Attitude Studio auto rig

Designed and started at Attitude Studio in 2004 for the movie “Renaissance“. Used and improved until the place closed. Modular auto rig tools that used rigging blocks from our library and could adapt to various skeletons (humanoid or not), hierarchy or naming schemes. Used a tagging system that was embedded as a numeric code on the Maya objects once the hierarchy had been identified, and allowed a variable number of “auxiliary” joints (roll bones, etc) once the main “hooks” (ie arm = shoulder, elbow, wrist) were identified. Pierre Avon was head of animation and provided essential feedback, Benjamin Godon contributed to some of the C++ plugin nodes I wrote for the rig, Eric Mauhourat worked on the UI, Olivier Georges, Quentin Auger and me designed the actual rig parts and wrote lines and lines of MEL script.

It’s sort of a toolbox / lego approach. The left side of the UI would list the available rib buidling bricks/templates in our library, the right side the bricks that were used for that character, “instanciated” into actual setup parts. It’s shown here running in “debug” step by step mode and maximum verbose output so that the different phases are visible and actual command results and warnings are echoed.

The rig bricks shown in the example are fairly old, dating back to 2004, and tailored towards mocap post animation (apart from the facial which was keyframed for this project). However the system was still in use until 2009 and by then the rig bricks library had be enriched with about 3-4 variants for each part, including pure keyframe rig parts for some of our keyframed projects. Writing new rig procedures that would be recognized by the auto tool meant sticking to some shared conventions, by respecting these about any new rig part could be added to the library and then be included in the automated build.

The first rig created with this framework was the Renaissance mocap post-animation rig, and can be seen here.

A more recent / keyframe oriented rig done with the same auto builder can be seen here.

Facial rigs built with it can be seen here.