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Summary

Character rigging can be a very fun and interesting process. The one thing to remember about this entire process, though, is that it will always be a collaboration between you and other teams. The way that the file is set up, as well as the controls there, will ultimately be used by the animator; thus, they need to be easily understood and controllable. The deformations of the character will ultimately change the shape and nature of the character's model and must therefore stay true to the design and style in which the character was originally modeled. The character that you set up must eventually be textured, lit, and rendered, so it absolutely must not have geometric problems such as bad normals or bad UVs when you bind it to the skeleton. The difficult part in setting up a character is being able to systematically take all of this into consideration, with the final goal being a stable character whose transformation space has been manipulated to offer full control to the animator.

Character animation is a long and difficult process, and the capability to have the character react in a desirable and predictable way is the most valuable thing that can be achieved. To make the character's controls and deformations predictable, and to give the character the capability to be textured, lit, and rendered are all vital in their own ways. The process of character animation will continue to become more simplified—and, therefore, capable of more sophistication—as time goes by. The same can be said of the techniques to rig a good character that is capable of achieving more types of motion. Always remember that, much like a puppet, there is a human behind the controls of your character breathing the appeal of artificial life into its computer-generated soul.


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