Thursday, 6 January 2011


My aim for this project was to learn Rigging, focusing on Blend Shapes whilst also continuing with my animation.

Where I have succeeded:

I have really enjoyed learning new skills and pushing my knowledge of Maya even further, whether this is by doing the complex rigging to learning new shortcuts. I believe I have particularly succeeded in creating working Blendshapes for a head model, which I was then able to animate with.

I never knew anything about painting weights in Maya, and although I still find it difficult to achieve the results I want sometimes, I am happy to be able to do so. I received a Wacom tablet in December and this has sped up the time it takes really effectively. I also believe I am quicker as I know relatively what I am doing and which vertices I need for clusters etcetera.

I also think my animation has improved from last year, as during the summer I learned how to use the graph editor more effectively and ‘step’ the animation in key poses before following straight through. My run cycles show evidence of this as I took longer to do so than just rushing straight in.

Where I have not succeeded:

The main area I did not really succeed was with the body rigging, as I decided to focus on the facial rigging and be able to develop this to a good standard.

This is one of my main aims for the next week or so is to try and see where I went wrong with the back clusters or to find a different tutorial to follow. If there is one thing I have learned from this process it is that one tutorial is never enough. For example, with the facial animation I used the Autodesk tutorial to create the blend shapes using painting clusters, but then at times I needed to use Curves as a Wire Tool to be able to manipulate the mouth further. This I had learned from initially practicing on Melvin from the old Learning Maya 5 book.

I think it will be the same with the body rigging, if I can follow through another tutorial, preferably one that rigs all at once, I should be able to combine it with my previous knowledge and create some great results.


I am happy with what I have learned this term, especially with my facial rigging. I feel confident to use this in the future for my final year film, as well as for other groups if they require it.

What I have learned:
Rigging – Skeleton
IK/FK switches
Constraints for the feet
Using Clusters
Rigging- Facial
Edit Membership tool
Painting Clusters Weights in the face
Using Wire Tool for mouth expressions
Creating Blend Shapes for the eyelids, eyebrows and mouth
Rigging the Eyes using a Locator Aim orient

There are many little bits to add to this such as how to label prefixes easily and the Connections editor, but these are the main points.

Add to this Dynamics playing with Fire and Water, which I am still trying to fix the problems with, and I feel I have had a successful term.


Carry on with the body rigging – hopefully this will be complete by the 10th of January for this project hand in
Keep Practicing! I want to facial rig a more cartoon style animal next rather than a realistic human head.

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