Saturday, 28 February 2015

Instant Rigging at Mixamo.com

Mixamo.com. Instant rigging!
Rigging is one of the more complex and technical parts of the animation pipeline. In brief, rigging is the process of putting skeletons into our digital models. It is the way we bring them to life with controls that can be used to give a performance. The rig in a CG model is a bit like the armature that goes into a puppet. But what if we could automate the process, and speed it up? This would eleminate (at least in theory) hours of labour. One company that is leading the field is Mixamo, creating automated rigs through their Auto-Rigger tool.



How does Mixamo work?
Mixamo provides an online, automatic model rigging service known as the Auto-Rigger, which (according to Wikipedia) "was the industry's first online rigging service". The AutoRigger figures out where the limbs of a 3D model are and inserts a 3D skeleton, or rig, into it. The Auto Rigger will also calculating the skinning weights, which is another time-consuming part of the rigging process.

Do we recommend it?
We haven't road-tested it ourselves yet, but the Auto Rigger looks like a great way to get your character rigged fast and inexpensively. Ultimately, the question with all automated processes is always the same: does it actually work? After all, if it doesn't, you will have to do it all over again by hand anyway.

---Alex

For more on the experience of studying at Bucks New University, come and visit us at one of our Open Days,  take a virtual tour of one of our animation studios, check out what our students think of our course, and see why we're ranked in the top 12 creative universities in the UK. Find out why we're giving free laptops to all our students, and why we give all our students free access to videos at Lynda.com. Also, see what financial assistance might be available to you. Learn which is better for animation, a PC or a Mac? Get hold of a copy of a map so you can find your way around campus, and learn about motion capture at Bucks

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