25th May 2021 | Open Movie | Sprite Fright
Sprite Fright is the new Open Movie, now in production at Blender Studio. Its lead animator is Rik Schutte, who previously worked on big budget productions, including Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse. Rik also teaches at the AnimSchool, where he specializes in facial performance.
In a recent production log, Rik shared a video in which he introduced the rigging system used for Sprite Fright. The video comes in at around twenty minutes, but coves a lot of ground. Using the rig for one of Sprite Fright’s main characters, Rik provides a comprehensive overview of the CloudRig add-on (an extension of the popular Rigify), as well as tips for speeding up your workflow. The video was intended for new animators joining Sprite Fright, artists moving to Blender from an industry standard 3D package -- but there's plenty here for Blender animators in general, including those interested in exploring CloudRig's capabilities.
Rik covers naming conventions, why you should set your model to subdivide before you work, and how to use CloudRig’s stretch function (particularly handy for the rubber hose effect seen in Sprite Fright). He also explains CloudRig’s quick selection sets, plus a range of other tips: how to have teeth follow the movement of the mouth, squash controls for faces, lattices for fine-grained rigging control, and more.
Beyond CloudRig’s functionality, Rik considers challenges raised by a character’s design, and how to work around them. For example, Rex (the character used in Rik's video) has a very particular facial construction, which means that his face deforms more quickly than desired.
For more of Rik’s advice on animation, see his videos on rubber hose posing here.
And you can find CloudRig here.