This is the final production rig I built at Pandemic. It served the needs of two projects – Mercenaries 3 and Mercenaries Inc.When I began designing the rig, I polled animators from multiple projects to get an idea of what they wanted in a rig. With this information, I created a prioritized list of features and began prototyping. Once the full prototype was built and thoroughly tested, I broke it up into modules and wrote the code that recreates each bit exactly.The rig has many features, some of which are:
- FK/IK switching on the limbs and spine
- A prop system for weapons (not visible)
- Local/Global controls for limbs
- Foot roll
Though the two projects shared tech, they didn’t have the same character requirements. I was determined to create a unified suite of animation tools flexible enough to fill the needs of both teams, while allowing as much sharing as possible.For the character rigs, I created a modular template system. A team could load whatever modules they needed for a character, position them appropriately and generate a rig based on the configuration. Creating the rigging in this way solved a few problems. It removed user error from the creation process, made creating rigs easy, and standardized key elements required for sharing. All of this meant animators would have a familiarity with the rigging regardless of the proportions of a character.