Rigging Workshop | Learn Character Rigging

How do I learn character rigging? Well, you can get started by joining Puppeteer Lounge character rigging training workshop program and learn how to build your very own professional character rigs for films and games! Learn the art and science of building a character rig which is essentially a digital puppet! We offer wide range of flexible and dynamic character rigging courses going over a broad spectrum of cartoon and realistic character rigs matching today’s industry standard. Our graduates are currently working in film and game studios around the world; be sure to check out our student’s rigging show-reel!

Our rigging courses are designed for all levels of character riggers and technical animators. Beginning character rigger will be directed to learn specific tools, rigging concepts  and technicalities used in character rigging. Below is the summary of all available character rigging training workshops!

Introduction to Character Rigging & Software Tools

What is character rigging!? A character rig or a character setup is a digital skeleton bound to the 3D mesh. A character rig is essentially a digital puppet that animators can use to manipulate the digital character into the desired pose for character animation. With this introductory rigging course we will learn the fundamental principles and technicalities of character rigging and build our very first character rig. We will start off by rigging a Cartoony Bouncing Ball by implementing the fundamental principles of animation. The second half of the workshop is concentrated towards setting up a fully functional bipedal character rig! By the end of this rigging course, you will be familiar with the fundamentals of character rigging!

Class Detail


  • Class 01 – Introduction to character rigging and software tools
  • Class 02 – Introduction to joint
  • Class 03 – Introduction to IK handles
  • Class 04 – Introduction to constraint
  • Class 05 – Introduction to deformer
  • Class 06 – Bouncing ball setup “Session A”
  • Class 07 – Bouncing ball setup” Session B”
  • Class 08 – Bipedal skeletal setup
  • Class 09 – Bipedal character setup “Session A”
  • Class 10 – Bipedal character setup “Session B”
  • Class 11 – Introduction to skinning
  • Class 12 – Finishing off The Basic Bipedal Character Setup
  • Assignments:
    1. Rigging a Bouncing Ball.
    2. Rigging a Simple Biped character.

Fee

  • $480 for the Online Workshop
  • $360 for the Offline (pre-recorded) Workshop

Target Audience

  • Anyone with an interest in Character Rigging.
  • No previous experience with Character Rigging or Software Tools is required but it is helpful.

Cartoon Character Setup

With this character rigging course we will learn to build a production ready character rig for film. We will start off by understanding the character, from it’s anatomy to the emotions! Character rigging is a very modular process, hence we categories each section of the body and face to setup an animator friendly rig that delivers superb performance and expression. The first half of the workshop is focused towards building a flexible body rig and the second half of the workshop is geared towards building an expressive facial rig, keeping the puppet very intuitive to work with. Towards the end of the workshop, you will have created a production ready cartoon character rig.

Class Details




  • Class 01 – Reference study and skeletal setup.
  • Class 02 – Introduction to stretchy, IK-FK deformation spine control.
  • Class 03 – Build the spine rig.
  • Class 04 – Build the stretchy IK-FK arm rig with advance elbow control.
  • Class 05 – Add-in bendy deformation control and twist setup for the arm.
  • Class 06 – Build the stretchy IK-FK leg rig with advance knee control.
  • Class 07 – Add-in bendy deformation control and twist setup for the leg.
  • Class 08 – Finalize and complete the body rig.
  • Class 09 – Start skinning and paint weight.
  • Class 10 – Finalize paint weight and polish the deformation with corrective shapes.
  • Class 11 – Start skeletal setup for the head and face. Add in-extra set of skeletal controls for cartoon deformation.
  • Class 12 – The Brow Setup. Fine tuning the brow rig and deformation.  Adding details.
  • Class 13 – The Eye Setup.
  • Class 14 – Fine tuning the eye setup and deformation.  Adding details.
  • Class 15 – The Mouth Setup.
  • Class 16 – Fine tuning the mouth setup and deformation. Adding details.
  • Class 17 – Facial Blendshapes.
  • Class 18.- Facial Combination Blendshapes. Fine tuning and adding details for believable facial expressions.
  • Class 19 – The Tongue & Teeth Setup. Enhancing and adding additional deformation layers for exaggerated facial expressions and cartoon deformation. Finalize the facial setup. Smears, Squash & Stretch and Multiples add-on.
  • Class 20 – Finalize the character setup. Rig checklist, quality check (debugging) and finalize the rig for production. Q&A, Review, Show-reel preparation!
  • Assignments:
    1. Rigging a full body and facial cartoon character for production.
  • Bonus Material: Students will also be provided with a video tutorial on creating Soft IK, Automated Pivot Control, IK – FK snapping, Space Switching and Smear Controls! These bonus features are an upgrade or add-ons to the existing rigs!! (If you would like to purchase just the Bonus Material, Contact Us )

Fee

  • $800 for the Online Workshop
  • $600 for the Offline (pre-recorded) Workshop

Target Audience

  • Anyone with an interest in upgrading their existing Character Rigging skills to build a Cartoon setup.
  • Previous experience with Character Rigging or Software Tools is required.

Hyper Real Character Setup

With this character rigging course we will take on the challenge to visualize and build realistic production ready character rig and a robust facial rig using digital muscle and simulation. We will begin by building a realistic body rig that delivers believable and anatomically correct deformation driven by dynamic musculo-skeletal setup! The second half of the workshop focuses on creating a believable hyper realistic facial system based on hybrid musculo-skeletal deformation to re-create life-like facial emotion and expression. The workshop emphasizes on creating hyper realistic character rig that are not just believable to the eyes but also performs well thanks to the array of modular rigging approaches we will be implementing. We will be integrating state of the art techniques to build a film quality rig merging the artistic and technical aspects of character rigging!

Class Detail





  • Class 01 – Reference study and skeletal setup.
  • Class 02 – Build the control rig.
  • Class 03 – Skinning and paint weight.
  • Class 04 – Add-in secondary deformation joint for twist and volume preservation.
  • Class 05 – Introduction to Maya muscle. Build muscle setup for torso.
  • Class 06 – Build muscle setup for arm and leg.
  • Class 07 – Muscular deformation binding and weight painting.
  • Class 08 – Add-in bone. Skeletal sliding deformation binding and weight painting.
  • Class 09 – Enhance the deformation for proper musculo-skeletal deformation.
  • Class 10 – Add-in corrective shapes.
  • Class 11 – Start skeletal setup for the head and face.
  • Class 12 – Skinning and paint weight on head.
  • Class 13 – Build muscle setup for the face.
  • Class 14 – Facial muscular deformation binding and weight painting.
  • Class 15 – Connect to facial UI.
  • Class 16 – Add-in facial bone for sliding deformation.
  • Class 17 – Enhance the facial deformation for proper musculo-skeletal deformation.
  • Class 18 – Add-in facial corrective shapes.
  • Class 19 – Add-in facial expression shapes.
  • Class 20 – Enhance the lip shapes.
  • Class 21 – Connect the body and facial rig. Lo-resolution and high resolution rig integration for animation.
  • Class 22 – Add-in skin dynamics for realistic skin and flesh deformation.
    • Assignments:
      1. Rigging a full body and facial hyper real character for production.

Fee

  • $880 for the Online workshop
  • $660 for the Offline (pre-recorded) workshop
  • $170 for Alternative Facial Setup Add-Ons Offline (13 pre-recorded classes. For offline participants only)

Target Audience

  • Anyone with an interest in upgrading their existing Character Rigging skills to build a Hyper-Realistic setup.
  • Previous experience with Character Rigging is required.

“ZIVA VFX Realistic Character Setup with BCS Facial Setup

With this character rigging course we will take on the challenge to visualize and build realistic production ready character rig and robust facial rig that meets the industry standard and pipeline. We will begin by building a realistic body rig that delivers believable and anatomically correct deformation driven by physics based anatomy created with ZIVA VFX  (a plug-in with an offline FEM anatomy simulator) software which reduces the time and cost required to build life-like, anatomical characters for films and games. The second half of the workshop focuses on creating a believable facial system based on FACS system to re-create life-like facial emotion and expression. The facial setup is created using BCS (Blendshape Combination System) tool-set. The workshop emphasizes on creating realistic character rig that are not just believable to the eyes but also performs well thanks to the array of modular and dynamic rigging approaches we will be implementing. We will be integrating state of the art techniques to build a film quality rig that delivers believable and anatomically correct body and facial deformation!

Class Detail




  • Class 01 – Reference study and skeletal setup.
  • Class 02 – Build the control rig.
  • Class 03 – Skinning and paint weight.
  • Class 04 – Add-in secondary deformation joint for twist and volume preservation.
  • Class 05 – Build the Animation Rig & Motion Integration.
  • Class 06 – Introduction to ZIVA VFX tool-set (a plug-in with an offline FEM anatomy simulator).
  • Class 07 – Bone & Muscle modeling and integration.
  • Class 08 – Tissue system introduction.
  • Class 09 – Muscle fibers & attachments with correct parameters.
  • Class 10 – Muscle fibers auto-fire and excitation.
  • Class 11 – Muscle bone collision.
  • Class 12 – Introduction to Fascia and it’s creation. Fascia dynamic simulation.
  • Class 13 – Fat system introduction and it’s creation. Fat simulation.
  • Class 14 – Fat simulation & Blending.
  • Class 15 – Skin dynamics simulation.
  • Class 16 – Skin simulation blending and body setup conclusion.
  • Class 17 – Understanding FACS (Facial Action Coding System) and AU (Action Unit).
  • Class 18 – BCS (Blendshape Combination Tool-set) tool-set for facial setup introduction.
  • Class 19 – Understanding BCS tool-set falloff, bilateral setup, arc interpolation and geometry mirroring.
  • Class 20 – Understanding facial combination shape tweaking, in-between shapes, paint deform and rotate deltas for facial articulation.
  • Class 21 – Facial Rig & UI Build. FACS based facial 3D scan overview.
  • Class 22 – Connecting key AU of face with UI Integration.
  • Class 23 – Setup facial AU combination shapes. Adding in-between facial shapes to enhance deformation and adjusting interpolation.
  • Class 24 – Creating Facial shaper controls add-on for micro expression control.
  • Class 25 – Sticky Lips Setup. Facial Setup Completion and Production Puppet Rig Build.
  • Class 26 – Facial geometry add-ons and Neck Corrective. Facial Motion Integration.
  • Class 27 – Enriching Facial Blendshape Rigs with Physical Simulation using ZIVA VFX software.
  • Class 28 – Connect BCS driven facial Setup to ZIVA VFX based body setup. Conclusion!

    • Assignments:
      1. Rigging a full body and facial hyper real character for production.

Fee

  • $1120 for the Online workshop
  • $840 for the Offline (pre-recorded) workshop

Target Audience

  • Anyone with an interest in upgrading their existing Character Rigging skills to build a Hyper-Realistic setup.
  • Previous experience with Character Rigging is required.

Game Character Setup “Character Rigging for Games”

Learn to setup character rig for video game production! With this game character rigging course we will learn to setup a character rig for video games. We will learn to setup a production ready flexible full body and expressive facial rig including props rigging for video games. The course also includes an in-depth overview of Unreal Engine 4!

Below is the summary of the Game Character Setup “Character Rigging for Games” training workshop.

  • Class 01 – Reference study and skeletal setup.
  • Class 02 – Torso control rig build.
  • Class 03 – Arm control rig build.
  • Class 04 – Leg control rig build.
  • Class 05 – Complete the animation rig.
  • Class 06 – Proxy model creation and bind.
  • Class 07 – Skinning and paint weight.
  • Class 08 – Corrective shape integration.
  • Class 09 – Motion Integration using motion capture.
  • Class 10 – Props rigging.
  • Class 11 – FACS study and facial skeletal setup.
  • Class 12 – Facial secondary joint setup.
  • Class 13 – Brow setup.
  • Class 14 – Eye setup.
  • Class 15 – Nose and cheek setup.
  • Class 16 – Jaw and mouth setup.
  • Class 17 – Complete facial setup.
  • Class 18 – Unreal Engine 4 integration and animation test.. Conclusion!

    • Assignments:
      1. Rigging a full body and facial character rig for video game production.
      2. Anyone with an interest in CGI Game Engine integration workflow.

Fee

  • $720 for the Online Workshop
  • $540 for the Offline (pre-recorded) Workshop

Target Audience

  • Anyone with an interest in upgrading their existing Character Rigging skills to build a game ready character setup.
  • Previous experience with Character Rigging or Software Tools is required.
  • Anyone with an interest in CGI Game Engine integration workflow.
  • Working experience with Unreal Engine 4 is not required to get started.

Bundled with this game character rigging course, you will also receive an in-depth training workshop free of cost so that you can create and publish your work with Unreal Engine 4! Learn to build and showcase your work of art through the power of Unreal Engine 4! Learn how to integrate and create an amazing in-game showcase with in-depth classes listed below!

You can download TEJO Unreal Engine 4 Demo by clicking here. Below is the class detail.

  • Class 1: Workflow & Concepts of Maya & Unreal Engine 4 integration. Developing the pipeline for the Unreal Engine demo. Preparing the necessary assets, model, and texture.
  • Class 2: Overview of the character rig and animation. Bake character animation and corrective morph targets to be exported to the game engine.
  • Class 3: Overview of the Unreal Engine 4. Preparing and importing necessary assets.
  • Class 4: Overview and creation of various blueprints inside of the game engine.
  • Class 5: Working with shader. Compiling and assigning necessary materials for the assets. Simple lighting.
  • Class 6: Setup level lighting and particle effects. Create HUD.
  • Class 7: Setting up morph target based dynamic driven maps (Normal & Displacement). Setup automated flickering light.
  • Class 8: Finalize interactive turntable demo. Post processing and ambient music. Publish the demo. Review & Q&A.
  • Class 9: Intro to Matinee.
  • Class 10: Use Unreal Engine 4 Matinee for cinematic production!
  • Assignments:
    – Creating TEJO Unreal Engine 4 Demo

Fee

  • $0.00 (Absolutely free with Game Character Setup training workshop)

“Mini-Workshops” are quick, specific courses geared towards learning different types, methods and aspects of character rigging. Below is the list of available Mini-Workshops.

ZIVA VFX Hyper Real Quadruped Setup  – In this 21 class workshop we will learn to setup a photo-realistic quadruped character (Tiger) rig for films with ZIVA VFX toolset (a plug-in with an offline FEM anatomy simulator). We will learn to setup an animator friendly body rig driven by dynamic musculo-skeletal deformation to create anatomically correct quadruped character rig for production. We will also learn to create believable facial setup that integrate within the production rig for re-creating life-like realistic animation. The physics based anatomy created with ZIVA VFX software reduces the time and cost required to build life-like, anatomical characters for films and games. Click here for demo video.

Hyper Real Quadruped Setup – In this 18 class workshop we will learn to setup a photo-realistic quadruped character (Tiger) rig for films. We will learn to setup an animator friendly body rig driven by dynamic musculo-skeletal deformation to create anatomically correct quadruped character rig for production. We will also learn to create believable facial setup that integrate within the production rig for re-creating life-like realistic animation. Click here for demo video.

Super Toon Character Setup – In this 15 class workshop we will learn to setup a super cartoon rig for films. We will learn to setup a super cartoon rig featuring many different kinds of animation gimmicks such as bendy controls, scale-able controls, smears and multiples. The rig will also feature an expressive and highly deform-able facial rig. Click here for demo video. https://vimeo.com/170133320

Human Transformation Setup – In this 13 class workshop we will learn to setup a photo-realistic human (bipedal) transformation rig for film. We will learn to setup anatomically correct human transformation rig that transforms from one form to another. The rig features an intuitive body rig combining body sculpts and musculo-skeletal deformation and an expressive facial rigging system for production. Click here for demo video.

Hyper Real Body Setup – In this 12 class workshop we will learn to setup a photo-realistic body rig for films. We will learn to setup an intuitive body rig combining body sculpts and musculo-skeletal deformation which concentrates into finer details such as triggering skin folding, wrinkles, flexing muscular details, skin sliding and dynamics. We will learn to sculpt anatomically correct deformation, create texture maps, combine deformers and integrate skin dynamics that seamlessly integrate with the body rig to produce believable full body deformation. Click here for demo video. 

Morphing Character Setup – In this 12 class workshop we will learn to create a customizable production ready character rig which can be morphed or blended into different looking characters. Using this technique we can blend a character into infinite number of unique characters. For example a little kid can blend into an old man or a lady. We will learn the techniques needed to morph the body and face and create a Universal-Rig. Click here for demo video.

Procedural & Dynamic Setup – In this 11 class workshop we will learn the art of dynamic-procedural rigging and animation. We will learn how to create a customized scripted expressions to drive procedural animation and enhance your workflow. Further more you will learn to layer the existing rig setup with dynamic setup to add a sense of realism and overlapping action in the motion. In this workshop we will begin by learning how to animate vegetation with procedural animation and move on to rig an auto-walking centipede as well as an auto-crawling snake rigs driven by layering manual controls, procedural animation and dynamics .We will also take an in-depth look into nCloth. We will use nCloth dynamics to simulate character clothing and also take a look at how nCloth can be used to enhance character deformation.

Auto Rig Tool – In this 10 class rigging workshop we will learn to create a fully functional custom character rig with automated tools using the power of MEL scripting. Using these tools we can setup a character rig in a matter of minutes with just a few clicks of a mouse button saving both time and resources to deliver quality rigs. Click here for demo video. 

Cartoon Quadruped SetupIn this 10 class workshop we will learn to setup a flexible full body quadruped rig with facial control.

Hyper Real Facial Setup – In this 9 class workshop we will learn to setup a photo-realistic facial rig for films. We will learn to setup an intuitive facial rig combining facial sculpts and musculo-skeletal deformation which concentrates into finer details such as triggering facial wrinkles, skin sliding and dynamics. We will learn to sculpt facial expression, create texture maps, combine deformers and integrate skin dynamics that seamlessly integrate with the facial rig to produce believable facial expression. Click here for demo video.

Pose Space Deformation Setup – In this 8 class workshop we will learn to setup a realistic body rig for films and games. We will learn to setup an intuitive body rig featuring PSD (Pose Space Driven) corrective shapes and multiple combination facial shapes for an expressive facial rig. We will learn to sculpt anatomically correct body and facial deformation and integrate with the rig to produce fast, efficient and believable deformation. Click here for demo video. 

Blendshape Combination System – In this 8 class workshop we will learn to create high-end facial setups for feature production using Blendshape Combination System (BCS) toolset, developed by Daniel Pook-Kolb. With BCS you can create, combine (Combination-Sculpting) multitude of facial expression with flexible inbetweening and interpolation to simulate realistic skin behavior. BCS is free for educational purposes. Click here for demo video.

Cartoony Facial Setup – In this 8 class workshop we will learn to create a highly flexible production ready cartoony facial rig based on joints, shapes and deformation controls all layered together to produce a wide range of exaggerated facial expressions. Click here for demo video.

Bird Setup – In this 8 class workshop we will learn to setup a flexible bird rig with intuitive wing control and feather dynamics. Click here for demo video.

Dynamixyz Facial Motion Capture – In this 5 class workshop we will learn to create High-End Facial Animations on your Own with Dynamixyz software! Dynamixyz’s Performer Solution is an award-winning video-based markerless facial capture and analysis solution for films and games. Click here for demo video.

MEL & Expression – In this 5 class workshop we will introduce our self to the foundation of MEL scripting. We will learn to create simple tools and execute expressions.

Transformer Setup – In this 5 class workshop we will explore the exciting world of setting up an actual transformer rig. We will learn technical modelling for mechanical articulation and transformation from one form to another. Click here for demo video.

Motion Capture Facial SetupIn this 5 class workshop we will learn to setup a motion capture facial rig for facial animation. We will learn to transfer facial performance from an actor to a CG character. Click here for demo video.

Hybrid Facial Setup – In this 5 class workshop we will learn to setup a production ready hybrid facial rig based on joints and corrective facial shapes for better deformation for games and films. Click here for demo video.

Mechanical Setup – In this 5 class workshop we will learn to setup a mechanical robotic rig. We will learn to setup proper articulation and armature of a mechanical robot with automated turret firing, piston and hydraulics setup, etc.

Cartoony Vehicle Setup – In this 4 workshop course we will learn to setup a cartoony vehicle rig with squash, stretch and bendy deformation control together with an expressive facial control.

Vehicle SetupIn this 4 class workshop we will learn to setup a realistic vehicle rig featuring dynamic controls for wheel, suspension, chassis and ground interaction. Click here for demo video.

Fish Setup – In this 3 class workshop we will learn to setup a believable fish rig drive by layers of procedural animation, dynamics and manual controls. Click here for demo video.

Cloth Rigging – In this 1 class workshop we will learn cloth rigging techniques for clothing and accessories without the use of simulation and dynamics. The technique can be used for rigging character clothing such as skirt, coat, cape, loin cloth, etc with proper sliding and collision deformation that seamlessly follows the base model.

Fee

  • $40 per Class for Online Workshop. (Note: If there are 10 classes in a workshop, the total cost for that particular workshop is $40*10 = $400)
  • $30 per Class for Offline (pre-recorded) Workshop. (Note: If there are 10 classes in a workshop, the total cost for that particular workshop is $30*10 = $300)

    Target Audience

  • Anyone with an interest in upgrading their existing Character Rigging and Scripting skills to match their production needs.
  • Previous experience with Character Rigging is required. A good knowledge of basic to intermediate level of rigging is recommended.

 

P.S. At Puppeteer Lounge, we provide custom character modeling and animation services at an affordable rate for our students and guide them in the process of creating a successful demo-reel.

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