Proceduralism on secondary animation for Charaters on a production pipeline


Maurizio Giglioli. MINIMO VFX, CEO and co-founder, Barcelona/London

Note for beginners:

Before a 3D character model can be handed over to the team of animators, it must be bound to a system of joints and control handles so that the animators can pose the model. This process is typically completed by artists known as character technical directors (TDs), or riggers.

A character rig can range from simple and elegant to staggeringly complex. A basic setup for simple posing can be built in a few hours, while a fully articulated rig for a feature film might require a weeks before the character is ready for blockbuster level animation.

And to make charaсters to be “real” there is additional layer of «secondary animation» – complex set of effects applied on the top of traditional animation

Disclaimer for beginner:

There will be absolutely no info on basic setups and regular rigs.

Today we will talk about most complex, difficult and hardcore rigging techniques: procedural character secondary animation in Maya.


We will be starting on a general mesh of a fat guy, set it up with Mocap and fat simulation.

We will discuss all the problems related with topology changes and how to overcome them.

I will show dedicated nodes ( SOuP ) that will allow to get and set information on the mesh without having to worry about the rig, skin cluster but use the mesh information as a guide.

Finally we will pass the mesh to grooming and for a final pass before lighting the shot.

 Maurizio Giglioli

Maurizio Giglioli. MINIMO VFX, CEO and co-founder, Barcelona/London

Maurizio  started in Los Angeles with a project lead by Tim McGovern, that gave a strong well round foundation of the film industry back in 2002. Then moved from different mid size production houses in Los Angeles like , Riot, Method Studios and Klasky csupo where his duties were among, cloth lead, fluid and particle TD. Then got offered a job at ILM San Francisco where he had the pleasure to be a Creature TD onshows like Transformers 1, Transformers 2, Star trek and then lead on Rango. In 2011 I moved to London where his rigging and creature TD skill grew exponentially on John Carter of Mars and after that he moved to MPC where Maurizio supervised the Commercial FX team for a year to finally move to Barcelona where he opened Minimo VFX with Felix Balbas.

List of Maurizio’s  characters:

° Monsters: Dark Continent (Creature Fx Supervisor)
° All Monsters of the Movie
° Pudsey the Dog: The Movie (Pipeline Supervisor – Character Rigging and Fur Setup: Minimo Vfx)
° Main Dogs Characters
° The Nostalgist (Short) (FX TD: Minimo VFX)
° Main Character
° The Machine (visual effects supervisor: Minimo VFX)
° Main Robot and simulations
° John Carter (rigging: Double Negative)
° Thoat and woola , 4 legged Characters
° Rango (creature technical director)
° Pipeline and worked on Rango and other main characters
° Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (visual effects rigger: Double Negative)
° Dragon on disco fighting scene
° Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (creature technical director)
° The Fallen
° Star Trek (creature technical director)
° Polarilla on ice planet and simulations
° Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (digital modeler and simulator)
° Monkeys and simulations final scene
° The Spiderwick Chronicles (character setup)
° Brownies, Boggarts, Dragon
° Transformers (character setup) / (technical director)
° IronHide and Jazz
° Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
° Davy Jones and the Pirates