Hello, My name is Michael Golchuk. I am a 3D Character Rigger / Animator. I graduated College in Sept. 2018, and my course study was Animation for Game, Film, and Visual Effects. My course criteria includes AutoDesk's Maya, Pixologic's ZBrush, Adobe Photohop, After Effects, Premeire, Flash / Animate, Dreamweaver, and Audition; Quixel, 3DMax, and Microsoft's Office. Maya is my main program of choice which I use on a daily basis. I studied both Animation and Rigging in college, and I enjoy both. I chose to specialize in 3D Character Design - Character Rigging - because I want to animate, and I want to animate using a really good rig.
My Darcy rig is going along well. The body rig is now in place along with the modeling and topology adjustments. I am painting the skin weights before I place the controls. The head is a separate rig from the body as this character is designed to talk - I'm giving Dylan a full mouth joint chain, along with eye, squint, nose, and ear joints combined with blend shapes. I've also created the eyes, upper and lower jaw, 40 teeth, throat, and tongue models to complete this character. The body is rigged first then the head.
I have finished my Jen and Dylan rigs. I still have to do the animation test for the new facial rig control's, but I have decided to place them on a back burner for now, and start a new project, my third character - Darcy - a quadruped - dog character. I exported a high poly dog model from Z Brush to use as my base, and converted it into a low poly model with proper topography.
I am currently creating the assets for the Darcy rig. Since I want her to talk I have to build the upper and lower jaw, tongue, throat, and the 40 some odd teeth that she has inside her mouth. The inner throat has to match the inner lips, so when she smiles the full set of teeth are shown. Once the assets are complete, then the UV's have to be cut out. I can't wait to see the final product - she is going to look good!
I have to say that I am really happy with the outcome of my 2 rigs - Jen and Dylan. I believe that I am entering the final stage of the rigging process for me, and that is "speech". The past few months I have been animating my rigs, modifying and tweaking as I go, and so far, everything is working out great. I have a mental change when I go from Rigger to Animator, where as a Rigger I am moving things around delicately and precisely. Then as an Animator all I care about is that those Controllers move the character in the way that I want it to move. I don't care how it's built, I just want it to move correctly (and not break). So, from an Animator's perspective, the rigs work great. I am really happy with the facial expressions, the only thing lacking is a quick way to make speech - to make my character's talk - in a fun and easy manner.
Solution - I am currently designing an 18 piece phonetic mouth blend shape library which I can key using only one slider. The initial tests of the design worked out using 6 blends, each blend consisting of the head, throat, tongue, and jaw being set key driven at the same time. I am adding this mouth slider to the rest of my facial GUI which completes my facial rig setup. I have to create the library for both characters. This will take a few weeks to complete. Until next time.
Jen Head Turn
Jen's first head animation. Jen's hair has been replaced with X Gen hair with Animated Splines. This facial rig is joint based with blend shapes. Basic facial expression is great. Facial rigging controls include: Neck, Head, Jaw (I/O, Rotate, Open/Close, Lips (I/O, L, R, Up, Dwn), Smile, Frown, Smirk, Pucker, Suck, Blow, Snarl (L,R,C), Zip (L,R), Cheeks (L,R), Squint, Blink, Brows, Eye Aim (Controls, Lock), and 16 individual Lip controls.
Dylan Head Turn
Dylan's first head rig animation test. In this version of Dylan I used X Gen hair with animated splines.
Dylan Walk Cycle
Dylan's first animation test. A 24 frame Walk Cycle. Modifications were made to the Dylan rig from the Jen rig's walk cycle test. Both character's body rigs passed the test.
Jen Walk Cycle
This is Jen's first animation test, a 24 frame walk cycle. The walk cycle is a great rigging test as all the Body controls (90% of them) are used in the animation. Note, even though the Jen rig passed the walk cycle test, it failed when put into a crouching pose. Lesson learned - test everything in every possible way!
Jen Full Body
Version 3.0 of these rigs was a complete rebuild and test of the poly's for the Body and Head. Body and Head are separate systems for my rigs, both are complex rig setups. The Body rig was rebuilt - systems include: ik legs, foot roll, and toe roll; I used a dual joint chain ik spine which controls the Hip, Chest, and COG movement; Clavicle, ik/fk Arms, Arm Twist, Wrist and individual Finger Joint controls.
Jen Face Demo
2018 Graduate Animation for Game. Film, and Visual Effects Center for the Arts and Technology, Kelowna, BC.
Give me a text, email, or call.
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