Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Big update - The CookieFlexRig and more

Alright, it's been a while (yikes! almost a year) since I last updated, but that's because I've been very busy.

In 2012 I worked on a game (Eat Sheep), a tv series (Jokie), 3 short films ("Tube", "Diamant", and "Caminandes" all soon to be released) as well as teaching a one week course at the Blender Institute, producing a new training DVD and developing a new character rig for the Blender community. It's those last two projects that I will cover in this post.

Following on from the success of the "Blender Animation Fundamentals" training series, I was asked by CG Cookie to produce another series. For this one I wanted to go into more advanced topics like lip sync, acting and how to set up a multi camera, multi character dialogue shot.

For this, I need a new rig. So I enlisted the help of concept artist David Revoy, rigger Nathan Vegdahl and CG Cookie's own Jonathan Williamson to help with the modelling. Together we worked for months to develop a flexible character rig for people to use when studying animation. You can see some of the results in the pic above. All these characters are the same rig.

The training series "The Blender Animation Toolkit" was released in November and so far has been very well recieved. Nathan also contributed some tutorials for it, so it's well rounded and shows many different approaches and techniques to animating characters in Blender.

In the spirit of open source, we also released the rig to the world as creative commons. You can get it here.