Blog Post Rigging Dojo AIR rigtip video

Artist in Residence Video on updated descriptions and video notes

We have been continuing to update the video on demand AIR (Artist In residence) interview video with descriptions and time marked video notes.

Rigging Dojo Artist in Residence ( A.I.R ) “A la Carte” Replay Store from Rigging Dojo on Vimeo.

Title     Breathing Life into Zombies

Date    July 30, 2014

Length    1:25:58

Presenter    Sterling Reames

Bio    Principal Animator at Bit Fry Game Studios.  Also worked as the Senior Animator at Proletariat animating the living, the dead and the living dead in World Zombination.

Topic(s)    Behind the scene view of rigging World Zombination characters

Description    Discusses what it took to get the characters rigged and animated for the game + free World Zombination character rigs.

Brief Outline         2:36 – Day-to-Day Work

5:56 – Referencing and Changing Rig

8:55 – Rendering Process

20:33 – Creating the Look and Movement

  • Maps
  • How to Add to Rig System
  • Weights
  • Rigging Experiments
  • Lots of Controls

1:03:31 – Other Tools Needed?

1:15:44 – What’s Next?


Title     Simple Solutions To Complex Problems

Date    August 21, 2014

Length    1:42:18

Presenter    James Direen

Bio    Senior Rigging Artist at Reel FX Creative Studios.  Recent works include Rock Dog, The Book Of Life, Free Birds and Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem 3D.

Topic(s)    How to find a balance to overthinking a solution

Description    Shows how the three steps to working through a problem were used for The Book of Life characters.

Brief Outline         2:43 – Overview

7:10 – Analyzing the Issue

8:40 – Eyelids Rig Example

21:08 – Designing the Solution

27:11 – Arm Rig Example

47:19 – Script Node for IK/FK System

52:45 – Working Through Production

54:40 – Refactoring and Reusability Concepts

1:00:59 – Radial Angle Driver Example

1:22:11 – Q & A


Title     Day of the Dead Treats

Date    October 31, 2014

Length    1:27:17

Presenter    Josh Carey

Bio    Co-founder of Rigging Dojo and Head of Rigging at Reel FX Creative Studios.  Recent work includes Rock Dog, The Book of Life and Free Birds.

Topic(s)    Techniques used for The Book of Life characters

Description    Discusses how custom plug-ins and surface projections were used for the characters in The Book of Life as well as other rig examples

Brief Outline         1:21 – Sausage Lips

24:11 – Chuy Controls

38:52 – Commercial Project

49:18 – Looney Tunes Smears

51:32 – Happy Rig

58:58 – Ribbon Example

1:01:10 – Q&A


Title     First Steps

Date    December 3, 2014

Length    1:35:17

Presenter    Evan Cox

Bio    Associate Technical Animator with Deep Silver Volition.  2013 graduate from Michigan State University with a BA in Game Design and Development.  Rigging Dojo alumni.

Topic(s)    Getting your foot in the industry door

Description    Evan explains his process for learning his craft then applying it to get a job in the game industry

Brief Outline         8:25 – Why Is This Relevant?

10:35 – Educational Aspect

30:31 – Scripting Projects

  • Automated Facial Rigging System
  • Google Image Search

49:19 – Look to Those Above You

54:39 – Transitioning to a Work Environment

1:02:10 – Glad I Did – Wish I Had

1:10:18 – Q&A


Title     Matt’s TD Toolkit

Date    December 12, 2014

Length    50:22

Presenter    Matthew Kapfhammer

Bio    Pipeline Architect with Neoglyphic Entertainment.  Also worked as Motion Capture Pipeline Developer at Weta Digital.  Recent work includes Furious 7, the Hobbit trilogy, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Man of Steel and the Avengers.

Topic(s)    Using third-party tools and programming concepts for writing code

Description    An overview of the various areas of a pipeline and the different tools needed to make the workflow process easier

Brief Outline         2:18 – General Work Concepts

13:00 – Software Type Tools

22:34 – Making Sure Code Works

33:50 – Versions and Source Control

36:59 – Resources and Further Reading

38:48 – Q&A

Title     Triangle Vision for Problem Solving

Date    February 26, 2015

Length    1:25:05

Presenter    Robbert-Jan Brems

Bio    Co-creator of Xoliul Shader and Technical Artist at Eidos-Montreal.  Recent work includes the stealth video game Thief.

Topic(s)    How to divide and conquer any problem you want to solve

Description    Methodology for breaking down problems into different components to find new solutions

Brief Outline         5:36 – Building Blocks

16:51 – The Process

25:52 – Learn Something New Every Day Tool Example

40:35 – Feedback Tool Example

50:51 – Q & A


Title     Well-Behaved QT UIs in Maya

Date    April 8, 2015

Length    1:12:11

Presenter    John Hood

Bio    Pipeline Supervisor for Sony Pictures Imageworks.  Recent work includes Pixels, Hotel Transylvania and Edge of Tomorrow.   Currently working on The Angry Birds Movie.

Topic(s)    Tips for creating UIs with QT and PySide

Description    Covers concepts for creating UIs in Maya that behave correctly

Brief Outline         2:39 – Getting Started

8:54 – Core Class Structure

25:50 – The Business End of Things

56:31 – Why QStandardItemModel


Title     Fast Rigs

Date    July 29, 2015

Length    2:00:24

Presenter    Raffaele Fragapane

Bio    Rigging Supervisor for the film VFX division of Animal Logic.  Recent work includes Walking with Dinosaurs 3D.

Topic(s)    Tips for resolving performance related issues

Description    Understanding performance fundamentals in order to evaluate and improve how fast a rig is processed

Brief Outline         2:30 – Graph Theory

  • Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG)
  • Dependency Graph
  • Push – Pull – Hybrid

50:17 – How Threading Works

1:13:09 – Running Parallel Evaluation

1:30:22 – Q & A


Title     Python for Production Or – How Not to Screw Everyone

Date    September 2, 2015

Length    1:22:21

Presenter    John Hood

Bio    Pipeline Supervisor for Sony Pictures Imageworks.  Recent work includes Pixels, Hotel Transylvania and Edge of Tomorrow.   Currently working on The Angry Birds Movie.

Topic(s)    Tips and tricks for creating Python scripts for production

Description    Introductory tutorial on ways to organize scripts for maximum amount of reuse and extensibility

Brief Outline         3:43 – What It’s Not

8:20 – Marriage of Programming and Down and Dirty Coding

10:23 – Key Concept – Model/View Architecture

  • Library
  • UI – Entry Points
  • Testing

28:54 – Example


Title     Getting Organized and Keeping It Simple

Date    October

Length    1:31:47

Presenter    Jeff Brodsky

Bio    Character Technical Director at Disney Feature Animation.  Recent works include Big Hero 6, Epic, Ice Age: Continental Drift and Rio.

Topic(s)    Ways to simplify and organize a rig

Description    Discusses Rigging Dojo’s short film rigging course, Big Hero 6 spine rigging and organizing a rig

Brief Outline         0:57 – Rigging for Cartoon Production Class

6:25 – Using GitHub for Revisions

11:53 – Character Framework

38:04 – Organizing the Rig

47:32 – dRig System

54:35 – New Big Hero Spine Rig

1:02:34 – What to Show on Demo Reels

1:10:57 – Q&A


Title     UX for Rigs and Tools

Date    June

Length    45:18

Presenter    Chad Moore

Bio    A veteran technical artist, animator, manager and director specializing in character animation for games and game cinematics.  Co-founder of Rigging Dojo and Senior Technical Project Manager at Mad*Pow.



Brief Outline         2:50 – UX Overview

7:43 – Examples

  • Turbine Toolbar
  • Tactic
  • Env Switcher

23:27 – How to Get Started

23:50 – Recommended Reading

24:51 – Deciding UX Changes for a Rig

33:27 – Axure Mockup

39:11 – Let’s Build Something!

Title     Rig Feedback and Deformation Review

Date    Unknown

Length    1:11:56

Presenter    Brad Clark

Bio    Co-founder of, character art and technology consultant working with next generation rigging and animation software projects and technical software support for Motus Digital.

Topic(s)        Feedback and deformation review of student rig created by Aaron


Description    Covers joint placement and deformation setup and provides tips and advice on skinning and deformations

Brief Outline         1:51 – Model and Joint Issues

41:53 – Deformation Corrections

56:39 – Final Thoughts

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