Practical Example: Rigging Stickman
As you may have guessed, rigging is a pretty intensive process. You need to be technically minded and creative at the same time. The best riggers I've ever met are the sort of people who fit this description and have an eye for the big picture. These sorts of people enjoy playing Minesweeper, finding pleasure in solving the integrated relationships in each part of that game.
Well, regardless of whether you're one of these people, the best way to understand the full process of rigging is to actually create a rig of your own. The examples throughout the rest of this section are done with a simple stick figure character that I like to use for creating quick animations that test body language and timing. I love animating with stick figures, even in 3D. Ninety percent of an animated character's personality comes through in his body language. Animating with stick figures allows you to focus on that essential step and keeps you from getting distracted with secondary details.
This stick figure, in both rigged and unrigged versions, is included with the DVD that accompanies this book so that you have a finished reference, as well as a file, to practice with. Of course, if you have a character already modeled and want to rig it, that's great. You can use the techniques here for nearly anything you want to build a rig for.
Building Stickman's centerline
If you load the stickman.blend file from the DVD, the first thing you might notice is his pose. He's ...