Thursday, 20 April 2017

Meet Willy!

Our online MA animators are digging into dialogue and lipsync this week, and one of the rigs they are using is Willy - an excellent free rig, created by Matthew Moore, and free to download for use by Maya animators.

Willy is a broad, flexible and cartoony rig, very simple to use and great for the early stages of learning animation - especially dialogue and lipsync.

However, like all animation rigs, Willy has his quirks. So, how can our animation students get the most out of Willy?

Where can you find Willy?

What is the license type?
Willy is freeware.

How to Turn on Facial Controls
You can toggle the visibilty of the facial controls on and off by selecting the eye icon to the left of Willy's head.

Lipsync Presets
Willy comes with some useful lipsync presets, so you can animate vowels and consonants quickly. To find the presets, first turn on the Facial Controls (see above). Then, select the "presets_anim" red circle to the left of the jaw control. Look in the Channel Box and you will find a menu of things like "smile closed" and also vowels and consonants. Toggle between 0 (no effect) and 10 (maximum effect) to turn them on and off.

How to Turn on Eye Direction Controls
You can also toggle the visibilty of the eye direction controls on and off by selecting the eye icon to the left of the head. Once you have the eye direction control turned on, make sure you look in the Channel Box and set Global Local to 0.

How to turn on elbow pole vectors
The elbow pole vectors are turned off by default. To turn them on, select the wagon-wheel shaped FK/IK switcher next to Willy's arm controls. Look in the Channel Box under Pole Vector Vis and set this to 1. You will see the Pole Vector appear in your viewport.

How to animate fingers quickly
To animate Willy's fingers, select the "fingers_anim" circle icon around his fingers.  Look in the Channel Box for sliders which allow you to, for example, make a fist shape very quickly.

Contact and Questions

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