Back in the day when I was teaching at the Academy of Art, we needed a rig for the students to play with. One of the students, Debby Coleman, created Hogan and another student, Morgan Loomis, created the Norman Rig. I hear a new one may be coming…Anyway, those rigs saw so much use and people used them all over the world. We hired so many animators based off the work they did with those rigs. We always wanted the students to create their own characters from the base rig. That was the beauty of it. Nowadays its hard not to recognize the school from the rig. The biggest mistake you can make as a budding animator is to create animation with a mediocre rig. Its also easy to fall into the trap of not setting up the world your character is in. Where are they from?, what are they doing?… Do we care? Sure, the animation is nice, but what story are you trying to tell? I recently was very impressed with the appeal right out of the box with the rig the guys at Animsquad are giving their students. Check out this rig demo. Makes me want to animate it! If you happen to take a class and use a fancy rig, make sure you make compelling, animation. You can quickly fall into the trap of the same character. Think of the rig like an actor. Take Merryl Streep.. She is in effect, the same woman, the same body in all her films, but each character is so different. Each performance she is bringing something interesting. I love the idea of students changing the rig so much that its not the rig I care about, its the performance. I hope to talk more about all the different schools out there in the coming months and what people are really teaching. For me its always been about Personality… Character….!
Now go animate something that is not in grid world and default grey….