I completed the creation of the Oinkfrog character tonight, I am really happy with how he turned out in the end and the level of control I managed to build into the rig. Here is some of the text from a short descriptive doc that will accompany the maya and video submissions:
Here are some of the final adjustments and additions, adding the blends and manul control for the thinning of his arms to make the stretching of them feel right and adding the controllers for the pupil shape blends as well.
Building on a basic interpretation of the orthographic sketches, the 3D mesh took shape quickly enough. The 3D version needed to accommodate things from floating eyebrows to squiggly tails while delivering a rig able to deform him in squishy cartoony ways. This rig brought together a range of concepts, combined with a range of controls he is fun to manipulate while keeping his character strong.
The tricky bits implemented:
• Rigging his super-wide mouth.
• Creating and controlling the exaggerated eyes and the dynamic pupils.
• Handling his stretchable arms and squishy fingers.
• The very short legs and very large feet.
• Giving control to his squishy body, eg tummy.
• Having a dynamic adam’s apple.
• Building and manipulating the squishy, stretchy springy tail.
• Adding other little details like wriggly nose, elbows and wrinkles.
There are other elements that could be added to the model and rig that would improve the Oinkfrog further:
• Build auto blend for skinny arms on stretch rather than manual.
• Refined skin texture (better seams, blobbier pattern, more colour variation).
• Create a better flipper-foot rig.
• Weighting refinement.
• Eyebrow movement sliders, rather than doing rotations and scales.
Here is the final model, rig and controller set for the Oinkfrog:
Finally, here are a few simple poses of the little guy showing a few of the things he can do: