Creating a Deforming Control Geometry Setup – Part 1

While creating the animation rig for the mouse character from Animal Facts #271, I wanted to set up a simple and intuitive system that would allow the animators to focus entirely on the performance.

There are a few ways to achieve this technique, and in the attached video I focus on one particular method that’s relatively simple and requires no plugins. It should work in most versions of Maya.

The main concept is to use a piece of geometry to drive some sort of deformation.. for example, a patch of geometry that sits on the character’s head. When the animator grabs that geometry and translates it.. the head deforms and the geometry itself deforms with it.

Watch this video.. it will all make sense!

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If you’ve got another way to achieve a similar effect, share in the comments!

In future videos, I’ll go over some of those techniques and profile the results to see what is most effective.

Jason Schleifer
Jason Schleifer

Jason and his mad scientist eyebrows have been pushing the boundaries of CG animation and sharing his knowledge for nearly 20 years. Widely recognized as an industry leader and mentor to hundreds of animators, Schleifer, formerly of Weta Digital and Head of Character Animation at DreamWorks, now works as Head of Content and is a co-founder of Nimble Collective.

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