If you follow our Facebook or Twitter feeds, you may have seen a video we posted of character rigger Harry Houghton’s recreation of the control system from Pixar’s Presto software inside 3ds Max.
Presto – seen here in a demo at Nvidia’s GTC conference earlier this year – gives users the option to use a selection of the deforming surface as a control object, instead of creating conventional rig controls.
According to Houghton: “This method allows animators to work uncluttered and see a smoothed … version of the final model, and can be combined with off-viewport controls like spinners and sliders.”
Try it for yourself in 3ds Max or Maya
If you want to try for yourself, Houghton has posted a video showing how the control system is created – and a second video (top of post) demonstrating the same thing for Maya users.
The method is a proof of concept, not a production-ready system – Houghton notes that viewport feedback is “pretty slow” unless you have a powerful machine – but it’s an interesting platform on which to create a rig.
Houghton credits Raveen Rajadorai from Malaysian animation studio Silver Ant, for developing the technique.