Nathan demos rigging ‘Rinky’ the Squirrel

Posted in Development, Media Gallery, Production by campbell

It’s magic to watch Nathan (aka Cessen) rig the 3d characters.

He uses various methods, depending on the kind of movements we want them to make and their body type.

Brecht, Ton and Joshua Leung (from New Zealand) have been writing features and addressing bugs Nathan found… These will get their own blog post soon!

Nathan can’t hold back a hug when us TDs code an especially useful feature :)

Even developers deserve a hug…
For a look into the rigging process, watch Nathan demo the rig for ‘Rinky’ the squirrel.

47 Responses

  1. FuzzMaster Writes:

    Faaancy. Hope these’ll be easier to toy with than ED models.

  2. gaalgergely Writes:

    whoaa! :D
    very nice, cool controls.
    for facial animation you guys gona use bones or shape keys? thanks for this video i enjoyed it!

  3. zygoss Writes:

    amazing! what a great rig! it deforms incredibly well! it looks so easy to manipulate! All of this is looking reaaaly good!

  4. Meltdown Writes:

    Just a question… do work even the weekend? :)

    How do you manage your time?

  5. LoMac Writes:

    Quite Nice!

  6. Richard Writes:

    Wow. I wish I could rig as well as that. Looks like it’ll make everything a lot easier.

  7. Philip Writes:

    It would be great if you also posted a video download link for all your videos as its a pain to do it for youtube.

  8. Catboy85 Writes:

    Cool! I was just trying this same hand rig type with the latest SVN and the transformation constraint. It is very sensitive, but works great and has lots of potential for many other uses.

    It’s good to know I’m on the right track in rigging;)

  9. Catboy85 Writes:

    Try this Firefox extension called Download Helper.

    I use it all the time, and now I can’t live without!

  10. Cuby Writes:

    That’s an awesome rig! I love that bone on the hand that ‘curls’ the hand round from the little finger side! That is excellent. Can’t wait to see how it works.

    Great stuff!

  11. Cuby Writes:

    That’s really awesome! The bone in the hand near the pinky finger that ‘curls’ the hand is really amazing. Can’t wait to discover how it works and have a play with it!

    Great stuff guys!

  12. Jeremy Writes:

    That was awesome.
    Ive been rigging in blender for a bit now and i never thought about that curl bone in the hand.
    Ill definitely be trying some of that in my next rig.
    Also having the finger curl only work the end of the finger is a nice touch too.
    Cant wait to see it in action!

  13. Mats Halldin Writes:

    Nathan’s rig looks awesome. True magic – I really wish I’d even got started with them.

    Thanks for sharing
    / Mats

  14. Jakub Steiner Writes:

    That is utterly awesome. It’s cool how you just doodle the poses and it looks so natural. No matter how odd the pose, it looks like cartoon-doable.

    Again, great work!

  15. Nathan Writes:

    gaalgergely: we’re using shape keys for the main face shapes, but we’ll also be overlaying additional deformation controls for larger over-all shape changes. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to make those additional controls, though. It might be lattice-based or mdef-based, but I’m not sure yet.

  16. malefico Writes:

    Heyho Nathan ! great job you’re doing there, give me a hug !

  17. Pepeland Writes:

    Yeah! Cant wait to see more,
    really good ideas :)

  18. Roksvamp Writes:

    Really awesome rig ya got there! Peach looks better every day^^

  19. ros Writes:

    Genius improvements Nathan! Hope this will be able to do in next blender version.

  20. Gianmichele Writes:

    Nathan, since the characters will be doing a lot of evolution I think, will you have some sort of pivot that you can move everywhere in the character to make him spin let’s say from the head ?

  21. Gianmichele Writes:

    ooops another question. Are you thinking about something to store facial poses with a little thumbnail to quickly recall them ? It’s very useful as a starting point with the face…

  22. campbell Writes:

    @ros, yes, these will all be in the next blender release, you can even use them in recent test builds now.

    For people who have video trouble, Ill try and set up an automatic way to do ogg-theora as well as MOV or Youtube. so far we have just done whats easiest.

    Btw, this was my first attempt to edit DV in linux + blender, and it went pretty well ;)

  23. super W Writes:

    haha, that guys fake beard is soo funny!

  24. Höhrer Writes:

    Concerning the rolling fingers – just tried this in 2.45:
    Is it already possible in 2.45 to use a bone from the same armature as a driver? I always have to use extra objects like empties.
    Or is this one of the new features in svn.
    But maybe I just imagine things and Nathans rig uses extra objects as well ;)


  25. Dion Moult Writes:

    Wow Cessen! You’ve really outdone yourself this time! Congratulations! That hand curve bone is something I never knew about!

    (Hahaha the related movies were Conjuctival brown tumor sugery…???)

  26. Nathan Writes:

    Höhrer: the finger rig uses action constraints instead of drivers.

    Cuby: The hand curl is done with three bones in the hand (one for each finger; it would be four for a real hand). The middle bone then has a copy rotation constraint on it with a little less than half influence, linking it to the hand curl bone at the pinky finger.

  27. oblenob Writes:

    wow are we allowed to have sneak peaks at the .blends with the rig? or do we have to wait for the DVD?

  28. Philip Writes:

    Thanks so much Cambell for committing to providing download links. I know how to download youtube videos and convert them, but it takes extra time and results in a loss of quality. It might be good to use They automatically convert your files to many different formats like .mp4, mpeg1/2 and flash streaming

  29. Jeremy S. Writes:

    Now I’m getting excited! Can’t wait to see some quality squash n stretch work in blender. The character concepts look great too.

    Thanks for keeping my hopes up guys!

  30. Höhrer Writes:

    @Nathan: Thanks for the info – that sounds _wonderful_ :D
    I completely misunderstood that in the beginning – should’ve listened more carefully. Thanks for clearing that up for me ;)


  31. jedihe Writes:

    Really great, I do like a lot how the rig looks! simple controls, good actions (backward bending fingers are cool!), This short movie will be way great! ED set a very high level (specially on visual polishing) and Peach will be even better. :)


  32. AniCator Writes:

    The great Nathan at work! It was nice to meet you on the Conference.

  33. Tony Writes:

    Awesome. Can’t wait for… well, more!

  34. MArco Writes:

    WOW ! I love this post !! I hope to see alots of video like this !

    Thanks !!!!!!

  35. CherryGurl47 Writes:


    my friend thinks your cute..she has no legs.

  36. Studio Stockwell Writes:

    That was sweet! @ Jedhide. I agree the rig look simple. The foot setup was clever too.

  37. Studio Stockwell Writes:

    That was sweet!

  38. Balu Writes:

    Great work guys.. keep it coming.. interesing to read and see anything related to peach {ths one was special though =)}

  39. JiriH Writes:

    This seems really nice. Maybe Peach team would be interested in these improvements of IK/FK smoth blending made by Malefico and his friends:

  40. JiriH Writes:

  41. Gianmichele Writes:

    really nice set on Malefico’s rig. This little helpers are pure gold for an animator :D

  42. helson Writes:

    Do we really need to wait till the DVD goes out to get our hands on that rig ? Oh please man! please!!!

  43. pictorali Writes:

    Wow…this is too cool. I can’t wait to see what the final movie is like!

  44. Auston Writes:

    I’m currently studying animation, and won’t learn about rigging until the upper tier classes, however, if I do say so myself, GOOD job! It looks like you’ve made him as simple as possible to pose, while maximizing the number of poses possible! *is jealous*
    Can’t wait to see the end film. :D

  45. phlopper Writes:

    If I could have a tutorial, especially on the hand rig, I would be be happy for ever.