Remaining In Control with Rig Controls!

As I’ve talked about in the past weeks, I’ve been working on a 3D medical simulation that involves a pretty complicated rig. Having never worked on an animation this complex before, it’s been a real challenge to come up with solutions that will make the animation work, while at the same time being simple to control and remember.

Yesterday, while explaining some of the more intricate parts of the rig to another animator, I noticed that the names for most of the bones and morphs were actually quite apt and organized. I am able to easily remember what control does what, and explain that control to others.

The one exception was the main control, which had initially been named after the stretching of the muscle it initially controlled. Eventually, that control expanded to affect many aspects of the model, at which point I should have probably re-named it to something like “main control.” But now it’s kind of too late; many scenes already have it named the old way, and to rename it now will likely just cause confusion down the road. We don’t want that when trying to quickly and efficiently complete 3D animation renders to be exported into our custom-programmed interactive medical training simulation!