Rigging skeletal perissodactyl and artiodactyl ungulate limbs using analytic inverse kinematic-based solutions for a feature film production environment
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The goal of this thesis is to develop and construct a repeatable, scalable, and portable rigging solution for the skeletal limbs of ungulates, maximizing functionality while streamlining intuitive interface controls for a feature film production pipeline. The research presents a methodology for breaking down character reference materials commonly available to feature film productions like artwork, anatomical drawings, photographs, and client provided performance criteria. It then presents a modular methodology and approach for successfully evaluating and applying the character reference to the construction of skeletal limbs using ungulates as the primary example. Each limb is broken down into modules that more easily translate into the digital world. The methodology then further defines how to combine and apply digital rigging tools such as constraints and inverse and forward kinematic techniques in a layered and modular way in order to achieve a robust character rig. The resulting ungulate limb rig provides an efficient, intuitive, and robust solution capable of replicating the given performance criteria as well as an example of a scalable approach applicable to non-ungulates. In application of the repeatable modular approach presented, huge efficiency gains have been realized in feature film production pipelines. Animation studios are under increasing pressure to create larger quantities of work, at higher quality, with shorter timetables, and smaller relative budgets. This methodology successfully meets those criteria.
Telford, William Lawrence, Jr (2006). Rigging skeletal perissodactyl and artiodactyl ungulate limbs using analytic inverse kinematic-based solutions for a feature film production environment. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from