First flight


Here’s the very first animation test using the full ephemeral rig system!

And here’s the second, recorded for your edification.

Animating these with the system was a blast—posing was just as fast as I’d hoped! In particular, you can see how easy it is to manipulate the tail, casually switching control modes as needed. It also revealed some areas I want to improve. Only allowing zeroing in forward mode, for instance, really isn’t as convenient as I’d hoped, so I’ll need to unlock that for other modes and figure out how to best present those options to the animator.

I’ve hid every aspect of the interface here that isn’t relevant to moving the rig around or scrubbing the timeline. I’m using Christoph Lendenfeld’s onion skin tool until I have a chance to reintegrate the 3D onion skins into the new system. Also, full disclosure—not every control in this rig is ephemeral. Specifically, fingers and face controls still use a conventional hierarchy, though I’m excited to start rigging faces ephemerally.

Finally, here’s a clip of Jaaaaaaaaames Baxter talking about animation technique, which I think perfectly encapsulates the workflow I want to enable for CG.