital. Then I plan to go through the Art of Rigging. Hehe.

My favourite rigging reel is from Victor Vinyals:
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=154&t=538902&page=1&pp=15

Are there any other reels you guys recommend?

Ollarin
12-01-2007, 05:29 AM
One of my most favorite rigging reels was posted a few years ago. Dangit! I can't remember his name. It was done in Messiah, does anyone remember? :hmm:

Ollarin
12-01-2007, 02:40 PM
Wooohoo! I found it, it's a reel by Marek Shneider, very well done reel.
http://maks.free.fr/reel/

JamSession
12-03-2007, 04:39 PM
I know quite a few people that started off as 3D artist/animators for smaller companies that constantly built robust rigs, and from there they went on to bigger companies as character TD's.

Michael Comet and Victor I know you are both members here, so correct me if I am wrong, but I believe you two a perfect examples of what I am talking about.

Breaking into the industry as a ground level TD is extremely hard (breaking into industry is hard no matter who you are, but much harder as a TD since those are more complex level jobs for the most part.)

Remember, HR people are watching your reel, so make sure you show some final pretty shots of your rig in action showing great deformation and animation. If you suck at animating like me, then have a buddy animate it.

arrow000
12-03-2007, 05:31 PM
AdmiralRa: Cool reel, thanks for the link!

JamSession: Thanks for the advice. I am currently working in the industry. I will be learning as much about rigging as I can in my spare time. My goal is to apply for a rigging position sometime in the next year.

NolanSW
12-05-2007, 12:38 AM
A couple things to keep in mind when it comes to rigging:

Study as much anatomy as possible. Understand the concepts of motion
Remember that Deformations are the final result and what the viewer is going to see.
You can have a simple rig drive some really well done deformations.
Understand basic modeling practices and how topology may help or hinder what I mentioned above.

As the fore mentioned above, scripting is good to know. There are quite a few books on amazon and on Autodesks website.

Good luck to you! :thumbsup:

-Sean

DangerAhead
12-05-2007, 12:56 AM
it takes a good 18 months of pure study to be a decent rigger.
great things to start with:

1. Fahranheitdigital.com (http://www.fahrenheitdigital.com/)
2. CGToolkit.com - Art of Rigging
both have excellent rigging vids.

3. jason Schliefer has 4 new and improved Animator Friendly Rigging DVDs (http://store.autodesk.com/store/adsk/DisplayProductByTypePage/categoryID.10033000) on the autodesk site.
they're great. there's like 4 parts.

This should get you started.
Gnomon has a new rigging DVD coming out this month. I bet it's pretty decent.

And Nolan is right.... learn anatomy.

Tripple-I
12-05-2007, 10:33 AM
Good stuff here, I can attest to the toughness of breaking in the ind. as a TD(still looking!). my degree was anythng but specific and had to self teach most of what i know, and am currently, nay constantly expanding info (currently with scripting). I started w/ cgtoolkit, mel for maya animators is a good intro for mel. some biggies are:
-toolsets
-setting up muscles
-mel
-anatomy
-cloth/hair (dosen't hurt)

jason108
12-07-2007, 06:33 PM
Watch art of rigging volume 1 asap. It will totally give you confidence that rigging isnt very hard.

Starting rigging, keep learning, keep rigging, keep learning.

Anyone know of good binding learning resources

BenBarker
12-11-2007, 07:05 AM
My advice is to not get too wrapped up in the exact "how to" for a piece of software. That stuff is important, no doubt. But whether or not you know what command makes a sphere in a package is not as important as good foundation knowledge in computer graphics.

I only mention it because many tutorials are mostly the application, not the theory. So it can be easy to follow the recipe without asking yourself why things behave the way they do. This is a question you must constantly ask yourself.

Many users don't ask, because many times the answer is confusing. So they fall into this trap and end up with a superstitious view of 3D. "I know if I toggle this button on and off, then wiggle this slider, then do the hokey-pokey, my scene doesn't crash!"

Some basic computer science, linear algebra, geometry, and calculus can go a long way to helping you understand what the programmers were thinking when they wrote a piece of software, right on back to the pioneers of CG. But more important than these, absolutely learn scripting. Any language, pick one. The syntax is far less important than the mindset. The thought process you learn with scripting is invaluable and will serve you every day.

If you have a good foundation, and you are asked to work in a package you have never used before (this is inevitable) you will be prepared. It will make you a much more valuable TD. Also this isn't the kind of stuff you can 'cram', the learning is a process that never stops, and in fact will probably increase greatly once you leave school and begin working.

Buexe
12-12-2007, 11:38 AM
I just want to warn you that rigging can be sort of addictive :eek: . And even though one can be a great rigger without scripting, besides the fact that one can automate repetitive tasks, it teaches a lot about the inner structure/mechanism of a 3D app. Additionally, in Maya you can do stuff with scripting that the interface has no hmmm interface for, like creating an oriented cluster. If I was to start over, I would learn scripting asap, saves a LOT of time. But I understand if there is a lot to learn it is hard to set priorities.
Good luck!

EDIT: BenBarker`s post hits the nail on the head IMO

digitalguest
02-24-2008, 01:57 AM
love this tread, nice comments, I'm starting in all this about rigging, do you have any recommendation in the order i should buy and watch those resources like fahrenheit dvd's and Art Of Rigging books and dvds, Animator friendly dvd ?, i already saw the DT about intro to rigging and rigging the woman character.

lucille
02-24-2008, 10:13 AM
I think alot people have the wrong impression about character set up at film studios. There is
a lot of work that does not involve character set up, per se. Cameras, motion capture, animation tools, pipeline tools, dynamics, and inter-package workflows. Thats why scripting skills are so desirable. Don't neglect your character work--but open your horizons.-it will make you a much better job candidate. At interviews--always ask what sorts of additional
things would that employer value--sort of market research.

arrow000
09-08-2008, 05:01 AM
Thank you all very much for all of this info. This is really great advice.

I'm taking the CGtalk scripting class with Todd Widup right now actually.

Has anyone heard about this TD school? http://www.td-college.com/index.php

I'm interested in the classes, but I'm not sure if it's worth it. I already have a lot of loans, and the classes are expensive and only 6 weeks each... :S

What about rigging for video games. I took animation at school, we weren't taught anything about game engines....

theflash
09-08-2008, 07:58 AM
Now a days in big studios TD job is getting more modular. There are Lighting TDs, Shading TDs, Cloth/Hair TD etc. But mind it that these are highly specific jobs for big studios.

As a generic suggestion. I have found that you need to have both left and right brain for this job. Just being too techie is not enough, and if you don't know much techie part it wont help either. So you kind of have to balance both. But generally a TD job is like problem solving. So If you are good at it, it will show up in your work.

For character TD,
-> Learn anatomy
-> I think modelling shuold be absolutely necessary because eventually you will be dealing with different kind of meshes. Now you don't need to be a pro, but knowing what goes in modelling will help you a lot.
-> For deformations you may have to take artistic decisions sometimes instead of logical. There comes your right brain.
-> For character TD learning animation will help you understand animation problems. There is a difference when people tell you the problem and you experience it yourself.
-> You need to have a good sense in programming. Just writing script isn't enough. They have to be efficient, curtomizable and manageable in a team. There comes your left brain.
-> Learning math, at least some basic required can help you a great deal in solvging problems. e.g. vectors & matrices.

TD job has no fix boundries. It can either go on too artistic side or too technical side. So be ready to face new challenges.

NolanSW
09-08-2008, 04:25 PM
Thank you all very much for all of this info. This is really great advice.
I'm taking the CGtalk scripting class with Todd Widup right now actually.
Has anyone heard about this TD school? http://www.td-college.com/index.php
I'm interested in the classes, but I'm not sure if it's worth it. I already have a lot of loans, and the classes are expensive and only 6 weeks each... :S
What about rigging for video games. I took animation at school, we weren't taught anything about game engines....

Saty is a training instructor here at Dreamworks and is good at explaining any concept so to have him be apart of the TD school is a big plus. If you feel it's worth it then take a class. I know your pain with all the loans (mine won't be paid for another 10 years). But taking classes, going to seminars or buying tutorials are all investments for your career. You can be more confident in asking for more salary so you can say I know how to do this "thing".

I would worry about rigging as a whole and not just for a game engine which is going to be different from studio to studio. The only thing different is having a complete joint hiearchy and possibly a joint and skinning influence restriction. My first gig out of school was a game studio and had never rigged for a game engine but once I knew what the programmers needed then it was a cinch.

-Sean

arrow000
09-08-2008, 07:23 PM
How hard is it to get started. There's SOOOO much to know. Are many companies looking for ppl to teach, or most ppl work up to being a TD.

theflash
09-10-2008, 04:19 AM
You are right there is so much to know. When I took first rigging class in Maya many things went over top of my head. I had no idea what was orientation order. But after that when I took second rigging class I enjoyed it a lot since I started getting all the points I missed in my previous class.

Pick up a software of your choice and then get familiar with it first. Then go ahead and do some simple modeling for your rig (this modeling will help a great deal in understanding how the edge loops work when you deform the character). When I did my first rigging on my own 2 years back I didn't know how clavicle moves and so I didn't add clavicle to lift the arm above horizontal level. When I was modeling morph targets for my face and I could not get a convincing smile, that was because my model didn't follow muscle structure of the face. Then I realized how important anatomy is.

The best way to start learning is to try something. First failed project will teach you more than anything.

CGTalk Moderation
09-10-2008, 04:19 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.