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 :) .

5 Responses to “My evolution in rigging”
  1. C4D User says:

    Bret,

    I found this to be a bit… self inflating…

  2. It’s not really meant to. There’s a couple of paragraphs where I can understand why you might think that, but I’m not really a arrogant person. If I am, I do it jokingly mostly. The whole “mastering” thing, that sounds arrogant and i noted it, I don’t fully believe that.

    Simply put, I am thankful for everyone who taught me some things about Rigging(Kai Pedersen, Jason Schliefer, Aaron Holly, Clement Vaucelle, and many others who slip my mind), and I try to pass on any information I can.

    But I really am pretty darn quick in the app. ;)

  3. Orestis says:

    I didn’t find this self-inflating at all, I think that was completely uncalled for.
    I liked the story, the retrospective of your experience with rigging and Cinema 4D is very interesting. I started Cinema 4D around r8 in school too, I actually remember a really good “masterclass” dvd at the time, that covered character rigging and character animation, it was from CGArtist (unfortunately I see the site is empty now). But rigging really was a pain back then.

    Considering how dry the field is from commercial dvd learning material for Cinema 4D, I think it’s a good idea to make a rigging dvd that would educate people in the basics of rigging, and using them to make a more advanced rig. And that’s they key I think, not just building a great rig in front of the camera like many dvd tutorials out there do, but teaching how it all works.
    I think the biggest downside of rigging products for Cinema 4D is that there aren’t many people that use Cinema 4D for advanced character animation, yet, but many people do need rig for more casual character animation.

  4. C4D User says:

    It was mostly meant as a joke, keep up the good work!

  5. wreyes says:

    Hey Bret, everybody!
    Nice story man! It sort of reminded me my own personal story, starting with C4D.
    It would be really great if you wake up, one of these days, with that DVD on your mind. I think, THAT’S the only difference between a great animator… and the greatest animators. I’m pretty sure about it! Pedagogy was always the difference between good ones and MASTERS…
    So, if you continue to support people the way you’ve been doing it… somehow returning what has been given to you, you CAN call yourself a master, without feeling arrogant.
    Thank you!

  6.  
Leave a Reply