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Monday, January 14, 2008

Advanced Character Rigging (Book)


+ Award-winning 3D animator TJ Galda has kicked off his new series of books on Character Rigging with an advanced book outlining how to create muscles and tendons using computer graphics software such as Autodesk's Maya. The book is designed to make the techniques as accessible as possible, so that even beginners can create and animate lifelike muscles for their animated characters. TJ Galda has worked as character technical director and studio technical supervisor on films like Fantastic Four, Shark Tale, Over the Hedge, and the upcoming Passengers, Passchendaele and Kung Fu Panda. He has also served at Electronic Arts Canada, during which he oversaw all art production on over 25 games at a time. Recently, Mr. Galda received the worldwide Autodesk Maya Master Award. In writing the book, Mr. Galda drew on his work in character animation, as well as his experience as an animation instructor, mentor, and lecturer.
In this book, you will learn how to create musculature for your characters that simulates sliding skin and flesh, while maintaining speed for animation. You will learn several tricks to create your own muscles, tendons, and more that do not require simulation and baking time. Starting from examining your forearm and hand, TJ Galda will go in depth on the usage and explanation of weight painting to maximize your efficiency. From there, we will progress into advanced rigging techniques including rigging with muscles, allowing for squash and stretch, writing custom expressions to account for various predictable anatomical phenomena and a variety of other advanced topics. These techniques have been utilized in several feature films and are based on a solid understanding of anatomy and Maya® software. You will also learn alternatives to dynamic musculature solutions and leave with a variety of options. His website can be found at www.tjgalda.com, and his book can be found at www.stores.lulu.com/tjgalda.

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