29th Jun 2021 | Open Movie | Sprite Fright
Sprite Fright is the new Open Movie, now in production. In this post, Demeter Dzadik, the film’s rigger, explains the challenges he faced working on the film’s snail.
This is part two of a series on rigging Sprite Fright’s creatures. You can find part one here.
Met says, “Out of the all the forest creatures, the snails have my favourite personality. They are just chilling, man. Squashing and stretching like on a lazy Sunday.”
While the snail rigs required some support for facial performance, they didn’t need nearly as much work as Sprite Fright’s main cast. Met explains, “The snails got a very simple chain setup for their mouths and eyelids. This permits a decent range of poses but isn’t necessarily super convenient to animate. Still, we gave it a couple rounds of iteration in order to make it fairly nice to control, and to allow the mouth to slide quite far to the sides of the face.”
Besides organizational controls around the snail’s face, Sprite Fright’s animators also wanted to make the snail look like it’s attached to a surface. “At first, I added an Action set-up to the ‘leg’ bones already present at the bottom of the snail, which helped to flatten the bottom part. This gave a nice shape but not enough control, so on top of that we also added a lattice setup that covers the entire snail. Finally, one more lattice was needed for a few frames in which Rex pulls a snail from his face, and we wanted the snail's body to stretch with its shell as Rex is pulling on it.”
While Sprite Fright will be full of snails and other creatures, Met has a couple of regrets. “Sadly, some of the best snail facial expressions are likely not going to make it into the film, but that is to be expected. Still, if you want to see them, make sure to check out Rik's animation posts in our production logs.”
For more of Met’s ideas on rigging, click here.