Animation Strategies Reflection

Throughout the course of this second project I have been experimenting with a lot of new processes. Although the first project of the semester resulted in the building of a lot of 3D assets, I believe I have learnt much more from the heavy research and small exercises involved in the later part of the semester. Having been extremely indecisive about the personal project path from the beginning, I found it difficult to commit either way. I wanted to chose something that will still be relevant to the field and sought after when I graduate so I could fully immerse myself in it. It is important to me that I don’t follow a path that brings me into an oversaturated job market.

With that in mind, I chose to focus on rigging. It is the process that I have had least experience with, so it made sense. I knew it was going to be difficult and meticulous, so the moment I made my decision I had a chat with Edward and Andrew from 3rd year who worked as riggers during their placement year. They were very kind and helpful and shared their blogs with me, which was an excellent starting point considering I wasted a lot of time researching other things. Viola, who chose to focus on rigging as well, suggested that since we were both trying to learn the same things we should update each other on the resources we would find. That is exactly what we did and it worked great for both of us.

In the beginning, I watched many tutorials on different approaches to rigging, and read Mastering Autodesk Maya 2016 and the Rig It Right files that were made available to us. The Autodesk forums were also of great help during the rigging exercises, as a lot of tutorials skip key parts or they are relevant only to older versions of Maya, but not to the new 2018 one.

For our short animation I only had time to build a basic rig of the character and even still it did not go as smoothly as I expected. Constraint relationships seemed to break when switching the file from PC to Mac and other parented controllers would behave differently on each device. I eventually managed to fix the issues but in some cases it was just a matter of re-parenting them.

Starting to learn how to rig was an excellent decision and now I feel more confident about dealing with complex processes in Maya. It also helped me build me more realistic expectations for different time frames.



Starting sequence and end sequence I put together using Debbie’s illustrated versions of our team members. I just used music and sound effects I found on Youtube.

Remember to put up the video quality



Approaching VR


Since we decided to render or animation in Unity, I’ve been reading on the VR medium. It was interesting to see how our approach to it has changed from a few years ago and the way we integrate it now into our animation projects.


Rig available here:

Resources I used to help get me started on this task:

How to create eye blinking

Creating a character rig: common pitfalls (2018). Maya Getting Started. [online] Available at:!/url=./files/Smooth_skinning_Smooth_binding_a_skeleton.htm [Accessed 9 Dec. 2017].

Palamar, T. (2016). Mastering Autodesk Maya 2016. Indianapolis: Autodesk. (2018). An Essential Introduction to Maya Character Rigging by Cheryl Cabrera Chapter 8 Control Rig Setup for a Biped Character: IK and FK. – ppt download. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Dec. 2017].

YouTube. (2018). Maya 2016 Rigging Tutorial. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Dec. 2017].

YouTube. (2018). Maya: Rigging Professor in 6 hrs. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Dec. 2017].

1st December:

Out of curiosity and need of understanding the different approaches to rigging, I had a look at Maya’s quick rig option. After inspecting it, I got rid of it and followed various tutorials.

I found the book Mastering Autodesk Maya 2016 to be very useful throughout this project, especially at times when my internet wasn’t working. It covers the basics of everything I had to learn to complete my tasks for this project. For more in-depth information on building an intuitive rig that’s easy to work with I had to turn to online resources.

12th December:


21st December:

At this point there is no more time left for me to tweak anything else, as we need to get to the next point in our project and allow Mark enough time to be able to animate. I already passed the model on to him and believe we are not far off schedule.

Throughout the rigging process, a lot of controls and constraints seemed to break when the file would be switched between my PC and the university Macs. I wasn’t able to figure out why and had to redo the rig and the blendshapes, resulting in some loss of time. I also realised that a lot of tutorials available to modellers don’t always consider how the model is going to move once it’s rigged, probably they don’t have to. At times I would forget as well and end up making some mistakes with parenting orders and constraints. That being said, for me it is definitely the most challenging and intriguing process in our field and would love to have a more comprehensive understanding of it. I plan to practice more on other models until I am competent at a professional level.


After examining at the type of movement that our character would have to perform, I saw no problem in creating a simple rig that was achievable within the time frame given and plan to do more comprehensive setups on my own time.




For a short while I was interested in doing compositing for my personal project and ended up watching a bunch of tutorials. It all started with Motion graphics. In all honesty, it looks like something I’d get really into but maybe next semester.


Greene, D. (2003). Motion graphics. Gloucester, Mass.: Rockport.

Vimeo. (2018). Compositing in After Effects vs. Nuke. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Nov. 2017].

YouTube. (2018). Part 9 – Batch Compositing in Flame. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Nov. 2017].

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