View Full Version : Universal Man (a la Pixar)?

03 March 2005, 07:33 PM
I'm a total newb when it comes to rigging so I was wondering how difficult it would be for a beginner to create a "universal man" to use for personal projects, to cut down on pre-production time of modeling/rigging/skinning each different character? Anyone know of any tutorials out there that show how to do this? A great example of this type of functionality is Lowman (

-Bad Mange

03 March 2005, 09:50 PM
It's really not that hard, for a beginner you may run into some pitfalls doing stuff that you later find better solutions for but that's simply par for the course. Another great one to check out is PackageMan ( ( Just a matter of starting off with some really solid ideas and implementing them :)

03 March 2005, 10:16 PM
Thanks for your reply, MEL, but I don't think my initial question was clear. Have you seen the special features of The Incredibles DVD? They created a "Universal Man" and created other characters from that single modeled and rigged character. I believe the character was even skinned, as they had to change setups for certain characters. Package man is nothing like Lowman, which allows you to change the proportions.

03 March 2005, 10:43 PM
Yeah I saw the "Universal Man" stuff from The Incredibles :) There's many ways of really doing that sort of things...Albeit you wouldn't generally get away with 'one' character for an entire production (most characters differ in movement or style in production).

Basically, you could create a single character rig based off a standard biped setup with the regular joints, have the animators do all the animation on that specific rig and then offload the animation from it onto the final res (for reference check out Jason Schleifer's DVD's or the CCT DVD from Alias). You could also string the 'universal man' to a proxy or final mesh of the character using joint connections driving joints etc.

Not sure if that's something of a route you'd be looking to take though :)

03 March 2005, 11:37 PM
I seem to remember a Maya demo where they did something like that, modifying one character over and over to create new ones. It was a pretty old demo, speaking in CG terms, back around '98 or '99.


03 March 2005, 06:32 PM
Take your model, reshape it to another without adding or deleting vertices and then you have your universal man. Like a blend shape process... Universal man was created to pull down cost of productions.. he said


03 March 2005, 07:18 PM
Yep. Blendshape your guy to new shapes. Use deformers instead of point pulling and you'll find you can get some really diverse looking characters. You will of course,,, still need to do individual texturing for each character.


03 March 2005, 03:13 PM
Thank you for all the replies! Blendshapes seem like the way to go.

-Bad Mange

03 March 2005, 03:37 AM
personaly i would either use a series of Latices, use influence objects to deform him, or maybe even set a bone structure in the face to bend it out of shape.

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