On this latest blog post, we would like to share some techniques on how we go about setting up the puppet style animation rigs. There are certainly many different ways and third party apps such as Spine or Harmony that work very well depending on your needs. For us, we normally do it in Maya or in Flash and Photoshop.
This is Whobert, a little wizard mascot we created for a game entitled "Whobert's Path" by Grio. Whobert was entirely setup and animated in Photoshop and Flash. For facial expressions, we hand drew the different expressions but for the most part, we relied on the Puppet Wrap feature in Flash for motion, overlap, and squash-n-stretch.
Here is an example of the wizard 's animation. You can find more animation of Whobert in the animation section of our webpage here.
For the Panda Pop ad project, we opted to do it in Maya instead, here is a screenshot of the rig-
The advantage of doing this in a 3D package is that we can fully utilize some of the more robust skeleton, forward and inverse kinematics features, as well as the various deformers such as bend, squash, and wave etc. Obviously, the result of good animation relies completely on the understanding of the animation fundamentals, but we found that doing it in Maya was more efficient for us as it offered us a more robust and flexible pipeline.
Here is an example of the baby Panda in action-
You can also go to our animation section for more Panda animations.