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Custom 3d: Rigging And Controlling Your Designs by Andrew Stratton

Custom 3d: Rigging And Controlling Your Designs by
Article Posted: 01/04/2011
Article Views: 187
Articles Written: 5522
Word Count: 542
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Custom 3d: Rigging And Controlling Your Designs

Art and Culture
Although character modeling is an integral part of custom 3d work, the creation of a truly dynamic image does not begin and end with the surface details. After you finish creating or find a mesh that you like, you will probably want to pose it in a specific way. In order to do this, you will need to engage in a design procedure that is commonly known as "rigging." If you don't know anything about this procedure to start with, it can seem very daunting. Rigging is an advanced artistic technique that takes many modelers years to learn.

Essentially, rigging consists of creating a "skeleton" and embedding it inside of the character model. Then, the "skin" (the already-created exterior design of the model) is attached to the support structure. By positioning this simplified skeleton, you can control the appearance and position of the surface-- the actual 3D model you are using. Think about how your skin and muscles adhere to your bones, relying on them for firm support while you are standing or walking. The character's limbs and so forth do the same thing with their rigging. Essentially, the series of linked "bones" gives the computer a reference point to determine how the input motion deforms the surface of the pre-made model. The structure also serves as a handle with which animation professionals can easily manipulate the 3d figure's pose and position.

Common rigging tools include CAT (Character Animation Tools) and Biped. Riggers sometimes use custom bones structures as well. After the character is rigged and its exterior skin mapped to the manipulatable skeleton, you have the option to either pose the model frame-by-frame or use a built-in action system to speed things up. If you don’t know what you’re doing, the rigged character will come out wrong and you won’t be able to pose or animate it. Common problems are at the joints, where the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees don’t look right. Experienced riggers spend a great deal of time studying the natural anatomy of humans, animals and other mobile organisms in order to reproduce them naturally in the world of the model. To get an attractive and fluid-looking motion, the structure and joints must come together in a cohesive and natural way. If the virtual bone is not embedded properly or given enough "weight," the behavior of the model that it is attached to will be unpredictable and amateurish-looking.

If you are a novice to 3d modeling, you can purchase the 3d character model and have it rigged by an experienced artist using a custom 3D service. After the model is rigged, the artist can also pose the model and render it for you so you get the images (renderings) you need. Although rigging is a very important part of the modeling process, it can be very time-consuming and laborious; thus, exerting the effort and time to do it yourself for a one-time job is inadvisable unless you are planning on utilizing the skills for further design tasks.

Rigging is an important part of Custom 3d work; while the end product can be beautiful, the work itself can be laborious and time-consuming. Consider saving yourself time and aggravation by outsourcing to professionals. Learn more here:

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