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WildStar Wednesday : Rigging Metal Maw

Written by Loic "Atreid" Claveau on November 23, 2011

Hello everyone,

This week, even if we don't have much to show, we still wanted to give you a little update about where everyone's favorite monster is at.

And right now, he sits in the Animation Department where our very talented Chris Hale, Senior Technical Animator, is teaching him how to move, one baby step at a time!

By the way, if you are still wondering who is Metal Maw, below is a recap of its adventures and how it came into existence!

The birth of Metal Maw

From Concept to Creature, Part 1

Following Metal Maw

From Concept to Creature, Part 2

From Concept to Creature, Part 3

Ok, now that everyone is up to date, I'll let Chris introduce himself and then explain you briefly what new tricks he is teaching to Metal Maw.

"Hello everyone,

Who am I? I've been working in games for over 10 years now. Rigging is a lot like playing with Lego, there's lots of looking for the right piece for the job but with the added benefit of seeing it all come to life at the end of the day.

What do I do? In short I turn amazing sculptures into action figures that the animators then get to play with.

(Editor's note: ok, that's what we call short, indeed!)

Geometry - Check over the mesh and talk with the modelers about any tweaks that need to be made regarding the pose, proportions, and topology.

Anatomy - Add bones, constraints and expressions that will make up the armature the animators will use to pose the creature through its actions.

Skinning - Attach the mesh to the bones with an enveloped weight map. Allowing the mesh to deform believably, with the fleshy bits stretching and squishing while the mechanical bits will stay structured and solid."

Thank you for this update Chris! We hope that it gave you a little insight about the transition phase between modeling and animation. That's it for this WildStar Wednesday, see you next week!

As a reminder, the team is headed home for the next few days to celebrate Thanksgiving! Have no fear; we'll be back in the saddle come Monday.

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