View Full Version : what's that "Jason's spine" I keep hearing about?

05 May 2003, 04:11 AM
Hullo everybody.

I read a post a couple of days ago about a tool for maya that creates a rig automatically. The author mentions something about Jason's spine setup.
I was wondering, what's exactly that spine setup? I am not a developing TD so I don't think I'll get my hands on his rigging DVD in the near future, but I am just curious. What's it, how does it work (basic idea, at least) and what's "so special" about it.

Thanks :wavey:

05 May 2003, 11:11 AM
It's the setup method for the spine he uses in the DVD's from A/W. I don't own these myself, so I'm also a bit curious. I saw him at the 3d festival though where he demonstrated the Gollum-rig and the spine was one of the (many) things that impressed me.

edit: typo's

05 May 2003, 06:38 PM
try find IK Joe for Maya is something along those lines.

05 May 2003, 06:41 PM
IK-Joe uses a very similar spine set-up to Jason's

I used mainly everything that jason did, but got rid of the strech part 'cause I felt that it was more trouble to work with it than not to have it.

you can find IK-Joe on my webpage

Under Free Stuff



05 May 2003, 01:17 AM
Thanks. I'll take a look.

BTW, what was so impressive about Gollums rig? It was impossible for me to go to 3DFestival but now that you mention it, I am just curious. :applause:

Matt Leishman
05 May 2003, 03:41 AM
Mark Behm's AutoRig mel script also makes use of Jason's spine setup (if i'm not mistaken). Go to and in the mel scripts section you can't miss the autorig script. Go nutz man.

05 May 2003, 07:08 AM
I love the stretchy part.
Its so great for toony animations.
I used it on everyone of my characters I rig.

05 May 2003, 12:40 PM
But, itīs possible to find an online tutorial or something to build my own?

05 May 2003, 08:37 PM

I kinda backwards engineered the spine from Goosh's IKJoe rig. Hadn't done any rigging before so it took a couple of days but it was worth it for the learning experience alone. Much better than a tutorial!

When i have enough money Jasons DVD's are first on my list of things to buy.

After "Debbie does Dallas" of course.:thumbsup:

05 May 2003, 02:23 AM
I just tried Mark Behm's autoRig - I used it at home with XP with 4.5 - it works like a dream, although I have trouble snapping the curves to each other.

I tried it at work on 2000 with 4.0 and it doesn't work!!!!

flag "duplicate -rc "ASYMETRY" doesn't recognise the -rc flag.

if I remove the flag then it can't find "autobuildRig" - which is one of the global procedures. There's probably more.

If I try to paste it into the script editor to debug the script is too big and it doesn't paste all of it in!

I think it must be a difference between 4.0 and 4.5

Anyone have the older version of this script that had separate smaller elements/scripts that will run on 4.0?


05 May 2003, 03:21 AM
IK-Joe ought to exist, plus a tutorial on how to create your own IK-Joe should also exist... what about making one goosh?
oh yah... it needs to happen.

p.s. im bitchin' now bitches!

05 May 2003, 02:06 PM
Originally posted by Gremlin
IK-Joe ought to exist, plus a tutorial on how to create your own IK-Joe should also exist... what about making one goosh?
oh yah... it needs to happen.

p.s. im bitchin' now bitches!

The IKjoe available on the website above works for Maya 4 :bounce:
I've been testing it a little bit and it works great :applause: (although I can't reverse-engineer it :cry: )

05 May 2003, 03:53 PM
Hey, if you guys need models riged, y dont u ask some of the riggers around here to do it for you. This is a small comunity that thrives it self on helping each other, I'm sure most of them will do it for you.

05 May 2003, 05:26 PM
A rigging tutorial is on the way..

I'm working with Lluis Llobera (awesome rigger/animator) on some new tutorials..

The first one is almost ready.

It's coming :)

I'll let everybody know when it's ready.


PS: There are plans for a pretty complex rig tutorial too, a little bit more complex and way better than IK-Joe. I just need to find the time to sit down and do it.

05 May 2003, 06:00 PM
That's awesome :D :applause:

11 November 2003, 03:40 PM
When i have enough money Jasons DVD's are first on my list of things to buy.

is there a link where i can buy these dvds

11 November 2003, 08:02 PM

Watch for those links wrapping...


11 November 2003, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by nemirc

BTW, what was so impressive about Gollums rig?

Well, I haven't seen the whole thing completely myself. But from what I have seen, there are Many intuitive controls that not only behaves correctly and work they way they should be for a rig. Its much harder than it sounds to have a rig that allows for complex action and yet it doesn't flip out and at the same time has correct behavior AND also allows user to manually control all these parts.

The spine I think we sort of talked about in this thread already and the spine Jason showed was among one of the best I have ever seen. I have seen some of the foot control and is AWESOME. All the toes behaves and plants correctly depending on how the feet is rotated and move. Its one of those things you have to see to know what I mean. But basically, you can move your ankle around and the toes stay planted, follows through and behaves correctly.

Of course another really big thing was the facial setup. IT IS again one of the best I have seen. Not only the sculpting was VERY WELL DONE! but the system they created to interact and animate with was also very intuitive. They showed some video at GDC 2003. If you can take a look at it, you will know what I mean.

I think one of the big part of the rig seems to me is that they have paid a lot of attention on user interactions and design of the tools. Even if you have a great rig, but the system that was designed to use the rig is too complicated, chances are, the animators will find it difficult to use and hence, IMO tougher for the animators to perform efficiently.

IMO, many rigs out there are very complex and can handle many complex performances, but most of the time are way too complicated and cumbersome in terms of control and just because you have a button for everything you need doesn't mean it is a smart way to approach and allow an animator to create a performance, not to mention emotion. Some of the best rigs I have seen, used, or created ( :) ) are the ones that are the most simple to use, yet it is stable (meaning can handle wide range of motions without flipping out) and the kinematics just behaves correctly. To me, I think all these reasons combined are why gollum's rig is so impressive.

Simon Yuen
World of Tomorrow

11 November 2003, 04:55 PM
Stormtroopar = I totally agree with you. I asked Jason a while back about the rig he could not go into to much detail about it. But what he enphasized was the fact that the rig was paid verry much attencion to detail.. I did not get to se the video at the GDC 2003.. But I can emagine it must of been :drool: ..... And with all those great people working there, second best was no option....

WETA :love:

11 November 2003, 01:56 AM
is that video (or anything similar) avaliable? I keep hearing all thses oohs and ahhs about it, but id like to see if for myself (and see what parts I could learn from).

Ive heard discussions on how they did Gollum's head (not so much on how they controlled it). I just wanna see as much as I can =P

CGTalk Moderation
01 January 2006, 06:00 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.