One of my primary goals when I started in 3D animation was to create the most realistic character possible. So, I was thrilled when Mighty Nice approached me to rig their cows for the Almond Breeze project.

The challenge

This was a significant challenge because I had limited experience with this type of rig. Additionally, the project’s tight deadlines restricted my time for research and development, which can be very time-consuming.

Minimizing Risk

To minimize risk, I decided to primarily use techniques I was already familiar with. I avoided advanced simulation systems that would likely consume too much time in testing and development. Instead, I rigged the fat using standard but effective tools like the spring modifier, once properly adjusted. I limited my research and development to the muscular system of the two legs. The most satisfactory solution I found to “simulate” the muscle movements in the given time was a combination of space warps and modifiers like flex.

lmond Breeze, with its realistic cows, turned out to be an enriching project where I learned a lot.

The Sheep and the Lamb

The project for Harrison Spinks with Flipbook Studio was more recent but equally interesting.

In this project, the challenge was that the sheep had to walk throughout the entire film. The rigging work was done in close collaboration with the animator, Paul Claessens, to create a rig that was as user-friendly as possible for him to animate. This collaboration was very enriching and allowed me to improve my neck and head rigging system.

Facial rigging

Similar to the cows, the sheep also required a detailed facial rig to achieve realistic expressions. The facial rig was entirely based on a system of bones and skin, with few morphers, to provide the animator with maximum flexibility and freedom during animation.

Both projects, with their unique challenges, have significantly contributed to my growth as a rigger and animator.