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.