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Modular Rigging

March 5, 2010


So starting to think about modular rigging, discussed on the CGTalk forum. The basic process for this I’m thinking about is having a common  skeleton (player, creature, etc) where its used as a template  to build an animation skeleton.  Animation data can get baked down on to the skeleton, or mapped up from the skeleton. And the skeleton itself can be used for generating FBX, mocap, etc

This sounds pretty common, but Im just starting to see the benefit of it. Alongside this ILM’s block rigging paradigm could be used for the animation skeleton- rigging blocks for legs, feet hands plug-n-played for different shots, scenes etc. Some remits:

Common template skeleton

  • Must have a non-broken hierarchy, including end (nub) bones.
  • Must use a common coordinate system throughout.
  • Must have a common naming convention throughout

Animation Skeleton

  • Rigging blocks can be created in isolation.
  • They return outputs/inputs to allow other blocks to connect to them.
  • They can be removed easily without ill affect on other blocks.
  • They have common attributes that can be shared.
  • They can be traversed easily, back to a common ‘grandfather’.
  • Optional: A common markup language for there creation, XML etc.
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