Archive for November, 2009

First off, Happy Belated Thanksgiving Day. Things I’m thankful for:
-Being Alive
-My Friends
-My Family
-McDonalds

I know it looks weird, but seriously, McDonalds is dependable and there when you need it. It was there for me on Thanksgiving(my Thanksgiving dinner happened on Sunday when Liam and Alice were here). MickeyD’s was also there in Venice when it was raining and no one would let us without buying food. It was also there in Naples when we needed something to eat for cheap, in Versailles when I couldn’t speak any French. It’s always there for me even though I don’t much care for the food(I do love their breakfast though).

Anywho so, I’ve been puttering around with the Rigging DVD idea. So many possibilities are available, so I’ve had to sit and think about what I would like to teach, what I think I could teach, and what people want/need. So I’ve decided to do a Basic Rigging DVD to help get the basics and foundation. Somethere where at the end, you would have a solid easy to animate, quick rig, that should suit most needs and teach you the tools and some of the theory behind rigging. So now I’ve been working on what to cover. I think there needs to be a blend of Understanding how things work, and understanding what it is exactly you’re doing. So I’ve been thinking about some of the tools, tags, and objects that I would cover. Here’s what they are right now:

-Joint Tool
-Weight Tool
-Mirror Tool
-Joint Align Tool(Probably not)

-Skin Deformer
-Joint Object

-Constraints(PSR, Aim, Up Vector mainly)
-IK Tag
-IK-Spline Tag
-Weight Tag
-Morph*
-PoseMixer*

*Might not add them as I want to show Rigging without MOCCA stuff(maybe).

Those are the list of objects/tools/tags that I would try to explain the settings, and the concepts behind. Then, we’d obviously go ahead and rig a Biped of course, but I want to teach the tools and theory behind some rigging stuff first so you have a good foundation.

Let me know if you have any more ideas of what you would like to see in a CINEMA 4D Basics Rigging DVD.

Also, let me know if you’d rather have an actual DVD or a Download as I’ll eventually need to plan for that stuff as well.

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It’s about a quarter til 1AM here. Why am I still up you ask? No, not really to update my website. Tonight has been about getting some things done. First, I got some Dinner. Done. Then I worked a lot on my assignment for Animation Mentor this week. I got a lot, you guessed it, done. I turned in a real piece of shit assignment last week sadly. Kai has been working rather hard, and not sleeping, at Re-Rigging the Bishop Rig for CINEMA 4D(No you can’t have it unless you’re an AM student, and even then, ask me in Class 4,) because we want to be working in CINEMA. We’re both faster in CINEMA. Apparently, from what I hear/see/gather, the Rig is a nightmare in Maya, and they could apparently do with a Range Mapper Node like we have in CINEMA. Maya has it’s plusses though. Anyway, so Kai worked his ass off on it for about 2.5 weeks straight, and basically I waited til the last minute(mainly to see if he could finish it on time) before deciding to work in Maya for the assignment. Unfortunately, for me, this came at about Thursday. Thursdays I usually sleep over at my girlfriend’s apartment because I have Rugby Practice until 10PM and she lives closer to work(plus it’s nice hanging out with her :D ) so I usually cannot work on Thursdays. That left Friday during Work for me to do my assignment because Libby and I were going to go camping at the beach. So, yeah the assignment I turned in was crap, but I’m happy to say we have the Bishop Rig in CINEMA working pretty well, and I’ve reblocked my shot and worked up to where I should be now.

Then, I decided, I’m sick of my Internet situation. I have this crappy Satalite adapter thing, and it goes out on me if I move my legs. So I decided to see if I could get my old Range Expander to work again, and low and behold, IT DOES! STOKED! I don’t even need a second one! So, marveling at the fact that I have true wireless internet again, I thought, well maybe my PS3 could finally hook up to the Playstation Network again…and it DOES! YES! So I’ve been sitting here, waiting for the system update(which just finished) and I was also working on setting up some stuff for a Website for the CLU Rugby Team.

Soon, I will post some pics from our camping trip which was relaxing, fun, and actually great weather for Mid November at the Beach, but for now I’m going to try playing some online games! WHOO HOO!

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Howdy everyone,

So, work has been work, and school has been school. I went to Vegas for Halloween. That was interesting. I never felt so sleezy than I did on Halloween in my PE Coach uniform. It was fun though. Good times, and I didnt lose too much money!

Rugby has been going alright. Unfortunately due to class schedules I can’t go as much as I would like to. I can only go to one practice a week. It’s a bit of a drag as I want to keep getting better and hopefully earn a starters spot, but we shall see. We had a friendly match against some of the Boys of Asuza Pacific University. Good, odd, match. Questionable officiating(especially on the definition of a straight throw on the line outs) made for hot temperatures amongst the players, but in the end we managed to win 15-10, or 21-14. I’m not sure if we were playing with conversions or not. I did ok, nothing special. I think I got some good rucking and tackles but my endurance is not where it should be. gotta fix that.

Lately, I have been checking out Digital Tutors tutorials, and wondering why there’s no CINEMA 4D tutorials there. I’ve been watching some of the rigging tutorials in Maya and XSI. Most of it seems easily transferable to CINEMA which has lately gotten me to thinking about creating a DVD on Character Rigging in CINEMA 4D. I know we kind of have two already with the WiPix DVD, and the R10 disc, but hey why not another one? If you’re interested let me know and maybe it will happen. Anything you want it to cover let me know.

It got me to thinking about how I got to where I am with rigging. I think I’m getting to the point of actually knowing what I’m doing and being able to explain what is going on as well, which is good because it helps me figure out what I need to do. So how did I get started in Rigging in CINEMA 4D?

Well, I started using CINEMA 4D with Version 8.1. It wasn’t prime for Character Rigging or anything, although Captain3D did Pump Action with less I think. So my school had CINEMA and eventually I got an internship with MAXON. While I was there I saw a DVD about Rigging that I don’t think ever got released. It was for R9, and I believe it was from 3D Guru. It was pretty informative, and it’s what really got me started.

While I worked at MAXON(the first time) there was a guy named Scott who had worked at some Game Houses so he was a jack of all trades including some rigging. He helped get me into the Alpha Team when MAXON was developing it’s Character Rigging tools for R10. So I worked with that and all was well. I learned some of the tools but still didn’t really know any rigging.

So that was all up until about…January of 2007 I think. During that time we were developing an idea for a Short Film I had at CLU. It was pretty daunting and it never got done(…yet…) but It required me to learn some Character Rigging. MAXON decided to have a 2-day Rigging Master Class at SIGGRAPH in San Diego(which would mean it was 2007 I think.) I believe I had just gotten back from Europe(I could be mixing up my years as it’s common for me to do), and Paul was awfully nice to let me join it for free. Paul Babb is an awesome guy and has treated me very well through the years, and I can’t thank him enough for it.

So I went to the class and it was taught by Kai, who I think knew I was kind of getting into the Rigging field. Unfortunitely for his class, most people there were not interested in Rigging or were not up to speed with CINEMA so it kind of just became a mixture class of rigging and beginning CINEMA 4D. Sadly, no other master classes have been done since, but I hope that can change.

So that’s how I got started. Kai then gave me some suggestions like checking out Jason Schliefer’s Animator Friendly Rigging Series. However since I was a poor college student I could only get some, and they were quite good actually, I would still recommend them. His hand Rig is quite good. So Kai and I sort of kept in touch and I kept at rigging. The rigs were attrocious. They probably arn’t all that bad, but the whole Short process was a nightmare and it never got done.

Then after school I went back to work at MAXON. Kai was working there at that point, and so when I got there we kind of went over a lot of rigging stuff back and forth. We went through the process of creating the Taquito Rig for R11 and NLA demos, and it was a pretty good rig. Since then we’ve checked out a lot of other things, like the Farenheit Digital DVD’s and more. The Taquito rig we did for R11, was a bit more complex than the CINEVERSITY tutorial, but still not all that basic.

Since then, though, I’ve been more familiar with rigging, analyzing rigs, and explaining what’s going on. I’ve also gotten pretty damn fast at building rigs(and making tutorials about them which is why I’ve been doing so many tutorials on CINEVERSITY). I’ve had to build No-Flip Knees all the time, I mastered what was going on, and did a tutorial about it. Mastered? How arrogant sounding haha.

I’ve also began to pick up on some of the REALLY hard things like Priorities and such. Helping users with their Rigging problems has been good too, and doing Animation Mentor, it’s shown me what I want/need in a Rig to animate as far as features and appearance. So it’s helped me understand so much more.

So that’s why I kind of want to get a DVD together. It worked pretty well for 3D Kiwi and it was very useful for lots of people. The other DVD’s have all been very helpful to people. We will see how things pan out. I doubt I’ll make one but who knows. I have been working on some characters and just building some rigs. There’s some new features Kai has been making for a rig for Animation Mentor, that I will have to sit down and look at how it’s been done.

Rigging and Animation is fun and I like doing it and I like teaching it. Now I’m tired. So I am going to bed.

If you want to learn rigging, I’d suggest finding Cactus Dan’s tutorials and the Intermediate Biped Rigging on CINEVERSITY. Then I’d suggest checking out videos on Constraints and other things on CINEVERSITY, then ask to see any cool rig that you can and begin disecting it. Eventually you can begin looking at other rigs from other programs and understand what they’re doing and apply it elsewhere and in most cases I find it much easier in CINEMA, but I am pretty damn quick in the program nowadays. Imagine if I actually didn’t work in the Default CINEMA layout/shortcuts. I would probably be flying, but since I have to support people I find it easiest to just work in all the defaults. But I do pretty well especially when you consider I work on a Macbook Pro with no mouse and while lounging on the couch most of the time :) .

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