Reusing rigging information for other characters?


Who is this Jason character?

Does he think he is working on the Lord of the Ring or something?

Oh wait… damn!! :stuck_out_tongue:

Jason, do you come up with all this stuff by yourself? or do you have a team of gnomes that stay up 27 hours a day thinking about new ideas?
Maybe the key is having 15 kids to juggle… Hhmm… I should get myself some of those!! Do they come in different sizes?




lol jason & goosh

jason, i got some stale bread in the kitchen cupboard i can post?:smiley:




Steven- oh yeah, I came upon that months and months ago, except at the time, I thought rigging was still light years ahead of me, so I didn’t give it any thought. Well, it looks like lightyears just went by. . …

Jason- Wow, you’re doing a short! I picture it as something very humorous. I think it’s because of your laid back personality. BTW, HOW DID you learn all that mel? Did you study it as a hobby, or did you learn it all serious like a techie geek?

goosh- gnomes can program mel? Hot damn, I need to kidnap me a few.

Another question: Alex(gnomon) lives by wrap deformers for his animations. Are you guys using that method too?


Mr. Stahlberg,

If I could model like you, I’d gladly give up half my brain to science, the other half to religion, and the other half to mathematical explorations… oh yeah, and I’d leave a bit over for checking out my girlfriend. :slight_smile:

Linatique - yeah, working on it… it’s a story my brother wrote when he was 6 about a kid and his dog… kinda morbid story for a six year old, but it should be fun. The challenge I’m having with it is tryign to use maya to make it look like crayon drawings… figuring out whether or not the paper texture should change every frame, or be static for a shot… how wiggly the lines should be… how to make the motion blur look like crayon blur and not smooth standard motion blur… all that kinda stuff. But it’ll be fun. I’ll start posting stuff as I get further along. :slight_smile:

Oh! and I learned mel mainly 'cuz I had to… I started working at Alias|Wavefront when Maya was in alpha 1 or alpha 2… there was no file format at that point… so the only way to reproduce what you were doing was to do it all in Mel. as that was about 7 years ago now, I’ve had quite a bit of time to get used to the language… :slight_smile:

Jason -
stale bread… mmm. .crunchy! :slight_smile:

goosh -
you kinda get forced to come up with this sorta stuff the more you do it. I HATE doing things over and over again… if I’m doing something and I know I’m going to have to re-do it at some later point, I try and put it down into a mel script… it’s much easier that way… and I can spend more time watching tv and drinking new zealand wine. :slight_smile:

Oh, as for skinning and such, I don’t use the wrap deformer that often… I’ve found it slow and not very accurate for my stuff. I usually end up just dealing with influence objects and joints… but every new character is a new challenge, so who knows? the next creature I work on I may decide wrap deformers are the way to go! :slight_smile:



jeesus… haha! I just looked at my last message… I’ve got a friggin smiley face at the end of each paragraph!

I’m so predictable.



Originally posted by jschleifer
[B]jeesus… haha! I just looked at my last message… I’ve got a friggin smiley face at the end of each paragraph!

I’m so predictable.

:slight_smile: [/B]

stop :slight_smile: it :slight_smile: Jason, :slight_smile: right :slight_smile: now! :slight_smile:


can’t… help…iiiiittt… :argh:


LOL :slight_smile: thanks :slight_smile: Jason :slight_smile:

Hey, I kinda dig wrap deformers, so much in fact I’ve never bothered very much to explore other possibilities. I did, a little, but who knows maybe I’m missing something by giving up to soon. Can you describe a typical place where you might use influence nodes? Shoulder blade? Kneecap? What shape was your influence node, what did the end result look like? (If you have a little screenshot detail that doesn’t give away too much confidential info…) :slight_smile:


I pretty much use 'em everywhere… buttocks, bicep… tricep… those ligaments on the side of your neck… etc etc.

Unfortunately, I don’t have anything I can post right now… if ya got a model you want me to rig up, tho, I’d be happy to show you on that! :slight_smile:



Holy cow! Do it Steven Do it Steven Do it Steven!

A Stahlberg model with a Jason rig. Hot DAMN. I’m going to pass out.


Wow, that’s very helpful of you Jason, thanks. Hm, I seem to have lost your email when I changed computers so drop me a line and I’ll send something.
edit: sorry forgot to give you mine in case you lost it too:


Hi everyone, I just discovered this forum.

A coworker and I did a completely mel script based rig, The Joint Factory, for a feature film thats available for download at The current release is kinda old and needs to be updated for Maya 4.5; we got the latest version, which has been used inhouse for quite a while, coming out in a week or two.

Scripted setups is definitively the way to go if youre gonna deal with more than one or two characters. The way we wrote our rig, we also allow the animator to add setup functions locally in the animation file on a shot by shot basis, but we’ve found that this gets a bit too complicated when other studios we work with are using the rig, so for the next generation we’re planning a totally different approach, where the whole rig will be built on the original model, but the animator then has tools to completely turn off or on certain functions (using a LOT of connectAttr/disconnectAttr stuff).

Another thing, if youre not really familiar with mel scripting, you may find it helpful to study some of the Joint Factory scripts, mainly the ones for arms, legs and spine, as theyre very simple with hardly any fancy programming tricks. I really didnt have a clue about scripting when I started on The Joint Factory, so the scripts only use the most basic commands possible (not even strings for node names, that just confused me too much at that time)


That’s the one I was talking about. JF is one of the few free plugins I’ve tried that worked better than I expected; usually it’s the other way around. :slight_smile: The documentation is also unusually good.


Originally posted by jschleifer
[B]Unfortunately, I don’t have anything I can post right now… if ya got a model you want me to rig up, tho, I’d be happy to show you on that! :slight_smile:

-jas [/B]

Wow, very cool! Will the rest of us get to see some results from this collab? :applause:


And if you gents want someone to animate it… coughcough*


Hehe. This is turning into a heap of fun. I like.


Wow, this thread is amazing, and on top of that it just came at the right time for me. I’m working on a project right now that has some relatively detailed characters to be built, rigged and skinned by yours truly… It’s not my first character job in Maya, but this time I’m on my own - that is, I’ve been until I’ve found this thread.

Now I’m already helped a lot by the script listings and such, but I’m lame and will ask for more if it’s possible. Since we are going to use mocap, most of the rigging will be hands and facial blend shapes (and there’s no lyp-sinc involved, phew). The part I really fear is the skinning… On the previous job I resorted to a combination of smooth skin for the body and rigid skinned lattices for the limbs, it was fast to setup but haven’t really looked good. A collegue was helping me out with painting the weights for the shoulders and pelvis, who’s not here anymore.

So I’m a bit scared of this task and would jump around in the room like a happy monkey if I’d be able to get some help with this form you guys. I’m still doing the modeling for about 2-3 more weeks but I’ll watch this place closely meanwhile :wink:


Hey everyone!

hopefully this weekend I’ll get a few hours to start working with the model stephen sent over. I think what we’ll probably end up doing is posting images of how the deformations work on the skin (the model isn’t public, so can’t be released), and discussing techniques for achieving them.

Instead of handing out a free rig to animate with, I may provide the steps used to build it… including tips and tricks on how to build it correctly… which will then provide you guys with the abilities to do it yourselves. I think that would probably be the most educational & help everone get something out of the experience… don’t you agree? :slight_smile:



Hey Jason,
Thanks a lot for your help.
I can’t wait for that rig and tips.
Thanks again.



Awesome… that’s a perfect idea…
And yeah… it’s always much better to have to do it yourself than just getting something and only reading how it’s done.

You learn 10 times more by doing.

I look forward to checking it out