Research. Eight letters that you haven’t thought about since your high school or college days. It is the very first step in creating your successful video tutorial. Researching adds a depth and value to your tutorial.
The unspoken secret.
The subject you want to teach is most likely already being taught! We are here to tell you- so what?! The way in which you process and teach concepts is pertinent and integral to your success! Everyone is an individual and learns uniquely. This is your opportunity to create and teach a tutorial the way it makes sense to you and to share the information that has helped you the most. By doing this, you are teaching others from your vantage point and thus delivering them into a teachable space others cannot. Use the power of your individuality to power others individual learning styles!
Andrew van Straten is a Creature TD with big league film credits such as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Adventures of Tintin. While working at Weta Digital he was responsible for research and development for the Creatures department, specifically in regard to physical based solutions to facial expressions. In his tutorial, Skinning with nCLoth, he covers how to build and solve nCloth muscles, fascia and skin. He also delivers ideas on how it might fit into a production pipeline. This tutorial, is best suited for someone who has experience with rigging in Maya or nCloth.
I created this tutorial because I think riggers are waking up to the vast potential of a solution for muscle and skin that is based on a physically based solver. I hope riggers will get another string to their bow as it were, and are able to apply the concepts in their own setups.
I do plan to make more tutorials, including a follow up to this one where I’ll build the shoulder as its a fairly complex part of the anatomy. I’d also like to do one on how to manage realistic combination shapes for facial animation.
Andrew van Straten
Creating this tutorial was important to Andrew because, “Riggers are waking up to the vast potential of solution(s) for muscle and skin that is based on a physical based solver.” Hopefully adding another “string to their bow” Andrew is wanting riggers to be able to apply the concepts in their own setups. Indepthly he adds, “Weta Digital use a proprietary physically based solver to generate solutions for organic tissue. This tutorial won’t replicate what happens in the creatures department, but it does employ some of the same thinking with the outcomes, i.e. using a solver to do the ‘heavy lifting’ as it were to generate complex shapes.” Looking forward Andrew plans to produce additional tutorials with subjects such as building the shoulder and managing realistic combination shapes for facial animation. For more on Andrew go to his LinkedIn Profile.
Can you introduce yourself and talk to us about your career so far?
My name is Leo Gonzalez, I was born in Colombia and raised in Miami. Officially I guess you could say I’m an environment artist or FX artist, but I don’t really see myself as either; I consider myself more of a technical artist or generalist. I’ve worked on character animation, rigging, photo real lighting and rendering, and a bunch of other stuff over the years. This was before I worked in the games industry. Being a CG artist in South Florida, most of my work revolved around visualizations for advertising, defense contractors, and commercial clients. There really isn’t much of a games industry in Miami; at least when I lived there. Hopefully that’s something that changes in the future, we’ll have to wait and see. I first got into 3D art when I started modding games back around 2003, but at the time I only did this for fun; it was just a hobby- the thought never even crossed my mind to do this as a career. For those who might not be familiar with modding, that’s when you take a commercial PC game and modify it by creating your own content, like maps, weapons, characters, etc. Around that time I was actually going to community college, majoring in criminal justice- yeah, that’s right, you heard correctly (chuckle).
I recently finished rigging a mech character named Hatch. Hatch is the latest of the Animation Mentor Rigs that will be used by student attending Animation Mentor classes. This beautiful design and model used was created by ILM’s digital artist Landis Fields.
Get access to animate Hatch when you enroll in Animation Mentor’s Creature Animation Workshops! Learn more about what you’ll learn in Creature Animation: Fight or Flight and get information on how to register.
The final rig is extremely complex. My tutorial takes students through the intensive process of rigging each component of Hatch. The rig features multi-IK limb setup, rolling scapulae as well as scripting parts of the rig in order to make the rig more stable and “production-ready”.
As with all of my tutorials, I try to also convey not just the how but the why. With a character like this one we will apply virtually all Rigging concepts.
I always loved to rig mechanical rigs because they test your rigging skills. For this reason above all, I thought it was a great idea to create a tutorial on this subject.
Today CGCircuit releases a new options for authors: a way to rent out their tutorials. This feature gives authors the option of lowering the price (hence making their content more accessible) without diminishing the value of their hard work. We are very excited about this new feature and we are curious to see how Authors will use it.
As always we work really hard to give authors and viewers the best experience, so please give us suggestions on how to make it better.