Tag Archives: Rigging

Character Rigging

I figured this would be a useful skill to have, and also it seemed pretty fun to do as well.

Things Learnt:


  • hold alt and drag on a layer and it will duplicate it
  • when moving shapes to different layers > select the shape > click and drag the dot in the layer panel up to the new layer

My Character


After Effects

  • Import the illustrator file as a composition
  • Use the pan button to move the anchor points from the centre of the screen to the bending points on the character e.g. for the arm, place the anchor point at the shoulder
  • Pick-whip the various body parts the the appropriate parents, e.g. the head is parented to the body, the hair is parented to the head etc
  • Parent the body (which everything is ultimately what every limb is connected to) to a null object so then you can scale the body via the null. If you don’t use the null to scale, then every limb scales proportionally to itself and not in relation to the character overall
  • Puppet Tool : simply click the pin icon and then click along the centre of the image to add the pins where the character should bend. Recommended expansion is 2 and triangles is 450.
  • Animation wise, have the “puppet” label selected down in the composition tab, and then simply move the pins into the required position and it will automatically key them
  • Parallax : make all layers 3d > create a camera with depth of field enabled > create a null object and parent the camera to it (use the null object to move the camera) > simply play about with the depth of field & aperture settings in the camera until you’re happy with the results


I decided to try and create a robot to play with and this is Max.

You can actually move his limbs but his right leg dislocates itself from the knee down for some reason, aside from that it seems to work.

Head test: https://youtu.be/G_baLcgyJUA

Arm test: https://youtu.be/K7kljH55-sE

Button test: https://youtu.be/6QTCcO5LodA

Animation Tests

Some animation test that I completed, using the T-Rex model Amy modelled and rigged.


Tail up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vJHWAnUKrk&index=8&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9

There is a slightly strange deformation at the bottom of the T-Rex’s spine when the tail is raised passed a certain point. This can easily be corrected by altering the amount of rotation on the tail.

Tail swish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFLpUjdiH-c&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9&index=9

There is a nice side to side movement of the tail, I can’t see any problems with it, so pretty pleased.


This is the T-Rex opening and closing his mouth from a few angles, there is no unnatural deformation, however there is a hard line where his mouth stems from.

Front: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx0zfUp9QhQ&index=6&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9

Side: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pqpkd1LYFN8&index=5&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9

Perspective: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bSvnnoc5MY&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9&index=7


I quite like this head movement, having the T-Rex appear somewhat timid as he looks around.

Front: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myVd2cJ7VsU&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9&index=3

Perpective: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85-UPJzh-M4&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9&index=4


We were wondering the best way to pan into the scene with dinosaurs, as the Titles have to appear on the way in.

I tried to have the camera pan across the landscape but it seemed to move too quickly, so I had it pan down, and I didn’t like it.

Now we have the camera panning down, but instead of translating on the y-axis it, rotates on the x-axis.

Scene 01 Test 01 (pan across): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYj6cmxDM4o&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9&index=18

Scene 01 Test 02 (pan across): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UnsFLDB1oc&index=19&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9

Scene 01 Test 03 (pan down): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUdpdLVqqas&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9&index=22

Scene 01 Test 04 (pan down): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4lG6CkG2uE&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9&index=20

Scene 01 Test 05 (rotating pan down) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siyyNtLxwh8&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9&index=23


1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9sq9bqBluU&index=12&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9

Testing the flag deforming along the sine wave. I detaches from the flag pole.

2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wty6Xd4LQ7M&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9&index=14

Testing the movement of the flag, when it appears form behind the bush. I think it needs to be less smooth.

3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFaZivskOIA&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9&index=13

Trying to make the lifting of the flag less smooth, and more imperfect, as it is supposedly lifted by the T-Rex.

4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ro04ByvJ15w&index=15&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9

This is me trying to have the flagpole rotate from side to side as if it is being swung. Matthew pointed out that the rectangular shape of the flag looked too perfect, so I changed it to a triangle and slightly off white. The movement of the flagpole from side to side seems a little to slow though.

5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2jQvJDjn04&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9&index=16

I increased the speed of rotation of the flagpole from side to side, I think it may be a little too fast now. Also, the flag is still detaching from the flagpole.

6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbu8rkEE9Ls&index=17&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9

Happy medium. I think the flag still detaches at some points, but that is easily rectified.

Scene 07

01: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOri4_xUuBE&index=21&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9

I think that the flag is a little small for the scene so I will scale it up.

02: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHfsnO3m-P8&list=PLzeQQXfcnrBwLgZ0pg6gcAzQaWzHu_Vk9&index=24

So this is scene 7 with the characters in the correct position, although I will need to scale the bushes up in order to conceal the T-Rex’s head more, also, our group thinks that it is rather comical having it unable to properly conceal itself due to its size.