Tiina here, one of the team’s 3D artists, who is discovering new exciting aspects of the 3D worlds.


Aight, lets get to it. As today’s topic we are exploring the rigging workflow I used for the beloved character from Cave Digger, Chompy. For her upgraded version, I was tasked to push her dimensions to unrealistic measures, where the form of a chest would no longer be a hard-surface object, but an organic being. I was thrilled to delve into this new opportunity, as with the previous characters I had not experienced the challenges of face rigging and drivers.

She’s the first character for me to have squash-and-stretch mechanics and facial expressions. As the concept demonstrates, the proportions of the model are pushed to the extremes to create a cartoonish effect to give her more personality and individual characteristics. This required some research on my side to create rigging controls for easy animation.





So we come to the topic of drivers. I contemplated whether I should use shape keys or drivers to make the lids blink. After a bit of research I decided to go with the drivers, as I felt it came down to a personal preference whichever method I wanted to use.


The lid driver system is quite simple. I set up weights (with the assistance of Harri, shout-out to that awesome artist ! ) to the designated areas of each bone, made the bone X-axis to align with the direction I wanted the lid to close and created a control bone that drives the axis with it’s Z transform. Then I locked the unnecessary axes to limit the bone transforms. This worked really well when I had to create sleeping and waking up animations.


Next up was the mouth and teeth rigging. This proved to be a bit of a brainer, as I wanted to have mobility of the lips while keeping the teeth unchanged. I came up with a solution of parenting the teeth bones to the neck bone, with a Limit location (in local space) constraint on them, to prevent the teeth meshes from squishing. Then I created a control bone for the middle of the mouth, which drives the X and Y axes of the teeth. This created a lip movement with the teeth following whilst keeping their shape. I did the driver setup for the middle lip deform bone too, and there you have it.




The rest of the rig was mainly setting up weights and having bones with free mobility within the rig. Hips, neck and dimples have their own bones that have the control over their set areas of the character mesh. The wings themselves I did with the IK rig with the wingtips having constraints to follow the rotation of the bone before them.


Overall, this experience was really rewarding and exciting to me,  as I got to enter a field that is interesting to me yet I have not had the opportunity to utilize it in such depth before. I hope for more such challenges to come !


Br, Noodleye


Random development quote: “Tiina ootko koskaan tehny face rigiä kirjalle”?