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A universal, crossover animated rig?

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Gerald Hapeman
A universal, crossover animated rig?
on Dec 19, 2013 at 11:52:23 pm

If I have a created animated cut out of a character running, fighting, etc... and if I have dozens of different characters that need to perform that action in that exact motion, give or take, is there a way to introduce new characters into say a premade running rig or set animation or say fighting animations as well, etc, instead of having to animate dozens and dozens of characters? Tall order I know... Hoping there's some way around this. It's just that I have a heady project that I'm hoping to find a time-saver for some background animation. Many thanks!

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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: A universal, crossover animated rig?
on Dec 20, 2013 at 1:05:10 am

You might be able to do something with the Puppet Tool, but generally this sort of thing is done in 3D using Crowd Simulation. Here's a tutorial of how it's done in 3DS Max:

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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Gerald Hapeman
Re: A universal, crossover animated rig?
on Dec 20, 2013 at 1:37:09 am

Cool... though I should clarify that the my animation is mainly of a 2D character.

I can try something in Maya, but seeking easier, better AE routes if possible? I've heard of Maximo, I believe its called and Talk Animation but they are as well for 3D characters...

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Jon Bagge
Re: A universal, crossover animated rig?
on Dec 20, 2013 at 7:04:34 pm

This is certainly possible, but I don't know how easy it would be with whatever rig you've already made.

If your animation is done using a rig of nulls linked/parented together and then linked to graphic layers, it should be possible to make this rig fit another character. For that to work all the characters will of course need to have the same basic elements, but also your rig will need to have features to allow you to scale it to fit the possibly differently shaped characters.

If all the animation is rotation of limbs, you may not need to do any scaling, but can simply use an expression (pick-whip) to link the rotation of the character to the rotation in your rig.

I'm mostly hypothesising about what I can imagine doing here. I've never done this, and if your rig and animation is already done it may be difficult depending on how you're done it.

Jon Bagge - Editor - London, UK
Avid - FCP - After Effects

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