by Orkah posted 194 days ago | 2 comments

Hi, I would like to discuss a a way of rigging a certain character. One of the animator in my class would like to animate a puppeteer and he s puppet, and although he could just animate both of them separatly and make it look like the puppet is responding to the puppeteer s movement, I personnaly found the challenge really cool. So I would like to know if any of you master riggers have thoughts on this. How would you go about it. My first thought on the matter was to set up a FullBodyIK on the puppet and connect different parts of it to another rig (puppeteer) and try to make it react as I want to the puppeteer s animation. But I think that would be too linear of a movement to be realistic. I also thought about dynamics, but as we know it is not a reliable way of animating (I think) because it would cause random movements on the puppet and would slow perfomance way down. If you have any idea, please share =). Good luck to you all.

by vshotarov posted 180 days ago

That's an interesting one. Off the top of my head, I wonder if a setup with non-stretchy IK splines could be used.

So, you would attach the base of the chain to the puppeteer's hands/fingers and then attach the puppet's controls to the last joint of the chain. So, you'd still maintain a certain amount of spline control for the strings connecting the puppet and the puppeteer, but ultimately the puppet would follow the puppeteer's motion once the curve is stretched. Might be very weird to control, though, but it could be a cool experiment.

As for the actual setup of the puppet, i'd say just a classic biped would be probably best as every animator is familiar with it.

by theoldhunter posted 193 days ago

Interesting situation. So thinking, on the top of my head, this is just a theory and not a definite answer:

It will always better to animate them separately to retain the amount of control for the Animator (you are correct that relying on actual dynamic gimmicks is not reliable). Still, you can try using Spline Ik & secondary dynamics (using a dynamic curve) to create a rig for the strings which will look natural. Maybe lock the curve on both ends. I don't know how/if the FullBodyIK can be somehow manipulated to work with the secondary animation from the curve.

It would be better if you can create a small test scene to try it out. Let us know how it goes.