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Essential Skills in Character Rigging by Nicholas B. Zeman

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Chapter 7

Introduction to Deformation

7.1 What Is a Deformer? How Do Deformers Work?

So what exactly is deformation? Up until now, we’ve been talking about 3D rotations, joints, hierarchies, and kinematics. This has all been about rotation. Now we are entering into the second important phase of character rigging: deformation. It’s a lot harder to define than rotation! Deformation is the adjustment of geometry in a proportional manner based on some kind of external object or action. What happens is that the geometry (in the form of vertices or NURBS CVs) is offset from its original position while maintaining proportional relationships to all the other vertices in the object. These offsets are maintained in some mathematical formula by the deformer ...

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